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GTX 280 vs 4870X2-Please Help

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September 21, 2008 6:15:24 AM

Hi, so while building my gaming PC I eventually decided to put in 3 GTX 280s in SLI. However, I've been reading that the 4870X2 is better, and so now I think I want it. So I have a few questions I would love answers to :D 

1) Is it REALLY better than a GTX 280? I'm talking Crysis and COD4 performance mostly.
2) I've always been an nvidia guy. I have no clue how ATI works. I think crossfire is like nvidia's SLI... so, how many of these cards can I put in crossfire, since they're already 2 gpus in one?
3)I heard ATI drivers for crysis are horrible... is this true?

And lastly, but most importantly, would whatever the max number of 4870X2's you can have in crossfire give me more fps than 3 gtx 280s in SLI?

Thanks guys. :sol: 

More about : gtx 280 4870x2

September 21, 2008 6:33:39 AM

3 gtx 280's will beat out 4870x2's crossfired as far as I know, and if Crysis is your game you should probably stick to nvidia any how.

Either set up is just one large waste of money if you ask me, but to each his own.
September 21, 2008 2:53:52 PM

What I mean is 3 gtx 280s vs 2 4870X2s.... thats 3 GPUs vs 4. And what I'm estimating is, 1 4870 on max, full AA/AF, DX10 on crysis w/ 2560x1600 is about 11 fps, while a gtx 280 is 13. 3dguru says 3 of them give 38 fps total on best possible settings, so 11x4would be 44fps... so thats better than GTX 280s, right?

And of course, if it's not better I'd MUCH rather stick with nvidia, but seeing as how there might be a performance increase, and 2 of them are actually cheaper, I might cross over to the dark side.
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September 21, 2008 2:55:38 PM

So yea main question at this point would be: Would dual 4870X2s (4x 4870) be better than 3 gtx 280s in SLI, mostly in Crysis and COD4? And does anyone have benchmarks?
Oh yea, and can you crossfire more than 2 of those babies, or is four GPUs the max?


Also: Why has nobody done quad gtx 280?
September 21, 2008 3:42:26 PM

Quote:
would not normally say this but you should look, and i mean look do not post as it has been discussed before but look for some of DanD's posts over at hardocp, i scan them sometimes although can't stand the site, he has used quadfire as well as tri sli configs and has spoken about the pro's and cons of those setups, i believe your answer will be found over there.


No idea who that is and what the site is. Could you link his posts for me please?
September 21, 2008 4:01:17 PM

johnyeah said:
Nobody's done quad gtx 280 maybe because it's too expensive (few people really have the need for that, even fewer people have the money for it).

There was a recent article http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-radeon-char..., I believe you can find benchmarks on most setups.


I wasn't aware that the gtx280 supported quad-sli. Does it?
September 21, 2008 4:05:19 PM

br3nd064 said:
I wasn't aware that the gtx280 supported quad-sli. Does it?


I'm not aware of any motherboard that have both 4 pciex16 slots and the extra room to fit 4 dual slot cards. Skulltrial have 4 slots, but one of them has to be single slot card.
September 21, 2008 4:08:31 PM

br3nd064 said:
I wasn't aware that the gtx280 supported quad-sli. Does it?


I don't see why not... every other high-end nvidia card does. I've only seen triple GTX 280 benchmarks though... and theres only 1 on the entire interwebz. If it did indeed support 4 GTX 280s, that would mean 50 fps on crysis on 2560x1600 DX10, all settings max, full AA/AF... but I'm more than happy with 38 fps on those settings http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-280-sli-tripl...

So, anyone know if you can have two 4870X2s in crossfire? I'd really like to know, because if not I'll stick with 3 GTX 280s. And I don't want to make a mistake to the tune of $1500.
September 21, 2008 4:10:23 PM

UltimaSlayerVII said:

So, anyone know if you can have two 4870X2s in crossfire? I'd really like to know, because if not I'll stick with 3 GTX 280s. And I don't want to make a mistake to the tune of $1500.


Quad crossfire? That only require 2 slots. It was in the benchmark I linked earlier. There are scaling problems though.
September 21, 2008 4:17:23 PM

3 280 GTXs outperform 2 4870 X2s, and both are still immature drivers.

