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Took the plunge. 3870 Crossfire - over 8800GT

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
December 10, 2007 4:52:12 AM

So I tool the plunge and went with 3870 crossfire.

I got the 3870 for 215$ each in stock

the 8800 GT was 230$ in stock

I was going to wait for the new 8800GTS or the next gen. But with the way things are going with the 8800GT even if they had a new sweet deal next gen you wouldn't be able to buy it.

1. My 7800GT was (is) dying crashes on HL2 when the action gets tough. i thought it was just the game, but it did it on CoD4.

2. My gigabyte only does crossfire and didn't want to get a new mother board.

3. The 8800 GT seemed to do great on its own, but in SLI it was the same or slower than the 3870 on some reviews.

4. I game at high res 1920.

5. 10.1 even it probable won't make a difference when i need it, at least i can gamble that the crossfire can scale to 2-3years. also I'm gambling that the next driver revision may make the 3870 on par with a 8800GT.

So but now I'm very anxious about driver issues / ATI's future. Also i think i should have waited for the new 3870 modular single crossfire card.

So did i goof?
December 10, 2007 5:00:16 AM

Just to add i like to play games with full graphics to have the full effect.
December 10, 2007 5:49:23 AM

You did make a good decision there, mate. If i was in the market for spending that kinda money that's exactly what i'd do.

You might be pushing it to say they'll last 2-3 years (Playing the modern games anyway), but otherwise spot-on choice!
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December 11, 2007 3:28:23 PM

wow... you guys weren't kidding about the image quality on ATI. I havn;t bought an ATI card for more then 5 years... and I had a 7800GT and the image quality on the same game on the same settings is noticable on the HD 3870.

Also the crossfire seems to be working perfect. I will run some benches when i get my OS down. Thanks for this forum ... i would never have bought ATI....
December 11, 2007 3:28:55 PM

Oh and thanks sheep.
December 12, 2007 9:01:55 AM

I have some benches, I was looking at the the Toms graphs and I think I may have the settings wrong.

But its well above a GTX... does anyone care to see the details?
December 12, 2007 11:05:47 AM

Well the upside is you can do quad cards with a new spider platform. You'll never be able to run more than 2 8800GT's together.

Altough true, who in the right mind would fork over the money for 4 GPU's?! Yes I know there are people out there that will, the majority wont. I personally will always stick with single GPU' PC's maybe. Thats just me because I'm cheap.
December 12, 2007 12:00:07 PM

Take a good long look at this 8800GTS 512mb test here:

Two things you will notice. The 3870 in crossfire performs almost as well at the brand new 8800GTS G92 in SLI! The 3800 series manages to scale nearly exactly 2x with two cards. This may yield 3x and 4x performance with three or four cards as well. Thats simply amazing. The downside is that as soon as a NEW game comes out ATI driver engineers have to start from scratch (or it seems that way given the wait) and completely optimize the drivers for that specific game/game engine. As you can see in the CoD4 test, Crossfire nearly makes the system completely unplayable. Thats just unacceptable to me to be honest. Basically you're stuck with the waiting every month for new drivers to see if your FPS increased. I have a 2900XT and I've been waiting for drivers that work well for months now :(  I've given up hope.

ATI and Nvidia have their pros and cons nowadays. It almost feels like we went back to the days of proprietary APIs because games are being optimized for either Nvidia in most cases, or ATI cards. The games today work well on one or the other and its all due to these "tweaks" the software manufacturers are paid to put in. It just seems theres too much bias in games these days.
December 13, 2007 1:12:58 AM

MAn I need to retest my setup on CoD4... on that graph it performs LESS then the standalone card.... I ran it the before i wiped my system 2 days ago and didn't remember it being SLOWER then single card setup... I need FRAPS for this right?
a b U Graphics card
December 13, 2007 2:53:27 AM

FRAPS is great because it will log your Min/Max/Average frame rates over time.

Another handy use is to study the effect of driver updates or changes to game graphics options on performance.