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Replace 8800gtx with 2 amd's ? worth it?

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November 16, 2007 9:23:03 AM

Hello. I'm trying to play crysis on my rig, and finding it rather .... difficult .. to get optimal performance out of it. Trying to run it at 1680x1050 with everything on very high is pointles. Instead of I've settled for turning water on low and shaders & shadows to medium, and antialliasing off entirely. Still doesn't run perfectly though.

So I was wondering. Would replacing the graphics card with two of those new ati 3x50 cards be worth it? I've seen benches where they suck, but haven't seen any crossfire setup benches, and I'm a tad worried about the secondary pcie slot only running 4x (P35) ...
Alternatively I could just buy 1 8800gt and save the extra money I get from selling my gtx ... or I could buy two of those and be forced to go with one of those crappy 680i boards .... but I'd hate to do that to be honest.

Any serious suggestions? The only thing I'm sure of, is that I'm getting rid of the gtx as soon as possible, before the general public seen the benchmarks for the 8800gt

My rig:
E6600 running 380x9 (3420mhz) @ 1.45v (cooled by tr120 extreme with 2 arctic fan 12)
GA-P35-DS4 (F4 bios)
Raptor 35gb system disk & 2x500WD data disks
xfx 8800gtx (warrenty expires next month and I hate that brand)
Corsair 620W psu
2x1gb ddr2-667 + 2x512mb ddr2-667 @ 380mhz (cl5)
Running vista 32bit whilst playing crysis or enclave


Worth mentioning: I haven't read anything much other than looked at the benches for the new ati cards (hated my x800 and haven't tried ati since)
a c 169 U Graphics card
November 16, 2007 9:39:41 AM

a single 8800GTX is better than HD 3850 cards
2 3850 may beat 8800GTX in some games, but they will lose to 8800 in games like QUAKE 4 or COD4
so dont replace it

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3151
Believe it or not, but a pair of these $179 Radeon HD 3850s actually gives you the same performance as a single GeForce 8800 GTX. Multi-GPU Scaling (2560 x 1600) Radeon HD 3850 CF GeForce 8800 GT SLI
Oblivion 1.7x 1.87x
Unreal Tournament 3 1.48x 1.66x




Scaling looks pretty good from the Radeon HD 3850, however it's still not as good as what NVIDIA is able to achieve with the 8800 GT. NVIDIA consistently achieves about 11% better scaling from one to two GPUs than AMD.

The other problem with CrossFire is that it simply doesn't always work, so a pair of 3850s is not necessarily a better option than a single 8800 GT or GTX. Case in point would be the two other games that we wanted to include here: Quake Wars and Call of Duty 4, both gave us lower frame rates with CF enabled than without. AMD's release notes for the Radeon HD 3800 drivers informs us that some applications may show a performance decrease with CF enabled, so we're not too surprised.

While it'd be nice to be able to purchase two cheap cards and get better performance than the best out there, there are simply too many caveats to really embrace the idea.


http://www.hothardware.com/Articles/ATI_Radeon_HD_3870_...

the Radeon HD 3850's performance was somewhat lower, but in comparison to what are expected to be similarly priced mid-range cards like the Radeon 2600 XT and GeForce 8600 GTS, the Radeon HD 3850’s performance is quite strong. NVIDIA’s GeForce 8800 GTS, GT, and of course GTX usually performed better than the new Radeons, however.


also remember MULTIGPU doesnt always double the performance:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/245454-15-crossfire...
November 16, 2007 9:53:55 AM

So what you're telling me is that two amd cards are a bad idea both performance and economy wise. Okay. Fine.

I'll not be keeping my gtx though. The warranty expires next month, and xfx has the worst customer support ever, so there's no way I'll actually keep the card even if it's working fine.

