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8800GT SLI, 9800GX2, GTX280 pricing and watercooling!

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September 5, 2008 9:55:51 AM

hey guyz :hello: 

would like some advice here on what i should get... 9800GX2 beats 8800GT SLI JUST in crysis, COD4 etc, but it's $50 more expensive. is it worth this premium for the possibility of adding another 9800GX2 later, whereas i do not have that option if i already have 2 8800GT's. also the 9800GX2 would be hotter and would likely overclock less than two 8800GT's.

and why is the 9800GX2 cheaper than the GTX280 when it OWNS it in crysis, COD4 etc! even 8800GT SLI owns it.

and lastly, would it be possible to run a purely VGA Water Cooling loop through the back of the coolermaster RC-690? it has two 3/8" pipe holes to the left of the expansion slots. is that possible? does anyone know of a pump, res, radiator kit that i can add one (or two depending if i get 8800GT sli or single 9800GX2) vga coolers to? recommendations plz

thanks in advance looking forward to your responses :kaola: 
September 5, 2008 3:33:16 PM

The 280 GTX would givee much more potential for sli since it doesn't need a outrageous profile, the gx2 for quad to work right it needs to have full functional sli profile drivers.

Personally the gx2 works great in quad for me, as for water cooling, I wouldn't do it personally so I can't help you (for VGA)
a c 262 U Graphics card
September 5, 2008 3:57:47 PM

V3NOM, what do you have now? What resolution will you be playing at?

Don't bother upgrading unless you can jump a couple of levels in capability.

9800GX@, GTX260, and 4870 are all comparable and will give good gameplay.

More than that, you can't talk about value; you are talking about paying a premium for ego, bragging rights, and diminishing returns on performance.

Enough is enough. How much value is there in a system that can do more than 60FPS?
Will you monitor refresh faster than FPS?

I would not pay to prepare for sli/crossfire of any current cards. By the time you want to upgrade, there will be newer/faster/cheaper solutions than buying another older, obsolete card.

I find this article to be a very good guideline to the value of different vga card configurations.
http://www.guru3d.com/category/vga_2/


Related resources
September 6, 2008 3:53:40 AM

um atm i have a 7600GS. look seriously i havent even bothered to buy crysis cos i know how crap its gonna run on my card... this is all pretty hypothetical but i do wanna get my new rig soon...

btw im saying 2x 8800GT vs SINGLE 9800GX2 and SINGLE GTX280.
i am under no circumstances buying a GTX280 as the price is wayyy too high and the 9800GX2 owns it. l1qu1d are you saying that even tho single 9800GX2 beats a single GTX280, that two 9800GX2's WILL NOT beat two GTX280's? i find that a little hard to believe.

oh and i will most likely be playing at 1680x what is it 1040? not familiar with the numbers of resolutions lol

and geofelt i want this system to be fairly future proof, hence wondering about the $50 difference between two 8800GT's and a single 9800GX2 now and another one later.. that's why i care, i totally agree with you about games above 60fps atm theres no need, but for example crysis? is there anything except two 4870X2 in CF that would play crysis at 60fps at max settings/resolutions?

im looking for some future proofing and while i realise this system will likely be outdated this time next year, it would still suffice for my needs..
September 6, 2008 4:11:25 AM

They will beat 2 280 GTX (In COD4 it beats 3 280 GTXs) but it has to be a game that loves sli, and most games will be sli enabled, because thats becoming more mainstream than before:) 

So I think the GX2 would do wonders:D .

ATI loose at crysis period. I don't know why but they do lol (prob cuz the game was optimized for Nvidia:p )
a c 262 U Graphics card
September 6, 2008 6:46:11 PM

Moving from a 7600GS, you should find major joy with only a 3850 or a 8800GT.
You get diminishing returns for your dollar past the GTX260.4870/9800GX2 level.
September 7, 2008 12:57:12 AM

yeah yeah i know... I don't upgrade very often and when i do i want it to be able to play games (even if its not at max... i mean it won't even play crysis at max lol) released a couple of years from now.

and if i get a single 8800GT that's not going to be able to play crysis, just cause 2 (when it comes out) etc at the level and fps i want it to.
September 7, 2008 8:27:27 AM

V3NOM said:
are you saying that even tho single 9800GX2 beats a single GTX280, that two 9800GX2's WILL NOT beat two GTX280's? i find that a little hard to believe.