The 3 280 GTXs suck out enough energy to make you want to mortgage your house. The 4870 X2s I heard consume less. They are both priced around the same. (Canada prices)

1 280 GTX=400-500$

1 4870 X2 = 550-650$

3 280 GTXs = 1200$ (lowest cost that I've seen)

2 4870 X2s 1100$ (lowest cost that i've seen)

Quad sli scales horribly at the moment with the X2, and like the GX2 it takes a while to get stable drivers, and even then the game has to love sli to get your money's worth (COD4)

If you have an nvidia board, go with the 280 GTXs if you have an Intel chipset board (Crossfire board) go with the 4870 X2

Honestly, I don't see the reason to pour that much money, unless you plan on gaming at a high resolution, or if your an enthusiast of frames (like myself)


Your best bet would be to either go with a single 4870 or 260 (or 280) gtx, and because I think even a 8800 GT manages to hold its own in most games (not Crysis or Stalker).
What resolution do you game at? What ur sys config so we kno if any of these cards are bottlenecked.

give us details to work with. :) 
September 21, 2008 4:30:32 PM

You can have 2 4870x2's in crossfire, but the drivers are really bad at the moment, and they barely scale at all.
September 21, 2008 6:31:51 PM

L1qu1d said:
3 280 GTXs outperform 2 4870 X2s, and both are still immature drivers.

The 3 280 GTXs suck out enough energy to make you want to mortgage your house. The 4870 X2s I heard consume less. They are both priced around the same. (Canada prices)

1 280 GTX=400-500$

1 4870 X2 = 550-650$

3 280 GTXs = 1200$ (lowest cost that I've seen)

2 4870 X2s 1100$ (lowest cost that i've seen)

Quad sli scales horribly at the moment with the X2, and like the GX2 it takes a while to get stable drivers, and even then the game has to love sli to get your money's worth (COD4)

If you have an nvidia board, go with the 280 GTXs if you have an Intel chipset board (Crossfire board) go with the 4870 X2

Honestly, I don't see the reason to pour that much money, unless you plan on gaming at a high resolution, or if your an enthusiast of frames (like myself)


Your best bet would be to either go with a single 4870 or 260 (or 280) gtx, and because I think even a 8800 GT manages to hold its own in most games (not Crysis or Stalker).
What resolution do you game at? What ur sys config so we kno if any of these cards are bottlenecked.

give us details to work with. :) 


It will be somewhere along the lines of:

Asus Striker II formula 780i(probably going to get a different mobo, though)
Quad Core Q9550 2.83 GHz
Triple GTX 280s(or dual 4870X2s) in SLI/crossfire
8gb DDR2-1066 RAM
300gb 10krpm VelociRaptor
1250w PSU

Think thats enough. I'm going to game at 2560x1600, and I want to run Crysis on max, DX10, full AA/AF with playable fps. That's why I 3 GTX 280s... Look at this: http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-280-sli-tripl...
No way a 8800gt, a single gtx 280, or a 4870X2 could even run that without brain-exploding fps. It seems that dual 4870X2s would be better than 3 GTX 280s, though, since its 4 cards vs 3, and each 4870 is only about 8% worse in performance than the GTX 280. And since 2 4870X2s would be even cheaper, wouldn't it actually be much better? I haven't actually found benchmarks that use dual 4870X2s in crossfire, just the X2 itself in crossfire.
September 21, 2008 6:35:45 PM

lol @ that resolution you'll be lucky if tri or X2 CF would be playable on high ... you can't expect full AA.

Nothing can do it , and even if its playable for a bit, when there are fight scenes the cards are just going to die, especially since they don't scale properly.


Since you game at that resolution your best bet would be a card with 1 gig RAm.

I'd say the 280 GTX and up, I'd go max 280 GTX sli or 4870 X2 single for now.

Wait for mature drivers
September 21, 2008 8:32:38 PM

L1qu1d said:
lol @ that resolution you'll be lucky if tri or X2 CF would be playable on high ... you can't expect full AA.

Nothing can do it , and even if its playable for a bit, when there are fight scenes the cards are just going to die, especially since they don't scale properly.


