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Grahpics card help

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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 19, 2008 1:08:07 AM

Im not trying to beat a dead horse. but im cant decide between gtx260, 9800gx2 or the 4870. they all seem to proform abotu the same and around same price range. i was gonna get the gtx but theres no hdmi output on those i kinda wanted that. whats the positive and negs?

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a c 176 U Graphics card
September 19, 2008 1:48:23 AM

In terms of pure performance, the order should be 9800GX2 > 4870 ~ GTX260. The 4870 should do better against a stock 260, or with AA/AF enabled for the most part. Prices fluctuate all the time, so check online to see which is the better deal.

There are DVI to HDMI converters, AMD even bundles them with some of their cards. They can be bought by themselves on Newegg. I assume they work with Nvidia cards as well, though I've never heard of anyone using one.
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September 19, 2008 1:59:23 AM

ya i checked some of the charts but it seems like the gx2 is about = if not alittle better but alot worse in some other catagorys
September 19, 2008 2:02:33 AM

mega1268 said:
ya i checked some of the charts but it seems like the gx2 is about = if not alittle better but alot worse in some other catagorys


What categories? If you're only comparing it against 4870/gtx260, the gap is far too large to cross.
a c 176 U Graphics card
September 19, 2008 2:07:36 AM

Thats the nature of SLI. The 9800GX2 is basically two g92 cards SLIed together. Some games handle SLI better then others. Other issues could include difficulty with multi monitor setups, and lack of up to date drivers if Nvidia drops support for it (this could include poor performance for new games if no SLI profile exists). I believe the power draw and heat output is higher for the 9800GX2 also.

This is why Nvidia came out with the GTX series. Pretty much has the power of the 9800GX2, without the drawbacks. The GTX280 has the power of the GX2, but no SLI "trickery" to do it.

I personally would get the GTX260 or the 4870. Performance is close enough that the bundle or final price should dictate which you buy.
September 19, 2008 2:18:56 AM

Power consumption:
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=22
Full load:
9800gx2 289.2w, 4870 278.6w, gtx260 262.5w

There are no sli issues with 9800gx2, drivers are already mature. Optimizations already done isn't going to magically disappear. Unlike dual card sli/cf, dual gpu single cards like 3870x2, 9800gx2, 4870x2 cannot disable link and run separately even if you want to, the "sli/cf trickery" is stuck.

SLI/CF dual cards support only 1 monitor. But single 9800gx2 supports 2, like any single gpu card. Some models of 3870x2 supports 4:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Monitor limitations is not an issue with dual gpu cards.

9800gx2 outperform gtx280 consistently while costing far less.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Performance against 4870/gtx260 isn't remotely close.
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=13
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=14
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=15
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=16
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=17
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=18
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=19
a c 283 U Graphics card
September 19, 2008 2:32:12 AM

mega1268 said:
Im not trying to beat a dead horse. but im cant decide between gtx260, 9800gx2 or the 4870. they all seem to proform abotu the same and around same price range. i was gonna get the gtx but theres no hdmi output on those i kinda wanted that. whats the positive and negs?

You are right, they are about the same. If you had any one of them, replacing it with another would not make any sense. There are differences as to which perform better in certain games, at differing resolutions and settings. Some cards may also be factory overclocked. There are HDMI adapters, if you need one of those.

If you always play a game that you want optimized, then find it in a benchmark. Otherwise, buy on price and quality of the vendor. If you currently have a Nvidia unit, I would go for another nvidia unit. Ditto for ati. It is easier to install the driver if you don't have to remove all of the other type driver. You might also get a card with a "step-up" program, just in case there is a better offering in the next 90 days.
a b U Graphics card
September 19, 2008 2:41:20 AM

Theres drawbacks by going with x2 cards. If you dont achieve a certain framerate you may experience microstuttering. The GX2 does great in most games, and youll hardly experience it in the majority of games out now, tho that could change with more demanding games of tomorrow. I would imagine that future games will be optimized for dual card setups, or x2, but will they slow slower x2 cards down where microstuttering becomes an issue? Ive read a few people whove bought the GX2 who later returned them, because a certain game they liked microstuttered and it drove them crazy trying to play it. Not alot has been said about it, and youd have to really search around the web to find a certain scenario regarding this issue WITH a certain and game and certain card. It doesnt happen alot, but when it does, say your favorite game, it sucks
a b U Graphics card
September 19, 2008 2:53:49 AM

Heres a real good power consumption chart http://www.pcgameshardware.com/aid,660043/Power_consump... In this chart, it shows the manufacturers claims, the sites actual findings on 2 seperate uses. Furmark is the most demanding test currently as for stressing your gpu. The GX2 leads the charts in using 3Dmark as far as power usage goes. The 4870 in this chart uses 20 watts less than the G260 and 70 watts less than the GX2 in 3Dmark. It depends on what youre running, and what the cards capable of, as it uses more power as it needs to perform its task. The thing to consider then, which one can you psu handle, and which one gives you a good power/performance scenario. Things like power consumption are tricky, because you just dont turn it on, and automatically itll use x amount of watts.
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