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GPU charts dont make sense

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November 9, 2008 4:30:47 PM

Hey guys. I want to get either the Gefore 9800 GX2, Gefore x280, or the 4870 or 4870 x2. I saw one set of benchmarks for these cards and of course the 4879x2 is best, but that the 9800 GX2 comes in at a high second. then I see another benchmark charts and it says that the x280 is better then the 9800GX2. I am confused and I just want to see the true results. I just saw that for Crysis and COD4 the 9800 x2 blows the x280 out of the water. Now its looking like the x280 is better. I guess its beginning to seem like it just depends on the user doing the benchmarks. So would someone please give me a perfectly honest opinion as well as Benchmarks that finally make sense and line up with others. Thanks.

p.s. I do have mostly an Intel and nForce/ Geforce system with a 780i mobo which makes me want to lean towards the Geforce cards. I currently have the 8800GT and am still pretty impressed. The new card is for my dad's computer.
November 9, 2008 4:37:13 PM

Sorry guys I meant to say the Gefore GTX 280 not 280x.
November 9, 2008 4:39:21 PM

Honestly, Tom's GPU charts really suck. At the moment the GTX 280 performs JUST behind the 9800 GX2, while the 4870 X2 performs a good bit better than both. The charts are using old drivers and different hardware, just ignore them.
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November 9, 2008 4:50:10 PM

do remember that the 9800gx2 hs worse consistency for FPS.

across the board the 4870x2 > x280 > 4870 & x260 > 4850 & 9800gtx

i would personally stay away from the 9800GX2 due to the issues that plague the card IE: lower FPS consistency, doesnt flex its muscles till high res is used


what resolution do you game at ?
November 9, 2008 4:56:32 PM

Macer1 is correct, what he means is the 9800 GX2 is notorious for low minimum framerates, so if your cruising at 60 FPS and it drops to 10 FPS, well that's just not good.
November 9, 2008 5:58:27 PM

I agree with roadrunner, 4850x2 all the way.
November 9, 2008 6:12:53 PM

4850x2 looks good, but it just came out and doesn't have any rebates or anything on it yet so you can get the gtx 280 for about 40$ cheaper, and at 1920x1200 they are performing nearly neck to neck in most benchmarks i have seen. On top of that the 4850 is still a 2 card solution which puts limitations on some programs, and you wont be able to use both cards in windowed mode. I would say at this point until prices drop or new drivers come out increasing performance of the 4850x2 the gtx 280 is a valid solution for the 350~450 price range
November 9, 2008 6:23:30 PM

Toms charts are just bad. On one of them, they had single 8800gts outperforming tri gtx280 on lower settings. It's worthless.

Here are some well done charts, with comparisons with AA on and AA off.
http://en.expreview.com/2008/06/24/first-review-hd-4870...

At the moment, 9800gx2, at $270-280, is the best value on the high performance segment.
November 9, 2008 6:48:22 PM

^ What he said.
The 9800GX2 video cards seem to be drying up, have they stopped making them?
November 9, 2008 9:20:45 PM

macer1 said:
do remember that the 9800gx2 hs worse consistency for FPS.

across the board the 4870x2 > x280 > 4870 & x260 > 4850 & 9800gtx

i would personally stay away from the 9800GX2 due to the issues that plague the card IE: lower FPS consistency, doesnt flex its muscles till high res is used


what resolution do you game at ?



I use a 22in screen at 1680X1050 minimum. So would the 9800GX2 be flexing it's muscle enough to imporve over the GTX 280?


On your across the board is that the best to worse or your opinions?
November 9, 2008 9:27:37 PM

kyeana said:
4850x2 looks good, but it just came out and doesn't have any rebates or anything on it yet so you can get the gtx 280 for about 40$ cheaper, and at 1920x1200 they are performing nearly neck to neck in most benchmarks i have seen. On top of that the 4850 is still a 2 card solution which puts limitations on some programs, and you wont be able to use both cards in windowed mode. I would say at this point until prices drop or new drivers come out increasing performance of the 4850x2 the gtx 280 is a valid solution for the 350~450 price range


Im only skeptical because I have the 780i board and I know it best to stay with an nVidia card with the mobo for future SLI and compatibility issues. Also, I know if I go with the 4850X2 I cant do SLI or Cross FIre with it on that mobo. So all the charts I have been seeing are saying the 9800GX2 is still better then the gtx 280. Is that not true?

For that price I am hoping to get 2 of the 9800GX2's in SLI and I should be flying fast right? Or do you all agree that I should still go with the gtx 280 and to stay with the nVidia cards? Let me know.
November 9, 2008 9:46:07 PM

dagger said:
Toms charts are just bad. On one of them, they had single 8800gts outperforming tri gtx280 on lower settings. It's worthless.

Here are some well done charts, with comparisons with AA on and AA off.
http://en.expreview.com/2008/06/24/first-review-hd-4870...

At the moment, 9800gx2, at $270-280, is the best value on the high performance segment.


