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HD2900XT CrossFire vs Single 8800 Ultra

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August 12, 2007 9:57:29 PM

Hi everyone, I've been trying to put together a build for September for gaming and school, and I want to weigh all of my possible options before making the purchase. For video, I've been researching the pros and cons of HD2900XT CF vs a single 8800 Ultra. I've read some reviews and benchmarks, but yet I still feel inconclusive about which way I should go.



Could someone give me some more information about CF setup? How are
the drivers for Vista and how much performance gain can I see vs. a
single 8800 Ultra? HD2900XT CF is clearly the more expensive solution
here as I'll have to buy a bigger PSU, different mobo, but also I'll
have to deal with more power consumption and heat output. Would it
really be worth it? I've only really used ATI in the past for gaming
and the idea of CF is cool, especially considering I've heard there's
horrible Nvidia driver support for Vista, but could someone provide me with
real-life evidence of its advantages/disadvantages? Thanks.
August 12, 2007 9:59:59 PM

I wouldn't get an ultra if you think you can overclock since its just an oc'd gtx, which would be a lot cheaper.
August 12, 2007 10:04:56 PM

If I go the Nvidia route I will buy either GTX/Ultra in September depending on the prices. I decided to use the Ultra as a more fair comparison for the HD2900XT CF setup.
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August 12, 2007 10:14:55 PM

well an OC'd gtx is a lot more healthy for your wallet (even if you get aftermarket cooling)
August 12, 2007 10:23:39 PM

Thanks for the suggestion but I wouldn't trust any GTX to run stable at stock Ultra speeds. Furthermore, I'm not the type of person who's going to go after better cooling solutions for my video card. But I agree with you, currently the GTX is a better option between those two cards with the $100 price difference. But please, let's stay on topic. :) 
August 12, 2007 10:33:32 PM

asdftt123 said:
Thanks for the suggestion but I wouldn't trust any GTX to run stable at stock Ultra speeds. Furthermore, I'm not the type of person who's going to go after better cooling solutions for my video card. But I agree with you, currently the GTX is a better option between those two cards with the $100 price difference. But please, let's stay on topic. :) 


I'd like to know why you won't trust a GTX to run at Ultra speeds, because the Ultra is in fact just an OC'ed GTX. You would need aftermarket cooling for insane OCs, but Ultra clock speeds are very conservative in my opinion.

This thread is pointless, pretty much comparing HD2900XT CF vs a single GTX OC'ed, try comparing SLI GTX and HD2900XT CF maybe, then you would be able to get a better answer.
August 12, 2007 10:52:00 PM

Cant *just* overclock to ultra speeds, need better aftermarket cooling and i believe the ultra model has mroe voltage then the GTX.

Also, its not pointless because 2x 2900xt's are the same price as an ultra.

They also pwn an ultra in almost every way.

2900xt CF vs 8800gtx SLI the 2900xt's are on par with the 8800gtx's mainly because of the SLI drivers not being as good as the current CF drivers. In vista anyway.

So yeh, 2900xt's are the way to go. They dont actually make as much heat as you'll read, the power consumption is what gets to you but a £100/$200 PSU could handle them.
August 13, 2007 12:14:55 AM

I'm tired of hearing everyone say the Ultra is just an OC'd GTX. The Ultra uses slightly more wattage than the GTX, higher clock speed, higher memory speed, and higher shader clocks. Furthermore, the memory bandwidth and texture fill rates are higher in the Ultra. If you want to try to OC your GTX to Ultra speeds then be my guest. I would really like to see someone pull off 2160mhz clock speed from the GTX's 1800mhz running stable without any insane cooling solution.

Also, I'll be gaming at 1680*1050 resolution so I'm guessing the CF HD2900XT's aren't worth the extra $150 (note that HD2900XT's are NOT the same price as the 8800 Ultra, at least on newegg), beastly PSU, CF enabled motherboard, heat dissipation and power consumption, and a higher electric bill.
August 13, 2007 12:59:29 AM

how about you just nab a 8800 gtx from EVGA...And use the step up program to a g92 when they come out around november?...

the 8800 and hd2900 aren't good candidate for dx10...if you plan to play crysis and future proof yourself you may as well wait for the g92..or nab a 8800 GTX for temp till the g92 comes around..try to nab the graphics card as late as possible..just incase they have a delay.
August 13, 2007 2:09:26 AM

