best nvidia card(s) for $400?

Hi,

I'm going to build a brand new computer dedicated for gaming, crysis, Farcry 2, BF2 etc. Going to need all the graphic power I can get, but GPU budget is only around $400. I see 8800GT score very high in SLI, and it will cost just under $400. But 9800GTX in SLI will also cost about $400...so which one is the better choice?

8800GT SLI @ $400
or
9800GTX SLI @ $400?

The 8800GT SLI beats gtx260, 280, everything AMD, and ...so, am I overlooking some other choice for the same price point?


Also, I'm happy to take comments on the rest of the setup:


ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model DRW-2014S1T

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply

Logitech G15 2-Tone USB Wired Standard Gaming Keyboard

Logitech G9 Black 5 Buttons Tilt Wheel USB Wired Laser Gaming Mouse

CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit

EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 Yorkfield 2.66GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit

ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler

about $1,450.00 without graphics card...with it, it'll be $1900, and I'm getting a Dell 24" 2408WFP.
33 answers Last reply
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  1. Well, my understanding was that the 9800GTX is better than the 8800GT, so I'd get that if they were the same price. One thing I'm confused on though, You should be able to get 2 8800GTs for a lot less than 2 9800GTXs. I thought the GTs should be in the $300 range.
  2. How about two 4850's in Crossfire?

    If I remember correctly they should beat 9800GTX in SLI. :)
  3. I would strongly urge you to reconsider buying Nvidia. 2 4850's in crossfire would outperform either the 8800 or 9800 and would run you $400. Add to that that the 780i has issues especially with Quads and you would be much better off with an Intel chipset. This is slightly cheaper than the 780i and is more stable, overclocks better and runs faster. The 780i is nothing more than a 680i with an additional PCI-E controller for 3 way 16x. The 680i was released in Oct. 06 so your paying premium prices for a 21 month old product that still doesn't work quite right.
  4. As far as NVIDIA goes I guess a 9800GTX would be your best bet, maybe a nice overclocked model. Also the 55nm 9800GTX+ should be released in a couple of weeks and it should overclock better and stay cooler than its 65nm counterpart. The GTX 200 series is WAY overpriced, so fuhgetaboutit.

    Now I'll give you some real advice: get a P45 motherboard and an HD4870 (or 2 :) ). NVIDIA motherboards aren't as bad as some claim them to be, but they aren't on the same level as the Intel boards.

    Other than that I think you have a great looking build.
  5. Agreed with above. Nvidia boards have some issues. They're not terrible, but Intel's chipsets are better. Same story with Nvidia's cards right now, they hold their own but ATI's latest lineup simply came out on top in terms of value.
  6. 4850 or 4870 in xfire is a better choice, you'll get better performance and DX10.1 support (which is pretty useless for now but who knows... :P ) and better mobos.
  7. I would either get 4870 of 2x 4850 in CF. Honestly, 9800GTX and 4850 trade wins in single mode, but in SLi and CF, it's different. I'd still get the 4850 SLi for easier PSU requirements.
  8. Get g92 8800gts instead. At $119.99 after mir, you don't have to spend nearly as much as $400 for sli.
    http://fxvideocards.com/ZOTAC-GeForce-8800-GTS-G92-512MB-ZT-88SES2P-FSP-256-bit-GDDR3-PCI-Express-2.0-x16-HDCP-Ready-SLI-ZOTAC-Video-Card-p-16280.html

    It performs better than 8800gt, and about the same as 9800gtx and 4850.
    http://en.expreview.com/2008/04/03/geforce-9800gtx-review/12/
  9. I agree with Dagger. Grab the opportunity.
  10. yeah, if you absolutely have to get nvidia, then get 2 8800GTS 512MB.
  11. And then your still stuck with a poor performing motherboard
  12. Great prices on those gts's. Only thing is theyre going eol. But for the price/performance, its hard to turn down
  13. JAYDEEJOHN said:
    Great prices on those gts's. Only thing is theyre going eol. But for the price/performance, its hard to turn down

    Yep, Nvidia want to put those g92 chips in 9800gtx instead, for bigger profit. :D
  14. Thats true, tho they wont get the 230, but 200 is more than 130
  15. Daggers link for the GTSs is the way to go, even with an nVidia motherboard.
  16. dagger said:
    Get g92 8800gts instead. At $119.99 after mir, you don't have to spend nearly as much as $400 for sli.
    http://fxvideocards.com/ZOTAC-GeForce-8800-GTS-G92-512MB-ZT-88SES2P-FSP-256-bit-GDDR3-PCI-Express-2.0-x16-HDCP-Ready-SLI-ZOTAC-Video-Card-p-16280.html

    It performs better than 8800gt, and about the same as 9800gtx and 4850.
    http://en.expreview.com/2008/04/03/geforce-9800gtx-review/12/


    I paid more for a single 8800GTS G92, two of them for $240 is the deal of the year. And yes, they run spiffy on an nf4 mobo.
  17. Zotac seems like a good brand?
  18. alfrido said:
    Zotac seems like a good brand?

