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Another XFX 8800GT Alpha Dog in SLI or Wait?

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February 21, 2008 6:14:48 AM

This is my current spec:

Vista Premium 32bit
XFX 680i mobo
Intel E6850 C2D @3.0ghz (Water-cool)
1000 watt PSU
350gb Raptor 10k Raid 0
150gb x2 Raptor 10k
4gb Ballstix Ram
X-Fi Champion Fatality
512mb XFX 8800GT Alpha Dog Edition
Z-5500 5.1 Speaker
3ms 24" Gateway FHD2400 w/hdmi


What mostly do I my computer:
-Web Surf
-Animation
-Video Editing
-Gaming :D 


Games I play:
-Medieval 2™: Total War (Does this Support SLI?)
-Crysis: (Waiting for stronger card to play this game. Horrible FPS in 1920x1200
-COD4
-TF2
-TESIV Oblivion w/FCOM mod


Yesterday I order the new Dell Ultra Sharp 2408 24" monitor for $699 USD which should arrive on March 5.
This will be my Primary Monitor for Gaming. My Gateway will be my second monitor for multi-tasking.
Of course I always dream of a second monitor, nice to have, also making video editing much more easy. Not to mention GAMING. :D 

Of course, I'm okay with the idea of running two 24" on ONE 8800GT but I rather have a stronger GFX card or two 8800GT in SLI. My co-worker wish to buy my 8800GT for the same price I bought it "$249". (He doesn't want to pay for shipping for a new one) and tell me to go for the 8800gts g92 or wait for the 9800gx2.

My only concern is the 9800gx2 maybe too hot, because I have NO PLAN to water cool that. If I do plan buy it, I plan to get TWO/SLI, hopefully 1000watt is enough for that card.
I know some of you may say, "Wait for the 9800gx2 its two 8800gts glue together!"
If I get two 8800gts, I believe its cooler, and strong a performance I'm looking for maybe?
My only concern is heat/power from the card. Also hopefully it won't be delay pass March.
Also time-frame when my monitor arrives. I don't really want two 24" on a single 8800GT.

I think maybe I'm better off with buying another 512mb XFX 8800GT Alpha Dog card?
Should I sell my co-work the 8800GT and buy TWO g92 8800GTS?
Or should I wait for the 9800GX2?

What's your opinion or what would you do in my situation?

FYI: Budget is NOT a problem.
February 21, 2008 6:38:53 AM

You've got a nice setup at the moment and I honestly don't think that getting another graphics card at the moment will help you much. Like you said, you are waiting to get a stronger card for Crysis and the other games you play won't really benefit a huge amount from SLI with another GT. I was thinking about doing the same with another GTX but thought I'd wait and have a look at the 9800gx2 as well.

There really isn't much point in getting 2 8800gts seeing as you already have a 8800gt. If you really want high performance right now and budget is not a problem, then you may as well spend about $1400 on 2 new 8800 ultras. If I was in your situation of your budget, I really would wait to have a look at the 9800 gx2.

I think the cooling could be a slight issue but I think the main reason they have been pushed back to March 11th (apparently) is because nvidia are looking into the cooling solutions. I'm sure these will run very hot, but at the end of the day nvidia aren't going to release a card that "needs" water cooling. Plus, watercooling a dual GPU card is going to take a while for water block manufacturers to come out with a block, like it did with the 7950 GX2 (a danger den 7950gx2 water block will still cost you about $190!)
This also makes me wonder the price of the 9800 gx2 will be seeing as the old 7950 gx2 is still selling here in the UK for $720!

One last thing, I'd be really interested in hearing what you think of the ultrasharp 2408 monitor as I am thinking of ordering one myself. If you don't mind posting back here or sending me a PM I would really appreciate it.

WOW. That was long, sorry for the essay. I wish I could get this motivated about school work...
February 21, 2008 7:42:37 AM

to me. i think that sli well benefit the high resolution setups.

BUT, listen to what other people say. n it is always better to have high end graphics card.

althought, the 9800 gx2 is nothing than two 8800GT. lol so u gotta decide.
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February 21, 2008 8:41:59 AM

Great feed back, Its always great to get a second opinion.