The only viable option at this point then will be to go with 1x 8800gt for the time being, and either replace it or aquire another one along with a new motherboard once there is such available. Would just be a pity replacing my p35 board, cause it's probably the best motherboard I've had since spring 2001

ps. people might think that selling a gtx and buying a gt is a wierd thing, but what it actually means is that I get 120-200€ out of the deal, and a brand new warranty - with only a ~8% performance loss. That seems a good deal to me.
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November 16, 2007 10:18:32 AM

If you're running you monitor at an ultra high rez then a crossfire or sli will do great.
November 16, 2007 10:24:03 AM

Yes, but the question is, if two amd lower-midrange amd cards costing roughly the same as a 8800gt is going to perform better or the same as a gt in my p35 rig (where the second card is penaltized by pcie bandwidth), or if a single 8800gt is a better choice.
Sure 2 8800gt cards in sli is going to kick ass, but that involves changing from a great intel chipset to some semi-crappy nvidia 680 or 650 board, and that's pretty much a compromise that doesn't strike me as profitable. Especially since x35 is out now, and costing around the same I paid for my p35 thus lowering the potential selling price of that.
a b U Graphics card
November 16, 2007 10:36:38 AM

First time I ever heard of anyone complain about poor performance and want to down-grade, but to each his own I guess.
Nothing will run Crysis, especially in Vista, at all high settings, yet.
November 16, 2007 10:42:11 AM

Hello. I'm trying to play crysis on my rig, and finding it rather .... difficult .. to get optimal performance out of it. Trying to run it at 1680x1050 with everything on very high is pointles. Instead of I've settled for turning water on low and shaders & shadows to medium, and antialliasing off entirely. Still doesn't run perfectly though. said:
Hello. I'm trying to play crysis on my rig, and finding it rather .... difficult .. to get optimal performance out of it. Trying to run it at 1680x1050 with everything on very high is pointles. Instead of I've settled for turning water on low and shaders & shadows to medium, and antialliasing off entirely. Still doesn't run perfectly though.


ANY current hardware will have a rough time running Crysis on the highest settings in DX10. Switching out an 8800GTX card for a pair of cards that perform worse than what you have is hardly an upgrade. My advice is to keep what you have no matter of warranty or not until next year when the next gen cards come out...

My system handles Crysis pretty well at 1280x1024 with all settings set to HIGH. I ran the benchmark test and it came out average of 40 FPS which is very playable to me. Crysis will bring any current system to it's knees on max and probably next year's won't fair much better. The game is a hog, just lower your eye candy and have fun... BTW I noticed a ~10fps difference running without FSAA turned on and the difference wasn't noticable to me.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I am running under XP Pro not Vista.
November 16, 2007 10:43:20 AM

neiroatopelcc said:
Yes, but the question is, if two amd lower-midrange amd cards costing roughly the same as a 8800gt is going to perform better or the same as a gt in my p35 rig (where the second card is penaltized by pcie bandwidth), or if a single 8800gt is a better choice.
Sure 2 8800gt cards in sli is going to kick ass, but that involves changing from a great intel chipset to some semi-crappy nvidia 680 or 650 board, and that's pretty much a compromise that doesn't strike me as profitable. Especially since x35 is out now, and costing around the same I paid for my p35 thus lowering the potential selling price of that.


If i'm correct the ATI VGA's support CF on Intel chipsets, so that might be an option. What you need to realize at this point is you will never be happy with Crysis performance with current Gen CPU/VGA combinations (unless you go the C2D Extreme route and twin 8800 GTX's and then MAYBE you'll be able use Crysis in DX10 on very high). There has been many TG forums posters using Q600's and twin GTX's and they wont break 40 FPS on very high.

SO my advice, get an HD3870 for cheaper then the GT for now and live with the performance decrease until the next gen cards come out, or, as others seem to swear by EVGA, get an EVGA GT/GTX and use their step up program to get the next killer Nvidia card when it comes out. But I wouldnt discount X4 CF in the future as well, so, 4X 3870's on an Intel chipset might be pretty cool too.
November 16, 2007 11:07:02 AM

okay so the 3870 is the equivalent of the 8800gt? I wonder what the price is on such a card .... they're not in the danish price comparison database yet. Guess I'll go with either of those two cards depending on the pricing.
My gtx will likely be sold by next wednesday, so the amd cards have to show up around that time or I'll just go with a single gt card and accept the lower performance.
Since crysis won't run properly anyway I guess it doesn't much matter if I have a gtx or gt anyway - and nothing else I've played challanges my computer (that is nothing else but ascendancy running in dosbox in vista while wow running in the background)
November 16, 2007 11:17:31 AM

neiroatopelcc said:
okay so the 3870 is the equivalent of the 8800gt? I wonder what the price is on such a card .... they're not in the danish price comparison database yet. Guess I'll go with either of those two cards depending on the pricing.
My gtx will likely be sold by next wednesday, so the amd cards have to show up around that time or I'll just go with a single gt card and accept the lower performance.
Since crysis won't run properly anyway I guess it doesn't much matter if I have a gtx or gt anyway - and nothing else I've played challanges my computer (that is nothing else but ascendancy running in dosbox in vista while wow running in the background)


