So my $2k build is almost done...what video card?

My current components:
Asus Maximus (x38 chipset)
4 x 1GB DDR2 800 Crucial Balistix ram 4-4-4-12
Corsair 620HX PSU
1 x 320GB seagate HD
2 x 750 GB seagate HD (raid 0)
e4300 (1.8 GHz to OC to 3.0+) *side note, I will get the new quads when they come out and are at reasonable prices*
p180 case
GeminII CPU fan
5 x 120mm Yate loon fans
Windows Vista Ultimate (can get Xp-64 if I don't like vista)
Razer Tarantula keyboard
Razer Diamondback mouse
HannsG 28" monitor running 1920x1200
*second monitor* 17" 1280x1024

I plan on playing games, I Play half life 2: source, oblivion, two worlds, world of warcraft, and I plan on getting crysis, I know crysis will bottle neck at my proc now, and will be tough to run on high on the 28", I am fine with moderate settings on.

Finally, my question...

What graphics card is best for this build? I am torn between a 3870 to do crossfire later with, or an eVGA 8800GT to step up to the 9800 (or whatever the name is) later, or the new asus 1GB 8800GT (more memory will allow for higher resolutions to load more objects). If nvidia supported SLI, I would definitely go for the 8800GT; however, they don't, and it makes me sad. I have been an nvidia fan for a while, but their lack of intel support makes me think they are shooting themselves in the foot, and makes me tempted not to show my support by getting a card. The other thing to consider is the supply of each card vs teh demand, and the price gouging, I don't want ot pay $300 for an MSRP of $250 card.

What are your thoughts, any suggestions of graphics cards? any comments on my build?

PS, my current computer is a P4 2.4 with an agp 6800 (definitely time to upgrade)
27 answers Last reply
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  1. Personally I think 3850 on CF would give you the performance you need for the games you play for a great price. You can go 3870 if you can spend the extra bucks and get big performance gain.

    Im not even sure about spending the money for CF or SLI only for Crysis. I'm sure you'll get tired of it like everyone else, and a single 3870 is sufficient for the other games you currently play.

    I say get a single 3870 for now, and if you decide you need more performance, get another one later on.
  2. So you wouldn't recommend the 8800GT? What do you think to if, I saw your rig, would you get the 3870 instead?
  3. I order my 8800GT too soon. I would go back in time and get a 3870 instead if i could :)
  4. dual hd 3870 do it man!
  5. Been considering xfire with 3870, the main thing holding me back is that the newer cards are around teh corner, so I could step up if I get an eVGA, also since I dual monitor, I won't bebale to run both monitors at once in xfire (or so I heard)
  6. According to some websites, the support for dual monitors under XFire should come with the drivers release on January or so.

    There was also one guy getting it to work successfully so I don't know what to believe :)
  7. hmm, I donno if it is worth the risk, I use the second monitor all the time. I may get the Asus 3870 (only one with a 3 year warranty), and see what ATI has to offer come jan.

    How does your 8800GT perform?
  8. I play BF2142 mostly, and I must say it's flawless. Over 60fps with everything set to high on 1600x1050, I get World in Conflict running well over 40fps with similar settings and Crysis almost gets to 40fps on 1280x1024 with High Q.

    Nvidia Beta driver 169.13
  9. Since your a overclocker, then you want the 3870 Crossfire. Those cards overclock a ton. And notice on many reviews, when they overclocked the card on the stock cooler just mildly, they are within a few % of the 8800GT in most benchmarks. But seriously, who cares about single card solutions with a 2k rig like that. You have to get crossfire.

    You see the benchmarks of the 3870 on stock clocks in crossfire? It exceeds 8800GTX in alot of games, and is on par with a GTX ULTRA in some!

    and there you have it. Crossfire HD3870 smoking a 8800 GTX ULTRA in COD4, and Crysis, and Jaurez. Just goes to show, the drivers get better, the ATI stuff gets better substantially. With the first round of tests, it made 3870 look bad. Now we have better drivers, its looking alot better overall.

    I have a Maximus Formula SE on water @ 3.6 GHZ with HD3870 Crossfire, overclocked to 850/1300 and it smokes my friends 8800 GTX system clocked at 3.4 with a Q6600 quad in UT, Crysis, Hellgate London, and TF2.

    I bought mine from for like $249 each, the already OC version that started out at like 800/1250 or something stock.

    Crossfire scales so well, you get almost 75% frame increases in some games. Thats incredible.

  10. hmm, I think I may go with one 3870 now, and get another when more are instock/the newer cards come out
  11. I there a brand you guys recommend? I was looking at Asus/Gigabyte with 3 year warranties, or ViosonTek for their limited lifetime warranty.
  12. Right now is whatever you can find! Sold out everywhere! I would go with the OC versions if you can find them. I got the MSI overclocked versions.
  13. some people dont know how to pick computer parts... and you my friend are one of them..
  14. What would you have suggested then?
  15. dragonsprayer said:
    dual hd 3870 do it man!

