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PCI Video card for Civ IV?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Technical Support' started by CteinPhoto, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. CteinPhoto

    CteinPhoto Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Messages:
    17
    Dear Rob,

    "I also do alot of Photoshop work."

    Thank you very much for the advice! I also got a confirmation from
    two people over on the computer graphics list that I should be very
    happy with this board, so I took the plunge and ordered a XFX nVidia
    GeForce 6600GT 256MB AGP4/8X board from Newegg today.

    "check on your current power supply"

    Thank you for alerting me about the power requirements; I would not
    have thought of that. 75 W, sheesh! I only have a 350 watt supply,
    and the review comments I read on this board confirmed the people
    were having freeze problems from not having a big enough power
    supply. So I guess it's down to CompUSA to look for a 450 supply.
    Sigh, I just replaced the supply three weeks ago.

    The amperage concerns me; did you really mean 24 amps on the 12 volt
    lines?! I can't seem to find individual line ratings online in the
    specifications of these power supplies, but if I remember correctly
    from reading the boxes when I was down at CompUSA, a power supply
    with a 24 amp 12 volt-line would be positively HUGE.

    The internal layout and air flow on my system is such that heat from
    the video card won't be a problem, thank God.

    Told my housemate about settling on a new card and she was very
    excited; she is the real Civ addict-- has racked up somewhere between
    6000 and 10,000 hours playing various versions. Terrifying. When I
    told her I figured this card would hold us for least until the next
    version of Civ comes out, her comment was, "Civ V -- Cray-compatible!"

    Guffaw!


    pax / Ctein
    [[ Please excuse any word-salad. ViaVoice in training! ]]
    =========================================
    -- Ctein's Online Gallery http://www.ctein.com
    -- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com
    =========================================
     
  2. CteinPhoto

    CteinPhoto Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Messages:
    17
    Dear Akh,

    "Originally Posted by CteinPhoto
    Good graphics boards need static stability: to produce rock-solid steady pixels with no signal drift or variation, long term or short...

    "This bit is important only if you are using a CRT display."

    Oh yes, excellent point. Yes, I am still running CRTs. I have a big 24 in. Sun monitor and getting a comparable LCD is way beyond my spare cash. So it's the analog signal quality that matters to me (on which point I am now entirely reassured) and the whole issue should not be of concern to people a running digital video.

    I did order a XFX 6600GT board which should be here the middle of next week. I will either be back then with profuse thanks for everybody's help or crying piteously < wry smile >. Keep your fingers crossed.


    pax / Ctein
    [[ Please excuse any word-salad. ViaVoice in training! ]]
    =========================================
    -- Ctein's Online Gallery http://www.ctein.com
    -- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com
    =========================================
     
  3. CteinPhoto

    CteinPhoto Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Messages:
    17
    Dear Lord,

    "I made it really easy for you, check here, that is a list of 6600, 6600 GT and even a 6800 XT that all fit your requirements."

    Oh geez, honestly didn't have to go all the trouble for me. I really do appreciate it. I was doing some similar research last night and was closing in on the board you recommended, since I figured I'd really like to get 256 MB and so stay abreast of future software for as long as possible. (like my housemate said, "Civ V -- Cray-compatible!") But you saved me a lot more soul-searching and equivocating. Since I was moving in that direction, I just went with one of your top choices , the XFX 256MB AGP 6600GT board.

    Might have it as soon as next Tuesday; now I have to go out and buy a modest PC-compatible nuclear power plant to run it and I'm all set.

    Thanks again!


    pax / Ctein
    [[ Please excuse any word-salad. ViaVoice in training! ]]
    =========================================
    -- Ctein's Online Gallery http://www.ctein.com
    -- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com
    =========================================
     
  4. Akhenaton

    Akhenaton Warlord

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    Messages:
    123
    24 amps on the 12V bus is a sensible minimum. I have a quality PSU which is rated 33 amps on the 12V bus (total 460W nominal) and it's quite "normal" size with the standard ATX form factor.

    Nah, the MSR for CivV will be 280 TFLOPS from Linpack and 32 Tbytes of RAM and 600 TBytes of space. :eek:
     
  5. CteinPhoto

    CteinPhoto Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Messages:
    17
    Dear Akh

    "...PSU which is rated 33 amps on the 12V bus (total 460W nominal)..."

    OK, that's reassuring. I wrote my last message after looking at the case of my 350W supply which gives volatge/amperage ratings of 3.3V = 14A, +5V = 20A, and +12V = 12A. I extrapolated and assumed wrongly that to get 12V, 24A I'd be looking at a 700W supply. Apparently not.