Since you game at that resolution your best bet would be a card with 1 gig RAm.

I'd say the 280 GTX and up, I'd go max 280 GTX sli or 4870 X2 single for now.

Wait for mature drivers


Once again, http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-280-sli-tripl... and those arent even the OC editions I'm getting

Only reason I'm getting a 30" 2560x1600 monitor is because people here told me that if I have GPUs this good, the 1920x1200 resolution I was going to play on before would be a waste.

September 21, 2008 8:39:33 PM

well lets see the first chart is Crysis in medium.

and look at the second chart. The System just gets 50 fps @ 1920x1200 VH, AA is just going to kill it. How about @ 30" resolutions?

Your best bet to get a proper AA in that game, will be to go 1920x1200. I wouldn't say thats over kill at all. Especially since games will require the extra ram for High Def textures as well.
September 21, 2008 10:22:15 PM

L1qu1d said:
well lets see the first chart is Crysis in medium.

and look at the second chart. The System just gets 50 fps @ 1920x1200 VH, AA is just going to kill it. How about @ 30" resolutions?

Your best bet to get a proper AA in that game, will be to go 1920x1200. I wouldn't say thats over kill at all. Especially since games will require the extra ram for High Def textures as well.


Dude, the benchmark below that shows 38 fps on 2560x1600 on the best possible settings. That includes full AA/AF. So, I'm sorry, but it can be done. . It just requires $1500 for the GPUs alone...

I was planning to play on a 28" hanns-g monitor w/ 1920x1200 but then people on another thread of mine said that 3 GTX 280s would be a huge waste if I wasn't playing on 2560x1600

September 21, 2008 10:23:15 PM

Anyway, I'm still waiting if anybody can answer the main question: Can you run dual 4870X2s in crossfire(4 GPUs)? Every benchmark says 4870X2 in crossfire, but thats the X2 itself in crossfire, not 2 sets of X2s.
September 21, 2008 10:37:22 PM

best setting possible means quality of the textures, shaders etc. Not AA which is sharpness of texture (no jaggies).

yes the 4870 X2 can run CF, it does not scale as well as 280 GTX in tri for now. (neither do). If they put 4870 X2 CF that means Quad which is 4 GPUs. If they put 4870 CF thats 2 4870s (2 GPUs).

And Quad 4870 X2 won't scale at all almost in Crysis, since its an Nvidia optimized game.

p.S

When they say best settings go look in the game under advanced, thats the settings.
Change all settings : low, med, high ,V. High Etc.

:) 
September 22, 2008 1:09:54 AM

L1qu1d said:
best setting possible means quality of the textures, shaders etc. Not AA which is sharpness of texture.

yes the 4870 X2 can run CF, it does not scale as well as 280 GTX in tri for now. (neither do).

And Quad 4870 X2 won't scale at all almost in Crysis, since its an Nvidia optimized game.


Will it scale in other games? And btw, I've been a member of 3dguru for a long time, when they say "best possible settings", they mean absolutely everything turned on to the max.
September 22, 2008 1:17:42 AM

Again i quote, read properly:

Image Quality setting:

* 4x Anti Aliasing
* 16x anisotropic filtering
* All settings maxed out
This is the description from a game.

notice how settings is separate from Anti Aliasing???? that's directly from Guru3D I've been using their site since 2000:)  so as I said, even they kno better than to use the terms together. Settings means Shadows, textures and over all visuals, while AA is toning which should be kept with Resolution:) . :D 


Anyways, COD4 will scale very well, Bioshock, there are more, and games are becoming mroe and more SLI/CF friendly.

I'd say wait it out for the 4850 X2 maybe it will force a market change again...price drops etc.
September 22, 2008 1:18:41 AM

either setup, make sure you OC that proc up and over 3.6ghz... it'll give you the most out of your cards

i personally would never pour that much money on a setup, but hey if you got the money, go ahead. you should even run some benchies for your own thrill
September 22, 2008 1:31:28 AM

well I dunno if that much even 3.2 would do okay, but anything less than 3.0 could bottleneck the card(s).
September 22, 2008 2:09:25 AM

L1qu1d said:
well I dunno if that much even 3.2 would do okay, but anything less than 3.0 could bottleneck the card(s).


