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HD3870 Crossfire Vs. 8800GT SLI review

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November 27, 2007 7:53:34 PM

http://en.expreview.com/?p=53


Im surprised the Crossfire did so well! I was expecting it to suck as everywhere I read they say the drivers need improvement? 100+% scale in 3dmark? Anyone care to question the validity of this review?

*please no price gouging comments
a b U Graphics card
November 27, 2007 8:15:11 PM

I seriously considered dual 3850's or 3870's, but have concerns with compatibility/stability. This review paints a prettier picture of crossfire than other reviews. I don't doubt potential fr large gains, but how much frustration will there be inbetween. Thye sure got decent gains though.
November 27, 2007 8:15:24 PM

F&#*$ price gouging... heh, j/k

Seriously though... I didn't expect such gains from Crossfire vs. Single. Crossfire even faired pretty well vs. SLI.
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November 27, 2007 9:15:08 PM

That looks awesome... i was looking at HD3850's has anyone seen Crossfire scalings on these?
November 27, 2007 9:56:49 PM

chookman said:
That looks awesome... i was looking at HD3850's has anyone seen Crossfire scalings on these?


http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3151

2 3850s = the performance of 1 8800GTX 768MB/384-bit
179.99 x 2 = $359.98 $500.00

I am going to put 2 3850's for my last upgrade on my A8R32-MVP Deluxe (S939) AMD Opteron 165 @ 3.0ghz & 4gigs of Patriot CL 2-2-2-5 1T and see how it handles Vista & DX10 (I hope physics processing will be possible..)

November 27, 2007 9:59:07 PM

I found LOTS of links about the 3870 X2s !! The r700 is closer than I thought.
It will be available in February...So rumors say.
The 10.1 also makes the ATI cards a little more future proof as well.
I'm itching to upgrade my X1950XT !!
a b U Graphics card
November 27, 2007 10:05:55 PM

wirelessfender said:
http://en.expreview.com/?p=53


Im surprised the Crossfire did so well! I was expecting it to suck as everywhere I read they say the drivers need improvement? 100+% scale in 3dmark? Anyone care to question the validity of this review?


I wouldn't question the vaidity as it seems similar to what many others were reporting, but it is still a semi-iffy site, but there's nothing gravely out of whack, the single numbers on the HD3870 are still lower than the single numbers on the GF8800GT, and the Xfire numbers are a little better but nothing wildly so with the GT doing better in some and the HD3870 doing better in others. I'd want a little more supporting evidence before formulating opinions in general, but interesting none the less.

I'm with Paul about the stabilty/compatability issues with such setups though, still a bit iffy.

Quote:
*please no price gouging comments


Aww, C'mon! :kaola: 
a b U Graphics card
November 27, 2007 10:09:15 PM

enewmen said:
I found LOTS of links about the 3870 X2s !! The r700 is closer than I thought.
It will be available in February...So rumors say.
The 10.1 also makes the ATI cards a little more future proof as well.
I'm itching to upgrade my X1950XT !!


Funny thing is I'm already itching to upgrade the new HD2600 mobile solution, but it's more an issue of other factors than just the graphics, but with the possability of a new R700 single core mobile solution by spring/summer when I shop for new gear, that's looking very interesting, especially if it can give me near/above HD3K performance. Otherwise the Hd3K and G92 based mobile solutions may be the attraction.
November 27, 2007 10:10:45 PM

Surprising performance by the 3870 to me.
November 27, 2007 11:01:28 PM

What I can tell from that is that nvidia have seriously rubbish sli drivers for half life 2!

And Lost planet!

ATI is kicking ass if that is true... now if only their crossfire 3/4way scaled as well, they'd be on a winner, for once.
November 27, 2007 11:44:52 PM

Crossfire really flexes it's muscles with AA and AF. I dunno 'bout you guys, but that makes me a lot more inclined to get two of those cards.
November 27, 2007 11:56:18 PM

The CROSSFIRE numbers are good,but you'll notice the SLI setup is still faster.So ya,CROSSFIRE has good potential,but AMD/ATI still needs to beat out NVIDIA.

Dahak

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November 28, 2007 1:49:36 AM

This review definatly made me happy, As a X38 owner the only option for multi GPU's is with crossfire. Im glad that the cards are doing well as I already have a 3870 on the way. My plans are to get the second whenever the prices return to normal.

*THAT does not count as a price gouging comment!
a b U Graphics card
November 28, 2007 5:35:16 AM

Dahak said:
The CROSSFIRE numbers are good,but you'll notice the SLI setup is still faster.


In what game?

Seems like they trade blows, and even with AA.