I will probably go the route of the 8800GTX/Ultra seeing how I just put together a decent HD2900XT CF build on Newegg with 2x Sapphire HD2900XT 512MB, Enermax Galaxy 1000W, Intel BOXD975XBX2KR motherboard and it costs $500 more than EVGA 8800 GTX, Corsair 520HX, and Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R. It was actually the cost of the PSU which killed me. -_-
August 13, 2007 3:15:01 AM

I know what you mean man. I'm planning on building an enthusiast build in a few months. I was planning to nab a PC Power & cooling psu at 1kw..but it's 499.99!..for a psu!..Then I saw the enermax 1kw for 329.99...Still on the Tier 1 PSU list so I decided to nab that instead..have it on my wishlist..lol..damn psu's are too expensive.
August 13, 2007 3:29:51 AM

Personally I would choose a 8800GTX since you can OC it past the Ultra speeds, and it's going to use ALOT LOT LOT less power than 2 2900XT's. Ontop of that if you use a 975x you'll only be getting PCI-e x8 speeds instead of the full x16 speeds. If you were to get a GTX now you could always add another later on and still run them in the full x16x16 speeds.

On another note you could get a single GTX or 2900XT now and probably use 1 or 2 of them when the X38 chipsets come out.

In the end though, the Ultra doesn't off "that much" performance over the GTX.
August 13, 2007 6:58:06 AM

go with a single ultra or gtx i recommend gtx more. ultra isn't just a oced gtx. it just aint that much of a improvement either. not worth 200-300 bucks exta anyways. the other side of the debate the 2 2900xts will be better performance. but remember this... CF is unstable and unsupported in certain applications
August 13, 2007 8:35:45 AM

CF unstable? Hows that? Works fine on thousands of rigs.

You CANT just overclock it to ultra speeds, oh and while your at it, you can overclock the ultra quite a bit too. So no that point isnt very good.
August 13, 2007 9:43:59 AM

Even if the Crossfire 2900XT setup will be a little faster, I'd still get the 8800GTX/Ultra, as it's a much simpler setup.

Crossfire/SLI will forever be more complicated in term of applications (games) compatibility.

Additional down sides of a Crossfire/SLI setup:
  • Higher power requirements (a higher stress the PSU which shortens its life, and cost more in electric bills)
  • More heat
  • More clutter in the case which also limits the air flow
    August 13, 2007 10:02:32 AM

    eltoro said:
    Even if the Crossfire 2900XT setup will be a little faster, I'd still get the 8800GTX/Ultra, as it's a much simpler setup.

    Crossfire/SLI will forever be more complicated in term of applications (games) compatibility.

    Additional down sides of a Crossfire/SLI setup:
  • Higher power requirements (a higher stress the PSU which shortens its life, and cost more in electric bills)

  • More heat

  • More clutter in the case which also limits the air flow


  • I have 2900XT crossfire and i see my psu lasting longer than anyone elses here... lol, also, your forgetting these cards have blower fans, so they actually improve airflow throughout your case...more heat? the heat isn't any more than a single 2900XT because all the hot air is blown out the back of your case...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    August 13, 2007 10:56:59 AM

    Try getting the evga 8800gtx and use the step up program like the other user said.
    August 13, 2007 11:04:16 AM

    Dont cry about spending your money on a PSU, its the most important thing is your whole computer, and buying an expensive one will likely last you years!!
    August 13, 2007 3:56:39 PM

    asdftt123 said:
    I'm tired of hearing everyone say the Ultra is just an OC'd GTX. The Ultra uses slightly more wattage than the GTX, higher clock speed, higher memory speed, and higher shader clocks. Furthermore, the memory bandwidth and texture fill rates are higher in the Ultra. If you want to try to OC your GTX to Ultra speeds then be my guest. I would really like to see someone pull off 2160mhz clock speed from the GTX's 1800mhz running stable without any insane cooling solution.

    Also, I'll be gaming at 1680*1050 resolution so I'm guessing the CF HD2900XT's aren't worth the extra $150 (note that HD2900XT's are NOT the same price as the 8800 Ultra, at least on newegg), beastly PSU, CF enabled motherboard, heat dissipation and power consumption, and a higher electric bill.


