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  • Valve shares their PC rigs specs

    Thought this was pretty interesting:

    Valve shares their PC rigs specs

    Current Valve PC rig specs
    EVGA 780i SLI FTW Intel Motherboard
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz Quad-Core Processor
    4GB PC2-6400 DDR2 1066MHz ram (Crucial Ballistix, Kingston ValueRam)
    1 x NVidia GTX280 1GB - OR - ATI 4870 1GB graphics card
    1 x 250GB 7200RPM SATA HD (Seagate, Western Digital)
    1 x 500GB 7200RPM SATA HD (Seagate, Western Digital)
    Antec Sonata III desktop case
    Zalman CPU Cooler
    850W Antec power supply
    1 x Dell 3008FPW-HC 30" LCD - OR - 2 x Dell 2001FP 20.1" LCD monitors
    Windows XP 32bit

    Future Valve PC rig specs
    EVGA X58 3X SLI Intel Motherboard
    Intel Corei7 940 2.93GHz Quad-Core Processor
    12GB PC3-10600 DDR3 1333MHz ram (Crucial Ballistix, Kingston ValueRam)
    1 x NVidia GTX285 1GB - OR - ATI 4870 1GB graphics card
    1 x 250GB 7200RPM SATA HD (Seagate, Western Digital)
    1 x 500GB 7200RPM SATA HD (Seagate, Western Digital) Lian Li P60-F Case
    Intel CPU Cooler
    850W Antec power supply
    1 x Dell 3008FPW-HC 30" LCD - OR - 2 x Dell 2001FP 20.1" LCD monitors
    Windows Vista 64bit

    LINKS

    * *


    Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

    -Carlos A. Urbizo-


  • #2
    Re: Valve shares their PC rigs specs

    lol I wish I had the money to "upgrade" from those already pretty damn high-end systems. I was surprised to see they currently use XP 32-bit though.
    "I've been working since I was sixteen. I fought in two wars. Hell, I've killed people. I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy it..."
    -- Red Forman

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    • #3
      Re: Valve shares their PC rigs specs

      Well, it's not unexpected for a game development company to house a slew of high-end rigs. Better to have the hardware than finding out you want the hardware to test on.
      |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
      TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
      Former 9th & 13th

      Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
      Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





      SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

      TG Primer and Rules

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      • #4
        Re: Valve shares their PC rigs specs

        Curiously, both systems have SLI motherboards, yet only 1 graphic card... strange. You'd think they'd also have an SLI and/or Crossfire combo for testing - especially as they're using a 30" monitor which has 2560 x 1600 Native Resolution. Sure those cards are capable of running that resolution and the marketing stats show the "masses" using 1 card, but with the higher end systems Valve listed it stands to reason using higher end GPU configurations. When I moved up from a 19" LCD to a 24" Wide Screen HDLCD my single GPU (ATI 4850 512MB) performance dropped dramatically in FPS and I had to run in lower settings. I then added a second GPU for Crossfire and my FPS shot to the highest I'd ever seen with all settings on high, and since most tests show gaming performance GPU dependent rather than CPU, it's one of the best pc upgrades available.

        See these charts:

        *Note the multi-gpu systems are at top of every chart - even with the older motherboards/chipset/drivers used in tests.

        3DMark06

        Crysis

        Call of Duty 4

        Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2 & Frontlines: Fuel of War

        S.T.A.L.K.E.R. & Quake Wars

        Fear


        I know some games have trouble scaling with SLI or Crossfire, but those games are few and have been blamed mostly on driver related problems. Maybe if Valve tested their games using SLI/Crossfire setups with Nvidia/ATI drivers then many of those issues could be resolved. And with nearly all the X58 (Core i7) mobos having the ability to run both SLI or Crossfire - up to 3 and 4 cards - on the same board, the current and future of PC gaming is geared up for multi-gpu systems. And if people can't afford more than 1 video card now, they at least have the option of adding more in the future without having to buy a new larger card or replace their motherboard.

        Again, I'm just curious why Valve would have rigs with SLI/Crossfire capability and not use them for a broader range of development and testing. Please don't tell me "lack of funds" or the "economy" - silly.

        -Zip
        Last edited by Zippy; 02-22-2009, 04:02 AM.

        :icon_frow
        |RIP| Counter=Ops 12.09.09 : Marine - Squadmate - Friend
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Re: Valve shares their PC rigs specs

          Probably because most games don't support or fully support SLI/Crossfire.
          |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
          TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
          Former 9th & 13th

          Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
          Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





          SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

          TG Primer and Rules

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          • #6
            Re: Valve shares their PC rigs specs

            I think this kinda proves where valve stands on their plans for BETTER supporting SLI in the upcoming months.
            Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
            The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

            If all else fails: "rm -rf /"

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            • #7
              Re: Valve shares their PC rigs specs

              Originally posted by Acreo Aeneas View Post
              Probably because most games don't support or fully support SLI/Crossfire.
              And that's a 1.53% multi-GPU base. It's definitely not worth making SLI/Crossfire a standard for test systems.

