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Full Review: 9800GX2 vs HD3870X2 !!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 13, 2008 1:57:34 PM

Looks like the 9800 GX2 beats the 3870 X2 in almost every benchmarks! But there were a few games where the NV card can't run with AA turned on.

Both websites talk about the same thing:

in English:
http://lly316.blogspot.com/2008/03/geforce-9800-gx2-vs-...

in Chinese:
http://www.pconline.com.cn/diy/graphics/reviews/0803/12...










a b U Graphics card
March 13, 2008 2:33:15 PM

What wrong with AA in the GX2?

You forgot a few captures;





If AA doesn't work, there's a real limit to it's utility and it obviously isn't winning in almost every benchark if it gets 0 in four of them and is slower in Crysis (the other raison d'etre for uber cards for anyone looking to upgrade).

And that compatability issue on the Gigabyte board is a little troubling and very reminiscent of the original GF7GX2s.

I'll wait for a more reputable site (not a blogger.com site) to do more in depth view because this one didn't even go in to depth to find out why they had these problems.

At the price and this choppy performance, this is not compelling for anyone who already owns a high end rig. I don't think anyone would jump from the Ultra or even GTX to the GX2 based on this type of result.

Hopefully it's just this review.
March 13, 2008 2:33:28 PM

Seems to be a monster card, but also seems to have some pretty major issues (if this article is true) like not being able to run some games with AA and not being able to work on an X48 motherboard. I think Nvidia will need to fix these if they want their flagship card to sell at $600.
Related resources
March 13, 2008 2:42:02 PM

Im sure under developed drivers have a lot to do with the problems being noted so far. It seems like many of the cards that are benched before their offical release have problems.

That is the specific reason the card has not been releases yet...they arent ready!
March 13, 2008 3:02:17 PM

It looks like immature drivers. Nvidia normally does really well with AA so to see fps that low with AA on is quiet strange.
Anonymous
March 13, 2008 3:22:10 PM

rallyimprezive said:
Im sure under developed drivers have a lot to do with the problems being noted so far. It seems like many of the cards that are benched before their offical release have problems.

That is the specific reason the card has not been releases yet...they arent ready!



LoL how come when ATI fans say this about drivers.. its an excuse for a poor Video Card but Nvidia its ok. So says the two 8800 owners in the posts above me.

Black Kettles I say !!!!
March 13, 2008 3:23:01 PM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
What wrong with AA in the GX2?

You forgot a few captures;

If AA doesn't work, there's a real limit to it's utility and it obviously isn't winning in almost every benchark if it gets 0 in four of them and is slower in Crysis (the other raison d'etre for uber cards for anyone looking to upgrade).

And that compatability issue on the Gigabyte board is a little troubling and very reminiscent of the original GF7GX2s.

I'll wait for a more reputable site (not a blogger.com site) to do more in depth view because this one didn't even go in to depth to find out why they had these problems.

At the price and this choppy performance, this is not compelling for anyone who already owns a high end rig. I don't think anyone would jump from the Ultra or even GTX to the GX2 based on this type of result.

Hopefully it's just this review.


Hopefully new drivers would solve the AA problem.

That blogspot is just an English translated version of the original, taken from that Chinese web site.

Given that 3870X2 has a better price/performance ratio plsu it is going to have another price cut, I wouldn't take another look at the obesely expensive GX2. :whistle: 
March 13, 2008 3:28:51 PM

i hope it will drop the 8800 gtx prices so i can go sli or maybe tri sli
a b U Graphics card
March 13, 2008 3:29:05 PM

Ah ok, PConline is know (like HKePC and exPreview) , still not as good as the major sites, but better than someone's blogpost. Didn't really take note of the second link at first glance.

Yeah the main thing will be hopefully this is immature drivers for the AA issue, the non-compatability issue is a little more disturbing.
March 13, 2008 3:31:48 PM

Anonymous said:
LoL how come when ATI fans say this about drivers.. its an excuse for a poor Video Card but Nvidia its ok. So says the two 8800 owners in the posts above me.

Black Kettles I say !!!!

AMD says that drivers will improve their lackluster performance, but when something very ordinary does not work at all, then it really is a driver issue.
March 13, 2008 3:33:59 PM

Anonymous said:
LoL how come when ATI fans say this about drivers.. its an excuse for a poor Video Card but Nvidia its ok. So says the two 8800 owners in the posts above me.

