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8800 Ultra SLI vs 9800 GX2 (x2)

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February 13, 2008 4:48:15 AM

First off; for me, MONEY IS NO OBJECT (for once). ^_^

I have yet to find any RECENT 8800 Ultra SLi Benchmarks verses everything else. I really can't wait for Tomshardware to update their multi-gpu charts (which never have shown Ultras at all! :fou:  :fou:  ).

Anyway, as someone in another thread has "confirmed", March 13th release and $449.99 MSRP of the 9800GX2. I am getting some cash on the 21st of Feb, and Need to BADLY upgrade my 7800 GTX (fine for source, but thats about all). I was seriously looking at two 8800 GTS's (G92), but heard some rather sad things about the memory bottlenecks de to the 265 bit memory, considering that I REALLY want some hardcore performance (Water cooling, the whole shebang) (I love putting these right at the end of sentences).

I'm really looking at two EVGA 8800 Ultras (standard ones, ill OC myself and save $200), or two 9800GX2s. Im trying to weigh the pros and cons of each.

Pros for 8800's; Sexy brag rights, lots of memory, Nice water cooling accessories, and the best cards in SLI out there; max performance, and half the power consumption of the 9800GX2. (assumption)
Cons for 8800's: $$, Heat, old.

Pros for the 9800GX2: New, Cheaper, G92
Cons for the 9800GX2: Unknown performance, a BITCH for water cooling, double the power consumption of 8800's (assumption)

Ive been looking at the old 7900GX2's and 7950GX2's and the water cooling accessories were....for a lack of a better word, abysmal. I'd really not like to take such an odd approach to cooling 9800GX2's, nor would I like to have to WAIT so long for a waterblock to be made. Thats one reason that I'm leaning towards the 8800 Ultras.

Another reason I'm looking at EVGA is because of the Step-up. If I buy around... the 25th or so, that gives me ample time to enjoy the Ultras, wait for the 9800GX2's to come out, see their performance, and wait for driver updates to possibly upgrade if the benefits of having them are THAT great.

So what I would like to know; is my logic correct? Am I missing anything? Please refrain form just putting "wait for the GX2", i'd really like some good points that would make me change my mind. Thanks guys.

System Specs (current):
CPU: Q6600
Mobo: Asus P5N-E Sli
Ram: 4GB 5-5-5-15
Power: 1600w Ultra X3
Video: 7800 GTX

System Specs (after all this):
CPU: Q6600
Mobo: EVGA 780i
Ram: 4GB 5-5-5-15
Power: 1600w Ultra X3
Video: ?
February 13, 2008 5:31:31 AM

2 8800GTs in SLI offer the same or better performance as two 8800GTXs.Although some games do not use SLI,a lot do,so the 8800GT is a better card to get as you can buy 2 of them for about the same as one GTX.But if the ULTRA is what your after,ask THG to include them in their next VGA chart.As for the 9800GX2,you'll just have to wait for benchmark testing to be done when they come out.Goodluck.

Dahak

M2N32-SLI DELUXE WE
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2X1GIG DDR2 800 IN DC MODE
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EVGA 8800GT SUPERCLOCKED
SMILIDON RAIDMAX GAMING CASE
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250GIG HD/320GIG HD
G5 GAMING MOUSE
LOGITECH Z-5500 5.1 SURROUND SYSTEM
500WATS CONTINUOUS,1000 PEAK
WIN XP MCE SP2
3DMARK05 15,686
3DMARK06 10,588
February 13, 2008 6:09:33 AM

the OC versions are close to stock anyhow and in some cases unstable, not to mention you can overclock them yourself - i see no point in the OC versions, check the stock benchmarks and figure from there, and yes the 8800GT's are a better deal, and as for the 9800 series - maybe you might want to wait and see whats coming?
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February 13, 2008 6:16:08 AM

I knew this all already, but the Slimmed memory of 256 bit on the current G92's is something I just can't have. I'm really looking for pure performance since I dont need to save or spend less.