    That's 2160Mhz effective, GTX stock speeds are 575/900, Ultra stock speeds are 612/1080. thats a VERY conservative OC if you ask me, people have reached way beyond that on stock cooling. And about the OC'ed shaders, all it takes is to set the clock speeds on them faster on the BIOS, either by the end user or by the manufacturer, may be a little risky and not really worth it, but it's very possible to do so yourself.
    a b U Graphics card
    August 13, 2007 5:48:58 PM

    Remember though that most Ultras use better rated RAM than most GTXs, and it's rare for a GTX to reach the same speeeds.
    August 13, 2007 6:46:31 PM

    1737078,16,77396 said:
    I have 2900XT crossfire and i see my psu lasting longer than anyone elses here... lol, also, your forgetting these cards have blower fans, so they actually improve airflow throughout your case...more heat? the heat isn't any more than a single 2900XT because all the hot air is blown out the back of your case...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...[/quot emsg]

    @rammedstein - ummm, your theories are so acurate...NOT! If ALL the heat the card produces is blown out of the case by the blower, I dare you to place your fingers on the back side of the card (behind the GPU location) after a few minutes of a 3D burn-in run. If all the heat is blown out of the case then this area should be cold to the touch. Such beautiful naive theories...
    awww, I'm sorry to confuse you with the facts...:) 

    Your amazing PSU might last more than most people in here, but that's not what matters, cause it could last less than it would have without the extra card.
    And yes, you did ignore my comment about lower games compatibility than a single card, and yes, you did ignore my comment about extra electricity cost, and yes, you did ignore the clutter the extra card adds to the case. All in the name of protecting your investment decision. But it's ok, at least you have boosting rights to have a crazier setup than most people. If that's what REALLY matters to you, then, have (a childish) fun...
    August 13, 2007 6:56:23 PM

    eltoro... once you pay for a dual card system, you have to justify it to yourself after you realize you ****ed up. Some of us haven't had the priviledge/necessity/stupidity to pay a dual card system, so we can be more objective and look at the facts more clearly.
    August 13, 2007 7:24:39 PM

    IMO...dual cards it a waste. I'm never going to a dual card solution unltil games are all specifically made to take advantage of them.

    A lot of people are talking about the GTX/Ultra/2900 in this thread...BUT DO keep in mind the 8800 is extremely late in the generation. If you are to buy anything make SURE you buy a EVGA card. Since you said september that is a better buy since it will be closer to the g92 release. don't waste money on the ultra...it's not a justified purchase..Plus I don't know how stepping up would be cause chances are they won't have a g92 ultra at launch..so stepping up would be cheaper and they probably won't allow it.

    It's up to you on what you want to do. But if you go crossfire of a ultra you will be kicking yourself when you get a low frmae rate in true dx10 games...
    a b U Graphics card
    August 14, 2007 12:50:29 AM

    eltoro said:

    @rammedstein - ummm, your theories are so acurate...NOT! If ALL the heat the card produces is blown out of the case by the blower, I dare you to place your fingers on the back side of the card (behind the GPU location) after a few minutes of a 3D burn-in run. If all the heat is blown out of the case then this area should be cold to the touch. Such beautiful naive theories...
    awww, I'm sorry to confuse you with the facts...:) 


    So you're telling me the heat of the backplate is that great, and that it would be more on the XT than the Ultra, and not offset by the increased airflow?

    With the HSF asembly one on top of the other, most of the backplate radiation of the first card will be taken care of by the convection of the card above. While radiation and the slight temperature of the top backplate may be a bit of an issue, the much higher temperature of the Ultra (both at the core, and on the backplate and the small amount expelled back into the case would be higher than the XT's backplate alone. Of course ejected into the room would be much more heat overall from the XT, but within the case the temperatures would be lower and the louder and higher CFM fan would also pass through more cool air compensating for the greater thermal heat created, thus resulting in lower temps.

    At least the PSU argument and the 'performance boost of 2 cards not available in all situations' makes sense, but the other arguments don't. Even 'clutter' doesn't make sense as you've orchestrated it, because there's 2 higher CFM fans running there instead of one lesser fan which eject some air back into the PC (less than before but still not nil, and more if it's near a wall or something near the rear exhaust).