Black Kettles I say !!!!



Im really not sure what you are talking about, I dont get involved in those type of debates.

Any card, ATI or nVidia, that is benched before its release, is most likely on beta drivers, and will have a negative impact on performance, and compatibilty.

So put the gas and matches away, you wont get a flame war from me.
a c 271 U Graphics card
March 13, 2008 3:36:45 PM

Anonymous said:
LoL how come when ATI fans say this about drivers.. its an excuse for a poor Video Card but Nvidia its ok. So says the two 8800 owners in the posts above me.

Black Kettles I say !!!!
[:mousemonkey:5]

I've already tried to make the point in another earlier thread about this 'new' 9800GX2, and I still feel that nVidia should just drag that card around to the back of the factory and shoot it in the face and be done, move on, leave 'Sli on a stick' alone and concentrate on making single cards work together.
a b U Graphics card
March 13, 2008 3:46:08 PM

I think the major difference IMO of the driver issue is the history. nV's GF7GX2's had driver issues their entire lives, and also had MOBO compatability issues at launch and their entire lives.

I was skeptical about the early ATi gemini cards ever improving too because of their R9800MAXX experience, but they proved to figure it out on the low end before ever making it one of these high end cards.

To me that's the difference.

I'm hopefully it's just immature drivers, but I definitely wouldn't spend my money or the money of someone I like on this product unless things change by launch, because the history of it's predecessors doesn't make me confident about how quickly these same issues will be fixed.

However it's far to early to condemn anythinguntil shipping drivers and launch updates/tweaks are used.
March 13, 2008 3:51:56 PM

AA problems are probably just driver issues.. forced AA didnt work for like months on the 8800s.
a c 271 U Graphics card
March 13, 2008 3:55:23 PM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
However it's far to early to condemn anythinguntil shipping drivers and launch updates/tweaks are used.

And if after the dust has settled and the performance is anything less than stellar, then can we have it shot at dawn?
March 13, 2008 3:56:35 PM

Mousemonkey said:
And if after the dust has settled and the performance is anything less than stellar, then can we have it shot at dawn?


I don't see why not. :D 
March 13, 2008 3:59:42 PM

Mousemonkey said:
And if after the dust has settled and the performance is anything less than stellar, then can we have it shot at dawn?


And someone was accusing you of being an nvidia fanboy today. . .
a b U Graphics card
March 13, 2008 4:08:33 PM

Mousemonkey said:
And if after the dust has settled and the performance is anything less than stellar, then can we have it shot at dawn?


Yep absot00tly, although I'd say hang it by it's 8pin power connector to save on bullets (they expensive now you know). [:mousemonkey:1]
March 13, 2008 4:12:03 PM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
Ah ok, PConline is know (like HKePC and exPreview) , still not as good as the major sites, but better than someone's blogpost. Didn't really take note of the second link at first glance.

Yeah the main thing will be hopefully this is immature drivers for the AA issue, the non-compatability issue is a little more disturbing.


Ic, not much idea about the reputation of Chinese sites.

I trust info from Anandtech, Xbitlabs, Techpowerup etc.. oh, and Tom's hardware :D 
a b U Graphics card
March 13, 2008 4:15:14 PM

Yeah I trust the Chinese sites usually for pictures (because they rarely change and they get them early [hmm wonder if being near the factory helps :)  ]), but I trust the major sites for things like proper drivers/setup at launch for a thorough review.
March 13, 2008 4:26:29 PM

What I really want to see is 9800gx2 vs 8800gt sli. I've got 8800gt sli now, but should I exchange them for a gx2? Or wait to use my evga step-up to get two 9800gtx ?
a c 271 U Graphics card
March 13, 2008 4:41:08 PM

San Pedro said:
And someone was accusing you of being an nvidia fanboy today. . .

