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Futureproofing? 8800GT or 3870HD

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 6, 2008 11:48:37 PM

Hey guys I currently have a 4600X2 socket 939 and an x1950 pro. I usually play games at 1280x1024 as that's my VX922's native resolution. Now I've been looking for a new gpu as this one doesn't deliver a fluid experience in all the current games. Do you think the 3870 will lead to me upgrading again within the next 6 months and that therefore I should go for the 8800GT, i'm tempted by the 3870 as it's £130 with an OC

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/139556/show_product_speci...

vs

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/140089

The other option would be to change over to an AM2 or Core 2 system but I think the speed difference would be less than that of the new GPU as my system still has some juice left in it. I also considered selling my current chip as it's like the second fastest 939 chip that you can fit into a board so I could probably get around £70 for it which would make a new upgrade a lot more worthwhile, what do you think?
April 7, 2008 12:12:52 AM

3870 seems to be a 10-15% slower but 20-25% slower with AA.

Either card should give you much better experience.

3870 should be twice as fast if not faster than your current 1950pro.

As for future proofing? I think 8800gt might be better choice only when texturing is an issue other wise they are pretty much equal with everything else.
April 7, 2008 1:08:17 PM

Cheers, Yeah I just don't want to be upgrading again in another 6 months, want it to last at least another 12. I got the 1950 when the 2600xt's and 8600gts were out as it was a bit faster in then current gen games but now I'm left upgrading again as it doesn't cut the mustard. Damn Nvidia and ATI's rubbish mid range 6 months ago.
I'm just not sure that's the problem, financially I can afford both cards but I guess only time will tell how well they age. 3870 delivers slightly more fps for your buck and I think is generally better than the 9600GT so maybe I'll go for that.

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April 7, 2008 2:21:47 PM

I would go with the 9600GT. Its cheap and at that res you can crank up the AA and AF with less of a performence hit than with the ATI card. If you dont mind spending a bit more go for the 8800GT.
April 7, 2008 2:33:46 PM

I'd say it's between the 9600GT and 8800GT. As blackened said, if you want to spend the extra pennies, go for the 8800GT, it is a very nice card.
April 7, 2008 2:42:20 PM

that 3870 has gddr3 not gddr4 so to my opinion its a overclocked 3850.
this 1 is gddr4 http://www.ebuyer.com/product/139615 and its cheaper at £120. if u plan to xfire or sli in the future get the 3870 as u can xfire that with the 4870 i think. If u dont sli get the 8800gt. But if u can wait and only want to buy 1 card then overclock the hell out of the 1950 till its dead (for a performance boost) and wait till the new seires of cards come out(not the 9 series.) Poo! stuff is too expensive in UK im here for only 12 days and im not buying crap. £180 for a nintendo wii?!? (can be had in US for around £130)
April 7, 2008 2:42:50 PM

I can't find a decent fanless / custom fan design for the 9600GT tho. Where as the gigabyte models of both the 3870 and 8800 feature better cooling and a zalman fan attachment. Wouldn't the 9600GT be less powerful than the 3870 overall?
April 7, 2008 2:56:19 PM

I've seen the benchmarks for the GDDR 3 variant and it makes little to no difference as they've overclocked it anyway.

http://www.cpu3d.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=...

I think i'm tempted by the 8800gt really, there are cheaper ones available but the cooling system on that gigabyte one is great, 55 at load or something. SLi is a con for 1280x1024 gaming, not gonna make any difference especially with my slower chip.
April 7, 2008 3:02:31 PM

Yeah I guess I'll get the gigabyte one, the advantage there is that without the massive cooler it's also a lot shorter so should improve the general air flow in my case. Cheers for the help guys.
April 7, 2008 3:26:04 PM

You might be upgrading faster with a 9600gt with only 64SP. Sure it performs very good with AA now because it has same rop and memory bandwidth as 8800gt but don't be too sure. 3870 is a superior card and enough shader performance rivaling 8800gt. However 8800gt is the best deal or go for the next best thing if you don't want to spend as much. Which is 3870.

