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Best card to play in resolution 1280 x 1024 with high AA + AF

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February 3, 2008 5:59:00 PM

Hello everyone, what do you think is the best graphics cards to buy for playing in resolution 1280x 1024 with high AA/AF. I am currently looking to buy a new graphics cards and got my selection down to 3 cards:

ATI 3870 512MB - around £140,
8800GT 512MB, - around £160
8800GTS 512MB. - around £200

Value for money is also a matter, i know 8800GTS 512mb is the best card in the list but is there a big different in performance in that resolution? Which card would you guys recommand to buy? The games i want to play are oblivion, Half life, World in Conflict and the new games that are coming out.
Thanks
February 3, 2008 6:26:39 PM

8800 series are better with AA performance. 3870 are horrible although it has option for 24xAA.

You can probably get away with most games at 8-16xAA with 8800gt while 3870 will give you 4xAA at that resolution.
a c 130 U Graphics card
February 3, 2008 6:56:03 PM

Hi maxryan
I thought this was one of the better reviews covering these cards http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2232655,00.a....
The sweet spot seems to be the 8800GT when value for money cames into it i dont think the extra £40 is worth the performance you will get especially at the res you will be using. The 3870 while still a good card is still suffering from ATI's AA problems that plagued the 2000 series.
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February 3, 2008 10:02:38 PM

For such low resolutions though you can't go wrong with whatever is cheapest. Graphic difference would be minimum.

I would go with 3850 512meg version and overclock to 3870 levels and save yourself some money.
February 3, 2008 10:09:10 PM

If you want to play Crysis all on high, get the 8800GTS 512MB.
February 3, 2008 10:14:59 PM

Evilonigiri said:
If you want to play Crysis all on high, get the 8800GTS 512MB.


You can do that with 3850. The guy is on a 1280x1024 monitor.
February 3, 2008 10:27:27 PM

marvelous211 said:
You can do that with 3850. The guy is on a 1280x1024 monitor.

I disagree. All high settings including AA and AF? You'll only get around 30FPS, which imo isn't enough for a FPS.
February 4, 2008 12:29:39 AM

The fact is I want to play games with all the eye candy and with smooth FPS, I would like AA/AF to be on, but they don't have to be MAX OUT. Would want a card that would allow me to play furture games in High setting too. Never thought of 3850 as an option....didn't think it could match up with the big boys 3870, 8800
a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2008 1:29:47 AM

If he doesn't play with "normal" AA in crysis then I see no reason why he can't play at 1280x1024 all on high. My x1950 pro can do those settings at around 20-23FPS and it is a far slower card. If worst comes to worst, he can tweak the individual console commands to get things just right. There is always Edge AA if he really needs AA. I can't say it looks great though, since it blurs rather than adding extra samples.
February 4, 2008 2:12:09 AM

Evilonigiri said:
I disagree. All high settings including AA and AF? You'll only get around 30FPS, which imo isn't enough for a FPS.


But 30fps is definitely enough for Crysis unless you are playing online for competitive edge.

Why would you waste bandwidth on jaggies in a game like Crysis? AA is bandwidth killer and uses most bandwidth for such negligible effect. Why not have the highest in game settings first then set your filters?
February 4, 2008 2:13:41 AM

maxryan said:
The fact is I want to play games with all the eye candy and with smooth FPS, I would like AA/AF to be on, but they don't have to be MAX OUT. Would want a card that would allow me to play furture games in High setting too. Never thought of 3850 as an option....didn't think it could match up with the big boys 3870, 8800


Ha but you've mistaken. 3850 is nothing more than underclocked 3870. You can easily match 3870 speed with a 3850 long as you get the 512meg version.
a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2008 2:16:42 AM

But you can't exceed 3870 speed as much as you can with a 3870 ;) 
February 4, 2008 2:38:18 AM

marvelous211 said:
But 30fps is definitely enough for Crysis unless you are playing online for competitive edge.

Why would you waste bandwidth on jaggies in a game like Crysis? AA is bandwidth killer and uses most bandwidth for such negligible effect. Why not have the highest in game settings first then set your filters?

While many people consider 30fps smooth, some do not. Also the most important is the min. fps, not the avg. If you're getting 30fps, that means there's probably a spot where you took a dip to the low 20s or perhaps lower.

And thus I recommend getting the 8800GTS 512MB, even for the resolution of 1280 x 1024. One thing that prevents me from recommending the 8800GT is the cooler. The 8800GTS's superior cooling allows less noise as well as better OC potential. I've seen people hit 800 core clock on the stock cooler on the 8800GTS while the 8800GT could only do a measly 720 before getting too hot.
February 4, 2008 2:38:52 AM

randomizer said:
But you can't exceed 3870 speed as much as you can with a 3870 ;) 

Volt-mod? :whistle: 
a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2008 2:41:12 AM

You can volt mod a 3870 too, and if the chip is binned higher than the 3850s chip which do you think will go higher? Of course, you need to shell out more money, but in Australia there is only a $30-40 difference anyway I think.
February 4, 2008 2:44:18 AM

randomizer said:
You can volt mod a 3870 too, and if the chip is binned higher than the 3850s chip which do you think will go higher?