    Zotac don't actually make the gpus. The chips are made by Nvidia, on reference board required by Nvidia. Brands don't really matter. Besides, it comes with 2 year warranty. You'll want something better after 2 years anyway.
  19. best nvidia card for ~400....

    hd 4870

    hahah. :-p
  20. Here's another idea.

    EVGA 01G-P3-N891-AR GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130338
  21. ^... thats a very bad idea compared to the SLi'd Zotacs.
  22. mihirkula said:
    ^... thats a very bad idea compared to the SLi'd Zotacs.

    Yep, dual g92 8800gts will outperform 9800gx2 by a fair amount. Core clock of 9800gx2's g92 gpus are underclocked due to heat issues. It cost nearly as much as 4 8800gts too.
  23. dagger said:
    Get g92 8800gts instead. At $119.99 after mir, you don't have to spend nearly as much as $400 for sli.
    http://fxvideocards.com/ZOTAC-GeForce-8800-GTS-G92-512MB-ZT-88SES2P-FSP-256-bit-GDDR3-PCI-Express-2.0-x16-HDCP-Ready-SLI-ZOTAC-Video-Card-p-16280.html

    It performs better than 8800gt, and about the same as 9800gtx and 4850.
    http://en.expreview.com/2008/04/03/geforce-9800gtx-review/12/

    Wow, very good deal even before the MIR. A price point of $160 keeps the GTS very relevant.

    But I still think the 4870 would be a better match for the OP's proposed rig.
  24. homerdog said:
    Wow, very good deal even before the MIR. A price point of $160 keeps the GTS very relevant.

    But I still think the 4870 would be a better match for the OP's proposed rig.

    Dual 4870 certainly would be a top performer, but it'll cost $600. A single 4870 cost $300 and performs far below dual g92 8800gts. It's good if you have more money to spend.
  25. dagger said:
    Dual 4870 certainly would be a top performer, but it'll cost $600. A single 4870 cost $300 and performs far below dual g92 8800gts. It's good if you have more money to spend.

    Differing opinions here but I'd rather have one 4870 than two G92s. I learned a while ago that good benchmarks do not always equal a good gaming experience.
  26. Well one 4870 does get beaten by SLI 8800GTS ....

    http://techreport.com/articles.x/14990/12 ... (9800gx2 = SLI 8800GT)

    Agreed that a single card is less headache... but apart from Assassins creed, 4870 is quite comfortably beaten by SLI'd 8800GTS .... i never ever recommend crappy Nvidia boards, but at that $240 price SLI 8800GTS is just too good to pass.

    Though at this moment if i had to upgrade my PC, i would get a nice Gigabyte EX38 board and a cheap 8600... and wait for the 4870X2. That way i would avoid an expensive and irritating SLI board and have a shiny brand new RV770 on an X38. Bliss.
  27. Thanks for the inputs.
  28. On newegg, I got my 9800 GTX Superclocked for 199.99 (free shipping) 3 days. 2 of them are of course better than 2 8800 GT's.

    Higher clocks, 12 more stream processors and a better fan. It also can be 3-way sli'ed if you're planning to upgrade to another one. It overclocks better, because of it's slightly higher power usage.
  29. ^16 more stream processors :)
  30. I run Crysis quite well on high (average 60-70FPS via Crysis Bench mark tool)and a little slower and unstable at extra high. I set the game on medium and I am non stop . with very little performance decrees
    780sli/2x9800GTX/Q9450 @3G/(good temps)/4x1G corsair dominator @1050mhz/2x150G raptors raid O striped/i 500G seagate/samsung dvd/cd/
    I also used the Q6600 and it also performed pretty good @ 2.6 Just a little faster than stock but absolutely reliable and great graphics
  31. homerdog said:
    ^16 more stream processors :)


    Right, and the downside to the 9800gtx is that it's... HUGE! It could barely fit into my case. Half a centimeter more and I'm back to fry's to get a new case. (shipping for cases is alot of money)
  32. febtiger said:
    Right, and the downside to the 9800gtx is that it's... HUGE! It could barely fit into my case. Half a centimeter more and I'm back to fry's to get a new case. (shipping for cases is alot of money)

    9800gtx = 8800gts. Identical g92 chip with identical 128 sps, although slightly less efficient.
    http://en.expreview.com/2008/04/03/geforce-9800gtx-review/12/
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