    As for the higher electricity bill, sure that coupla extra Watts is going to be killer for those people spending a coupla grand on a PC. It'd be like playing your games with an extra light on.
    Like I've said before, that kind of warped thinking (a 'green' extreme gamer solution) is like arguing about the Fuel Efficiency of the Ferrari Enzo versus Buggati Veyron. :sarcastic: 

    Main thing is price/performance, everything else is a waste of time. Even if you add in the cost of electricty does the price/performance level change much?

    Neither is a value and neither is efficient or cool-running, so using those type of arguments seems pretty pointless, unless it's a room temp issue because he has no airflow in the room.

    Personally I'm not a fan of Xfire or SLi, but I'm also not a fan of the Ultra over the GTX, but if people want to spend their money that wway, then fine, but be realistic about the reason for/against.

    I'd still say go for the Ultra if it's cheaper than the CF solution as the original post suggests, but I wouldn't use heat or power as the reasoning, I'd use the average gameplay, and less hassle, since that's the main reason for most single card solutions over dual card solutions.
    Of course if you want the very best then you gotta look at the game you play, and usually a dual card solution of one or the other sits at the top. It's just not my cuppa java.
    August 14, 2007 5:59:35 AM

    TheGreatGrapeApe said:
    So you're telling me the heat of the backplate is that great, and that it would be more on the XT than the Ultra, and not offset by the increased airflow?

    With the HSF asembly one on top of the other, most of the backplate radiation of the first card will be taken care of by the convection of the card above. While radiation and the slight temperature of the top backplate may be a bit of an issue, the much higher temperature of the Ultra (both at the core, and on the backplate and the small amount expelled back into the case would be higher than the XT's backplate alone. Of course ejected into the room would be much more heat overall from the XT, but within the case the temperatures would be lower and the louder and higher CFM fan would also pass through more cool air compensating for the greater thermal heat created, thus resulting in lower temps.

    At least the PSU argument and the 'performance boost of 2 cards not available in all situations' makes sense, but the other arguments don't. Even 'clutter' doesn't make sense as you've orchestrated it, because there's 2 higher CFM fans running there instead of one lesser fan which eject some air back into the PC (less than before but still not nil, and more if it's near a wall or something near the rear exhaust).

    As for the higher electricity bill, sure that coupla extra Watts is going to be killer for those people spending a coupla grand on a PC. It'd be like playing your games with an extra light on.
    Like I've said before, that kind of warped thinking (a 'green' extreme gamer solution) is like arguing about the Fuel Efficiency of the Ferrari Enzo versus Buggati Veyron. :sarcastic: 

    Main thing is price/performance, everything else is a waste of time. Even if you add in the cost of electricty does the price/performance level change much?

    Neither is a value and neither is efficient or cool-running, so using those type of arguments seems pretty pointless, unless it's a room temp issue because he has no airflow in the room.

    Personally I'm not a fan of Xfire or SLi, but I'm also not a fan of the Ultra over the GTX, but if people want to spend their money that wway, then fine, but be realistic about the reason for/against.

    I'd still say go for the Ultra if it's cheaper than the CF solution as the original post suggests, but I wouldn't use heat or power as the reasoning, I'd use the average gameplay, and less hassle, since that's the main reason for most single card solutions over dual card solutions.
    Of course if you want the very best then you gotta look at the game you play, and usually a dual card solution of one or the other sits at the top. It's just not my cuppa java.


    @TheGreatGrapeApe - in my suggestion in my original post I wrote that if the 2900XT CF performance is close to that of a single Ultra/GTX, then I suggest going to the single Ultra/GTX solution. Yes, I do claim the heat generated inside the case by two 2900XT cards is greater than a single Ultra/GTX card. The heat radiation of the lower card is fat from being completely absorbed by the upper card.
    When I'm talking about extra clutter, I mainly mean having another big card connected to the motherboard, and thus blocking some hand access to certain places, and may touch the card below as its cooling unit is a large one.
    OK, I admit, the electricity argument was a little far fetched :) 

    I do consider a adding anything that produces heat into my case carefully. I even have a spare 500GB drive that I won't connect to my computer, just because I can manage without it at the moment, and it would add some uncalled for heat to the case.