Lately shader count have been doubling up and tripling up within games that have released within the last year. Fallout is supposed to be out this fall raising up shader count which would limit cards with weak shader. 9600gt performs good with AA but it's the weakest shader performing card in it's price range. Cards like 7900gtx perform not much better than 8600gt because of these shader intensive games released last year.
April 7, 2008 3:33:18 PM

Yeah I agree that the paper credentials the 3870 seems to be as fast as the 8800GT but I haven't been that happy with the 1950 pro's peformance whereas I was very happy with previous Nvidia Cards I had, excepting the ti4600 (bloody dx 9 fiasco).
But as Nvidia has more of a developer share atm, I reckon I'll go with the 8800GT as even Valve who really got in bed with ATI have switched to Nvidia plus my budget was around 150 so the gigabyte 8800GT is only a fiver more than that and you'd usually pay that in shipping.
So I shall go for the 8800GT I think, I'd really like them both to test out but you can't have it all eh.
April 7, 2008 3:36:51 PM

Yeah 8800gt has all the things missing from 9600gt and 8800gs. It really is the sweetspot if you have 20-22" monitor. 8800gt for $155? Where?
April 7, 2008 3:40:22 PM

I have a 19 inch but that's why I figure it will last a bit longer for me.
April 7, 2008 3:54:25 PM

spanner_razor said:
I have a 19 inch but that's why I figure it will last a bit longer for me.


If you are only on a 19" save some money and go with a EVGA 8800gs for $110 after rebate. It has enough shader once overclocked it can easily peform like 8800gt stock speeds. Maybe not with AA performance but easily in raw performance which is without AA. You can max out any game and run Crysis @ high settings nearly 40fps at the standard 19" LCD resolution. In the end it's your money and how much you value your gaming performance.

I've been using 8x CSAA and TRMS AA on games like Battlefield 2 and Half Life 2 and getting 90fps average. Any other modern games I stick 4xAA and run at max settings. When shader intensive games arrive it is only 16SP less than 8800gt. Once overclocked however it can easily match shader performance of stock 8800gt.
April 7, 2008 4:15:12 PM

I'm not a big fan of overclocking, I can't really afford to replace it should it become damaged. I'm not convinced by the GS as it's not quite got the potential longevity of the GT. I saw your review and it looked favourable but it's £100 in the uk and at stock speeds it's probs gonna be about half as fast. I want a card to last a year or two not for 6-8 months.
April 7, 2008 11:31:04 PM

But you have mistaken. EVGA covers overclocking and has life time warranty. :p 

I guess if you are in the U.K you don't have EVGA or XFX cards over there?
April 8, 2008 1:21:04 AM

No we do, but as I said it's 100 quid which is 50 dollars more expensive so kind of knocks it out of the performance ball park.
a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2008 7:11:02 AM

spanner_razor said:
I haven't been that happy with the 1950 pro's peformance whereas I was very happy with previous Nvidia Cards I had, excepting the ti4600 (bloody dx 9 fiasco).


What are you talking about?

X1950pro was the GF8800GT of it's era, if you're unhappy with it, you're overly critical, same with the GF4ti which was the best card of it's time. What DX9 fiasco are you talking about?

Makes no sense at all, and with that kind of thinking it sounds like you're going to be disappointed with any of your choices because of this myth of future-proofing.
April 8, 2008 7:32:10 AM

agrea with 3870...good option for the money u wonna spend...and u can xfire it later if games become more demanding....as for the cpu I think AMD is the better if u wonna upgrade later (am2+)
April 8, 2008 12:38:17 PM

I'm unhappy with the 1950 pro because it didn't deliver a fluid i.e. 40 fps experience in games that it should have been unable to handle, i.e. The Orange Box and Neverwinter Nights 2 to name a few.
And the 4600 didn't support DX 9 and meant I had to wait till the 6 era to upgrade because of Microsoft withholiding the DX 9 specifications from NVidia over the supply of the gpu in the Xbox.
Besides how is the x1950 pro the 8800gt of its time, nowhere near the relative performance and it didn't come out till the end of the 7 series lifespan when the mid range 8 series cards came out.
I didn't appreciate spending 100 quid on a card that couldn't give me high settings on the current or even past games.
We can't all afford to upgrade our machine every 3-6 months so I want a card that will last me at least a year and the 8800GT should.
April 8, 2008 1:14:59 PM

orange box? 1950pro can easily play orange box. Don't know about NeverWinter nights 2.

