Nvidia/AMD/SLI, seeking advice on upgrade
Hello dear Linux Friends.
I realize that description is long, major points: Source games on Linux only, ability to over clock, SLI, price 200-325$, power consumption.
MICHAEL I CAN'T WAIT FOR ARTICLES WITH SOURCE GAMES BENCHMARKS!!!! :)
I am Linux enthusiast and gamer. I need advice upgrading my GPU.(I guess its my biggest bottleneck)
I am specifically interested in getting higher FPS from Valve Source Engine games(yep, i already play Team fortress 2 and SS 3 BFE, wich s no source, but none the less, a good graphics game, and very fun one at that). First hand experience with those is highly appreciated. I don't care much about open source games based on Quake 1/2/3 engine I play them seldom and if it's above my screen FPS - I am already happy.
Right now I have 8 gigs of ram(1600), 3.2 GHZ quad core from AMD and gtx470. I got powerful Power Supply, I am not concerned about technical issues.
While Team Fortress 2 seem to work all right(it doesn't go below 40 FPS there, hard to say its real value, but seems to be generally above my screen FPS, which is 60/1920 on 1080) - I have rather low FPS in Serious Sam3 BFE(below 30), and i don't feel to comfortable with Heroes of Newerth(doesn't go above 40-50 FPS) and Unigine tests and Oil Rush. And I am not maxing anything out like AF or AA or Multi Sampling in any of those games, mostly i don't even enable any of those.
I am looking right now to buy either Nvidia or ATI(not interested in Intel). I am not overzealous, but i tend to look after AMD, I had a lot of good exp with their CPU's over course of many years and heard many positive things from Windows/Linux dual booters(AKA IRL friends), also i like idea, that they opensource their driver, but one big BUT... Drivers suck, and they will suck performance wise. AMD wont do nothing about low performance of OSS driver compared to binary one, and they openly admitted it. So, no, I am not blind to that. So frankly, I don't care whose binary blobs to use. Nvidia seems to be better choice on that.
I don't mind buying Nvidia, due to my legacy experience. I bought their cards for many ears in a row(due to good binary driver) and I am generally very happy with their driver, but recently they killed idea of over-clocking in Linux. I am not one bit happy about it. I actually bought very overclockable (and rather expensive version of)470 GTX specifically to make it's life a bit longer. I feel screwed. I'd love to over-clock it, but I can't. If you know how - let me know and I may decide not to make upgrade right now.
Money I am ready to pay: 250 Euro or about 325$ I may blow my budget a bit. I am looking at GTX660/GTX660TI/Radeon hd 7950. I can perhaps blow my budget, but probably not.
Does anyone actually have any experience with over clocking Radeons on Linux? Can you say it's an advantage?(is it difficult? does it require fiddling with Xorg? With Xorg down? I am not afraid of console, but I prefer Xterm on my rather large screen)
Also, does it make sense to simply get myself for roughly 80 euro or so another one of those 470 gtx cards and make them SLI?(that will involve Mobo upgrade, which is not a big deal to me, but i am seeing to save money here, since i dont have SLI capability on current mobo)
From 3 years or so ago - I had REALLY sad experience with SLI. When best thing that happened with SLI - no performance drop.(most of time, but in some cases there was actually FPS drop, so other card I had - was really BAD investment). I am not too keen on that idea, since I shall end up with two old cards down the road, I can already sell mine for 40 euros to my friend and as well, as dual power consumption with no chance to overclock it down the road -doesn't make me very happy.
Also, power performance also means something. No point of buying 100$ card and pay twice it's price down the road in a year.
Please feel free to share your thoughts! I am very interested in your opinion, especially if you have experience with Unigine engine and Source, Unity based games.
See quickanddirty.org for a few tips how you can perhaps make Valve games run on your Ubuntu without beta tester account and join me in game of TF2!!! :) There are tips to do that.