Thinking on buying a new system and would really appreciate your opinions/advice if that's okay..
Option #1: - Abit IP35-Pro Intel P35 mobo + GeForce 9800 GX2 1024MB GDDR3 gfx (Later adding another when needed for future game titles.. if this mobo supports that config? SLI?)
Option #2: Same mobo + Radeon HD4870 512MB GDDR5 (adding another when needed later)
Option #3: Same mobo again + two Radeon HD4850 512MB GDDR3
option #4: Abit IX38-QuadGT Intel X38 mobo + Radeon HD4870 512MB GDDR5 (Same idea again.. adding another when needed in the future, if this mobo supports CF?)
Thanks in advance for your replies, sorry if this question is a little silly to you guys but i'm pretty stuck @ what to do
If you could like rate each like Best Option etc working it's way down to worst choice and reason why that'd be extremely helpful..
Yep, get p45 instead of p35. It's being phased out to be replaced by p45. Besides, prices are about the same, so there is no point. Keep in mind that p45 will bottleneck cf, so if you plan to go that route, a $200 x38/48 is required. http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/1472/7/page_7_benchma...
Those are what i'm looking into currently..
(Note - wont be able to buy a 2nd card of either other than the 2x's 4850 option for quite awhile)
I don't like how they try to trick you into thinking an oced q6600 is the same as a far more expensive "extreme" quad. Cheap tricks like this doesn't inspire confidence.
None of those builds are ideal. But some are better than others.
The first 9800gx2 rig can be good if you add 2 more gb of ram. It suffers from 2gb ram, which is just not enough. You need more than that to run modern games. Vista hogs 1+ gb, games like Crysis and Supreme Commander can use 2+ gb after a while of gameplay. Most other modern games use at least 1+gbs. 2gb won't cut it for gaming even in XP, which use 500mb+. Of course, you can add another 2gb.
The second and last 9800gx2 rigs looks good.
Avoid the dual 4850 rig. I don't know how anyone in their right mind would cf those on a p35 board with pcie1.1x8(x8 effective) each in cf mode. Considering how much p45 with pcie2.0x8(x16 effective) bottlenecks 4850 cf, the performance on that thing will be abysmal.
Avoid the first 4870 rig. It use p35. You can't cf without horrible bottlenecking, so it's a dead end. Performance difference between 9800gx2 and 4870 is day and night.
The second 4870 rig can be good if you add 2 more gb of ram. Not sure why they say "Note when upgrading to 4GB overclock drops to 3.20GHz on CPU." There is no good technical reason for that. I'm sure they're just being noobs. You'll be fine with the extra ram. The difference between this and the other 4870 rig is this use x38 chipset, which allow you to add a second 4870 without bottlenecking. Even though a single 4870 performs far below 9800gx2, two will outperform it.
So basically, consider either the 9800gx2 rigs, for better performance now, or the second 4870 rig, for better performance if upgraded. Avoid the rest.
Since your objective is gaming, I think, start with the strongest single vga card. That would be the 9800GX2, 4870, or GTX260/280. They are all somewhat comparable. Since you will not be able to add another video card for some while, do not pay extra for a sli/crossfire capable motherboard, and the stronger psu. Instead plan your upgrade strategy to sell the old card, and get the next best thing.
Thanks so much everyone so i'm basically leaning toward the 9800 gx2 http://tinyurl.com/5tsa5h which is top of my budget and the one i thought would be better for me, great getting your opinions as i'm not too upto-date with my gfx knowledge
I have about a little over a month before i can buy so i'm hoping the same deal or better comes back for the same system, will be keeping a close eye on it and let you all know how it goes.
One concerning thing are all the bad reviews i've seen for ocuk in the past hour stumbling through google on a sleepy head, although there's been a fair few good ones also so i'm just hoping things will pan-out smoothly.
As for building myself i don't really have the time/compassion for it as i once did and the warranty offer is quite appealing so as the last poster said.. i'll buy best i can gfx-wise and switch up for a newer single card when it's needed.
Thanks very much for your input it's set my mind at ease and your very informative posts have been great, didn't think i could like tomshardware more than i previously did
(PS: Please feel free to comment more if you have a different opinion )
The resolution you plan to game at also influences the graphic card selection, a card that performs very well compared to the others at 1280x1024 may fall behind significantly if you game at 1920x1200 or higher. If you are planning to upgrade your monitor in the near future bear that in mind.