It all has to do with drivers and profiles and whatnot. Using 4 GPUs a lot wonkier than using 2, so a lot of games don't know how to take advantage of 4.

I'd go with the 9800 GX2 personally. I don't like blocking my upgrade path unless it's me adding a 2nd card to an existing card I've had for some time (in which case I'm using my upgrade path :) )
September 7, 2008 9:03:55 AM

hmmmmmmmm but is it worth an extra $50 and a ton of extra heat :S
September 7, 2008 11:04:02 AM

It's $50 extra, but 2x 8800 GT means that if you want something new in the future, you have to scrap both cards, which could potentially make you lose more than $50, depending on what you're able to do with the older cards. On the other hand, by the time the GX2 is obsoleted you might be looking for a whole new system, in which case you spent that extra $50 for nothing.

I like the GX2 for its ease of upgrading (just throw in another one) and it's easier to sell off (powerful card that doesn't require an nvidia motherboard), but you did mention that you don't upgrade often, so by the time your next upgrade rolls around, you might be ditching the entire system. It kind of comes down to "Pay $50 extra now" or "wait and see if you can get away with the cheaper setup, and if you can't then you have to pay even more"


Technology is a strange beast, this really could go either way for you. Either setup would work well and there isn't really a right or wrong decision here.
September 8, 2008 6:05:10 AM

well my figuring is that when the 9800GX2 is obsolete, it will be so cheap ill be able to pick up another one! :)  also i like the idea of a 4 core GPU, 4 core CPU (and i'm guessing in the future games are going to be optimised a lot more for more than two gpu's.
September 8, 2008 6:43:46 AM

i feel i should tell you sli is crap you have 2 have an nvidia motherboard and thats what makes it crap, stick with an intel chipset you cant go wrong plus you say you dont upgrade all that often and that makes me think you should be looking at ati instead of nvidia, google harddrive corrupted on nvidia chipset
September 8, 2008 8:33:14 AM

let me guess... AMD die hard/ATI fanboy? thing is, there is nothing from ATI in the 8800GT or 9800GX2 price range. Also, the custom built (not reference design) evga 750i FTW can easily get a Q6600 to 3.6GHz... someone got the board, set it up and overclocked it tot 3.6 with a couple of voltage tweaks stable in 10 SECONDS! absolutely fkin nothing wrong with it go have a cry fanboy and prepare for the onslaught of a dual gpu GT200 series gfx card. DIE ATI DIE
September 8, 2008 9:08:03 AM

you dont want advice dont ask plus a Q6600 3.6 oooooOOOO
September 8, 2008 10:47:40 AM

V3NOM said:
let me guess... AMD die hard/ATI fanboy? thing is, there is nothing from ATI in the 8800GT or 9800GX2 price range. Also, the custom built (not reference design) evga 750i FTW can easily get a Q6600 to 3.6GHz... someone got the board, set it up and overclocked it tot 3.6 with a couple of voltage tweaks stable in 10 SECONDS! absolutely fkin nothing wrong with it go have a cry fanboy and prepare for the onslaught of a dual gpu GT200 series gfx card. DIE ATI DIE



Bingo!!!!!!
September 8, 2008 11:01:30 AM

im not asking for YOUR advice ranger.
September 8, 2008 1:12:37 PM

go to the pub pick up some old slapper bang some makeup on her and say shes nineteen but underneath she'll still be an old slapper.

just because you've been buying an old slapper for the past 3 years dont take it out on me

i offer good advice only to get a slap in the face, go ahead buy ur old slapper just dont go running to the forums when it blows up in ur face
a b U Graphics card
September 8, 2008 2:26:07 PM

The 9800GX2 is priced well, but still higher than two 8800GT or even 9800GT. 8x/8x SLI mobo like 650i and 750i, I say go 8800GT SLI. There seems to be little to no hit in SLI at 8x. Quad SLi support is worse, but I'd also imagine a possible performance hit not having 16x/16x. Not an issue if you have a 780i already.