Quote:
First off; for me, MONEY IS NO OBJECT (for once). ^_^
February 13, 2008 6:17:05 AM

Are you able to Crossfire 2 3870x2's yet? If so, that'd not only give the added bonus of 4 GPUs, it also give you the ability to use the sexy x38 chipset, which is probably the best chipset out there.
February 13, 2008 6:18:28 AM

I dont think the driver support is there yet, plus, Ive never been an ATI user, and a switch scares me... until we see benchmarks ;) 
February 13, 2008 7:34:58 AM

Sounds like you have already made up your mind. You don't want to wait for the 9800x2 and you have $$ to blow on some fracking sweet gaming gear. It would be a waste of money to get the Ultras, but if you are just going to step up with them to the 9800x2 anyway you might as well (if money is truly no object). For someone in your situation ($$wise) I would personally recommend a G92 GTS SLI, but it sounds like you don't want that. Something to consider with the dual 9800x2's is the driver support as its essentially a quad SLI (I think, something you will have to research, or someone will post).
February 13, 2008 5:08:54 PM

Yes, youre pretty much right. At the moment, Money is no object, but by the time I can step up, If i got the 8800 GTS's or GT's, I'd need to shell out money that I wouldnt have then. I feel like I'm getting the most performance now, and paying my Step-up fee already.
February 19, 2008 5:18:22 PM

Does anybody else remember the 7900GTX OC BFG disaster?

I love BFG but they screwed up. The OC meant the card was unstable and textures were popping in and out. At one point I was running on a placeholder texture in Oblivion.

I know money might not be an object, but I still say go for the 8800GT unless you want the novelty of 3xSLI. Even if I had the cash to get three 8800 Ultras or a 9800GX2, I'd still just buy another 8800GT and spend the money on software or audio production hardware for myself instead of looking for what might not even be a real world performance upgrade while paying hundreds of dollars more.
February 19, 2008 6:18:10 PM

Actually, I'm going to be taking that exact route, Almost. I'm settling for two GTS's. And with the money saved, Getting Quantum Lead SD2 :p 
February 19, 2008 6:42:57 PM

Get a 790fx or x38 board and a couple of 3870x2's fastest thing out!!!!
February 19, 2008 6:45:11 PM

Do they work yet? Like, i heard XF for those didnt work yet.
February 19, 2008 7:00:59 PM

I have a 7800 GTX :( 

But the seccond the 9800GX2 and Q9450 are both out I'm getting a new pc, Crysis here I come. :) 
February 19, 2008 7:02:56 PM

they will in march when the driver comes out:p  or so ive read the driver is coming in early march. ATI has been preatty good about driver updates compaired to Nvidia.
February 19, 2008 7:12:28 PM

the 8800gtx ultras have been discontinued from Nvidia. I talked to Mike (evga rep) last week and he said that anything up from the 8800gtx superclocked they won't be replacing. Whether you find any ultras in stock somewhere else is another story...but supply is drying up.

Also he stated that they (evga) test the cards once they come in and the cards that are stable at overclocking, they lable "KO" or "Superclocked". That any 8800gtx will not be able to overclock to ultra speeds.
February 19, 2008 7:35:18 PM

Dahak said:
2 8800GTs in SLI offer the same or better performance as two 8800GTXs


I would love to see some benches where 2 GT's beat 2 GTX...

GTX are faster, marginally but they are, always.
February 19, 2008 9:18:00 PM

They really discontinued them? Gad damn.. why did no site report that?
February 19, 2008 9:56:53 PM

Neither one nor two GT's are better than GTX's. Especially if you plan to overclock seriously GTX is much faster. In my rig I have 1 eVGA 8800GTX and I make 16280 3dMarks06 watercooled. With a GT I managed maximum 15400. Moreover, in games the difference is much greater because of th ROPs of the GTX and the wider bus. Read my signature for detalis.
February 19, 2008 10:29:05 PM

steffato said:
Neither one nor two GT's are better than GTX's. Especially if you plan to overclock seriously GTX is much faster. In my rig I have 1 eVGA 8800GTX and I make 16280 3dMarks06 watercooled. With a GT I managed maximum 15400. Moreover, in games the difference is much greater because of th ROPs of the GTX and the wider bus. Read my signature for detalis.