So, you're saying there are no GPUs in the world that can run Crysis with absolutely everything on at playable FPS? See, I dont believe that, because 3 GTX 280s are the absolute best GPUs you can have right now. It's already the best single gpu on the market, so 3 is even better. And w/ warhead out, I'm 90% sure I'd be able to run it max INCLUDING full AA, because of better optimization. Also, I have better RAM then the guy has. Even so, if those are the best settings anyone can achieve at playable fps, I can't complain. I can live w/ 4xAA instead of 8... and with warhead, I think I won't have to.
September 22, 2008 2:13:21 AM

L1qu1d said:
well I dunno if that much even 3.2 would do okay, but anything less than 3.0 could bottleneck the card(s).


I also just noticed your sig. So, you have TRI GTX 280s too? WTF? I'm seriously confused, you just said that it's a waste of $
September 22, 2008 2:17:22 AM

Okay I'm going to say this again. Read my posts. I said there are no cards that can max out Crysis @ 2560x1600 with AA MAXED. They struggle with even 2 AA.

Are there cards that can do that resoltuion on VH? even Quad GX2s. Can it run properly? GX2? not so much. On the 280 GTX tri? Yes its playable but still stutters @ high action parts ( and mind you that a stutter in any game would mean 50 fps from a high of 80+ in Crysis it goes down to even 15 fps, even with the mighty 280 GTX tris.
Remember that 38 fps is just an average, its still not at the prefered 60 fps that becomes very fluent on LCD monitors, but still above the 26 ( lets say 30 to play it safe), barely...

Now then. do you understand?

Whats soo hard to believe? when Crysis originally came out no game could play it even in DX 9 just high properly, the patched 1.2 helped alot, but still didn't bring the favored frame rates.

So to turn your statement into a question, and I'll answer it. The test wasn't done with AA on, if it was, it would be stated I gaurantee you:) 

Please stop changin my words around, we weren't talking about maxing out at just any resoltuion, we were talkin 30'

Yes the 280 GTX tris are a waste of money, unless your a fanatic. I got them from my friend as a trade off for my GX2 Quads since he doesn't game, and he purchased em through his company.

AGAIN, don't change my words around, explore the internet and read reviews. Guru3D is a start, there are alot more.

Anyways you do w.e with your money. I came out even (well I came out slightly better than what I had before).
Here is a list:

280 GTX tri > 4870 X2 Quad > 9800 GX2 Quad (wins most against the 280 GTX sli)> 260 GTX tri-sli > 280 GTX sli > 4870 X2~4870 CF >260 GTX sli and etc.
September 22, 2008 2:17:54 AM

We're saying they're a waste of money right now, because, at the moment, the drivers aren't very good for gtx280 tri-sli. We're not saying that it isn't a good card, but the drivers aren't fully mature yet.
September 22, 2008 2:21:58 AM

L1qu1d said:
Again i quote, read properly:

Image Quality setting:

* 4x Anti Aliasing
* 16x anisotropic filtering
* All settings maxed out
This is the description from a game.

notice how settings is separate from Anti Aliasing???? that's directly from Guru3D I've been using their site since 2000:)  so as I said, even they kno better than to use the terms together. Settings means Shadows, textures and over all visuals, while AA is toning which should be kept with Resolution:) . :D 


Anyways, COD4 will scale very well, Bioshock, there are more, and games are becoming mroe and more SLI/CF friendly.

I'd say wait it out for the 4850 X2 maybe it will force a market change again...price drops etc.


I just reread it to make sure. Sorry but, you lose. the 4xaa, 16x AF and all IQ settings maxed out was from the COD4 benchmark. And if thats not the max AA for cod4, I'm sure I could max it out, because at those settings it's already running fps in the hundreds... Full AA wouldnt even drop it below 100fps. "But since the framerate is so good .. we might as well give the best possible settings a try. " You hear that? Best Possible Settings. Thanks for scaring me, but you lose.
September 22, 2008 2:27:52 AM

framerates for medium man READ THE ARTICLE I'm going to post the article here so ppl can give their input


I stated that this is a description from a game I didn't state Crysis. Its just an example.