So why in the world are you going to ditch the 8800GTX for a lesser card?!?!? :heink:  It just strikes me odd since your post started out as (what I gathered) a gripe because Crysis doesn't run too good for you with max eye candy on. According to Tom's review of the Radeon 3870, it's performance is slightly worse than the 2900XT and just slightly better than the 8800GTS (which is slower than an 8800GT)

November 16, 2007 11:51:34 AM

I thought all XFX cards come with a double lifetime warranty?... And even then, why the hell does it matter if the warranty has expired? The card is running properly, right?
November 16, 2007 12:30:39 PM

XFX offers only a 1 year limited warranty. Limited in the way, that the retailer has to handle all the rma issues, xfx itself doesn't do anything. And their service sucks when these cards break.
My best friends card broke in the beginning of september (same model's mine), and it took xfx a full two months to send a replacement, even though they confirmed a memory error the same day they received the card. And in addition to waiting two months for a new card (and buying a gts 320 while waiting) it cost almost 90€ in shipping since they require the package to be sent to the uk, and that it's insurred.

Anyhow, I didn't mean for this thread to be a complaint against xfx.

I think I stated clearly why I want to replace the gtx for something else. Crysis isn't the problem, the warranty that soon expires is my main concern. If however two cards from amd could run crysis better than my gtx, it may be worth getting two of the cheap cards instead of one middleclass card (8800gt).

I'm aware that it might seem wierd to sell a gtx in favor of a gt when even the gtx struggles to deliver what I demand, but the reason simply is, that on top of getting a bit of value out of my gtx in the sale, I also get a new warranty - for only the performance difference between gt and gtx. And since my cpu's limiting crysis performance anyway, the 8% from toms hardware benchmarks might be even less in my case.

Do ask for more clarification if needed, but in essense, I just want to know what I get most out of. Buying two amd/ati low midrange cards and running cf, or buying one 8800gt. Keeping the gtx is out of question. I wouldn't mind keeping it if it were from seagate (they got a good warranty system), but I'm not aware of seagate producing vga cards, or from evga, but it's from xfxforce.

Edit: In case anyone cares, here's a slightly modified (address etc) copy of the ticket on xfxforce.com

http://www.opel.cc/xfx8800gtx/xfx.htm
November 16, 2007 12:41:34 PM

Get two EVGA 8800GTs, lifetime warranty including any modifications you do to the cooling AND overclocking (but not volt-modding), step-up program for an upgrade 3 months down the line when you're mad that your GTs in SLI won't let you run at ultra-high settings at 1,680x1050.

Even if you got two 8800Ultra Superclocked cards it probably won't run the way you want it. There is absolutely nothing you can do about that right now, not even by going with the top-of-the-line ATI cards, which are LESS powerful than the 3rd-tier NVidia cards. Good luck m8.
November 16, 2007 12:53:36 PM

Your best bet is to buy another gtx if you want to buy two lower end cards, you could buy 1 more gtx for a little more or try ebay and get one from someone like yourself.

Any one that buys a GTX with no warranty for $300 or more is nuts. I'd give you $150 tops.
November 16, 2007 2:44:33 PM

@roadrunner
I'm not going to say anything bad about a potential buyer, but what you may fail to realize, is that most of the worlds population is not literate about hardware. Not even all computer nerds care about hardware. And I don't plan on selling it to another nerd, I plan on selling it to miss johnson who doesn't know anything other than her son asked for a 8800gtx something or another.

It's currently for sale on the danish equivalent of ebay, and there is a bid on it at this point comming in at 2500kr (assuming 5,8kr per usd that is the equivalent of $431+shipping). The retail price for a gtx is currently somewhere along the lines of $600 and the gt is only $260. I'm going to sell my gtx before the general populance realizes that the gt is much better value for money.