I totally agree with you that overclocking the 8800GTX see's much bigger gains in overclocking because of the 384bit memory bus and the 24 ROPs don't hold it back like it does with the G92 8800GT/8800GTS. I consider my overclocked 8800GTX to be above average, and steffato your overclock is the highest that I have seen to date.
February 19, 2008 11:23:55 PM

Gah.... you last two make me want to got GTX.

HELP!! >.<
February 20, 2008 4:17:17 AM

I wouldn't worry about it man.

Those 2 GTS's will be great. Plus, you will have 90 days to wait and see what new things Nvidia has in store for us in the coming few months :) 

If the 9800GX2 turns out to be problematic, you could always go for the 9800GTX. I got an 8800GT at the end of last year, and I have until March 16th to Step-Up. Unless the 9800GX2 really sucks badly, I was planning on getting that just for fun. That is, as long as it is out by March 16th.
February 20, 2008 4:19:23 AM

Well, I have the money for two GTX's, and I'm beginning to think I really want to go this route. I'm seeing better benchmarks net-wide.

Any of you all with GTX's, please chime in.
February 20, 2008 6:45:29 AM

I believe the reason why 8800GTX's are seeing bigger OC's is because of a newer batch, the first few batches were when they first came out and they ran hotter. Just like Intel's processors see better overclocking and running slightly cooler as newer steppings are released, example B2 vs G0 stepping with the Q6600.
February 20, 2008 7:51:34 AM

The GTX really is immense, but i'm going to be getting rid of mine for 3870X2's in CF I think :) 
February 20, 2008 7:58:48 AM

knowone knows anything about the 9800s yet...sorry.:) 
February 20, 2008 3:42:14 PM

In my humble opinion its never a good idea to blow money on the latest and greatest. Ive always gone with the three to four tiers from the top strategy. since the 6 series, I have gotten the 6800GT, 7800GT, and now 8800GT. Infinitely cheaper, and so far Its been playing everything flawlessly(I do not have and have no plans to get crysis, I have yet to find someone that can tell me anything other than it looks great and what their fps is at what setting, and not whether the game is any good). Your always going to be behind. Why horribly waste your money along the way. from my experience it has gotten me great game performance for the lifespan it provided me with, and I will NEVER waste money on the latest and greatest. When the video card costs more than the rest of your pc put together, I wouldnt buy it.
February 20, 2008 6:01:02 PM

Good advice, but only generally. I've heard that argument a lot of times, but I am looking for the latest and greatest because I'm basically getting this money for free.

And in this case, the video cards would be one of the lesser expensive parts to my rig. Single most expensive part would be the 1600w Ultra X3 Power supply that I got to run Ultras, but the discontinuation scares me.

Anyone with GTX SLI also deal with GTS's or GT's?
February 20, 2008 6:34:06 PM

Drop the 1600W PSU and save some money. 1000W is more than enough for your proposed builds. If you want the absolute best nvidia solution then GTX's are the option not the GT or GTS.
February 20, 2008 11:42:30 PM

Ive BOUGHT the 1600. Its in use now.
February 21, 2008 10:10:38 PM

PHASE ONE COMPLETE!!

2 8800GTX's on their way, will be here tomorrow.

I decided to wait on the EVGA 780i and the RAM I was going to get because I wanted to see how this thing tested with the 8x-8x sli of my P5N-E. Can anyone tell me what I should expect 8x8 vs 16x16? I have some money left, and wanna know if the 16x16 will really be worth the motherboard upgrade, and the....total..reinstall of everything.
February 21, 2008 10:35:47 PM

there should be about a 7% increase in performance with a x16-x16 mobo, theoretically (that's what happened with the crossfire mobos, so the principle should be the same.) BTW, a 7% increase is only about 3-4 FPS. Not worth it, IMO.
February 21, 2008 10:40:46 PM

I would of bought a 3870X2 since they are faster then a 8800GTX... You'll want 16x16 since the GTX is bottlenecked by 8x whether it is worth a whole motherboard is up to you the performance increase is marginal 4% maybe? But at least you'll be able to do 3 way sli.
February 22, 2008 7:20:43 PM

FireGS said:
Single most expensive part would be the 1600w Ultra X3 Power supply that I got to run Ultras, but the discontinuation scares me.