    BTW, I still think the Buggati Veyron is not a practical car for a day to day transportation. I assume someone with enough funds to buy one could handle the fuel cost, but stopping so often to fill it up would be a hassle none the less. So the analogy is that the more extreme your computer is, the less convenient it is to be used on a daily basis. A liquid nitrogen cooled PC is an extreme example...
    August 14, 2007 4:57:49 PM

    Hey Ape ... learned not to jump in on some of these posts too quick to reply with general common sense and advice .... I've learned to wait until you set things straight --- LOL ! Worrying about pennies on an electric bill is silly ... to say the least ... $850.00 for a video card and they're gonna worry about $1.50 more a month for electric ??? And don't any of these dudes install extra fans anymore .... oh I forgot they can hear them over the blasting gameplay sounds .... hahahahaha
    August 14, 2007 5:20:41 PM

    I would get the Ultra. It's much more consistant.
    a b U Graphics card
    August 14, 2007 7:10:50 PM

    eltoro said:
    @TheGreatGrapeApe - Yes, I do claim the heat generated inside the case by two 2900XT cards is greater than a single Ultra/GTX card. The heat radiation of the lower card is fat from being completely absorbed by the upper card.


    I understand you claim it, but you said 'fact', prove it or provide 'fact'. Because I highly doubt your claim, and for someone using it to bludgeon someone else's claim and say "awww, I'm sorry to confuse you with the facts" I'd like to see those 'facts'.

    Quote:
    When I'm talking about extra clutter, I mainly mean having another big card connected to the motherboard, and thus blocking some hand access to certain places, and may touch the card below as its cooling unit is a large one.


    So access to those empty PCIe slots.... for what you're TV tuner? Raid Card? For a gaming rig those would be secondary concerns of course. The second point is once again cable-management. If you know how to tie things off, everything should be pretty clutter free, and it's a good idea for a single or multi-cards.

    Quote:
    I do consider a adding anything that produces heat into my case carefully. I even have a spare 500GB drive that I won't connect to my computer, just because I can manage without it at the moment, and it would add some uncalled for heat to the case.


    Then once again I question your consideration of the XTx2 versus Ultra, the Ultra core runs hotter, uses less efficient cooling (the XT generates more 'heat' but has lower 'temps', and in all likelyhood the backplate of the Ultra is running significantly hotter as well unless the PCB on the Ultra does a better job of conducting heat than the XT's. So if you go so far as to talk about the heat from the backplate, you'd need to consider the equal fact of higher temps on the Ultra, and higher airflow from the XTs. I don't know which is better, but I also don't claim them to be 'facts' other than was is easily demonstrated.

    If we were talking about an HTPC rig, then these would be big concerns, or even a dedicated workstation rig this is a major concern, but for these options, I don't think those issues should take priority over price/performance and playability.

    Quote:
    BTW, I still think the Buggati Veyron is not a practical car for a day to day transportation. I assume someone with enough funds to buy one could handle the fuel cost, but stopping so often to fill it up would be a hassle none the less.


    Except that it has a 100L fuel tank, and thus more than most standard cars (and more than most supercars in it's class), watching TopGear I'd say it's likely more practical than the FordGT which is more fuel efficient than the Lambo Murcielago and the Ferraris, but has a tiny gas tank.

    Quote:
    So the analogy is that the more extreme your computer is, the less convenient it is to be used on a daily basis. A liquid nitrogen cooled PC is an extreme example...


    Yes but then for 'daily use' your argument flies right out the window, down the street and head on into the number 7 bus. Look at the 'idle' power consumption of the 2 XTs (either GDDR3 or GDDR4) in Crossfire versus the single Ultra;

    http://techreport.com/reviews/2007q3/radeon-hd-2900xt-1... 0

    So are we talking about SuperCar Gaming here, or idle VW Polo M$ Word work here?

    I still say go with the single Ultra, but only because of the general performance and hassle of what in his case is a more expensive solution; not because of heat, clutter or power, all three of which should be manageable for such rigs by enthusiasts.
    August 14, 2007 10:04:39 PM

    OMG you shouldn't ever ever argue with ape he will just blow your mind away. He almost did it to me once, and i swared never to cross him again.
    August 15, 2007 12:47:29 AM

    ooooo, can I find something to argue with the greatgrapeape then? my brain has been thinking too much about the meaning of life and its causing minor insomnia
    August 15, 2007 6:57:45 AM

    Im in the same situation, i can get 2 2900's for a similar price to 1 GTX/Ultra. Im leaning towards the crossfire setup aswell, it will generally have more performance so to me it seems the best price to performance option..sure id grab 2 GTX's in SLI but i cant afford it, so 2 2900 in CF seems like the next best thing...but im going to wait another couple weeks for the intel x38 chipsets to come out for proper 2 x 16x lanes..
    August 15, 2007 7:26:52 AM

    The Ultra isnt an overclocked gtx. It has a slightly different architexture and actually runs at only 37 mhz faster than a stock gtx. This fact can be proven in that a gtx running at ultra speeds is not as fast as an ultra.

