Not really unless you're playing crysis on high res maxed out. Keep in mind the 9800 GT is a rebranded 8800GT same everything. What are you playing to warrents a GTX, at what resolution? Don't know if the mobo can do it but if it allows SLI 2 9800's sli should beat the GTX in most benchmarks and cost less. Just a thought.
The GeForce 9800 GT is the name that nVidia SHOULD'VE used from the start for what they instead called the 8800 GT. For most normal resolutions, this card should be quite adequate.
Really, there is zero point for a GTX 280. If you're going to spend that much money, you can get CONSIDERABLY more for it by going with a different card. At high resolutions without AA, the GeForce 9800GX2 usually tends to be a better choice, and if you use AA, the Radeon 4850, 4870, and 4870X2 pretty much make any nVidia card $180US and up utterly pointless.
I'd say get either the GTX+ or GTX 260, there really is no point to the 9800GT when the 8800GT is only lacking OpenGL 3 (which will be fixed with a driver) and is much cheaper. Obviously you're only talking nV cards because of your 680i, which means you plan to SLI, something that the GTX260 can do in Tri-style.
Yeah, I'm only really looking at Fallout and Warhammer online. I was told in another thread to skip the dual 9800s and just get the single most powerful card I could get instead of dualing thats why I figured the GTX 280 was the way to go.
thanks for the info, i'm thinking I'll go back to dual 9800s.
Edit: I do have the option to go to dual GTX 260's but that will cost nearly as much as the single GTX 280. Is that worth it for the type of games im looking to play? I'll probably never get into the "Crysis" level of computer gaming (as far as hardware requirements are concerned).
1) You will need a stronger PSU to drive two vga cards.
2) You will have to pay more for a SLI capable motherboard.
3) Even though you will have two vga cards, you will not get 2X the performance.
These are my options, only suggestions of one of these will be helpful:
Dual 9800 GT
Dual 260 GTX
I realize the going oppinion on this board is build your own computer and buy ATI, thats not what I'm in the market for. My next PC I will build myself and then all the other stuff will be useful but for this one, until I can get some hardware experience, I'm buying from a manufacturer so my options are limited by what they are willing/able to offer me.
You can install an ATI card on that mobo without a problem, you just wouldn't be able to do Crossfire. Also, you don't HAVE to buy from the manufacturer unless you're saying that they're going to install the card for you or you're getting a discount or free card or something.
But anyways, out of those options, I'd say your best bet is a single GTX 260 and here's why. GTX 260 will likely set you back about $280 - $320 depending on who's selling it to you. It'll run just about anything you want at 1920x1200 and below with good, if not maxed out, settings (Crysis being the exception). It's also not too hot while running (at least I've never heard of it overheating or anything), and there's no rumors about it being defective (which people are saying the G92 and other cores are). Another advantage is that it's a single card and you wouldn't have to worry about any SLI issues if they come up. It's probably your safest and most cost effective bet.
Oh and regarding the specs you posted in your first post, are those specs set in stone? Because if not, then you'd be better off changing to a lower PSU (say, 600W) and a better Motherboard. The 680i is a bit on the old side and has had some problems. A 780i/790i would be better for you I think.
I'd say for the moment go with the single 9800 (8800) GT and check out benchmarks for the two games that you are playing. If one will suffice why pay the extra money for performance that you won't notice? If one 9800 GT won't play them at the resolution you want with or without AA/AF for the price take a look at the 9800 GTX (+). Some can be found at the egg for $170 give or take and will give you a little added performance edge over the GT.
Like one of the other posters said, unless you are playing Crysis, then you wont notice any difference in performance between the two cards, 280gtx is certainly more powerful but for you it wont have any benifit.
I'd note that if you're looking for a card under $150US, the 8800GT (the exact same thing as a 9800GT) is the best card you can buy, and has a price-performance ratio competitive with the 4850; there ARE nVidia cards worth buying... I was just specifying that for the most part, there weren't much of any above the $180US mark.
I realize the going oppinion on this board is build your own computer and buy ATI, thats not what I'm in the market for.
I should correct you to note that the going opinions of the board tend to reflect what video cards are the best deals. And right now, in the price ranges you're largely looking at, ATi rather effectively dominates the board. Note that YES, you can use ATi cards with an nVidia chipset, (and nVidia cards with an ATi chipset) you just won't be able to use CrossFire/SLi.
Also, who are you getting this computer from? It's liable that they will charge some of their own extra markup on what card you get, so that would also affect things; that's a major reason why building your own PC is so heavily recommended: the price for getting a video card through NewEgg or another online retailer will invariably be lower than the cost of paying a PC OEM to put it in a computer they're shipping you.
Given the level of markup you listed, I'd have to say that the only option there that makes any sense to me is the 9800GT. Unless you're playing on a very high resolution (like 1920x1200 or above) it should be plenty sufficient for the likes of Fallout 3 and Warhammer Online. I wouldn't spend more money on more expensive cards, nor spend more money to get two cards.