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Best 1Gb or more nVidia GPU for LARGE screens?

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I built a new PC a few months ago and bought a large 30" monitor at the same time. I have a 3Ghz Quad Core (hope to overclock sometime), 4GB DDR3 RAM, 850W PSU and three frequently defragged HDs, one each for OS (Vista 64-bit), FSX Acceleration and the last for Scenery. Its widely recognised that the CPU provides the most number crunching for FSX, not the GPU. For that reason I did a lot of reading around and settled on a mid-range 9800 GTX+ 512Mb GPU.Having flown with this system for a few months I've realised that my limiting factor is my screen and GPU combination. The screen resolution is 2560 x 1600, which I'm loath to reduce! I like to get as much peripheral vision as possible, so I fly at 0.3 Zoom in the VC. I also like to fly either DX10 or 3D (ColorCode) every now and then. All this means I have an awful lot of scenery being delivered to an awfully large screen and a 512Mb GPU is just not enough...SO, I'm looking for a 1Gb or above nVidia GPU. When I first looked at the 200 series they were getting terrible reviews for FSX, which may have been a driver issue? Have the drivers been fixed and are the 200 series cards now performing well? If so, which 1Gb or above card would you recommend for my setup? Are the 9800 GTX 1Gb recommended? I'm also more than happy to increase my RAM accordingly.

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EVGA has a GTX 275 with 1792 MB RAM, and it's a single GPU card so that entire amount of VRAM can be utilized. Same clocks as the reguler 896MB card too so that's a huge plus.Otherwise take your pick of GTX 285 1GB cards. I'm really enjoying my XFX GTX 285. Plays everything @ 1080P w/max. details and AA, and I mean *everything*.

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I am running a GTX285 with Vista 64. I am in process of OC so I have not yet done any tweaking, i.e. BUFFERPOOlS or FSX_Optimizer applet. But so far I am very pleased with the card. I do believe that the drivers for the 200 cards will improve over time.

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and it's a single GPU card so that entire amount of VRAM can be utilized.
Do you mean this is a single chip GPU?I'm trying to compare the new 275 to others in the 200 series (for FSX use)... how can I tell if these are single chip/GPU (tricky to find in the specs)?

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Do you mean this is a single chip GPU?
A GPU is by definition a single chip.
I'm trying to compare the new 275 to others in the 200 series (for FSX use)... how can I tell if these are single chip/GPU (tricky to find in the specs)?
250/260/275/280/285 = single GPU295 = dual GPU

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Now I'm even wondering about my current EVGA 9800 GTX+ SC 512Mb. Is this single chip, or dual chip?!

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OK, so I'm now looking hard at the 285 (FTW) and 275...In terms of memory, just how much benefit will 1792 Mb get me over 1024Mb? Remember, this is purely in terms of large 2560 x 1600 resolution screens for FSX. Does anyone out there have any experience using one vs. the other for 2560 x 1600?Its not just a question of memory size though. I'm also looking at Memory Speed, Memory Bandwidth, Core Clock and Shader Clock. Which of these would you say was more important when using 2560 x 1600 resolution??For simplicity, I'm comparing my existing EVGA 9800+ SC 512Mb to EVGA's standard 285, the 285 FTW and the new 1792 Mb 275. I'll want to improve on all specs if I can...Card EVGA 9800 GTX+ SC 512MB EVGA GTX275 1792 MB EVGA GTX 285 1024MB EVGA GTX 285 FTW 1024MBMemory Clock (MHz) 2246 2268 2484 2772Core Clock (MHz) 756 633 648 720Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) 71.8 127 159 177.4Shader Clock (MHz) 1890 1404 1476 1620Right now the 275 doesn't look so great, despite its larger memory. For some specs it'd be a retrograde step for me. If I had to make a choice today I'd go for the 285 FTW. However, I'm prepared to wait a while. Do you think that EVGA will produce a FTW edition of the 275 1792 Mb? If so, do you think it'll match (or even exceed) the other specs of the 285 FTW (improved from the standard 285)? If the answers to these are "yes", how long do you think it'll take EVGA to make such a card, based on previous models?Thanks againAndy

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When I first looked at the 200 series they were getting terrible reviews for FSX, which may have been a driver issue? Have the drivers been fixed and are the 200 series cards now performing well?
Terrible reviews from whom? I replaced my 8800 Ultra