    Cost in Canada for an EVGA ultra 639.95CAD (http://www.memoryexpress.com/index.php?PageTag=&page=fi... edProductDetail.php&DisplayProductID=10279&SID=), cost for HD2900xt 479.95 (512), 579.95 (1gb). Take 479.99x2 and you get 959.90CAD for the 512mb versions, the 1gb versions would go well with your diamond encrusted backplate and gold plated case.

    The overhead that comes with CF hd2900xt is something to consider, you will have to get a 850+watt psu as each 2900xt can use up to 300watts of power if overclocked. In all likelyhood the Ultra will perform comparibly to CF hd2900xt's thought I do not have any benchmark data to prove that. The fact is a single 2900xt still has driver's in its infancy as well as some drawbacks due to its weak backend. Investing in a CF rig would be foolhardy as this problem is not likely to be rectified by drivers alone (and we all know ATI aren't exactly masters of that art either). For future use, you could always add a second ultra if you're into that thing (better thing to do is buy a newer high end card but w/e).

    Given the price difference I doubt there is much reason to go CF as the cost of Ultra's are considerably less than a CF configuration. I'm pretty sure the basis of your whole question is that they cost relatively the same, and in that regard you should conclude that the ultra is the better buy.

    All prices are quoted from memoryexpress.com.

    And one last time, THE ULTRA IS NOT AN EFFEN OCED GTX! Minor differences yes, but enough to make them different and not just an "ultraclocked gtx". I hope I never read any of this disinformation ever again.

    And shouldnt you guys know better than to mention something bad about ati to ape? Sheesh he'll write an essay about how you're right but why you should feel wrong :p 
    August 15, 2007 7:39:58 AM

    The Great ape watches Topgear! I didnt realise they even show it in Canada. If they havnt shown it yet over their you must find the episode where they go on a road trip to the states. I just couldnt stop laughing. If you cant find it let me know and I'll find it for you.

    And to the OP 8800 Ultra will be easier to set up will definately run at full speed in every game (drivers depending) unlike a CF setup that is a pain to get working. On rare occasions CF/SLI is also known to have negative performance when the drivers and application can not make use of it. That will never be the case with a single card solution. As others have said get an EVGA card and step up later.

    Edit: spelling mistake
    August 15, 2007 11:27:21 AM

    I think the reason people like to oversimplify and say the ultra is just an overclocked gtx is because the ultra other than speed is speced the same as a gtx re. shaders memory etc. When you upgrade from a gts320to 640 you get memory. When you upgrade from gts to gtx you get memory, shaders, larger bus etc. When you upgrade from gtx to Ultra you get none of that but faster clocks.
    What I remember from it's release is that there was a new revision on the GPU and maybe some different voltage settings. I would guess that a newer revisions of the 8800 are shared by all the models. At the Ultra's release every review unanimously concluded it was a poor value but those prices have fallen.

    My own experience is that yes you can clock up a gtx core and shaders easily to ultra levels but the memory would be pushing it.
    August 15, 2007 1:07:47 PM

    truth be told, the ultra is just an overclocked gtx with a highly optimized bios, if you flash a gtx with a modded ultra bios you will get the same clock for clock performance.

    I too would suggest a gtx (or ultra) but not because the 2x 2900xts are inferior or because of any other little nit pickings, i suggest an ultra because, well, if it need be, you can just buy another one, with the 2x2900xt you have to replace both. that is the only reason i would choose the ultra over the 2900xts.