@ leo
I am aware two 8800gt's are a better option than two of ati's best card, but that's not what I was asking for. Since two nvidia cards require an nvidia motherboard I can't go for that without selling my beloved ds4, and since the 680 boards still deal with fsb issues if exceeding 400 it just isn't a viable option to invest in two nvidia cards at any point in time - unless someone knows a way to enable sli (making it think it's a laptop), so I can use it in the current board.

@ all the smart people on here
Anyway, I think I've got my answer, even though most don't seem to understand my question. Sorry if I'm not expressing myself clearly ; english is my third language, not my first.

The conclusion seems to be, that if I am to sell the gtx, which I am, then it's a better deal to invest in one single 8800gt than it is to invest in two of amds 'new 2900xt' cards
November 16, 2007 2:47:00 PM

XFX offers only a 1 year limited warranty. Limited in the way, that the retailer has to handle all the rma issues, xfx itself doesn't do anything. And their service sucks when these cards break. said:
XFX offers only a 1 year limited warranty. Limited in the way, that the retailer has to handle all the rma issues, xfx itself doesn't do anything. And their service sucks when these cards break.


I just read XFX's warranty info and apparently their lifetime warranty is available only to North American consumers which kinda sucks.. So in that situation, I feel your pain.

I think I stated clearly why I want to replace the gtx for something else. Crysis isn't the problem, the warranty that soon expires is my main concern. If however two cards from amd could run crysis better than my gtx, it may be worth getting two of the cheap cards instead of one middleclass card (8800gt). said:
I think I stated clearly why I want to replace the gtx for something else. Crysis isn't the problem, the warranty that soon expires is my main concern. If however two cards from amd could run crysis better than my gtx, it may be worth getting two of the cheap cards instead of one middleclass card (8800gt).


Don't know what to tell ya... Your definately gonna get lesser performance if you go for AMD Xfire and you won't be able to SLI nVidia with your P35 motherboard. So if your dead set on getting rid of a perfectly good 8800GTX card just because it's going to go out of warranty soon (which is pretty silly), two Radeon 3850's would probably be about the same if not a little bit better than a single 8800GT. You do realise you don't get double performance by using two cards instead over one. In my opinion, SLI and CrossFire both are just marketing schemes to make more money.
a c 169 U Graphics card
November 16, 2007 2:49:33 PM

Downgrading the 8800GTX to 8800GT
funniest thing i have ever heard and because of warranty , so what would u do if u were in IRAN ? Warranty almost means nothing here
November 16, 2007 2:54:26 PM

Its not the best option to go from GTX to 2 x 3870, in most cases your performance wont be better, and quite often - worse. 2 x 8800GT would be marginaly better, but in the end the real improvement would be... 2 x GTX ;-) If you cant afford it, just wait for 2nd gen cards.
November 16, 2007 2:58:21 PM

Harrisson said:
Its not the best option to go from GTX to 2 x 3870, in most cases your performance wont be better, and quite often - worse. 2 x 8800GT would be marginaly better, but in the end the real improvement would be... 2 x GTX ;-) If you cant afford it, just wait for 2nd gen cards.


It's a shame that nVidia won't allow SLI on Intel chipsets... 2 nVidia PCI-e cards on an Intel motherboard = a boat anchor...
November 16, 2007 3:05:30 PM

@mazier
I'm downgrading because of warranty yes, but also because I can basicly get a refund by doing so, and currently my ford v8 is a bit costly to drive.... I need every penny I can get really. And I can neither afford taking the chance of my gtx failing, nor manage xmas & my car without extra cash.

@ harrison
I know a gtx is more or less as good as 2 amd cards, but the question was 1 8800gt vs 2 amd equivalent costing the same as the gt or thereabout.


@ timinator
Indeed. But it works on laptops, so it's not a technical issue :( 

@ everyone, cease telling me what's already been told, and only offer new info plz.


I don't have internet at home (phone cable's broke), so once I leave my parents place ina a little while I won't be able to read this thread again in a while ... don't wanna read the same over and over. Sorry about the rant, but I just want this to stay as objective as possible.
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