And they may well have been correct, which is why the 9800GX2 should be shown no mercy if it fails to live up to expectations. For the good of the company and all that. :lol: 
March 13, 2008 4:44:11 PM

I'd be happy with 8800gt sli until new generation of cards. 9xxx series from Nvidia is supposedly more of a repackged 8xxx series.
March 13, 2008 4:46:35 PM

San Pedro said:
I'd be happy with 8800gt sli until new generation of cards. 9xxx series from Nvidia is supposedly more of a repackged 8xxx series.


agreed, but step-up only lasts so long. Mine lasts until the end of may... the new stuff won't be out then.
March 13, 2008 5:02:39 PM

San Pedro said:
I'd be happy with 8800gt sli until new generation of cards. 9xxx series from Nvidia is supposedly more of a repackged 8xxx series.


same here :lol: 
March 13, 2008 5:43:25 PM

In that case, especially if you have upgrade itch, then I'd go for 2 x 9800gtx over one 9800gx2. I think the 8800gt sli will out perform 9800gx2 or be really close.
March 13, 2008 5:44:27 PM

theres no way that it can suck that bad.!
a c 271 U Graphics card
March 13, 2008 5:48:13 PM

Oh, it's entirely possible.
March 13, 2008 5:59:27 PM

San Pedro said:
In that case, especially if you have upgrade itch, then I'd go for 2 x 9800gtx over one 9800gx2. I think the 8800gt sli will out perform 9800gx2 or be really close.


starchbrother1 said:
theres no way that it can suck that bad.!


Those benches have the gx2 doing 41 fps on crysis 19x12 on high
8800gt sli does 30 fps 19x12 on very high

Id say the 8800gt sli is on top, and at under $500. Of course I wouldn't be sure about it until we see some head to head benches. Looking forward to those.
March 13, 2008 6:23:58 PM

Nvidia with there “Royalty’s” have been making the consumer choose between ddr3 or SLI; now there in a fix and hope Intel sock’s it to them leaving them to play by themselves!
March 13, 2008 6:46:28 PM

i need my dual monitor setup soon to be triple monitor if you need to enabel sli to get 100% out of the 9800gt2 thats me out as Multi-monitor + sli + vista doesnt work together its 9800gtx for me
March 13, 2008 6:49:25 PM

marzzes said:
Nvidia with there “Royalty’s” have been making the consumer choose between ddr3 or SLI; now there in a fix and hope Intel sock’s it to them leaving them to play by themselves!


Huh? The 790i is sorta gonna fix that lil problem.
March 13, 2008 7:08:12 PM

Whats the price going to be for the 9800GX2? I mean if it costs $600, that 33% higher then 3870 X2. I would then expect to see on average 33% higher performance. If the 9800GX2 beats the 3870 X2 on average by 33%, then I would call this a tie.
March 13, 2008 7:25:49 PM

$600. But with the 8800gt sli at $500 or less, it's the still the real winner. Even if you have to spend more for an sli board, youre still going to get better performance for the same price as the gx2. How disappointing
March 13, 2008 7:34:06 PM

satanpro you have absolutely no proof to back up what you just stated at all.


Since the card has 2x 128 SP's it wil MOST LIKELY outperform 2x 8800GT since it is SLI. You just don't need a cruddy nvidia motherboard to run it on.
March 13, 2008 7:37:28 PM

I agree, thats why I said " Of course I wouldn't be sure about it until we see some head to head benches. Looking forward to those."

Looking forward to the head to head benchmarks.
March 13, 2008 8:02:31 PM

both of these cards are sad... but the 9800GX2 should be competing and beating 8800GTX in SLI..., it aint whats the point. :non: 
March 13, 2008 8:12:32 PM

rallyimprezive said:
Huh? The 790i is sorta gonna fix that lil problem.


Ha, my point exactly! 790i is an Nvidia chipset. Not going to change my entire system just to run this card.
a b U Graphics card
March 13, 2008 8:28:12 PM

warezme said:
both of these cards are sad... but the 9800GX2 should be competing and beating 8800GTX in SLI..., it aint whats the point. :non: 


PR pure and simple, just like the last GX2.

I agree with you completely. Anyone even remotely interested in this likely already either bought 2 GTX/Ultras in SLi or bought one with the anticipation of adding another later. What this offers to that crowd over buying a 3rd GTX/Ultra I don't know.

It's a tough card in a crowded market. At least the X2 has AMD loyalist who may have ignorantly shuned the GF8800 series, and potentially wisely avoided or upgraded from the HD2900XT series, but this GX2 doesn't really offer that same motivation to those GTX-SLi crowd who are the general targets for this type of thing. And the X2 itself is significantly cheaper to make with a chip smaller than the GF9600GT and a single PCB solution. This can't be much of a moneymaker for nV compared to either the GTX or the X2.

I think it will be low production and simply to fill SKUs and Press Releases until their next gen arrives.
The wise user IMO is already either SLiing GTX/Ultras/GT-GTS-512s or anticipating moving into the Tri-GTX/U-SLi phase or waiting to do the same to a potential GF9800GTX.