Definately drop the X3, not only does Ultra release lower quality products, but all power supplies on the market that are rated at over 1000w are untested and very likely unstable at anything close to that price. If you want the LATEST AND GREATEST power supply go with this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is the absolute best power supply on the market, get it and enjoy!
February 23, 2008 9:35:15 PM

The_Blood_Raven said:
Definately drop the X3, not only does Ultra release lower quality products, but all power supplies on the market that are rated at over 1000w are untested and very likely unstable at anything close to that price. If you want the LATEST AND GREATEST power supply go with this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is the absolute best power supply on the market, get it and enjoy!


In the world of Re-badging others products, its very hard to generalize...
February 23, 2008 10:38:43 PM

lx_flier said:
I would of bought a 3870X2 since they are faster then a 8800GTX... You'll want 16x16 since the GTX is bottlenecked by 8x whether it is worth a whole motherboard is up to you the performance increase is marginal 4% maybe? But at least you'll be able to do 3 way sli.



3870X2 cards are not always faster than a single GTX. When they are, the percentage difference is small, but when crossfire is not working efficiently with a game these cards are SIGNIFICANTLY slower than a GTX. Sometimes even slower than a single 3870. A highly overclocked(watercooled) GTX can be better than a 3870X2 in almost all cases. However, this is only my opinion and I prefer single card setups because of their consistent performance. For the same reason I would advise everyone opting out for a 9800GX2 to wait 2 more weeks for the 9800GTX to arrive.
February 24, 2008 12:40:43 PM

steffato said:
3870X2 cards are not always faster than a single GTX. When they are, the percentage difference is small, but when crossfire is not working efficiently with a game these cards are SIGNIFICANTLY slower than a GTX. Sometimes even slower than a single 3870. A highly overclocked(watercooled) GTX can be better than a 3870X2 in almost all cases. However, this is only my opinion and I prefer single card setups because of their consistent performance. For the same reason I would advise everyone opting out for a 9800GX2 to wait 2 more weeks for the 9800GTX to arrive.

Precisely why I can't make up my mind as to whether to go 3870X2's in CF instead of my GTX... ;) 
February 27, 2008 4:12:53 PM

I think i can shed some light on this. I have three 8800Ultras in Tri-SLI.I also have two 8800GT KOs as well as two 512 8800GTS's.Nothing comes close to the 8800Ultras even when the were in reg SLI. The 8800 GT KOs and the 8800 512 GTS's are about the same. They did score better that the two stock 8800 GTX's that i used to have. Untill the new GX2 or GTX comes out,the 8800Ultra is still King. However i am not finding Tri - SLI to be that great. It sucks that you have to buy Vista to be able to download tri-sli drivers. nVidia really screwed up as far as that goes.More people game with XP than Vista,so why they did that is beyond me.
February 27, 2008 8:49:46 PM

tsd16 said:
In my humble opinion its never a good idea to blow money on the latest and greatest. Ive always gone with the three to four tiers from the top strategy.


You obviously don't have money to blow if you think it isn't a good idea. Your frugal plan bores me. Just because you can't afford to go balls out with money doesn't make you investor of the year by purchasing cheaper video cards.



To FireGS...why didn't you wait for the 9800GTX to see what it can do? If I was making a purchase with no spending limit, I would go big and get the best of the best, not something that has been out for a year already and definitely not two 8800GT cards like some are saying.

