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3870x2 or 2x3870s in crossfire?

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February 23, 2008 6:25:12 PM

looking to build a new rig. x38 supports crossfire, would it be smarter to buy 2x3870s, or one 3870x2?
February 23, 2008 6:39:54 PM

do you want to crossfire now, or later? how much do you want to spend???

as for me, being with the Neo2-fr, it supportas Xfire adn seeing as i have 1x HD3870, i will DEFINITELY be goign for another as soon as i can afford it ^^
February 23, 2008 7:37:39 PM

well, the 4870s are coming out in june...im guessing. so i dont want to be spending alot of cash on graphics, if new stuff will be coming out in a fiew months. and 2 3870x2 will be 900$.

i was looking at the his iceq turbo, which is overclocked. do you think 2 of those will beat a single x2? (2 of those are 550$)
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February 23, 2008 8:34:01 PM

probably... you don't have to spend a lot of cash now that the prices have dropped... and, it IS a long time to wait... i say buy now... buit personally, that's me...

and yes, if it is OCed, it should beat a stock X2, i think... tIMO, the main advantage for the X2 is to have Xfire when it's not possible, ie, when you have a single PCIe slot mobo... or if you just want 4x GPUs
February 23, 2008 11:58:38 PM

Take 3870x2

and later you can crossfireX it with 3850 or 3870 or 3870x2

Then you have 3 x GPUs or 4x GPUs
February 24, 2008 12:00:18 AM

Take 3870x2

and later you can crossfireX it with 3850 or 3870 or 3870x2

Then you have 3 x GPUs or 4x GPUs
February 24, 2008 12:11:58 AM

well, i dont want 4x gpus. thats why i want to know if 2x overclocked 3870s will outperform a single 3870x2?
February 24, 2008 7:18:24 PM

bumpy
February 24, 2008 10:11:28 PM

The way I see it, it would be crazy to get a 3870x2 when you can save 90$ by getting 2 3870's and crossfire them.

450-360=90$
February 24, 2008 10:40:28 PM

I've seen benchmarks where the HD 3870X2 was a bit faster than two Crossfired 3870s. If you overclock the 3870s they might beat the X2, but then the X2 can be overclocked too... It's impossible to decide based on speed because they're too close.

If you get the HD 3870X2 make sure you get a PSU with 8-pin PCi-E connectors. There 's a PC Power & Cooling 750W Crossfire Edition for example that has them.
February 24, 2008 10:48:06 PM

mayor_mccheese said:
The way I see it, it would be crazy to get a 3870x2 when you can save 90$ by getting 2 3870's and crossfire them.

450-360=90$


The OP says he doesn't want 4 GPUs, but he might change his mind in 2009 if new games give him 15 fps at that time. If that happens he will wish he had an HD 3870X2 and a free slot. No clue if that's worth $90 to him. It is rather much IMO.
February 24, 2008 11:39:23 PM

I'd also suggest grabbing a 3870x2 now and then in 6-12 months get another 3870x2 (or single 3870) once prices have come down and better driver support is out for CrossFireX.

At stock speeds, I've also seen the benchies with the 3870x2 > 3870, not sure about overclocked 3870 vs overclocked 3870x2, but I don't think I'd want to be overclocking the 3870x2 much since I would image that'd be a headache and have greater heat issues.
February 24, 2008 11:45:13 PM

My board's not Crossfired, so I went 3870x2. It's running pretty good, recognized in newer games I play as being a dual GPU, in older games still much faster than the 7600gs if only one GPU is recognized.

My recommendation is one 3870x2 and then Crossfire it down the road with a matching 4xxx card. The MSI overclocked 3870x2's core is 850, and Nordic Hardware reports the 4850 core clocked at 850 too.

What's wrong with more than 2 GPU's? CrossfireX drivers would support 2, 3 or 4. The more the merrier, when games are supported.

jevon said:
not sure about overclocked 3870 vs overclocked 3870x2, but I don't think I'd want to be overclocking the 3870x2 much since I would image that'd be a headache and have greater heat issues.