Nzxtlexa I'll be sure to give a feedback post and picture once my monitor arrives.

I like to hear more opinion, seem to me since my monitor arrives in march. Doesn't harm to wait a couple more week right?
February 21, 2008 8:56:34 AM

To be honest I wouldn't rush into something like a graphics card. Let others out there be the guinea pigs who get stuck with poor drivers and occasionally faulty hardware and then when everything is pretty stable and prices have dropped a little you should buy.

Regarding the monitor - I couldn't hold back! I just pre-ordered one about 15 minutes ago here in the UK! How much did you pay in the US?? You're probably going to make me feel sick compared to UK prices... I just paid £470 (about $932!!!) although my dad very kindly paid VAT for me so it cost me £400 ($780 - still probably more than what you paid across the pond)
February 21, 2008 9:19:00 AM

night_wolf_in said:
The 9800 gx2 is nothing than two 8800GT.


Two 9800GX2's would = four G92 8800GTS GPU's, but no one knows how well they will scale together.



By systemlord at 2008-01-04
February 21, 2008 9:38:14 AM

would i be correct in saying 1 x 9800 gx2 will be outdone by 2 x 9800 gtx in sli? and that 2 x 9800 gx2 could still be beaten by 2/3 x 9800 gtx?
February 21, 2008 10:53:21 AM

That depends on how gd 9800GTX is as we don't know.

Its unlikely 3 of those would defeat 4 of these GPUs at higher resolutions.


I think another 8800GT for you is worth it. The GTS isnt really worth the price over a GT but with GT SLI you'll have top noche performance, you wont regret it.


And like you said, without WC'ing the GX2 probably wont be worth it.
February 21, 2008 11:32:22 AM

systemlord said:
Two 9800GX2's would = four G92 8800GTS GPU's, but no one knows how well they will scale together.


exactly. we seen that crossfire scaled better than sli comparing 3870 n 8800GT.

so i wouldnt hurtty for two 9800GX2. n ill wait for the result/benchmarks for single 9800GX2
February 21, 2008 5:53:53 PM

nzxtlexa said:

How much did you pay in the US?? You're probably going to make me feel sick compared to UK prices... I just paid £470 (about $932!!!) although my dad very kindly paid VAT for me so it cost me £400 ($780 - still probably more than what you paid across the pond)


About £356 or $699 USD, Ouch! About $715 with tax here.
Well, hopefully we get what we pay for.
February 21, 2008 5:58:43 PM

Its unbelievable I just don't understand why there is such a huge price difference!

Quote:
Well, hopefully we get what we pay for.


I hope so for that amount of money!
a b U Graphics card
February 21, 2008 8:04:35 PM

I am actually for you considering SLI. I play 4 of those 5 games with 8800GT SLI and am thrilled with the performance. COD4 and TF2, you should be getting good framerates with one card at 19x12 right? SLi provides a good boost in both if you desire higher performance. Oblivion you can get some high gains in, again if you desire more framerates SLI is worth it. SLI 8800GT really laughs at Oblvions foliage, I was very impressed seeing near 100% scaling in some GPU intensive areas. But other parts of Oblivion are more cpu limited. Inside of towns for example, don't expect much more performance going SLI. So it depends exactly where you need the performance. Now Crysis is why I bought two cards, and SLI is great in that game. You definatelty get a playable difference in Crysis. The GPU crushing Paradise Lost level for example is very smooth with my two cards at 1680x1050 all high with 2xaa/16xaf. I posted a bunch of screenie links in this thread: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/248840-33-from-8800gt...

The gains are huge in that level. Notice 81% scaling in the one direct comparable screenshot. But more importantly, framerates were quite consistent and clearly way more playable than the single card that sat in the upper teens (fps) most of the time.


Edit: here are some Oblivion sceenies where SLI scales well. Should be obvious in the top left corner which is single card and which is SLI. :) 

http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/6044/single8800gt01qh9...
http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/3356/sli8800gt01bw8....

http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/1544/single8800gt02b...
http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/51/sli8800gt02eb0.jpg

February 21, 2008 9:08:33 PM

Wow, the thread u link. Almost double the frame rate in crysis.
I always play on Native Resolution on my screen.
Crysis:
Everything on Very High @ 1920x200,
no AA/x16AF

Poor Framerate with my current 8800gt.
About 10-20fps during an Assault .
a b U Graphics card
February 21, 2008 9:35:44 PM

Yes, I do greatly push SLI for Crysis because of such results.

