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3870 Crossfire vs 9800 gtx vs 8800 gts 512 w/ aftermarket cooler

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 20, 2008 9:31:31 PM

This is more an acidemic excercise than anything else, I'll probably just wait to see what's released this summer. What I'm wondering is, since they're all about the same price (~$300 on Newegg) what has the best performance? Two Sapphire 3870 single slot cards in Crossfire, the (probably EVGA) 9800GTX or an 8800 GTS 512 with either a Hurricane or Thermalright HR-03 cooler? Needless to say, all will be reasonably overclocked. I play UT3, FEAR, X^3 Reunion, Supreme Commander, EVE online, and probably Crysis, MS FlightSim X and Oblivion if I ever decide to pick them up, all at 1600x1200 at the highest AA/AF levels I can manage.
April 20, 2008 9:58:52 PM

The 8800GTS 512 does not need an after market cooler.

I get up to 61C max in CoD4 with everything on high, at 752/1878/2000, fan speed of 60%.

As for the question, I would guess the CF'd 3870s.
April 20, 2008 10:38:54 PM

Yes, the CF 3870s will outperform the other single card choices. But they're hardly in the same price range. G92 8800gts is as low as $194.99 after MIR, so pitting it against a much more expensive package is flawed.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A 8800gts overclocked comes close to 2 3870s in cf.
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April 20, 2008 10:46:01 PM

dagger said:
Yes, the CF 3870s will outperform the other single card choices. But they're hardly in the same price range. G92 8800gts is as low as $194.99 after MIR, so pitting it against a much more expensive package is flawed.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A 8800gts overclocked comes close to 2 3870s in cf.


Wow, good deal. I guess what I was wondering was if the price increase in the 3870 crossfire and 9800gtx was justified by a performance increase over the 8800. I didn't think the 9800gtx would be justifible, but is the 3870 crossfire worthwhile?
April 20, 2008 10:50:36 PM

Nooblie_One said:
Wow, good deal. I guess what I was wondering was if the price increase in the 3870 crossfire and 9800gtx was justified by a performance increase over the 8800. I didn't think the 9800gtx would be justifible, but is the 3870 crossfire worthwhile?



Not really. Performance from one core > performance from sli/crossfire, due to various compatibility issues. Although it might make sense if you find them cheaply:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 20, 2008 11:09:27 PM

dagger said:
Not really. Performance from one core > performance from sli/crossfire, due to various compatibility issues. Although it might make sense if you find them cheaply:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hmm, good price. It could work, I could get one now and another later... NO, must be strong, must wait... :cry: 
April 21, 2008 3:41:34 PM

If I would go for the 3870 series I would definitately not get individual 3870s and Crossfire them. I would get a 3870 X2 and have the option to either Crossfire Quad or Tri by putting on 1 more 3870.


a c 147 U Graphics card
April 21, 2008 7:01:23 PM

Ok here is my thought's. Normally I would say the (2) 3870's in CF because you can get 2 for like $150 each. Which is a STEAL!, but there are a few things to consider basically based on your Mobo. The 2 3870's in CF usually come in JUST slightly under a single 3870x2 card. BUT that is with 2 pci-e slots running pci-e 2.0 and both at x16. YOUR mobo is only going to run each at x8 which will definitely make a difference in a bad way. I mean 2 of them will still be better than a single 8800gts or gtx9800, but not as impressively.

Then there is the 8800gts and 9800gtx. Both good cards, but you pay a $80+ premium on the GTX because its a 9800 card with a few little perks. It does have faster and better memory than the 8800GTS but you can easily OC a GTS past GTX gpu speed. And for the price difference it really isn't worth it. Unless you are fine with the cost difference.

But then you have a crossfire mobo. so you can't slap a 2nd of either in there. If you are looking for MAX performance, get the 2 3870's just make sure you have enough power to run them. I believe they require a minimum of 550 or 600W. The 8800GTS would be the most economical bet.
April 21, 2008 8:55:42 PM

jay2tall said:
Ok here is my thought's. Normally I would say the (2) 3870's in CF because you can get 2 for like $150 each. Which is a STEAL!, but there are a few things to consider basically based on your Mobo. The 2 3870's in CF usually come in JUST slightly under a single 3870x2 card. BUT that is with 2 pci-e slots running pci-e 2.0 and both at x16. YOUR mobo is only going to run each at x8 which will definitely make a difference in a bad way. I mean 2 of them will still be better than a single 8800gts or gtx9800, but not as impressively.

