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final answer: 8800GT or HD3870

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 15, 2008 12:26:50 PM

I cannot decide. I want to order one or the other in the next hour.

I have the money for either.

I play EQ2 and ONLY mmorpgs.. no FPS's. I have read numerous reports of people having issues with 8800GT's and EQ2, but I don't like the idea of buying a different card just for one game.. because the 8800GT outperforms the ATI offering in every game I have looked at.

I bought an AMD motherboard, and a AMD X2 Athlon Dual core CPU.
running windows xp PRO.. but would like the option to upgrade to Vista when its a little more stable.

I also want to be prepared for the next wave of MMO's... Age of Conan, Darkfall, etc.

Which would you get?
February 15, 2008 12:44:49 PM

I would just go with the 8800GT 512MB. I'd say 70% of the time you see people complain about cards having trouble playing a game, it's a chair-to-keyboard interface that's really having the problem.

The 8800GT will outperform the 3870 in just about everything, but really, either card will work for what you want. Just don't stress to much and pick one, either one do just what you need it to.
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February 15, 2008 12:55:25 PM

The only reason I would suggest the 3870 over the GT is if you had a crossfire compatible motherboard. While I don't think multi-gpu set-ups are all that practical in the short term the option of adding another 3870 for 100 bucks in a year or so would be a nice and economical little performance boost. Obviously if it was a SLI motherboard it'd be the other way around making the GT the obvious choice.
February 15, 2008 1:06:44 PM

Does anyone know if there's any word on whether R600 cards can be crossfired with R700 ones?
February 15, 2008 1:24:08 PM

does the fact that I have an AMD board and CPU have any affect on performance since the 3870 would also be AMD?

I can get them for the same price. the 8800 is the obvious better choice..

but do I even need that much power for the new mmorpgs coming out?

Age of Conan, Heroes Journey, Warhammer online.
February 15, 2008 1:31:48 PM

fudgedelic said:
The only reason I would suggest the 3870 over the GT is if you had a crossfire compatible motherboard. While I don't think multi-gpu set-ups are all that practical in the short term the option of adding another 3870 for 100 bucks in a year or so would be a nice and economical little performance boost. Obviously if it was a SLI motherboard it'd be the other way around making the GT the obvious choice.


I don't think this will be too applicable down the road because there will probably be single cards out that will beat out two older cards in a SLI or CrossFire setup.

I think I would just go with the GT as it's a faster card in most cases. However, if you only really play a few specific games, I would try to find benchmark results for those particular games. It seems like now a lot of games play significantly different depending on the card and driver solution you have.
February 15, 2008 1:45:26 PM

Waspy said:
I don't think this will be too applicable down the road because there will probably be single cards out that will beat out two older cards in a SLI or CrossFire setup.

I think I would just go with the GT as it's a faster card in most cases. However, if you only really play a few specific games, I would try to find benchmark results for those particular games. It seems like now a lot of games play significantly different depending on the card and driver solution you have.



Thats my problem. Everquest 2 is what I currently play.

I built a mid ranged system a few weeks ago and bought a 256mb 3850 which ran the game wonderfully. But sold it a few days later to get a xbox 360 (which is where I play my fps's) The only games I have on my list to play after EQ2 are not out yet.. the only exception would be Vanguard.

Age of Conan comes out in May. and none of the other games on the list are even close to being finished.

I'm wondering if I should pick a lower priced card that can play those games.. and get a nicer card when those games actually release.
February 15, 2008 1:55:44 PM

Not sure what your price range is, but have you considered the 3870X2? Has some driver issues now, but is the fastest single-slot card, even though it's really just two 3870s CrossFired together on one PCB. Pretty sure that will handle future games like AoC without a problem. Hey you should play Warhammer too, that game is going to be sick!

Also you could wait until the rumored 9800GX2 comes out...but nothing is confirmed with that guy yet.

