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8800 640mb GTS SLI vs. GTX 280/4870

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September 21, 2008 9:56:47 PM

I'm trying to decide what I should do for a computer update. I currently have an Intel Core2 Quad that I'm really happy with, but my video card is a single GeForce 8800 GTS 640mb which is beginning to feel dated.

Right now I'm going to have to update my motherboard no matter what (currently have a single PCI Express 1.0 x16 slot), but I'm wondering if I should go with a second 8800 GTS 640mb, or if I should go ahead and get a single GTX 280 or a 4870. I thought about the 4870x2, but I think it would actually be too big for my case.

Now, it would seem like the 8800 GTS is obviously the cheaper option, but I think I would probably need a new PSU with it as well, making the price a good bit higher. It would still probably come out cheaper than buying one of the high end cards, but not by a whole lot.

My main question is, performance wise, how much difference will I see in SLI'd 8800 GTS 640mb vs. a single GTX 280 or a 4870?

Thank you.
a b U Graphics card
September 21, 2008 10:20:39 PM

Dude, getting a 780i and the second 8800GTS is a good move, but since you *need* to change your MoBo i'd say get a X48 and a 4870.

You won't even have to get the second 4870 right away.

Now, that is a little more expensive than going the 780i + 8800GTS route, but is a better combo. Besides, you can still sell yout 8800GTS and get good money from it to make thing even.

Well, either option is a good one, since 2x8800GTS's won't fall back on anything out there right now and out perform a 4870/GTX260 easily.

Get the cheapest solution of those 2 and you'll be happy anyway :p 

Esop!

EDIT: Chris also has a good point there, since single card solutions won't show too much of a difference in a PCIe 1.x or 2.0
Related resources
September 21, 2008 10:37:58 PM

gamecrazychris said:
GTX 260 core 216, it should be more than enough and you won't have to upgrade your motherboard.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

No way the Core 216 is worth $60 more than the standard GTX260. This one's only $240 ($210 after rebate): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RemyDuron, what motherboard do you have? Your PCIe 1.x slot shouldn't bottleneck any single card out there, save for *maybe* a 4870X2. Even a single HD4870 or GTX260 would make for a fine upgrade from what you currently have.
a b U Graphics card
September 21, 2008 10:55:15 PM

What is your monitor resolution? A single 260 and the 4870 would be better in most games over 8800GTS in SLI.

Yes Stick with the MoBo you have unless you must upgrade the MoBo. Make your next motherboard a Nehalem board:) 

Look at Toms GPU chart also.

The 260 core 216 is faster then the 260 and in sometimes then the 4870.

Either choice would be great.

1Haplo
September 21, 2008 11:56:57 PM

what are they talking about the SLI would kill
September 22, 2008 12:04:15 AM

No, SLI'd 8800 640's is not the best option here. SLI never scales like you'd hope for. Having 2 cards doesn't mean that you get twice the performance. You usually end up with 20-30% more performance. I very strongly second the gtx260 (original one).
a b U Graphics card
September 22, 2008 1:34:41 AM

1haplo said:
What is your monitor resolution? A single 260 and the 4870 would be better in most games over 8800GTS in SLI.

Yes Stick with the MoBo you have unless you must upgrade the MoBo. Make your next motherboard a Nehalem board:) 

Look at Toms GPU chart also.

The 260 core 216 is faster then the 260 and in sometimes then the 4870.

Either choice would be great.

1Haplo


lcaley said:
No, SLI'd 8800 640's is not the best option here. SLI never scales like you'd hope for. Having 2 cards doesn't mean that you get twice the performance. You usually end up with 20-30% more performance. I very strongly second the gtx260 (original one).


Benchies?

I mean, common knowledge tells us that 2 8800GTS 640MB in SLI are equal/near to a 9800GX2 in performance, wich is better than a single 4870/GTX260 (either new or OC'ed).

