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2560 x 1600 Monitor - which card in this range..

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October 15, 2008 7:38:02 PM

I'm looking to upgrade my graphics card within the next month or so. I recently bought a Samsung 305T+ 30" monitor. Many people say you need GTX280 SLI for this monitor in games, but I think my standards are just lower than theirs. I have a 8800gts 640 right now and I think games look great, but I'm told I'm not doing this monitor justice with this card. What would be the best card for me to get for this monitor in my price range? My budget is only about $250.
Is there anything in the horizon coming out? If so I dont mind waiting. Which card performs best with 2560 x 1600 resolution?
Thanks,
Ryan
a b U Graphics card
October 15, 2008 7:58:22 PM

Hmmm...you have a 2560x1600, but don't have the power to run that resolution with all the eyecandy.

In your price, you options are limited to either the 9800GX2 ot 4870, and even those are over your budget a bit. (Note, the 9800GX2 is a beast, but its 512MB per core probably kills it at that high resolution, can anyone confirm?).

If you REALLY want to power through at 2560, either SLI 280's or a 4870X2 is needed. Other cards (260, 4870) can probably do ok at the resolution, but will struggle at times. Crossfired 4850's or the upcomming 4850X2 might also be worth checking out if you want a cheaper option.

In short, these are your options, price aside (worst to best)
9800GX2 (killed by memory limitations, but cheapest option)
4870 (1GB model probably helps a ton here)
SLI 260/CF 4850 (depending on mobo, might be the way to go for best bang/buck)
4870X2 (Best single card setup)
SLI 280's (Most power, say byebye to wallet though).
a c 169 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
October 15, 2008 8:23:03 PM

For that res go for HD 4870X2 :) 
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October 16, 2008 1:45:36 PM

Thanks for the response. If i went a little bit over my budget I'd be ok with that. I dont play the brand new games - mostly BF2, WoW, Medevil War, etc. I think people say I need gtx280 SLI setup assuming I want to play crysis and at very high settings. I just want to play the games listed. Think a GTX 260 or the 4870 (1gb version) would be better?
Thanks,
Ryan
October 16, 2008 5:16:19 PM

I would return that monitor and get a much bigger 1920x1080 LCD TV, perhaps 42" for $100s cheaper. That will free up money to upgrade your cpu(unless it overclocks well) as well as getting a faster GPU. Oh and you can watch TV on that 42" monitor, no need to buy a seperate TV.
October 16, 2008 5:45:02 PM

Dont return the tv, enjoy youre super high res monitor. and you CAN watch tv on that monitor with a tv tuner, pretty much ignore post above me if you want to play at high res. if you go a little over budget and but the 4870 (1gb) version you should be able to play all the games you listed at MAX at full res.
October 16, 2008 9:40:27 PM

Thanks for the responses. It looks like the 4870 1gb is the way to go.

As for the TV suggestion above.. I had a 47" 1080p tv that I used as a monitor for about a year. It's just too big to game with. The resolution looks far more crisp on a higher res 30" monitor. Also this monitor is used for my work - I work in Autocad all day so this monitor is ideal.
October 16, 2008 10:49:03 PM

4870 X2 is way overkill for your budget, but if you have the possible chocie for a higher priced card, go for the 4870 X2, it will cost a little more than the 280 GTX and perform 30% avg better for only 100$ more.

But if your on a budget, the 4870 1 gig is an amazing deal it even beat the 280 GTX in like 20% of the games (Grid, Half life 2, mostly ati based games)
October 16, 2008 11:29:28 PM

A 4870 X2 would be great at that resolution, but a simple 4870 1GB will do just fine as well.
October 16, 2008 11:36:24 PM

I would also like to add that the GX2 has it's limitations @ that resolution, but not really quite as bad as ppl make it out to be.

Does Crysis cripple the card? Yes

Does AA @ that resolution make the situation iff? Yes and no depending on the game, but I think that anything over 4xs AA is going to kill the GX2.

Does the GX2 have really bad min frames? Yes but nothing to be noticed unless your picky

Did i notice? Yes because I'm really picky about gaming, and I didn't care about min frame rate before, but after seeing the difference first hand, I wouldn't go back .
October 16, 2008 11:40:13 PM

L1qu1d is right the 9800 GX2 will perform fine at that resolution. I woudl get the 4870 1GB just because it is very close in performance and dual GPU graphics cards tend to be a pain, though not as bad as people make it out to be. Then again I've only ever owned the 4870 X2 dual GPU card and not the 9800 GX2 so I don't really know.
October 16, 2008 11:47:04 PM

yup I don't realyl like dual GPU cards anymore neither, but the 4870 X2 in my secondary is pulling its weight really well, and they paid more close attention to the min frame drop.

Ofc I think it will always be there because of the dual gpu, but at the power that card puts in a single slot...really who cares?

you'll see a dip in the 30s depending on the game @ the 30" resolution, but for alot of games @ a lower resolution you'll get the 72 min (COD4) which will make you lick ur lips and wonder how they do it:) .