If you look at the 9600GT SLI success and if that can in any way be an indication of how the 9 series will do in SLI...the 9800GTX might be a killer SLI card. Might be....If I was going to go big, I would at least wait to see some legit SLI benchmarks on the 9800GTX since it will be coming out soon. But...guess it is too late now. Which ones did you end up getting?
February 27, 2008 8:52:46 PM

For real
February 27, 2008 9:13:15 PM

This is an easy choice. By the X2s. If you go with Nvidia now you will forever be stuck with insanely **** DX10 performance. It will never get better. If you go with the ATI option in a few monthes you will have DX10.1. You will recieve much better performance all around and this will carry over for years as there is NO way to upgrade non dx10.1 hardware to dx10.1. With Nvidia and the horrible chipsets available and less next year there is just no good reason to bother with the hardware unless you plan to buy another graphics card in 09. Even the 9 series of Nvidia are stuck with dx10.0 now. They will never see a dx10 update ever because they do not have the hardware.
February 29, 2008 9:17:18 AM

stan116 said:
I think i can shed some light on this. I have three 8800Ultras in Tri-SLI.I also have two 8800GT KOs as well as two 512 8800GTS's.Nothing comes close to the 8800Ultras even when the were in reg SLI. The 8800 GT KOs and the 8800 512 GTS's are about the same. They did score better that the two stock 8800 GTX's that i used to have. Untill the new GX2 or GTX comes out,the 8800Ultra is still King. However i am not finding Tri - SLI to be that great. It sucks that you have to buy Vista to be able to download tri-sli drivers. nVidia really screwed up as far as that goes.More people game with XP than Vista,so why they did that is beyond me.


Too much time and money?
February 29, 2008 11:10:58 AM

Iscabis said:
I wouldn't worry about it man.

Those 2 GTS's will be great. Plus, you will have 90 days to wait and see what new things Nvidia has in store for us in the coming few months :) 

If the 9800GX2 turns out to be problematic, you could always go for the 9800GTX. I got an 8800GT at the end of last year, and I have until March 16th to Step-Up. Unless the 9800GX2 really sucks badly, I was planning on getting that just for fun. That is, as long as it is out by March 16th.


I think disapointment awaits you.. sorry
Ryan
March 28, 2008 5:23:05 PM

I have 2 8800 Ultras in SLI and I can tell you this.
I'm just now getting driver updates that are stable.
I love my setup and can't think of anything I'd change. I don't want or need 3 way SLI so I won't be getting a series 7 M/Board soon.

As far as the lates greatest go for it, just don't cry when the new drivers suck.
If you have all this money to blow then go for 2 8800 Ultras now and then buy 2 9800GX2's in about 6 Months, at which Time nVidia will have stable drivers. But by that Time something else "Better" & "Faster" than the 9800GX2 like the 9900 Ultra or whatever they'll call it will be out.
Also remember that if you're going to get the 9800's you must get a series 7 M/Board because the 680i won't handle 2 9800's.
March 28, 2008 7:07:33 PM

SpinachEater said:
You obviously don't have money to blow if you think it isn't a good idea. Your frugal plan bores me. Just because you can't afford to go balls out with money doesn't make you investor of the year by purchasing cheaper video cards.





No i choose not to waste money, there is a difference. I find "blowing" 1200 dollars on a video solution wasting your money. Especially for the original poster. it sounds like he has just come into some temporary cash flow and hes gonna vaporize it with this. If thats what he wants to do, fine i would personally advise against it unless your single and pulling in 100g's a year, then fine go all out. In MY OPINION you may choose to disagree, without trying to imply I must be poor if I won't dish out 1200 bucks on a video solution alone for my pc. Getting a video card the class of the 8800gt or gts for its series, is a solid decision to make.
March 28, 2008 8:05:18 PM

SpinachEater said:
You obviously don't have money to blow if you think it isn't a good idea. Your frugal plan bores me. Just because you can't afford to go balls out with money doesn't make you investor of the year by purchasing cheaper video cards.
Yeah, it's so dumb not wanting to spend $1200 on a GPU setup that still won't be able to run Crysis on Very High settings! :pt1cable:  The 9800GX2 SLI will never be a viable solution because the only cases where Quad-SLI will perform extremely well won't work thanks to the limited 512MBs of memory per GPU.
!