              - It's who you game with.

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              • #8
                Re: Valve shares their PC rigs specs

                Originally posted by =Sarc= View Post
                And that's a 1.53% multi-GPU base. It's definitely not worth making SLI/Crossfire a standard for test systems.
                Standard, no, but I brought it up as an option for testing given the fact that they (Valve) are using SLI boards. They also used the i7 940 CPU and 12GB DDR3 Ram, not exactly mainsteam. The low percentage you stated may change as more options for multi-gpu setups are available as I stated with the X58 line of motherboards. Plus, larger screen sizes with higher resolutions are becoming more affordable every month - Valve listed their monitors as 30" and 2x 20.1". And nearly every review site runs an SLI/Crossfire testbed when comparing new GPU's. Some games work great in SLI, others run better with Crossfire. It really depends on the type of game you play. For Example: Left for Dead runs better with Crossfire than SLI:

                Left for Dead: "The Radeon HD 4870 CrossFireX subsystem, on the contrary, boasts superb scalability, adding from 10 to 76% to the average frame rate depending on the image quality settings."

                Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason: "By the way, the performance growth in SLI mode is over 100% again. Besides, the GeForce cards are preferable because the game is jerky on the Radeons (perhaps due to the lack of hardware physics acceleration). SLI mode is not disabled in this game when you change the display resolution as is the case with CrossFireX."


                I think the real lack of PC support for developing "High-End" PC systems is the fact that Console games out sell PC games, so developers are catering to the console based chipsets more than the PC. This at a time when PC technology is taking another big step with 32nm chips and core's going into the range from 4 (quad) to 6, 8 even 12 cores in the near future - as soon as this Fall/Winter. Although, they may have chosen those motherboards because of the OPTION of adding more GPU's in the future.

                I was just curious, that's all. I may just ask Valve to see what their thoughts are... Anyhow, I'm very happy with my Crossfire rig.

                -Z

                :icon_frow
                |RIP| Counter=Ops 12.09.09 : Marine - Squadmate - Friend
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Re: Valve shares their PC rigs specs

                  Originally posted by Zippy-2-War View Post
                  Standard, no, but I brought it up as an option for testing given the fact that they (Valve) are using SLI boards. They also used the i7 940 CPU and 12GB DDR3 Ram, not exactly mainsteam. The low percentage you stated may change as more options for multi-gpu setups are available as I stated with the X58 line of motherboards. Plus, larger screen sizes with higher resolutions are becoming more affordable every month - Valve listed their monitors as 30" and 2x 20.1". And nearly every review site runs an SLI/Crossfire testbed when comparing new GPU's. Some games work great in SLI, others run better with Crossfire. It really depends on the type of game you play. For Example: Left for Dead runs better with Crossfire than SLI:

                  Left for Dead: "The Radeon HD 4870 CrossFireX subsystem, on the contrary, boasts superb scalability, adding from 10 to 76% to the average frame rate depending on the image quality settings."

                  Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason: "By the way, the performance growth in SLI mode is over 100% again. Besides, the GeForce cards are preferable because the game is jerky on the Radeons (perhaps due to the lack of hardware physics acceleration). SLI mode is not disabled in this game when you change the display resolution as is the case with CrossFireX."


                  I think the real lack of PC support for developing "High-End" PC systems is the fact that Console games out sell PC games, so developers are catering to the console based chipsets more than the PC. This at a time when PC technology is taking another big step with 32nm chips and core's going into the range from 4 (quad) to 6, 8 even 12 cores in the near future - as soon as this Fall/Winter. Although, they may have chosen those motherboards because of the OPTION of adding more GPU's in the future.

                  I was just curious, that's all. I may just ask Valve to see what their thoughts are... Anyhow, I'm very happy with my Crossfire rig.

                  -Z
                  That's all speculation. Try pitching that to your financial department for approval of dual GPU rigs. According to the stats, ~25% have DX10 compatible systems. That number has been increasing pretty well. DX10 has been around less than SLI and has better support. Look at the SLI growth and it's clearly not in a growth phase. Those stats would be reason for Valve's financial department to cut SLI from their rigs. Maybe they argued hard to get SLI/Crossfire mobos in case they do need that in their systems.

                  - It's who you game with.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Valve shares their PC rigs specs

                    Don't forget that a lot of devs get system parts for free, and special tech support for working on games as well. One of the reasons it may work on one type than another.

                    LINKS

                    * *


                    Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

                    -Carlos A. Urbizo-

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                    • #11
                      Re: Valve shares their PC rigs specs

                      i think that crosfire or SLI are both overkill for valves games hl2:CSS:portal:TF2:l4D... those cards get atleast 150 FPS at those resolutions... now if they were Crytech they would need more cards

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                      • #12
                        Re: Valve shares their PC rigs specs

                        These specs dont surprise me much but its nice to know the kinds of systems that Valve feels are good for running their games

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