    Thinking about it, since my current system is veryy happy with 350 Watts total and 12A@12V, if I find a 450W supply that puts out 18A@12V, that's gonna be sufficient to drive this heftier video card.

    Thanks again.

    pax / Ctein
     
  6. Akhenaton

    Akhenaton Warlord

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    Messages:
    123
    First of all I doubt you can find a 450W class NEW PSU that is rated only 18A@12V. And the reason is that later standards put more demands on the 12V bus than the other buses (ATX12V v2 recommends 29A@12V max continuous for 400W PSUs). Basically, new HW doesn't use much 5V and very little 3.3V, which where the main input voltages in earlier MB/graphics designs. New MBs and graphics cards make their own operating voltages themselves from the 12V bus (hence the increased capacity and complexity of onboard PWM components).

    So when I say 24A, I do mean 24 not 18. Basically any quality 450W PSU which supports the latest standards provides that and more.
     
  7. Zanmato

    Zanmato King

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    723
    Location:
    Preston, UK
    Agreed, you will hard pushed to find a new PSU that provides anything less than 24A these days. Plus, Antec PSUs actually have no connection to one of the ATX 5V lines since they feel it's not a relevant connection anymore. I would recommend Antec, Enermax, Tagan, Zalman and ThermalLake PSUs as these are good reliable plants and some are virtually silent.
     
  8. Lord Foortwenti

    Lord Foortwenti Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    22
    If we're talking PSU's I would have to recomend Enermax. I have an Enermax 550W PSU powering my system and it runs constant, consistent power. This is a great PSU, all rails were +/- .01 volts within what it should be by default, and I was able to overclock my X2 4400+ about 10% without it even flinching (on it's way to about a 14% OC on air cooling :D ) It's nothing flashy, no neon tubes or colored LED's or anything like that. But it is a good solid power supply.

    As a note about 18A on the 12V rail, if you do see a rating of 18A on the 12V it's most likely a dual 12V PSU. Well, one would hope anyway, if it wasn't stay far away from it.

    PSU's in general are a funny thing. A company can make great PSU's but there will always be a couple that will fizzle, it's just how they are. So you will most likely hear at least one bad story about each PSU manufacturer, but generally the chap that posted above me had it right with the more trusted PSU manufacturers. Enermax, Antec, PC Power & Cooling, Coolermaster, Thermaltake and Zalman are the companies known for quality PSU's. Just look for something by one of those companies in your price range that has a good proficency (70%+) and has good amperage on the rails.
     
  9. CteinPhoto

    CteinPhoto Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Messages:
    17
    Dear Folks,

    OK, it's all in-- a new Antec 430W TruPower supply with 17A on each of the two 12V rails and my XFX 6600GT 256 MB card. And, wonder of wonders, no smoke! <g>

    Yay, Civ IV and Flight Simuator just zoom along-- I can crank Civ IV up to 1024x1280 res at the high graphics settings with full texture mapping and animation before I start to see any gaps between frames. Even then it's only when panning while zoomed far out and it's pretty damn minimal. Photoshop also seems happy with the new card. Haven't made a new monitor profile yet, but it's gonna be close (if not identical) to the old one, and I'm not seeing any drift in the signal. So, yeah, I'm a pretty happy camper.

    But, I've got two questions. First is a technical one about how the power supply's rated. I *assumed* that each 12V rail is associated with a separate power cable (IOW, each cable as 17 A available to it). So I took care to try to distribute the loads across the cables-- mainly the two hard drives are NOT plugged into the same cable as the 6600GT card; I put the CD & DVD drives on that rail. Did I analyze that correctly?

    Second, the opening movie in Civ IV now plays gitch-free, and nothing in the game stutters, but the victory movie plays terribly-- I'm getting maybe 20% of the frames. Looks like what the opening movie did with my old Matrox card. S'far as I can tell, it's the same file types (bik) for all the movies. Anyone know why that happens? Is it fixable? A bug in the game?


    Anyway, thanks to everyone for holding my hand while I worked my way up the decision tree.

    pax / Ctein
     
  10. CteinPhoto

    CteinPhoto Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Messages:
    17
    test test test
     
  11. Zanmato

    Zanmato King

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    723
    Location:
    Preston, UK
    I think you have done the right thing about the power cables. With mine I had to share one cable with the HD and video card because it was too short to do anything else with but the power still seems pretty solid anyway.

    I've heard the same thing about the victory movies, I think it's just somekind of bug. Hopefully, it will be sorted in the next patch.
     

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