That's why I got the MSI. In CCC, the overdrive settings are greyed out. It's about as fast as it will get, but that's faster then the stock 825.
February 25, 2008 12:20:51 AM

well, it seems that ill be going with the x2. i already have an ultra x3 1000 watt psu. i think it can handle 2 3870x2s. when do you guys think the prices will drop? the board i want is a x38, so ill be able to crossfire. idk what i want to do...i still have about a month to decide though.
February 25, 2008 1:33:45 AM

I have the HIS turbo card you alluded to. It is basically a ten percent OC of the regular card. Its nice, but I can make it hang if I try to push it anymore. It takes time to get it hot enough to hang, but If I loop 3D mark 06, it will hang... that is if I try to push it any more then it is stock. 850 on the gpu that is. Anyways, the 3870's have come down recently because of the nvidia 9600. I would wait a few more weeks then see if prices have leveled off. Oh... I love my 3870. 11,000 on 3d mark... with a e2180 pushed to just over 3.0 and ram running at just over 500 MHz
February 25, 2008 2:23:33 AM

nman729 said:
well, it seems that ill be going with the x2. i already have an ultra x3 1000 watt psu. i think it can handle 2 3870x2s. when do you guys think the prices will drop? the board i want is a x38, so ill be able to crossfire. idk what i want to do...i still have about a month to decide though.


I was going to get an Antec Neo 850 for a future Crossfire, but I needed a larger case and don't have a Crossfire board at this time. I got the Antec 650 and an Antec Nine Hundred case.

I still wouldn't go Crossfire with two 3870x2's when the 4850, 4870 and 4870x2 are due in June; unless you plan on selling one in 3 months, or moving it to a second PC. With new offerings from Nvidia to compete against, I can't see ATI delaying the 4xxx series, so Nordic Hardware's probably spot on.

February 25, 2008 2:28:57 AM

Yeah if you want to grab an OC'd 3870x2 I'd get one of the factory OC'd ones like Yipsl did, although I'm sure even at stock speeds you would be pretty happy with it too :) 

As per when price drops may happen, it's anybody's guess. I would think the 3870 and x2 will have another drop when ATI's and nVidia's next launches come around (next big one will be nVidia's 9800 series), after that though it depends on ATi's release schedule. Personally, I would wait until either the Black Friday sales or failing that, Boxing Week sales to see if you could score a 3870/x2 on the cheap. Your 3870x2 should no doubt last until then, but by then the CrossFireX drivers should be nice and mature with much better game support :) 

EDIT: Just wanted to add that I definately think looking at CFXing your 3870x2 with the newer 4xxx series could work out very well, just depends on prices around sale times next year which is when I'd recommend you wait to buy the 2nd card. And of course wait to see what sort of CrossFireX benchies there are with say a 3870x2 and 4870x2 or whatever it will be, or if there's not enough of a performance gain vs two 3870x2s.
February 25, 2008 1:00:21 PM

That 1000W PSU is way more than enough for two HD 3870X2 cards, no worries there. I would only buy one card for now, because the drivers for Crossfiring the X2s aren't ready yet. They have been promised for March.
Also, prices will drop once nVidia comes up with its new high-end cards.
February 25, 2008 1:17:02 PM

jevon said:


EDIT: Just wanted to add that I definately think looking at CFXing your 3870x2 with the newer 4xxx series could work out very well, just depends on prices around sale times next year which is when I'd recommend you wait to buy the 2nd card. And of course wait to see what sort of CrossFireX benchies there are with say a 3870x2 and 4870x2 or whatever it will be, or if there's not enough of a performance gain vs two 3870x2s.


Here's Nordic Hardware's info on the 4xxx series:
http://www.nordichardware.com/news,7356.html

The $249 4850 is clocked at 850/1800, the $299 4870 1050/2200 and the $499 4870x2 1050/1800. The 4870 is expected to be 50% faster than the 4870, but the one with the closest clocks to a 3870x2 is the 4850. Either way, it should be interesting.