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OK, so I'm now looking hard at the 285 (FTW) and 275...In terms of memory, just how much benefit will 1792 Mb get me over 1024Mb? Remember, this is purely in terms of large 2560 x 1600 resolution screens for FSX. Does anyone out there have any experience using one vs. the other for 2560 x 1600?Its not just a question of memory size though. I'm also looking at Memory Speed, Memory Bandwidth, Core Clock and Shader Clock. Which of these would you say was more important when using 2560 x 1600 resolution??
I don't believe anyone's done a thorough analysis of this issue yet. Someone would have to run a VRAM utilization tool to determine how much VRAM is useful to FSX. You'd have to ask someone with one of the 1792MB GTX 275 cards to run such a tool in FSX. I believe ATI Tray Tools has just such a tool.
For simplicity, I'm comparing my existing EVGA 9800+ SC 512Mb to EVGA's standard 285, the 285 FTW and the new 1792 Mb 275. I'll want to improve on all specs if I can...Card EVGA 9800 GTX+ SC 512MB EVGA GTX275 1792 MB EVGA GTX 285 1024MB EVGA GTX 285 FTW 1024MBMemory Clock (MHz) 2246 2268 2484 2772Core Clock (MHz) 756 633 648 720Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) 71.8 127 159 177.4Shader Clock (MHz) 1890 1404 1476 1620Right now the 275 doesn't look so great, despite its larger memory. For some specs it'd be a retrograde step for me. If I had to make a choice today I'd go for the 285 FTW. However, I'm prepared to wait a while. Do you think that EVGA will produce a FTW edition of the 275 1792 Mb? If so, do you think it'll match (or even exceed) the other specs of the 285 FTW (improved from the standard 285)? If the answers to these are "yes", how long do you think it'll take EVGA to make such a card, based on previous models?Thanks againAndy
Andy I'm afraid you can't compare clockspeeds across product generations. Your 9800 GTX is a different architecture and has fewer of the various execution units than the GTX 2xx series cards you're comparing to, so going by sheer clockspeed alone is not an accurate means to determine performance.

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Many thanks for your replies everyone, your opinions are valuable to me.I'm pretty much sold on the EVGA 285 GTX FTW... the only question that bothers me is weather pure memory size is what I should really be going for, when using such high resolutions (i.e. the 1792 Mb of the 275 GTX)?

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1GB VRAM *should* be enough for 2560x1600 in most every application, unless you're running some insane level of AA.

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Have a Gainward GTX285 with 2 GB of video RAM. Can't say negative things about it :-) 2 gigs may be overkill, but better too much than not enough...

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Have a Gainward GTX285 with 2 GB of video RAM. Can't say negative things about it :-) 2 gigs may be overkill, but better too much than not enough...
Wow! Interesting! :( Not sure where I'd get one of these in England though (can't find one yet). :( Does anyone know if you can use some sort of Windows tool to find out how much of the video RAM is being used?? I read a little about this card, such as this:"Dumping more RAM on a graphics card does not magically improve performance when 1GB is more than enough for most games. It will just stop it running out of memory with certain newer games at very high res with AA. 2560x1600 + AA is the only place this card will make a difference, and thats only if the game uses more than 1GB VRAM at these settings."Well, 2560 x 1600 with AA (and sometimes stereo etc.) is exactly what I'm doing... but I don't know if FSX "uses more than 1GB VRAM at these settings"... can anyone enlighten me, or tell me how to find out?The plot thickens!! :(

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So I discovered that Palit and Novatech sell the 285 GTX with 2Gb video RAM here in England. However, besides the 2Gb RAM the specs are exactly the same as a basic 285 GTX 1Gb. This means I need to make a choice between 1) double the RAM; or 2) better performance in terms of clock speed, memory bandwidth etc. with the EVGA 285 GTX FTW.... :( Any advice? What would you do?

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So I discovered that Palit and Novatech sell the 285 GTX with 2Gb video RAM here in England. However, besides the 2Gb RAM the specs are exactly the same as a basic 285 GTX 1Gb. This means I need to make a choice between 1) double the RAM; or 2) better performance in terms of clock speed, memory bandwidth etc. with the EVGA 285 GTX FTW.... :( Any advice? What would you do?
Hm. When I bought the 285, I went into the shop looking for an overclocked card. The salesman there told me that more memory would be better for FSX. And truly, I think regarding clock speed, the 285GTX is a killer even on standard settings.Playing the game in 3360x1025, I can max out autogen and scenery complexity, 5m mesh, 30cm texture resolution, water 2x low, full scenery effects - even under a thick cloud cover I can set my fps to 25 and see no drops whatsoever when flying low with a single prop. That's amazing, compared to what the 4850 did. And on nHancer I have set highest quality and an anitaliasing of 8xS - the best I could get with the ATI was 2x in normal mode, everything else bogged the system down. Cities and airports is another story, but that's not related to the card, more to the pocessor and the bus.However, the 2GB make a GREAT difference on arports, too. When panning around with the 4850 (1GB), it took a few seconds bevore the liveries of the AI planes from TrafficX showed up. With the 2GB, they are there within the fraction of a second, and looking away and back to them doesn't make them reload like they did with the ATI.It's mandatory to change som settings in the fsx.cfg to reallyenjoy the card. Bufferpools should be set to 490MB (no joke, really that high), else you might hear some cracking sound when flying over a lot of autogen. And texture bandwidth Multiplier should be 70 or 80.Another plus for the 2GB gainward is that it has two fans - very silent ones, I have to say.BTW, it has 2x 6 pin connectors, not 1x6 and 1x8 as some sites state.My advice wold be to go for the 2GB card when you play in high resolutions.

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