BUT, if you need the mobo, you could go with an intel chipset and a 9800GX2 now, then a beastly single card later someday. I wouldn't bank on finding a cheap 9800GX2 a year from now. May happen, may not. Just my 2 cents anyway.
a b U Graphics card
September 8, 2008 5:10:39 PM

I'd go with the GX2.

Until the Big Bang II drivers, don't plan on adding a second one. But it is a possibility Quad SLI could become an option...
September 8, 2008 8:29:14 PM

pauldh said:
The 9800GX2 is priced well, but still higher than two 8800GT or even 9800GT. 8x/8x SLI mobo like 650i and 750i, I say go 8800GT SLI. There seems to be little to no hit in SLI at 8x. Quad SLi support is worse, but I'd also imagine a possible performance hit not having 16x/16x. Not an issue if you have a 780i already.

BUT, if you need the mobo, you could go with an intel chipset and a 9800GX2 now, then a beastly single card later someday. I wouldn't bank on finding a cheap 9800GX2 a year from now. May happen, may not. Just my 2 cents anyway.


yes that is tru, but your spending a little bit more for 1 slot and the option for quad in the future. And i'm going to say that, I tested out Quad, and I was scared I made the wrong choice, and alothough it has 0 scaling in some games (Assasins creed) or barely any in others (HL2), I can say that alot of the others scale beautifully. COD4 I would get around 110 fps @ 1920x1200 and now I get almost just about 200 fps. which comes close to 100% scaling (man i love that game). Crysis got a boost from the 30s to 40s and I can get AA running @ 2x1920x1200 VH. UT3 I was disspointed, I only got 40-50% scaling, and UT 2004 scales better than 3....sooo I dunno what to say about that.

Either way. I'd say GX2, since you'd have to spend almost double to acheive something thats almost as strong (280 GTX).
September 9, 2008 7:40:56 AM

rangers said:
go to the pub pick up some old slapper bang some makeup on her and say shes nineteen but underneath she'll still be an old slapper.

just because you've been buying an old slapper for the past 3 years dont take it out on me

i offer good advice only to get a slap in the face, go ahead buy ur old slapper just dont go running to the forums when it blows up in ur face

well thanks a lot for your "good advice" someone sounds up himself and an 8 year old with his crude language. go have a cry kid :cry: 
September 9, 2008 7:56:50 AM

yes we can all dis ppl on the forums but im not going to lower myself...
goodbye
September 9, 2008 8:22:28 AM

bye bye! dont come back! no really, i insist. i'll just show you the door..
September 9, 2008 11:31:15 AM

ha, no1 has anything against you, but being a fanboy clouds your judgment, so your opinions mean squat to every1 and ofc every1 is going to flame you. Especially since they know it gets to you:)  Your like the concord (or w.e his username was) of ATI cards.

I'd either leave the forums or just learn to be open minded when it comes to REAL information, and not just biased information.

Cheers
September 9, 2008 1:23:53 PM

The GX2 is definitely a great card, especially for the price it's at! Consider that just a few months ago it cost as much if not more than a 4870x2 and people were buying them then!

HOWEVER, it does seem like you go a while between upgrades and that would make me weary of getting the GX2. Personally, if I were looking for something that I can go forward with I'd probably get the GTX260 or 280 (prefer to wait for the revision on those) or get a 4870. I just see you getting more driver support a year from now and a second card will give you more with those than with a GX2. I'm fully aware that the GX2 scales well in certain games but if you find a title where it doesn't you will be SoL.

Either way, I think that L1qu1d mainly went with a second GX2 because he already HAD the first one and it was his BEST option at the time. If you go the single GPU route you leave yourself open to either adding a second (and expecting proper scaling in all games) or just switching to a brand new card.
September 9, 2008 1:27:13 PM

Also I'm not sure how easy it's going to be to find a GX2 a year from now (at least not at a reasonable price i.e. 8800GTX). Need a crystal ball to know that :D !
a b U Graphics card
September 9, 2008 2:26:17 PM

cokenbeer said:
The GX2 is definitely a great card, especially for the price it's at! Consider that just a few months ago it cost as much if not more than a 4870x2 and people were buying them then!