I'm not sure an upgrade in May will be that great, unless the next generation of cards is out by then. The thing with MMORPGs is that they can't afford to force players to upgrade GPUs just to play their games at reasonable framerates, so my guess is you'll be able to play AoC where that's right around the corner, with no problems on a GT or 3870, and a 3870X2 or 9800GX2 (when released) will probably do exceptionally well.
February 15, 2008 1:59:34 PM

thats the dilemma...

my price range is around the 200 mark. slightly more if I deem it worthwhile. I want to play these games at reasonably high settings. The dilemma lies in the fact that these new series of cards are about to come out, and not sure if they are going to make the prices of the current high end cards drop, which will make me sick if I spend 200+ on a card today. I need something that is going to play these games, and pretty much anything thats coming out in the next year. I don't plan to upgrade again for a year. I'm almost thinking the 3850 512mb will do exactly what I want without killing my wallet.
a c 143 U Graphics card
February 15, 2008 2:07:50 PM

azmyth said:
T
Age of Conan comes out in May. and none of the other games on the list are even close to being finished.

I'm wondering if I should pick a lower priced card that can play those games.. and get a nicer card when those games actually release.


[:turpit:2] That's very smart IMO. What if you don't even like those games when they are finally released? If you buy a very good video card well in advance you might end up like me. I got myself a $700 factory-overclocked 8800GTX to be ready for Hellgate:London, way back when that was the best card ever and the game wasn't out yet. By the time the game was released, the card cost only $500. Also, the game sucked so badly and crashed so much that I didn't even play it for more than a few hours.



February 15, 2008 2:17:02 PM

I'm thinking about just picking up a HD3850.. since my board is AMD, and getting the 512mb version. It will play anything I throw at it MMO wise right now, and surely over the next year. People are playing EQ2 on the 7 series still, and Age of Conan right now is saying the min. for video card for it will be a 7900GS. Then I will not have to worry about 8800 and EQ2 issues, and it will still play every game I will want until the newer stuff comes out and the prices drop.
February 15, 2008 2:19:11 PM

Sounds valid enough azmyth. I don't know diddle about the 3850, but if it's a good enough card, I think that logic will work considering your GPU budget.
February 15, 2008 2:58:50 PM

screw it... the lowest priced 3850 is 179.99.. that 8800 gt someone posted is OC'ed as well.. and is only a few bucks more expensive. I'm going with it.
a c 143 U Graphics card
February 15, 2008 3:32:56 PM

You're talking about the MSI, right? That is a version with 512MB and dual-slot cooler. That's good. You just need to stay away from the 8800GT cards with 256MB or with single-slot coolers.
February 15, 2008 3:45:09 PM

yep.. 512mb dual slot cooler.

its ordered now, so no looking back now! thanks everyone
February 15, 2008 4:33:50 PM

Aevm, what about a single-slot card such as the EVGA 512-P3-N802-AR GeForce 8800GT Superclocked 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130319 )?

This is a single slot OCed 512 8800GT from eVGA. I think this might be a great SLI solution because it's single slot.
a c 143 U Graphics card
February 15, 2008 4:44:12 PM

Personally, I'd prefer a dual-slot cooler. They are typically quieter, more effective, and the heat gets directly out of the case instead of being thrown around in the case first and evacuated by some case fan later. Still, if you don't have enough room for two thick cards, I guess single-slot coolers will do.

eVGA is one of the best brands, by the way. Also, they have a step-up program. You could buy one of those 8800GT cards now and step up to the 9800GTX in 2 months or whenever (hopefully it's less than 3 months so you'd still qualify for step-up). I strongly suspect that a single 9800GTX will do better than 8800GT SLI (but nobody knows for sure yet).
a c 272 U Graphics card
February 15, 2008 4:45:12 PM

aevm said:
You're talking about the MSI, right? That is a version with 512MB and dual-slot cooler. That's good. You just need to stay away from the 8800GT cards with 256MB or with single-slot coolers.


Whats wrong with single slot coolers? , if the sound of the fan is an issue then just route the audio output through a good power amp with at least 130w per channel and hey presto! what noise. I agree with the 256MB being a bit passée unless of course a 17" or 19" low res monitor is being used.
February 15, 2008 4:46:37 PM

8800GT brings more performance than the 3870, and you can find an 8800GT on newegg for less than $220. The only benefit to the 3870 is that it has DX10.1 and is slightly better in eye candy but for the price of a few FPS. When it comes down to it though FPS will keep a game running where eye candy will only make a slide show look really good.