4600 didn't support dx9? What? :pt1cable:  Perhaps you don't know what you are doing. :hello: 

1950pro was a nice card 2 years ago when it was released. It can still play most games on max settings long as you keep it 1280x1024 and below.
April 8, 2008 1:16:24 PM

in 1240x1024 9600gt & dx9 does all high (with x2,4 AA), now in 1680x1050 does fine in single play, i haven't do online yet, my suggestion is : sync your need if you planing to buy new monitor/lcd or if this just a mild dx.9 upgrade, just get 9600gt & over clock it use riva turner, cuz not even the 98gtx can do dx 10 good.
April 8, 2008 1:47:32 PM

Nah my 1950 pro halves its fps whenever you look into the portals or turn on a flash light and the 4600 did not support DX9, it reverted to DX 8 mode, you could still install DX 9 but that does not mean it supported it.
Besides just ordered the 8800gt and a gig of ram for my laptop, only has 1 gb with vista so is slow as hell lol.
April 8, 2008 2:02:26 PM

You were talking about Geforce ti4600. I see.

1950pro could easily play portal. Maybe you turned up AA too much.

My 8600gts did the exact same thing when I turned on the flash light. It made my fps drop by half.
April 8, 2008 2:20:24 PM

Yeah but it doesn't make any difference whether AA or AF are on, I can't find any setting that makes it run faster.
Should be ok anyway. I don't regret buying the 1950 as it was a good choice at the time and has lasted me 7 months. If anyone were to blame there, it would be Nvidia and ATI's late production of a decent mid range.
Just hope that new ram I got fits my laptop as my old vaio had silly slots that were slightly too small for generic ram.


BTW does anyone know if this is just a rebadged Audigy 2?

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/129740/show_product_overv...

Doesn't support EAX 5.0 which is why i suspect it to be a PCI-E version of the Audigy 2 and I already have an audigy 2 so I don't think it's worthwhile to buy.
April 8, 2008 5:08:51 PM

Oh btw does anyone in the uk maybe fancy buying the copy of neverwinter nights 2 that comes with it. Say for a tenner or so as I already have it in the special edition so don't really want another copy. Lol Scrap that actually you can buy it from play for that price, may as well keep it then.

What about that sound card tho, anyone got it and can compare it to the audigy 2?
a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2008 6:17:06 PM

spanner_razor said:
I'm unhappy with the 1950 pro because it didn't deliver a fluid i.e. 40 fps experience in games that it should have been unable to handle, i.e. The Orange Box and Neverwinter Nights 2 to name a few.
And the 4600 didn't support DX 9 and meant I had to wait till the 6 era to upgrade because of Microsoft withholiding the DX 9 specifications from NVidia over the supply of the gpu in the Xbox.


Wow you're really misinformed. Guess the Aleins at roswell stole their good GPU designs too, eh!?!

GF4 was NEVER intended to be DX9 capable, work under DX9's superset sure (just like now), feature capable no never. It wasn't even DX8.1 capable for cripes sakes, and EVERYONE who bought it could've found that out, just like everyone who would've had the Radeon 8500 and Parhelia or crap SIS to choose from at the time it launched, and if you chose a GF4 over an R9500 or R9700 that's just plain bad choice on your part.

Quote:
Besides how is the x1950 pro the 8800gt of its time, nowhere near the relative performance and it didn't come out till the end of the 7 series lifespan when the mid range 8 series cards came out.


Completely relative performance (very close to the top of the day for half the price) and just at the end of the previous generation's life. which brings us to this purchase which is also at the end of it's generation. It makes sense economically to buy now, but if you're looking to play on high settings for a long time, then you should stop buying at the end of generations, either that or buy a console which is as future proof as all it's brothers. [:thegreatgrapeape:5]
April 8, 2008 6:34:38 PM

And i was referring to the FX series, where Nvidia were screwed by microsoft over DX 9 standards. What's so conspirational about that, it was an issue of money, Nvidia wanted more and Microsoft held the DX9 specifications over their head to make them complete the Xbox gpu.
Anyway whatever the true story, it makes little sense to spend £300 every year on a new gpu if you don't game all the time.
!