The 3850 of course. Duh. :sarcastic: 

:kaola: 

Yeah I know what you mean.
February 4, 2008 3:58:14 AM

8800gts(G92) is better then the 8800gt, 3870, 3850 hands down but, we are talking about 1280 x 1024 here and on a budget which IMO the extra $100-150 ($350 vs. sub $250) is a bit expensive. Most high end - mid range cards at that resolution should be smooth enough to play games well except on Crysis. I would personally get the Gigabyte 3870 512mb ddr3, it's cheaper then the 3870 512mb ddr4 but better then the 3850 512mb ddr3 for a budget gaming card.

For anyone playing at a higher resolution like 1680 x 1050 or 1920 x 1080, I would then consider the 8800gts(G92) or the 3870x2.

Refer to Link - check resolution 1280 x 1024 - these cards are usually at the 50-60 fps ranges which I believe in most peoples books is playable.
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/12/12/geforce_8800_gts...

Links to card prices.
3870x2 2*512mb ddr3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

8800gts(g92) 512mb ddr3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

8800gt 512mb ddr3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3870 512mb ddr4
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3870 512mb ddr3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3850 512mb ddr3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Sorry for this big post. I believe in the end you will find the right card that will match your budget good luck.
February 4, 2008 9:53:00 AM

Evilonigiri said:
While many people consider 30fps smooth, some do not. Also the most important is the min. fps, not the avg. If you're getting 30fps, that means there's probably a spot where you took a dip to the low 20s or perhaps lower.

And thus I recommend getting the 8800GTS 512MB, even for the resolution of 1280 x 1024. One thing that prevents me from recommending the 8800GT is the cooler. The 8800GTS's superior cooling allows less noise as well as better OC potential. I've seen people hit 800 core clock on the stock cooler on the 8800GTS while the 8800GT could only do a measly 720 before getting too hot.


I finished crysis from start to finish with only 29fps average. While not the fastest fps I could easily handle Crysis with only 30fps because the way Crysis was never meant to be a fast paced. It would handle low fps with post processing effects while other fps I would need at least 40-50fps depending on the game.

8800gt is good and all but it comes down to bang for buck for most people especially guys who's running such low resolution. 8800gt is overkill if you are on a budget.
February 4, 2008 10:13:16 AM

Yeah for whatever reason, Crysis is really tolerable at 30FPS, where as Call of Duty 4 at anything lower than 60FPS is very annoying. I guess it has something to do with the motion blur and the way it handles processing the frames. Plus it looks amazing.
February 4, 2008 10:21:19 AM

Thank you for everyone's advises!! I have cut my selection down to 2:

GeCube Radeon HD 3850 512MB - £110 ($215)
Asus 8800GT 512MB (EN8800GT) - £163 ($320)

3850 512MB is just amazing value for money, look at this review
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/GeCube/Radeon_HD_385...

The different bewteen theses 2 card is 15 to 20 FPS (1280 x 1024 2AA 8AF), but i don't feel 3850 can be as furture resistance as 8800GT.......I am not planning to upgraph my graphics card for at least 1 year, so........the question would be: Looking at the value/performance and furture resistance factors, is the extra £50 ($100) worth the cost of 8800GT?
February 4, 2008 10:32:23 AM

If it were my money I'd get a 3870. I have no desire to OC, so buying a 3850 and then going to 3870 speeds isn't what I want to do.
At 1280x1024 the 3870 will be more than enough and I doubt you'd see much benefit from the 8800GT's extra power.
Scan(.co.uk) have some mighty deals on the 3870 at the moment, well worth a look :) 

P.S. I run my 1280x1024 monitor on an 8800GTX, I love overkill! :sol: 
February 4, 2008 10:33:20 AM

Don't worry about the future because you will never know how game developers trends change. Only buy a card to play NOW or if you money to burn 30" monitors with triple GTX isn't so bad either.
February 4, 2008 10:39:18 AM

Triple GTX sounds great :p  !! Do you think I can get a monthly repayment of 5 years for that??
February 4, 2008 10:43:16 AM

3870 is good but at that price I rather pay an extra £20 for a 8800GT.
February 4, 2008 11:10:16 AM

LukeBird said:
If it were my money I'd get a 3870. I have no desire to OC, so buying a 3850 and then going to 3870 speeds isn't what I want to do.
At 1280x1024 the 3870 will be more than enough and I doubt you'd see much benefit from the 8800GT's extra power.
Scan(.co.uk) have some mighty deals on the 3870 at the moment, well worth a look :) 

P.S. I run my 1280x1024 monitor on an 8800GTX, I love overkill! :sol: 


I recommend he get the 8800gts 512 if he wants overkill, and I don't even like Nvidia all that much! Well my dislike of Nvidia relates to image problems with the 7000 series that the 8000 series corrected, and issues with a 405 chipset board stating that it only accepted Nvidia cards. I'm sure later chipsets do not have that issue.