    I do not need reasoning for my build, i had a 30" dell screen that i couldn't power with my 2x1950xts, so all i changed with my psu and cards, simple. at the time they were as expensive as an ultra and i'm still thinking the same thing as i did when i bought them "by the time this rig is no good, i'll need a complete new one just like i would have if i got an ultra"

    that is my rant, plz, ignore me.
    August 15, 2007 2:14:42 PM

    Just get a 8800GTS for now, Model depending on resolutions, 640 is 350 after rebate from EVGA and PNY, 340 from Leadtek, 320MB is 250 from XFX (newegg), They are more than powerful enough to power all games now, spend the money on a better CPU or RAM, and just wait until the Geforce 10 series or whatever replaces Geforce.
    August 15, 2007 2:19:20 PM

    for everyone that considers the ultra as being just an overclocked gtx...you're absolutely right!!! why wouldn`t be? just because of the shader overclock? you can change that in the card's bios, as you can change voltages too. stop talking about things you don't understand. overclocking often requires voltage changes and bios tuning so that's what the ultra is! a gtx with all of those differences and possibly better ram, but if you upgrade the ram in a computer, the cpu remains the same and doesn't magically change.
    or what, you think it's a different chipset than the gtx eh? sorry kids but get a life go out and play or something because computers clearly are way beyond your level.
    a b U Graphics card
    August 16, 2007 12:58:31 AM

    gpippas said:
    The Great ape watches Topgear! I didnt realise they even show it in Canada. If they havnt shown it yet over their you must find the episode where they go on a road trip to the states. I just couldnt stop laughing. If you cant find it let me know and I'll find it for you.


    Yeah we get it on re-runs on BBC-Canada, it used to run 1 week delay on BBC World until they removed it at the end of last year (Ba$$turdz!).

    So all this last season (starting with Hamster's return) was GoogleVideo + PSP for my TopGear fix, and the USA road trip episode/'movie' made me laugh and then cringe (the Gas station scene was truely UNREAL in such a WTF!! kind of way). BTW, The Super car comparo (all 3) and Buggatti test track episodes still make it back on to the PSP now and then. :sol: 
    a b U Graphics card
    August 16, 2007 1:05:25 AM

    rammedstein said:

    I too would suggest a gtx (or ultra) but not because the 2x 2900xts are inferior or because of any other little nit pickings, i suggest an ultra because, well, if it need be, you can just buy another one, with the 2x2900xt you have to replace both. that is the only reason i would choose the ultra over the 2900xts.


    I agree. The only thing I forgot to mention that is an afterthought, is that down the line, should he move to a G9x or R7xx, likely the resale value of those 2 HD2900s will be higher combined than the single GF8800U. So if they are the same price, then that's one additional benefit; but overall for me personally it wouldn't justify it because I'm not an Xfire / SLi kind of guy. But I also wouldn't slag those that are, just like I wouldn't accept someone 'b1tch1ng' about my multiple pairs of skis. :whistle: 
    August 16, 2007 10:02:06 AM

    Oh this is better now ape is talking in a language that i can understand.
    August 16, 2007 3:42:01 PM

    Ape just remembered. Find the Artic Special episode where they go to the North pole. Some of the footage is just amazing. It was only on here a few weeks ago. Unlucky that they dont show it anymore. Its one of the best programs on tv.
    August 16, 2007 3:47:14 PM

    Still stck by my original advice. A single Ultra will just be so much easier to live with. It has guaranteed performance in every game. 2x2900xt in CF does not. Ape makes a good point about resale. Personally again I would be too lazy to deal with the problems.
    August 16, 2007 5:44:44 PM

    Hmmm, I'm making exactly the same decision right now with all these juicy games coming out the next coupla months (Crysis, Stranglehold, Assassin's Creed, Bioshock, Hellgate:London etc)!

    Not many people in this thread seem to be mentioning any benchmarks between the Crossfire and SLI setups. Is mentioning other sites benchmarks a taboo thing?
    Anyway, here's a link to answer how he'd do if he waited and then got the SLI setup later...

    That's at www.firingsquad.com (http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/diamond_radeon_2900...)

    Quite interesting numbers.
    Glad to see that the original poster knows his gaming res is 1600x1280.

    But I'm glad I came here, cos I thought most games supported Crossfire/SLI. In one of the benchmarks I've seen Crossfire do only as good as the single card setup which was obviously a driver issue due to dx10.

    I'll now have to really look closely at whether the crossfire setup/compatibility is worth it (along with PSU/motherboard extra costs).

    !