And what hundreds are you even talking about? You mean in COD4? thats not even a demanding game 8600 GT can run that game lol

Here let me Explain it:

since our MEDIUM results were such high frames per second, WE WILL MAX OUT THE SETTINGS, which the settings is stated in Crysis as textures and ECT!

Not AA. PLEASE read, I kno you can get excited. Wouldn't I want to defend me being able to max out Crysis @2560x1600 with AA 16x ?? honestly

My god.

Here ppl, read the link tell me if I'm wrong:

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-280-sli-tripl...

September 22, 2008 2:34:39 AM

Here is another review site:

1920x1200:

tri 280 GTXs: 45 fps NO AA

Now increase the Resolultion and Increase AA?

Well that sounds like playable:) 

http://www.driverheaven.net/reviews.php?reviewid=609&pa...


This answers both your questions for the patch you should take, 4870 X2 Quad vs 280 GTX tri-sli
September 22, 2008 2:38:30 PM

L1qu1d said:
Here is another review site:

1920x1200:

tri 280 GTXs: 45 fps NO AA

Now increase the Resolultion and Increase AA?

Well that sounds like playable:) 

http://www.driverheaven.net/reviews.php?reviewid=609&pa...


This answers both your questions for the patch you should take, 4870 X2 Quad vs 280 GTX tri-sli


alright, you got something thats better than 3 gtx 280s? I'll be glad to know.
September 22, 2008 2:39:33 PM

again, thats just the X2 crossfired, not dual X2s... ugh nobody gets that
September 22, 2008 2:48:13 PM

no thats 2 4870 X2s in CROSSFIRE READ THE BLOODY ARTICLE before you start ramping on.


When some1 says 4870 X2 CF that means there are 2 4870 X2s running together SO 4 CARDS!

there is nothing better than the 280 GTX in tri todate, but its just not performing on par to their price. I'm sure if you wait a couple of weeks you'll get em for cheaper or get an idea what's to come out.

To answer your question, the best setup to get for top end dollar, is 280 GTX tri. that doesn't mean it will scale properly and get your money's worth all the time.


Again to recap

1 4870 = 1 GPU (aka =1 Videocard)

4870 CF = 2 GPU (aka 2 Videocards)

4870 X2 = 2 GPu (aka 2 Videocards)

4870 X2 + 4870 = 3 GPU ( aka 3 Video cards)

4870 X2 CF = 4 GPU ( Aka 4 Video cards)


Now go and read your article and mine, and see what they describe.
September 23, 2008 12:52:37 AM

L1qu1d said:
no thats 2 4870 X2s in CROSSFIRE READ THE BLOODY ARTICLE before you start ramping on.


When some1 says 4870 X2 CF that means there are 2 4870 X2s running together SO 4 CARDS!

there is nothing better than the 280 GTX in tri todate, but its just not performing on par to their price. I'm sure if you wait a couple of weeks you'll get em for cheaper or get an idea what's to come out.

To answer your question, the best setup to get for top end dollar, is 280 GTX tri. that doesn't mean it will scale properly and get your money's worth all the time.


Again to recap

1 4870 = 1 GPU (aka =1 Videocard)

4870 CF = 2 GPU (aka 2 Videocards)

4870 X2 = 2 GPu (aka 2 Videocards)

4870 X2 + 4870 = 3 GPU ( aka 3 Video cards)

4870 X2 CF = 4 GPU ( Aka 4 Video cards)


Now go and read your article and mine, and see what they describe.


Wow this makes no sense... dual X2 should be much better, but theyre way worse. Guess the scaling is bad. Alright now I just need 1 more thing... can somebody tell me if a mobo exists that supports 3 GTX 280s, DDR2, and a sound card?
September 23, 2008 3:31:41 AM

Yes there should be plenty.

For example (although i don't recommend) my motherboard. The Asus Striker 2 Formula (only reason I don't recommend it is because there were alot of bugs I needed to go through to make it run properly, and the chipset heats up quick...the northbridge is terribly hot)

It comes with tri sli support, and an external High Def Sound card.

I think your best bet would be to go with EVGA board that has tri sli:) 
!