HOWEVER, it does seem like you go a while between upgrades and that would make me weary of getting the GX2. Personally, if I were looking for something that I can go forward with I'd probably get the GTX260 or 280 (prefer to wait for the revision on those) or get a 4870. I just see you getting more driver support a year from now and a second card will give you more with those than with a GX2. I'm fully aware that the GX2 scales well in certain games but if you find a title where it doesn't you will be SoL.

Either way, I think that L1qu1d mainly went with a second GX2 because he already HAD the first one and it was his BEST option at the time. If you go the single GPU route you leave yourself open to either adding a second (and expecting proper scaling in all games) or just switching to a brand new card.


The "best" solution would have been to have both a 4870 and a GX2 installed, switching as needed, but Windows won't let you install two display drivers...
September 9, 2008 2:55:41 PM

If he really wants future proof then the best CURRENT option is ATI. That may change with a revision to the GTX series of cards but at the moment going with a 4870 with the option for a second one down the road is the logical choice. IF however you are set on Nvidia then I wouldn't hesitate to get the GTX260.

Either of those cards will run Crysis VERY well.

Also you can look at the possibility of the 9800GTX+. Personally I feel it's more dated but it's still an option if you REALLY want Nvidia.
September 10, 2008 7:58:31 AM

hmm, crysis is much more optimised for nvidia cards though. are future games going to be optimised for nvidia chips or ati? 3dmarks over the years have always been optimised for ATI's, but i can't recall a best-selling game off the top of my head..
September 10, 2008 2:48:58 PM

If you're basing your purchase solely off of performance in crysis then you're going about it all wrong. Nvidia cards don't even play crysis "the way it's meant to be played" and the game was optimized for them. The new ATI cards will give more than adequate performance in crysis (all settings on high at 1920x1200).

Consider that in other amazing titles ATI matches or beats Nvidia, and that thus far crossfire scaling has shown to be superior in many games (literally 100% scaling in certain titles). I'm not a fanboy I've always bought what works at the time (Radeon 9800, X800, X1900XT CF, 8800GTX SLI, 9800GTX SLI, 4870X2 is the way I've progressed) and would never suggest something based on personal opinion but instead on personal experience. At the moment, I feel the ATI 4800 series is the better option for anybody willing to spend over 170 dollars for a graphics card.

As for "future games," the more people buy ATI cards the more likely you are to see titles optimized for them and at the moment is does look promising!
September 11, 2008 7:00:18 AM

lol yeah, i know... but i like folding, and with a 100 times increase (theoretically) with PhysX/CUDA, that is also a big influence in my choice. also... as weak as it sounds, i would like a black themed system, and ATI doesn't have any black cards atm... :??:  lol... and for my price range, there is nothing ATI offers that competes with the price/performance of 8800T SLI, or 9800GX2 single.
September 11, 2008 1:18:47 PM

Actually 4850's in crossfire will beat the 8800 SLI by a substantial margin and will beat the 9800 GX2/ GTX280. That's going to come in above the 300 price range but it's quite a big step up as well. A single 4870 will give them a run for their money.

Also by the time PhysX/CUDA actually mean anything for the regular gamer you'll probably see support on the ATI cards you own OR ill have bought all new cards. I think everybody agrees that it was more a marketing ploy than an actual performance increase.

I still don't think there's anything wrong with your choices, there are just slightly better options at the moment :D 
September 12, 2008 8:32:50 AM

well of course 4850's are going to beat 8800GT's! and obviously if the 8800GT beats the 9800GX2 (sometimes) and GTX280, 4850 CF will!

and graphics cards are not just for games. I love the theoretical increase in F@H. and as you noted yourself, $300 for the 4850 CF compared to less than $240 (after rebates) for 8800GT SLI.
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