HL2 without AA Xfire wins, with AA SLi wins.
UT3 low res SLi wins, high res Xfire wins no AA
COJ DX10 Xfire wins them all including AA
Lost Planet DX10 SLi wins them all
ETQW Xfire wins them all including AA
COH SLi wins without AA, Xfire wins with AA :heink: 

So if you don't include the Bungholiomark results then Xfire slightly outperforms SLi on average, but including 3Dmk then they are even.
November 28, 2007 11:16:29 AM

I dont think people realize that the bench marks of two cards, and not of CF and SLI. The fact that a Slower card (3870) is in most cases keeping up, and sometimes beating a faster card (8800gt) show how much better CF is. The 8800gt is supposed to be somewhere around 20% better than a single 3870. But when you have a dual setup, the 3870's are on par with 2 8800gt's. And knowing that SLI is limited to only 2 cards, and CF can have up to 4 helps even more. 4 3870's would be faster than 2 8800gtx's.
November 28, 2007 12:12:31 PM

Intel's chipsets will be a saving grace to AMD! Theres decent value in getting two 3850's or 3870's and putting them in your Intel box. SLI has yet to be licensed to Intel but Crossfire has been, currently is, and will continue to be. Nvidia isn't planning on licensing SLI to Intel any time soon either. Am I the only one that sees the irony in this?

http://www.nordichardware.com/news,7050.html
November 28, 2007 12:20:49 PM

I wish SLI and Xfire were both cross-compatible since I'm on a SLI board. I still wouldn't get 2 3870s though but it sure looks enticing.
November 28, 2007 12:24:09 PM

It is pretty ironic. But i would have to think that amd planed this. As much as people were saying that getting ati was a bad idea, it might just be its saving grace. Rich Arabas dosnt hurt either. Intel is in a pickle though. It wants to push AMD as far out of the market as it can with out becoming a monopoly. But if Intel sells more chipsets that are CF, it helps AMD as well. It was a very smart move to get ATI if AMD knew that there cpu's wouldnt be able to keep up with intel's. This way, they can feed off of the success of intel while they try and fix there company.
November 28, 2007 12:39:55 PM

Link is down.

I have read other reviews and from what I can tell Crossfire seems to scale just a little bit better than SLI. As usual, it depends mostly on the game, with some games actually taking a performance HIT. Because of this application-dependent nature I still don't count either solution as being practical or cost-effective.

I will give my blessing to the first multi-GPU solution that scales almost linearly in EVERY application. I have read that ATI is working on an alternate frame rendering mode that is supposed to be application independent under DX9. I don't think it's ready for prime time yet though.
November 28, 2007 12:54:06 PM

Ide say that CF scales more than just a little better. if the 8800gt is 15~20%faster, than an 3870, than the fact that the 3870 in CF are just about equal to a slightly faster, means that CF scales better than 15~20% better than SLI.
a b U Graphics card
November 28, 2007 1:36:12 PM

If you look hard enuff youll find that the 3870 is more like 9% slower, tho Xfire is faster by 5% than sli, bringing them close, and if you use dual+ gfx setups, Xfire is a cheaper solution per the perf
November 28, 2007 2:06:44 PM

I have to say i'm very impressed by the leaps ATI has made with Crossfire. I remember just a year ago when crossfire was nigh on useless, looks almost tempting now.
November 28, 2007 6:35:33 PM

I thi8nk nvidia need to get their finger out, especially in games like crysis it should be like their top priority to get the drivers up to a point it can scale high especially since neither brand can actually do it properly.
November 28, 2007 7:16:19 PM

wirelessfender said:
http://en.expreview.com/?p=53


Im surprised the Crossfire did so well! I was expecting it to suck as everywhere I read they say the drivers need improvement? 100+% scale in 3dmark? Anyone care to question the validity of this review?

*please no price gouging comments

I'll Get me 4 3870's on spider in January and nothing current will touch that rig.
November 28, 2007 7:23:59 PM

All my experiences of crossfire to date (dual x1650xt, dual x1950pro) have shown as much of an improvement over 1 card compared to sli. I could've been wrong, but it's just what i thought.
November 28, 2007 10:29:26 PM

I am very interested in using 4 gpus as well but I think Im going to crossfire 2 for now and wait for the 3870x2's before I do 4. Beside by then the drivers will be mature(er) and I only have 2 Pci-e slots on my x38 maximus formula. So I can then get 4 gpus in 2 cards! I cant wait! muahahahha

Oh btw, Anyone know if Crossfireing 2 3870's of different make being a problem? (sappire and a HIS)
a b U Graphics card
November 28, 2007 10:34:04 PM

No one knows for sure other than those under NDA, but Crossfiring different OEM vendor's cards shouldn't be an issue, just like it's not right now.
November 28, 2007 11:10:43 PM

elbert said:
I'll Get me 4 3870's on spider in January and nothing current will touch that rig.