Then there is the 8800gts and 9800gtx. Both good cards, but you pay a $80+ premium on the GTX because its a 9800 card with a few little perks. It does have faster and better memory than the 8800GTS but you can easily OC a GTS past GTX gpu speed. And for the price difference it really isn't worth it. Unless you are fine with the cost difference.

But then you have a crossfire mobo. so you can't slap a 2nd of either in there. If you are looking for MAX performance, get the 2 3870's just make sure you have enough power to run them. I believe they require a minimum of 550 or 600W. The 8800GTS would be the most economical bet.

Bus bandwidth depends on motherboard, x38 runs both at 16x in crossfire. In any case, the cards won't use nearly as much bandwidth for it to become a bottleneck.
April 22, 2008 2:38:45 AM

jay2tall said:
Ok here is my thought's. Normally I would say the (2) 3870's in CF because you can get 2 for like $150 each. Which is a STEAL!, but there are a few things to consider basically based on your Mobo. The 2 3870's in CF usually come in JUST slightly under a single 3870x2 card. BUT that is with 2 pci-e slots running pci-e 2.0 and both at x16. YOUR mobo is only going to run each at x8 which will definitely make a difference in a bad way. I mean 2 of them will still be better than a single 8800gts or gtx9800, but not as impressively.


Seems that Toms did comparison of x8/x8 and 16x/16x crossfire, the average difference was about 7.7% But in some games/resolutions it was a 40 frame difference.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crossfire-meets-pci...

Thanks for the input everyone, I learned a few things today. I think I'll stick with my original plan of waiting for the 4870 and 9900gtx or whatever comes out this summer, my 7950gx2 is still fast enough for most things.
April 22, 2008 5:53:31 AM

i too would spend the extra $$$ and get the 3870x2. Then lay the extra dough down for a CFX when it doesnt meet your high resolution gaming needs.
May 5, 2008 2:05:14 AM

dagger said:
Not really. Performance from one core > performance from sli/crossfire, due to various compatibility issues. Although it might make sense if you find them cheaply:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


dagger said:
Not really. Performance from one core > performance from sli/crossfire, due to various compatibility issues. Although it might make sense if you find them cheaply:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


That's not true at all anymore... ask yourself this: what games where there is a need for SLI or even Crossfire do not support dual video cards? (Granted sometimes it takes a patch or two for compatibility). That long pause where all you could think of was Half Life 2 which gets an average of 280 fps on almost any modern card, means that there are not many out there,

However, if either card will work for you, then go with the single card for the following reasons:
-Single cards aren't as fussy about getting your settings right = less time spent tweaking when it could be spent pwning.
-Price
-Future upgradability... keep in mind while Crossfire 3870 / 3870x2 are sometimes a little faster than the 8800gts, SLI 8800gts will kill Crossfire 3870s.

As for the 8800gts vs the 9800gtx, the 9800gtx is faster, but the 8800gts is a better buy.

Also be aware there is a major driver issue with the 9 series right now which makes the playability of them very limited. This is a driver issue, which Nvidia is aware of, but the beta versions of 175 do not fix, and it is not mentioned as being fixed in the release notes. What is happening, is the GPU hits 60 degrees celsius and the auto fan control lowers the fan speed to anywhere as low as 35% all the way down to 3%, the latter is one of many numbers I have seen from my own experience.

You can auto set your fan control in Rivatuner, but once the fan speed hits 60 degrees, auto fan control kicks on again. With the fan speed at even 75% if not 100%, older games won't be much of a problem (hits about 50C after hours of gaming in Battlefield 2 for me), but Crysis or Call of Duty 4 will push the temps to about 60 at which point the fans stop and the temp quickly hits 80 degrees and the computer freezes.

Basically, the 8800gts will own for the games you listed, only really being challenged (and worked like a Mule) by Crysis. I would not hesitate to tell you to get a 9800gtx over a 3870 once they get this fan speed bug fixed out, but if price is an issue then get the 8800gts.

Completely off-topic, I recommend Call of Duty 4, that's a really good game and it looks really good with some eye candy as well.
December 23, 2008 1:07:41 AM

I dont think you will oc a 8800 past 9800GTX speeds. I just bought a PNY 9800GTX OC and its speeds are as follows 830core 2100 shader 2420 memory. The cards run fast, and are a great investment in my eyes due to their availability at 120$ (look around, onsale.com and macmall occasionally have them on sale.
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