I'd be tempted to move the 3870x2 to another PC for video editing and graphics and get a 4870x2 if I don't go Crossfire. My advice for new builds, get Crossfire boards right off. CrossfireX looks really good and my next board will definitely be Crossfire.

If I'd seen this article, I would have waited till June. I'm not one to buy a new card every 6 months, but this year I really want the best. Started playing The Witcher last night and it looks great, runs great with the 3870x2. Anandtech was right about that game liking this card. Too bad it crashes after a couple of hours because I only have 2 gigs of RAM (it likes Vista 64 and 4 gigs).
February 27, 2008 1:59:08 AM

what about the new saphire "toxic" cards, maybe a rip off of the atomic series?
February 27, 2008 2:20:13 AM

I would say so.
February 27, 2008 4:22:38 PM

im still indecisive on what to buy. and i have one question that will probably help make my decision.

the way i understand it, the 3870x2 is recognised as 2x3870s in crossfire, just jammed onto one pcb? now the reason im considering 2x overclocked 3870s is you would have better performance with them and it would be the same as having one overclocked 3870x2.

but the 3870x2 can not be overclocked well, because it has to cool 2 chips with one cooler.

one more note, the msi card has been completely removed from newegg. as well, the his card has gone up to 459.99$
February 27, 2008 7:27:50 PM

X2... for following reasons

Cheaper
Less power consumption
More performance
Less Heat
Less Noise.
Gives you the option of going CrossfireX at a later date.... whereas going 4 GPU with the other cards would mean alot of messing about.

So X2. And overclock it :) 
February 27, 2008 8:50:20 PM

The X2 removes the variables of xfire. Single card solutions are always better returns as they work in any title. The xfire option later on is a great one with x2s as well. Just avoid Nvidia because they dont even support dx10.1 in the 9 series and thats a nice performance fixer and future proof aspect of graphics hardware.
February 28, 2008 8:21:58 PM

Guys I have the a question close to nman's: if I want to buy 3870x2 which one (which make ) should i go for if i want to be able to add a 48XX later? Thanks.
February 29, 2008 1:56:11 AM

yipsl said:


My recommendation is one 3870x2 and then Crossfire it down the road with a matching 4xxx card. The MSI overclocked 3870x2's core is 850, and Nordic Hardware reports the 4850 core clocked at 850 too.


Are you assuming that the 4000 series will xfirex with the 3000 series or have you seen that some where?
February 29, 2008 2:18:39 AM

yipsl said:


I still wouldn't go Crossfire with two 3870x2's when the 4850, 4870 and 4870x2 are due in June; unless you plan on selling one in 3 months, or moving it to a second PC.



I still don't quite understand why, out of all of those manufacturers like Sapphire, HIS, Diamond, ect ect...not one of them has a step up program like EVGA. I am baffled. If my next GPU is NVidia, it is for sure going to be from EVGA based on the step up program alone. It seems like when you hit the 4 month period before a new series is released all you hear is hold off hold off. That has to hurt business. I wouldn't buy a 3000 series right now.

Hybrid xfire sort of patches that up since you could put a 3850 to use if you want a 3870...but it isn't quite the same for those with tighter budgets. The step up adds extra buying confidence. Adding to what you said above, for people who want the latest and greatest...no one is going to buy a 3870 right now with the 4870 around the corner. If there was a safety net step up program however...people would be a little more adventurous with their spending.
February 29, 2008 2:28:42 AM

Two 3870's in crossfire are faster when the CCC is set for higher image quality. The single 3870x2 is faster when both are set for performance. I own both and intend to crossfire two 3870x2 when the quadfire driver is finally released.
February 29, 2008 3:58:05 AM

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February 29, 2008 11:34:17 PM

Does the intel p35 chipset support crossfire X and would you be able to crossfire one hd3870x2 with a hd4870x2 with that?
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