EDIT:

Here are the benchies that show little to none difference with the 8800GTS's in SLI and the 4870/GTX260. I couldn't find the 640MB versions though. I don't know if there's too much difference with the 512MB version. I'll give that the 8800GTS's don't scale that well, i was wrong in that area, but they still kick butt.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-char...[2063]=on&prod[2069]=on&prod[2062]=on&prod[2114]=on

(You'll have to copy paste the link to see it :p )

Esop!
September 22, 2008 2:08:14 AM

8800gts 640's aren't comparable to a 9800gx2 because of the difference in their age. The gx2 has 2x g92 dies, and the 8800gts 640 uses an older g80 die. They have different amounts of ram, their memory busses are different. I'm sorry, but I think you're incorrect. I'm no expert though, just my $.02. If you can find benchies comparing a gts 640 sli to a 9800gx2 I'd be more than happy to be wrong.

edit: I just now saw you asking for benchies for my statement earlier, I don't have time for the research right now, but I don't mean any particular card. It's just common knowledge that sli doesn't give you much scaling at all. IMO, not worth the money.

edit again: http://www.theinquirer.net/en/inquirer/news/2007/02/21/... sorry for the lame source, I said I didn't have time. Look at the 3dmark06 scores 9060 non sli, 12718 sli = 28.76% increase
September 22, 2008 2:30:15 AM

I'm with you lcaley, SLI and Crossfire don't really scale very well until you get to very high resolutions and/or high levels of AA. A single GTX260 or HD4870 should be plenty for those of us with 'normal' sized monitors. To bad we don't have any ****' clue what size monitor the OP has :sigh:
September 22, 2008 2:35:43 AM

Why would 3dmark06 double? There is a freaking CPU score!!!

Save your money and get a second 8800 gts. Liquid col them and overclock like mad. Then post your 3dmark score.
September 22, 2008 2:46:37 AM

Yuka said:
Dude, getting a 780i and the second 8800GTS is a good move, but since you *need* to change your MoBo i'd say get a X48 and a 4870.

You won't even have to get the second 4870 right away.

Now, that is a little more expensive than going the 780i + 8800GTS route, but is a better combo. Besides, you can still sell yout 8800GTS and get good money from it to make thing even.

Well, either option is a good one, since 2x8800GTS's won't fall back on anything out there right now and out perform a 4870/GTX260 easily.

Get the cheapest solution of those 2 and you'll be happy anyway :p 

Esop!

EDIT: Chris also has a good point there, since single card solutions won't show too much of a difference in a PCIe 1.x or 2.0


Why does it have to be X48? What's wrong with P45? Sure in CF the slots only do 8x, but they're 2.0 slots... so there really should be almost no difference, and you save $100. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 22, 2008 2:50:17 AM

Yuka said:
Benchies?

I mean, common knowledge tells us that 2 8800GTS 640MB in SLI are equal/near to a 9800GX2 in performance, wich is better than a single 4870/GTX260 (either new or OC'ed).

EDIT:

Here are the benchies that show little to none difference with the 8800GTS's in SLI and the 4870/GTX260. I couldn't find the 640MB versions though. I don't know if there's too much difference with the 512MB version. I'll give that the 8800GTS's don't scale that well, i was wrong in that area, but they still kick butt.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-char...[2063]=on&prod[2069]=on&prod[2062]=on&prod[2114]=on

(You'll have to copy paste the link to see it :p )

Esop!

The difference between the 512MB and 640MB models are pretty huge. The second GTS is the 512MB version. The 512MB (G92) model whips the older G80 model.
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-char...

Take a look see.
And for those who "can't find benches" comparing that 640MB GTS, 512MB GTS, and GX2.... come on you guys. Hello? TomsHardware Charts.
September 22, 2008 2:57:23 AM

doomsdaydave11 said:
And for those who "can't find benches" comparing that 640MB GTS, 512MB GTS, and GX2.... come on you guys. Hello? TomsHardware Charts.

Not to make excuses for those who refuse to post benches, but I find the Tom's Hardware Charts a bit... lacking. Google is your friend.
September 22, 2008 2:57:56 AM

I'm done arguing over the internet. The OP has my opinion, you guys have a nice evening.

OP - good luck.
September 22, 2008 3:00:47 AM

The most effective option for both value and performance is one $100 p45 motherboard plus one 9800gx2.

P45 cost half as much as x48/780i, while outperform 780i and perform on par with x48. The only drawback is no cf/sli.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

9800gx2 cost $270, and is currently the second fastest single card on market, behind 4870x2 and in front of gtx280.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$280 for factory oced version:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It's based on g92, and will significantly outperform dual g80 8800gts in sli.