Honestly god bless 1 gig cards:)  <3 my tri 280s....bye bye min frame rate hello AVG frame rate:D 

I would also like to add that having dual gpu or sli/CF will pose a pain in rump before the drivers are released:) 
October 17, 2008 12:16:12 AM

L1qu1d do you really need 3 280 GTXs? I can't imagine what the difference between 2 and 3 would be. I will admit that I have been very tempted to buy another 4870 X2 and have the best GPU setup on the market. Would that give me a noticeable boost in performance? I highly doubt it. More power to you though!
October 17, 2008 12:33:37 AM

well tri 280s scale better than quad.

COD4 is a noticeable difference.

The 4870 X2 and 9800 GX2, also the 3870 X2 are a pain to make drivers for and don't always scale the way they are supposed to, but they do fix out the bugs in some cases.

I honestly can tell you that tri sli does make a huge difference especially since me and AA became soo pleasantly joint to the hip.

I'm waiting to buy a second 4870 X2 when they go down in price, but honestly its going to be slightly slower than my tri 280s, so I don't kno if its really worth it for me, since I use that computer for lan gaming with my friends. Also my gf uses it sometimes but only very minimal games such as spore, sims 2, Star craft or some SNES roms.

I do hate dealing with tri-sli hassle, but its nothing different from reg sli now a days when it comes to driver compatibility.
October 17, 2008 12:37:28 AM

From what I have seen, the 2 4870 X2s tend to outperform 3 280 GTXs in more games than not. Do you use a 30" because the only game that dips below 30 FPS maxed @ 1920x1200 with my card is Crysis and I don't even like that game...
October 17, 2008 2:02:00 AM

no I don't I use 1920x1200 24".

I haven't seen an article yet, other than THGs system comparison, outperform the 3 280 GTXs.

The math wouldn't add up at all.

1 4870 X2 is 30% faster than 1 280 GTX on avg

So then 4870 X2 quad is around 30% faster than 2 280 GTXs, so then the extra 280 GTX only needs to scale 30% to match the 4870 X2 quad.
October 17, 2008 2:30:13 AM

They tend to trade blows in many games actually. From what I have seen it is exactly like comparing 1 4870 to 1 260 GTX. They are pretty equal and the winner always depends on the game. However, the 4870 X2 in CFX matches 3 280 GTXs and the 4870 X2 CFX is still in beta. I would have to say its pretty equal with the 4870 X2 CFX potentially having a slight edge.
October 17, 2008 2:36:35 AM

If they both scaled 100% (which is impossible ATM)

The 280 GTXs come out on top just do the math:) 

remember its alot harder to scale 4 GPUs than 3, they already gave up on the 3870 X2 from what I read, and the GX2 Nvidia wants to phase it out.


I really don't care 1 bit which 1 wins, I'm just saying which 1 is logical. If 4870 X2 wins, then i'll grab another 4870 X2 and quad fire:) 


I think by the time the X2 or the 280 GTXs reach their potential (ofc the 280 GTX has a smaller road) both cards will be phased out with revisions (even ATI is making revisions now Q1 of 2009)
October 17, 2008 2:39:05 AM

Theoretical performance doesn't help in Crysis.
October 17, 2008 2:44:20 AM

yes but Crysis is an Nvidia optimized game, so the ATI's won't touch the 280s in that game, not only that the beliefs are that Crysis only uses max 3 GPUs, which pretty much kicks out the 4870 X2 to 3 4870s which aren't as superior as the 280s.

But we'll never know:) 
October 17, 2008 3:28:15 AM

Na Crysis uses all 4 GPUs I've seen 9800 GX2s in Quad SLI and each card was running at 100% in the game. It was about how demanding Crysis was and how little reason there is for that demand. Anyway you are right, there are plenty of games that look better than Crysis and are actually FUN to play that can be maxed with 1 4870 X2.
October 17, 2008 3:33:00 AM

well I dont kno if visually they are as impressive, but the art work is alot better (atleast I like it alot more) in other games such as HL2 which I love and even Stalker has this detailed scene to it not just pure repetitive as Crysis.
October 17, 2008 12:59:40 PM

bigbeef2604 said:
Thanks for the responses. It looks like the 4870 1gb is the way to go.

As for the TV suggestion above.. I had a 47" 1080p tv that I used as a monitor for about a year. It's just too big to game with. The resolution looks far more crisp on a higher res 30" monitor. Also this monitor is used for my work - I work in Autocad all day so this monitor is ideal.



You think it's worth $75 over the 512mb version? Every benchmark ive seen shows that redundant video memory on any video card makes only 0% to 5% difference. I personally think 128mb to 256mb on the slower cards is enough and up to 512mb on the fastest cards are enough.

What happened to that 47" LCD? Do you still have it? If so, I am very curious what other resolutions it was able to sync up to and were you able to run custom resolutions, 960x540 and 640x360 in particular? I am looking to buy a 1080p LCD 37" to 47" in size depending on price. I can't really afford $1200-$1500 for a 30" and id have to run 1280x800 most of the time since native res makes the text too small for 2-d and most games will be too slow as well. Yea CAD loves high res :) 


To the others, is Nvidia and ATI done with dual core or dual GPUs on one card? How many pci-e slots can a motherboard have? Ive seen 1 and 2 and one mobo had 4! Never seen any with 3. Could you run 4870 x2's in 3 or 4 pci-e slots for 6-way and 8-way crossfire? Also ive read the more GPUs you run in parallel, the more CPU load. Thus performance actually decreases in terms of min fps and in lower resolution gaming.
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