Anyways, I'll be going for overkill when my 3870x2 arrives Tuesday or Wednesday from Newegg. It's the overclocked MSI version. I'll be playing at 1280 x 1024 for two weeks until I can replace the 17" Viewsonic CRT with a 20" Viewsonic LCD. I could have gotten the 3870 and the monitor, but I wanted to be futureproof until R770 dual core GPU's. I doubt the R700 will beat this card by all that much.

Anyways, I'll be transferring an X2 4600+ from the 405 chipset board to a 690V board for compatibility, will have 2 gigs of Kingston DDR2 667 and the 3870x2 with an Antec Neo 550. Crossfire performance in one slot without the hassles. I like that!

What sold me wasn't a comparison of Nvidia vs. ATI at any price range, it was a comparison of the benchmarks in CRPG's like Oblivion and The Witcher between a single 3870 and the 3870x2. I would not have gotten the card if it would have been a monstrosity with 2 PCB's like Nvidia's upcoming card. It seems that ATI got the design right.

maxryan said:
Triple GTX sounds great :p  !! Do you think I can get a monthly repayment of 5 years for that??


Only if you max out all credit cards you own. The only way I can upgrade is with part of the income tax refund and then incrementally month by month. This time, it's not much of a hassle because the B3 Phenom's aren't out yet, nor are the 780G boards with power saving mode.

I don't think Nvidia has their triple SLI drivers worked out right (bad scaling, I heard) and ATI does not have their quad Crossfire drivers worked out. So, three Nvidia or four ATI looks to be a possibility down the line, but not right now. ATI does scale better in Crossfire.

I'm sure that two 3870x2 clocked at 850 would make a good two card "quad Crossfire" or would work in "triple" Crossfire with an R700. If I go two cards of that range, I'd need to upgrade to an Antec 850 or 1000 PSU.

Ideally, both Crossfire and SLI should be mix and match, as long as the cards are similiar enough to not ramp things down. The reason hybrid Crossfire on the 780G will only work with 3450 and 3470 cards is that anything in the 3850 range or higher would slow down working alongside the IGP. Power saving is a different feature that I like on the upcoming ATI and Nvidia chipsets, who needs to have a 3870x2 or 8800gts powered up while posting at Tom's Hardware?
February 4, 2008 2:20:13 PM

marvelous211 said:
But 30fps is definitely enough for Crysis unless you are playing online for competitive edge.

Why would you waste bandwidth on jaggies in a game like Crysis? AA is bandwidth killer and uses most bandwidth for such negligible effect. Why not have the highest in game settings first then set your filters?


I'll second this, the last thing I'm looking at when running down a hall approaching a corner in a FPS is not the edge of my weapon against the lighting on the wall to check for jaggies. Also at most isn't it really a waste to go beyond 4x AA 8xAF?
February 4, 2008 2:24:15 PM

Evilonigiri said:
While many people consider 30fps smooth, some do not. Also the most important is the min. fps, not the avg. If you're getting 30fps, that means there's probably a spot where you took a dip to the low 20s or perhaps lower.

And thus I recommend getting the 8800GTS 512MB, even for the resolution of 1280 x 1024. One thing that prevents me from recommending the 8800GT is the cooler. The 8800GTS's superior cooling allows less noise as well as better OC potential. I've seen people hit 800 core clock on the stock cooler on the 8800GTS while the 8800GT could only do a measly 720 before getting too hot.


Another good point is the min. Unfortunately I forgot the website I was looking at, but It was a very nice benchmark with the 3870x2 88GTS 512 88GT 3870 etc. And in most of the tests the 88GT had the higher Average FPS, but literally was within 1FPS on the minimum FPS. These were at 1920x1200 since I was questioning getting a 24" monitor to pair up with the 88GT. In the end the minimum FPS is what really matters as long as it's not below 30fps I guess.
February 4, 2008 2:27:33 PM

maxryan said:



Asus 8800GT 512MB (EN8800GT) - £163 ($320)




What a 8800GT for $320??? should be more around $230~$250 USD.
February 4, 2008 2:37:38 PM

Just a side note... whatever you end up deciding on, do some looking around on the internet for the best price. For instance, $226 shipped for a 8800 GT: http://slickdeals.net/?pno=11473&lno=4&afsrc=1 My friend ordered 2 GTs off that deal, so he really won out.

Though I know you're in the UK and that deal might not be available for you...
February 4, 2008 3:08:05 PM

Well my friends... I am from the UK and believe me you will not get 8800GT 512MB for less then £155 ($300) here............this is the reason i hate you americans :p 
a b U Graphics card
February 4, 2008 10:29:39 PM

maxryan said:
Well my friends... I am from the UK and believe me you will not get 8800GT 512MB for less then £155 ($300) here............this is the reason i hate you americans :p 

Exactly the same in australia. Amen brother!
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