Benchmarks:
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
September 22, 2008 3:13:04 AM

Sorry I didn't give monitor size information, I'm sort of a newb at hardware specs, at least compared to people on this board. My monitor is 1680x1050. I currently have a Gigabyte G31MX-S2 mobo. http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Product...

It seems from the summed FPS benchmarks on Tom's my best option is either the 4870 or the 280. 280 is a little better, but also more expensive. Unfortunately the 4870 isn't so great for Crysis, which I actually enjoy. Hmm. . .

So, I won't have a problem running a single PCI Express 2.0 card through a
PCI express 1.x slot? Or I won't have much of one? Hmm. . . that would be helpful, not having to pay for a new mobo.
September 22, 2008 3:16:14 AM

dagger said:
The most effective option for both value and performance is one $100 p45 motherboard plus one 9800gx2.

P45 cost half as much as x48/780i, while outperform 780i and perform on par with x48. The only drawback is no cf/sli.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

9800gx2 cost $270, and is currently the second fastest single card on market, behind 4870x2 and in front of gtx280.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$280 for factory oced version:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It's based on g92, and will significantly outperform dual g80 8800gts in sli.

Benchmarks:
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


Very nice. . . Definitely checking this out.
September 22, 2008 3:17:11 AM

RemyDuron said:
Sorry I didn't give monitor size information, I'm sort of a newb at hardware specs, at least compared to people on this board. My monitor is 1680x1050. I currently have a Gigabyte G31MX-S2 mobo. http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Product...

It seems from the summed FPS benchmarks on Tom's my best option is either the 4870 or the 280. 280 is a little better, but also more expensive. Unfortunately the 4870 isn't so great for Crysis, which I actually enjoy. Hmm. . .

So, I won't have a problem running a single PCI Express 2.0 card through a
PCI express 1.x slot? Or I won't have much of one? Hmm. . . that would be helpful, not having to pay for a new mobo.


I have nothing about Tomshardware, but their benchmarks are... less than accurate. :sarcastic: 

Single 8800gts outpeforming gtx280 sli:
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-char...

You should really search for benchmarks from more reliable/consistant sites, like Techpowerup and Anandtech.
a b U Graphics card
September 22, 2008 5:53:14 AM

doomsdaydave11 said:
Why does it have to be X48? What's wrong with P45? Sure in CF the slots only do 8x, but they're 2.0 slots... so there really should be almost no difference, and you save $100. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Actually, when you CF 4870's there is a noticeable bottleneck with that x8 bridge. Not that matters for "regular" res monitors and their omfg-huge FPS. And since i said "get one 4870 now the other later on", it backs up my point.

And since he wanted to change his MoBo, the x48 is near the 780i in price range, right?

doomsdaydave11 said:
The difference between the 512MB and 640MB models are pretty huge. The second GTS is the 512MB version. The 512MB (G92) model whips the older G80 model.
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-char...

Take a look see.
And for those who "can't find benches" comparing that 640MB GTS, 512MB GTS, and GX2.... come on you guys. Hello? TomsHardware Charts.


The only info i could find was: the g80 is slower in terms of all clocks, has less shaders and is PCIe1.x, when the g92 is PCIe 2.0 with faster clocks. They look pretty much a like at first sight, but a lot of people (forums and reviews) state that the later performs better. So, adding that, the g80 from his 8800GTS won't scale close to that 8800GTS 512MB, hence won't be so close to the performance of the 4870/GTX260.

I was wrong, but i stand corrected now :p 

RemyDuron said:
Sorry I didn't give monitor size information, I'm sort of a newb at hardware specs, at least compared to people on this board. My monitor is 1680x1050. I currently have a Gigabyte G31MX-S2 mobo. http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Product...

It seems from the summed FPS benchmarks on Tom's my best option is either the 4870 or the 280. 280 is a little better, but also more expensive. Unfortunately the 4870 isn't so great for Crysis, which I actually enjoy. Hmm. . .

So, I won't have a problem running a single PCI Express 2.0 card through a
PCI express 1.x slot? Or I won't have much of one? Hmm. . . that would be helpful, not having to pay for a new mobo.


Then, like Chris said on the second post, get a 4870/GTX260 and you'll be happy with your rig once again. Both cards perform like a dream at that res. Besides, you won't have to change your MoBo.

If you want to change your MoBo, then follow dagger's advice. She sums it up nice and easy :p 

Esop!
!