Seems the only problem with this is that you have to use AMD CPU which atm are loosing to intels, and the fact they have to get 3 and 4 scaling as well as 2GPU's might slow things down. I have also noticed that most "pre-production" motherboards on the 790 spider arent making enough room for 4 dual slot GPU's does this seem stupid to anyone else? The other worrying issue is ATX specification only allows up to 7 expansion slots. http://www.formfactors.org/developer%5Cspecs%5Catx2_2.pdf "The ATX form factor supports up to seven expansion slots. " Makes 4 dual slots go out the window on a "normal" ATX case and mobo.

Thanks for the HD3850 Crossfire link Kohlhagen
November 29, 2007 1:05:02 AM

I do belive the MSI 790FX motherboard has room for 4 double slot cards. Im sure more will follow soon enough.
November 29, 2007 1:36:52 AM

So wait... how about 2 3870 X2's wow..

Can someone post links to any X2 info. I havn't seen much
November 29, 2007 2:09:42 AM

Cool thing I like about Xfire is that u can use a 3870 and a 3850 togetheir
November 29, 2007 9:41:04 PM

hok said:
So wait... how about 2 3870 X2's wow..

Can someone post links to any X2 info. I havn't seen much

Just search yahoo or google for the 3870 X2. you will find a lot.
a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2007 9:48:31 PM

Also try under "R680".
November 29, 2007 9:52:25 PM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
Funny thing is I'm already itching to upgrade the new HD2600 mobile solution, but it's more an issue of other factors than just the graphics, but with the possability of a new R700 single core mobile solution by spring/summer when I shop for new gear, that's looking very interesting, especially if it can give me near/above HD3K performance. Otherwise the Hd3K and G92 based mobile solutions may be the attraction.

I think a single r700 die might have only 300 million transistors. So the r700 mobile solution will have around half the transistors as 8800GT or 3870. Will this be fast enough?
I don't see how a single r700 die will have the same performance as the HD3k if it has half the transistors.
"Radeon R700 will be targeted to launch on a 45 nm fabrication process [5]. Each GPU core is reported to have 72 mm² die size, with slightly less than 300 million transistors [6]. All cores support DirectX 10.1 and Shader Model 4.1 [7] "
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radeon_R700
When you think a mobile GPU will have 700m+ transistors without frying your nuts?
(what do I know?)
November 30, 2007 5:46:01 AM

enewmen said:
I think a single r700 die might have only 300 million transistors. So the r700 mobile solution will have around half the transistors as 8800GT or 3870. Will this be fast enough?
I don't see how a single r700 die will have the same performance as the HD3k if it has half the transistors.
"Radeon R700 will be targeted to launch on a 45 nm fabrication process [5]. Each GPU core is reported to have 72 mm² die size, with slightly less than 300 million transistors [6]. All cores support DirectX 10.1 and Shader Model 4.1 [7] "
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radeon_R700
When you think a mobile GPU will have 700m+ transistors without frying your nuts?
(what do I know?)

R700 cores with 300 million is rumours at this moment, no real data yet. Still lets say its 300 mil., its not really 50% size of RV670 what concerns performance, simply because of UVD and similar features, which wont have to be duplicated in all R700 cores. My guess is, each core will have similar performance as RV670, maybe a little slower of faster - depending on design choices, they will go for scalling, and I hope ~4 cores will be enough to get 2-3x of what RV680 can do.
November 30, 2007 10:26:42 AM

Harrisson said:
R700 cores with 300 million is rumours at this moment, no real data yet. Still lets say its 300 mil., its not really 50% size of RV670 what concerns performance, simply because of UVD and similar features, which wont have to be duplicated in all R700 cores. My guess is, each core will have similar performance as RV670, maybe a little slower of faster - depending on design choices, they will go for scalling, and I hope ~4 cores will be enough to get 2-3x of what RV680 can do.

Yes,
I expect ATI will have at least one card with 4 r700 dies.
Lets hope 1 die ~= a RV670.
The 8800GT just burned a hole through my wallet. I hope this can last until the r800 / g100. :bounce: 
a b U Graphics card
November 30, 2007 3:12:03 PM

Yes expect the R700 to have an NVIO style part that does the UVD portions and contains things like the RAMDACs and TMDS and VIVO / HDCP etc functions.
!