    Yup, that's what I'd do.
  16. Get the 8800GT/GTS from EVGA now, then Step up to a 9000 series when (hopefully) they come out in February!
  17. With the X38 chipset, he can only run one nVidia card anyway, so he would need to go 680i/780i for SLI or use CrossFire on that X38.
  18. I agree with DigitalDragon. I had an SLI rig a little while back, and hated it. It was such a PITA. If you've run dual cards and were happy with them, then I'd say go the ATI route, but if you haven't, one card that performs well (IMHO) is less of a hassle than two. Grab the 8800 GTS 512, then step up to the 9800XX when it comes out.
  19. My current components:
    Asus Maximus (x38 chipset)
    4 x 1GB DDR2 800 Crucial Balistix ram 4-4-4-12
    Corsair 620HX PSU
    1 x 320GB seagate HD
    2 x 750 GB seagate HD (raid 0)
    e4300 (1.8 GHz to OC to 3.0+) *side note, I will get the new quads when they come out and are at reasonable prices*
    p180 case
    GeminII CPU fan
    5 x 120mm Yate loon fans
    Windows Vista Ultimate (can get Xp-64 if I don't like vista)
    Razer Tarantula keyboard
    Razer Diamondback mouse
    HannsG 28" monitor running 1920x1200
    *second monitor* 17" 1280x1024

    :fou: :fou: :fou: :fou: :fou:

    My Setup:
    Q6600 B3
    Corsair 620W
    2x 1Gb Corsair XMS2 PC6400
    500Gb Samsung Spinpoint
    Samsung SyncMaster 226BW
    Logitech Elite Keyboard
    Logitech X 230
    Gigabyte Posiedon
    Zalman CNPS 9500 Led

    Wow it only costs like 2,5k In Denmark.

    How fair is that?

    BTW: This will be my last whinning post about prices in DK vs. US for the rest of the week :)
  20. Oh sry about the quote error, but i wasnt allowed to edit it :S
  21. I see you have a spare monitor, but I'll warn you that if you want to use it at the same time as the 28" 1920x1200 you'll definately need 2 video cards. I ran into the same problem with a single 7900 GS.

    The 8800 GT is the hot buy of course, with performance nearing that of the 8800 GTX and cost low enough for your budget to include a pair.

    I am a bit shocked at the lack of a raptor hard drive, while not a necessity makes a wide variety of apps much faster and does provide small gains for gaming. Also, the choice of the mobo is up in the air, I certainly would want to take advantage of an SLI capable board (you previously stated nVidia doesn't support Intel, I suppose you meant that Intel's lack of support for SLI was shooting INTEL in the foot).
  22. dude try to get the E6550 C2D its 1333FSB and 2.43GHZ, atleast it wont bottleneck and it costs what?! 180 bucks?

    you seem rich anyway why suffer with a lower-end temp CPU ^^

    i went the other route, i bought the max formula standard also but i bought the Q6600 G0 CPU and a ASUS HD2600XT as a temp vid card while waiting for the next gens lol.

    i might get the 8800GTS 512 from asus/evga/leadtek or wait for the D9E 9series in feb 08
  23. I have the e4300 because I bought it for $65 retail, I plan on using it until the new quads from intel come out. Normally I would wait for them, but I got to the point where I had to upgrade, I currently am running a P4 2.4 with a 6800 agp (dual monitor with e 28"), so I am fine with the bottle neck for a few months.

    as for the graphics card, I like the idea of crossfire, but am concerned I can't have it enabled with dual monitors. (on my second monitor I only have websites and IM's/vent up.

    It really comes down to how much price gouging for each card there is, I would get the evga 8800 92 (gt or GTS) if is was for msrp and step up, but the 9xxx series will really be expensive, and the GTS 512 will drop in price, so I would still pay a few hundred more to step up, as that nvidia is seeing that enthusiasts are searching for more power now, with crysis and all).

    and Maverick7, you haven't said what is wrong with my parts, I am curious why you think I chose the wrong ones. An explanation would be helpful, perhaps I can learn more, if you make a valid point.
  24. You bought the best crossfire mobo out there, it would be a crime not to slap a couple of 3870's or 3850's into it. Keep in mind, though, that two double-slot 3870's take up a lot of real estate inside your case... I was left with only one available PCI slot (which I needed for my wireless network card), and one PCI-e slot (still empty after installing the SupremeFX2 audio header). I had to sacrifice my X-FI sound card - no more available PCI slots).
  25. yah, it would almost be a crime... but I am also considering the possibility nvidia may eventually support SLI on the x38, with intel holding their new procs above nvidia's head waiting for sli support.

    but if I can get a 3870 with a decent warranty for msrp ($220), I will deffinately get one, and will prolly upgrade to crossfire when I get my new proc to avoid the potential bottle neck.
  26. yeah get a 3870 and a 3850 in crossfire. Should be interesting.
  27. I'd rather get two identical cards. With different cards you're just inviting trouble, going into scenarios ATI didn't test properly. But yeah, it would be interesting :)
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