Personally, like other have said it's really a toss up better the 8800GTS 512 and 8800GT, the 8800GTS 512 might cost a bit more but it has more performance than the 8800GT. In the end it really comes down to budget and how long you intend to keep the card.

If you want to keep it for a year go for the 8800(s) if you want to keep it for 2.5 or more years go for the 3870 for the DX10.1 support. If you aren't up on the newest games all the time I'd go for the 8800GT hands down(period!)

Also consider your mobo, if it can support SLI go Nvidia, or if it can support Crossfire go ATI.
February 15, 2008 4:47:49 PM

well.. the MSI has been ordered.. so we will see I supposed.
February 15, 2008 4:59:37 PM

I just bought a 8800GTS 512 (G92) and can't tell it from a 8800GTX by looking at the monitor!
It gets double the 3dMark06 score of my older overclocked 7900GT cards...running stock.

Uses less power,runs cooler than a GTX and was $258 online.
February 15, 2008 5:08:20 PM

i cant understand one thing. 8800gt can be found in less than $220 right now. maybe in few days it will be stable at sub ~220 price. but why radeon 3870 is still in $230 or more? 3870 is a little underperforming cards than 8800.but still amd not lowering the price.we need low price and good competition.
February 15, 2008 5:33:00 PM

that may be because it has DDR4 ram and support for directx 10.1

that may be why the price is the same.

your points are why i went with the 8800 though... an OC'ed 8800GT with 512mb ram for 200... sorry the benchmarks don't lie. I love ATI. but had to go nvidia this time around.
a c 143 U Graphics card
February 15, 2008 7:55:21 PM

Nice find. Yes, that's a better deal.

I think Waspy wants a single-slot card though (small case?)
February 15, 2008 8:01:36 PM

Could be but for that price I thought I'd put it out there.
February 15, 2008 8:30:00 PM

3870 is a little more expensive right now because the 3870x2 is using the same chips but x2, so it's all about supply and demand. If you really want to get a decent price on a 3870 just wait a few months till few people want the 3870 anymore. There'll always be something better around the corner.
February 15, 2008 9:20:03 PM

rgeist554 said:
" I'd say 70% of the time you see people complain about cards having trouble playing a game, it's a chair-to-keyboard interface that's really having the problem. "
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :


lol now thats funny
February 16, 2008 12:45:07 AM

I'm kinda aggrivated right now. I ordered the MSI 8800GT 512mb OC someone posted, that was 219.. and 199 after rebate. I also ordered some ram, and a dvd burner along with it, as well as a laminating machine for my wife. I spent over half a grand. I also ordered a case and some fans about 3 hrs after I made the first order. weird thing..

the laminator and the case have already been shipped out, and the laminator has already been deducted from my paypal, which was part of my first order including the video card. The rest of the order is still on step 1.. and I am not sure what the hold up is, since I chose "rush processing".. I've never had a problem before.

They also have my credit card listed as funding, instead of paypal like its supposed to be.

I just noticed as well, that the card is no longer 219.99, but has jumped to 229.99...

this wouldn't have anything to do with it would it?
February 16, 2008 12:58:14 AM

kpo6969 said:
Why recommend that when for $10 more you could get this:

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



Excellent find!

How do you think 2 of those would perform in SLI? Heat would be comparable to an 8800 GT? Would they fit in a large case on an ASUS Striker Extreme?
a c 272 U Graphics card
February 16, 2008 4:14:24 PM

Waspy said:
Excellent find!

How do you think 2 of those would perform in SLI? Heat would be comparable to an 8800 GT? Would they fit in a large case on an ASUS Striker Extreme?

They should do but you would not have a lot of room between them for ventilation.
February 16, 2008 5:07:28 PM

i just bought the 8800gt 512 and love it except for the stock heatsink/fan! if ya go with the 8800 just get ready to buy a thermaltake duorb to go with it IMHO!
February 16, 2008 5:45:50 PM

kpo6969,

you da man bro! i'll be gettin that fan real soon! i look foward to clockin to 700 without maxin tha fanspeed at 100% LOUDNESS!
!