Assault was the only level that was noticeably choppy for me with SLI 8800GT. With 4xaa, I had decent framerates, and then bam it would drop and be choppy. Not sure, but my guess is possobly running out of vram. I dropped to 2xaa, still not totally smooth, but better.

Alot of people talk about core and paradise lost as levels their single cards struggle. I found with dual cards, these levels were smooth and easily playable with 2x/16x. You don't run fsaa, but do run a higher res, so imagine 50% higher fps and maybe much more even in the later levels. To me it was worth it to have SLI and not have to reduce settings or put the game away for a year or more.

I am on Win XP 32-bit though, not Vista 32-bit. So check into SLI vista results.


Edit: Just played reckoning tonight, and that had some slowdowns for sure. That one makes me want to OC the Q6600 more. (just 3.0GHz now)
February 22, 2008 6:35:53 AM

Those are some huge gains on Oblivion! I remember playing Oblivion with a Penium 4 3.0GHz, 7800GTX 256MB and 2GB RAM. It was barely playable sometimes.
a b U Graphics card
February 22, 2008 11:22:55 PM

yeah, tell me about it. Check out this merged screenie (resized 50% from all original 1680x1050)
http://img81.imageshack.us/img81/5007/oblivioncompariso...

Hard to read the file names printed on the top left. But top to bottom in order including (cpu used)
X1950XT 256MB 23 fps (FX-55)
8800GTS 320MB 30 fps (FX-55)
8800GT 512MB 43 fps (Q6600)
SLI 8800GT 512MB 78 fps (Q6600)




Oblivion SLI scaling varies. It cranks in those outdoor GPU intensive areas that used to crush our old Oblivion cards. (foliage)

You still get the choppy loading outdoors though, especially if running high res textures. What I mean is the Outdoor areas where you can see super far, when you run fast or ride a horse and distant landscape/objects pop into view. Say, run out of the Imperial City (by the stables) west over the long bridge as an example. So looking at the actual logged fps of a fraps benchmark run won't have the minimum fps be alot better from one card to two. But, on the two cards there was very few dips below 40fps, where one card would dip below 40 fps way more often. Still just looking at a min/max/ave is deceiveing and makes the minimum look pretty close, and the max and ave being far apart.

Also, as I mentioned in towns with lots of NPC's around it seems even a 3.0Ghz Q6600 takes a hit. SLI scaling in towns is only a fraction of scaling out in GPU intensive foliage.
February 23, 2008 5:35:06 AM

I would suggest 2 8800gts (g92) cards if your going to sli, for one simple reason, heat, the gts are a dual slot card, basicly one slot alone is for the heat sink fan, and they run very cool, specially against 8800 gt. Also, everyone who has upgraded from the gt, to the gts has said they had very noticable gains. Just remember, its better to have one kick ass card pushin your games then 2 weaker cards, and that fact wont disappear anytime soon.
February 23, 2008 3:32:19 PM

That 8800GT cooler is the worst cool made, its very cheap and loud. I liked my 7800GTX cooler more than this one, it was silent and did its job.
February 24, 2008 1:39:33 AM

Hmm I did alot of digging around in different thread.
There's like hundred of 9 series thread being thrown out there.
So it was easy to get a second opinion.

Though, I was planning to get a 9800gx2, until I realize it was recognize as SLI. And considering I wish to duel monitor. It won't happen with the 9800gx2.

I'll probably pick up a friend 8800gt because he really want 9800gx2.
Right now I'm waiting for the
"Best Single GPU graphic card" from Nvidia. Which is currently an ultra but I'm going to probably wait for the 9800gtx or ultra.

But for now, a sli 8800gt is fine.
I'll switch between sli and single when I'm not gaming.
Also I need to do some research on how to use two monitor as one.
February 24, 2008 5:50:36 AM

Ultra series is disappearing after the 8800 series.
!