The GX2 will still sell, but I'm no very optimistic about it's success.

Of course that's just sofar, if launch drivers etc provide a more compelling reason, I'll change my outlook, but it has to be truly compelling.
March 13, 2008 8:34:02 PM

Is there any word on when the gtx will arrive?
a c 271 U Graphics card
March 13, 2008 8:41:30 PM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
The GX2 will still sell, but I'm no very optimistic about it's success.

Of course that's just sofar, if launch drivers etc provide a more compelling reason, I'll change my outlook, but it has to be truly compelling.

I'll start assembling the firing squad.
a b U Graphics card
March 13, 2008 8:57:39 PM

As much as I was hoping for the r600 to be what it was not, I guess Im one of those "wise didnt buy,went 8800" ppl. Looking at this, Im once again disappointed. The performance/cost/usage ability of this card leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Im still waiting for a single card solution that will bring improvements over the 8800 series. I dont mean tweaks, higher clocks etc, but real boafide improvements which this is certainly not
March 13, 2008 9:32:22 PM

LMFAO i have 2 of the 3870X2 and these benches dont even come anywere close to what i get....... SO DONT BE FOOLED

and dont say im a fanboy i have 2 ultras in my other rig
March 13, 2008 9:38:56 PM

hmm looks legit, but ill be waiting for thg and anand tech
March 13, 2008 10:06:16 PM

Thats it? $600 for THIS performance? What a joke.......

If I've $600 i would buy a 3870x2 AND another 3870 and SLI them up. AMDs Codename Thunder must be laughing out loud.
March 14, 2008 12:03:53 AM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
PR pure and simple, just like the last GX2.
It's a tough card in a crowded market. At least the X2 has AMD loyalist who may have ignorantly shuned the GF8800 series, and potentially wisely avoided or upgraded from the HD2900XT series, but this GX2 doesn't really offer that same motivation to those GTX-SLi crowd who are the general targets for this type of thing. And the X2 itself is significantly cheaper to make with a chip smaller than the GF9600GT and a single PCB solution. This can't be much of a moneymaker for nV compared to either the GTX or the X2.


I didn't ignorantly shun the 8800 series. I shunned them based on two things; poor image quality in the 7xxx generation vs. ATI and fudges like the Crysis demo. I simply did not trust Nvidia after trying their chipset for the first time and their card for the second time.

I had an MSI 405 chipset board with a 7600gs (because that board's "chipset limitations" prevented me from getting an ATI X1650 Pro, I went Nvidia). The 7600gs had blur that my wife's X1650 Pro AGP on an Intel i865 motherboard did not have. Plus, DX10 performance with the 8800gts 320's were not all that stellar (nor was the X2900xt's last spring).

I skipped the X2900 Pro because of heat issues, and when I finally got a cheap ATI board and transferred my CPU, the 3870 was out. I almost got one, but the 3870x2 was too good a deal. Finally, performance is there for ATI. Not always on top, but never near the bottom. Nvidia's 9600gt linkboost issues lead me to believe they're fudging again, and I simply don't trust Huang to put out a good product without attempting to rig benchmarks beforehand.

Besides, I like ATI/AMD chipsets, whereas I've had bad experiences with Nvidia chipsets. If I stay single PCIe x16, I'll get a 780G, if I go Crossfire, it will be a 790 board with all the bells and whistles. For that reason, I'll trust the 9750 in May and then upgrade to a Deneb this time next year. Overall, it's ATI's stellar performance over the past 5 years in my PC's that make me want to be loyal to them instead of trusting the alternatively bad then good performance from Nvidia.

Never assume people blindly stick by ATI just because Nvidia has a generation that appears to work better in some games, with particular settings and with oftentimes dodgy driver and Nvidia motherboard tweaks. I trust ATI's transparency. Don't you?
March 14, 2008 1:01:49 AM

Who cares that NVIDIA wins? The 9800 GX2 is newer so no doubt that it is faster than the HD 3870 X2
March 14, 2008 1:42:40 AM

i would not say new its still using the g92... correct me if im wrong>?
March 14, 2008 1:44:44 AM

nVidia takes the "crown" back, but both cards are crap regardless. 2 GPU or 2 PCB both are not very innovative. Let's all sit back and wait for the 9800 GT/GTXes and see what those puppies can do.
!