Dagger good point. Yes it does seem that the 9800gx2 out performs most cards as well as the gtx280. This is what I have seen and then I see another benchmark saying that the gtx280 is better. Then I hear some people say like up above that the card has issues with lowest FPS issues. So now i think its tied thus far. So still whats the real deal? I like your ideas, because i think I am a little nVidia biased, but i am trying not too be. So please continue to send your benchmarks and the real truth behind these cards.
November 9, 2008 10:10:34 PM

The 9800 GX2 is not the card you should get. It has terrible minimum framerate meaning it gives a much more ragged game play experience. 2 9800 GX2s in SLI do not scale worth crap and will be a major waste of money. The 4870 or GTX 260 might not get the same framerate scores as the 9800 GX2 but will most likely give a more enjoyable gameplay experience. If you have an SLI board then buy 2 8800 GTS 512s and SLI them, they will outperform everything except the 4870 X2, and can overclock to dizzying heights easily. You wont have the minimum framerate problem and it will be cheaper since 2 8800 GTS 512s should not cost you more than $240.
November 10, 2008 12:18:53 AM

Spitfire7 said:
Im only skeptical because I have the 780i board and I know it best to stay with an nVidia card with the mobo for future SLI and compatibility issues. Also, I know if I go with the 4850X2 I cant do SLI or Cross FIre with it on that mobo. So all the charts I have been seeing are saying the 9800GX2 is still better then the gtx 280. Is that not true?

For that price I am hoping to get 2 of the 9800GX2's in SLI and I should be flying fast right? Or do you all agree that I should still go with the gtx 280 and to stay with the nVidia cards? Let me know.


ATI cards will run just fine on Nvidia board. There's no "compatibility issues," if that's what you're afraid of. You just won't have the option of sli/cf.

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

As for quad sli, it does not scale as well as dual sli. Benchmarks that include quad 9800gx2 are very rare, here's a few:

http://www.guru3d.com/category/call_duty_4_pc/

http://www.guru3d.com/category/vga_charts_crysis/

http://www.guru3d.com/category/vga_charts_graw_2_fuel_w...

Spitfire7 said:
Dagger good point. Yes it does seem that the 9800gx2 out performs most cards as well as the gtx280. This is what I have seen and then I see another benchmark saying that the gtx280 is better. Then I hear some people say like up above that the card has issues with lowest FPS issues. So now i think its tied thus far. So still whats the real deal? I like your ideas, because i think I am a little nVidia biased, but i am trying not too be. So please continue to send your benchmarks and the real truth behind these cards.


If you check the hardware configuration of benchmarks that show gtx280 outperforming 9800gx2, they use lower clocked duals instead of quads. Duals in general bottleneck multiple gpus, whether in the form of sli/cf or x2 cards. Lowest fps issues also has more to do with cpu bottlenecking in intensive scenes rather than dual gpu itself.

Also keep in mind that x2 cards use internal sli/cf, and all the "problems" that apply to x2 cards with internal sli will apply even more to sli setups with external sli. Yet, for some reason, most people who advise against x2 cards never advise against sli/cf. If you're going to stay away from x2 cards, you might as well rule out using that sli feature of the motherboard completely. If you can put up with sli/cf, there is no reason to avoid x2 cards. Ignore the fear-mongering. There is nothing wrong with sli/cf or x2 cards.
November 10, 2008 1:23:59 AM

dagger said:
Also keep in mind that x2 cards use internal sli/cf, and all the "problems" that apply to x2 cards with internal sli will apply even more to sli setups with external sli. Yet, for some reason, most people who advise against x2 cards never advise against sli/cf. If you're going to stay away from x2 cards, you might as well rule out using that sli feature of the motherboard completely. If you can put up with sli/cf, there is no reason to avoid x2 cards. Ignore the fear-mongering. There is nothing wrong with sli/cf or x2 cards.


Not true at all, I built a system for a friend with a 9800 GX2 awhile back and he SLI'd them recently. I compared his benchmark scores with my cousin's PC which I recently built him which has 2 8800 GTS 512s in SLI. MY Friend gained about 3-10 minimum FPS across the board from his second 9800 GX2, while my cousin's 8800 GTS 512s in SLI almost consistently doubled my friend's SLI'd 9800 GX2 when it comes to minimum framerates. However, the max was a different story :D  When I overclocked those stock 8800 GTS 512s, though, the gameplay experience became very similar between the systems, yet those 9800 GX2s still beat the 8800 GTS 512s in benchmark scores... wonder why...

Edit: Also it is not that all the dual GPU cards have terrible minimum framerate problems, its that the 9800 GX2 in particular has a major problem.
November 10, 2008 1:52:54 AM

G92 8800gts, 9800gtx and 9800gx2 run on identical g92 chips, except 8800gts is 50mhz higher clocked. Whatever differences you perceived is due to different system setups and individual circumstances. There are people with identical cards with dramatically different results. Those highly opinionated, perceived differences on different systems mean nothing.
November 10, 2008 9:37:40 AM

You mean even when using the same motherboard, processor, and RAM? My friend and I bought a combo deal a long while back with an Intel E6750 and a XFX 680i LT, which is what I used in my cousin's PC so it is somewhat comparable...
November 10, 2008 11:04:26 AM

In the GPU charts, there are sections where you can view "Sum of all FPS Benchmarks" at different resolutions, or all compiled. I assume that this takes an average from all of the benchmarks run; synthetic, and gaming.

I would think this would have to be a pretty fair way to compare cards, rather than relying on just one or two types of benchmark.
November 10, 2008 11:16:07 PM

The_Blood_Raven said:
You mean even when using the same motherboard, processor, and RAM? My friend and I bought a combo deal a long while back with an Intel E6750 and a XFX 680i LT, which is what I used in my cousin's PC so it is somewhat comparable...


That explains it, the pcie1.1x8 chokes dual gpu badly. Not to mention quad. And yes, X2 cards do sync through pcie bus, as a loop. That's why your experience don't match benchmarks. The dual core cpu also bottlenecks quad gpu, although that's less of a factor than bus bottleneck.
November 11, 2008 1:08:49 AM

dagger said:
That explains it, the pcie1.1x8 chokes dual gpu badly. Not to mention quad. And yes, X2 cards do sync through pcie bus, as a loop. That's why your experience don't match benchmarks. The dual core cpu also bottlenecks quad gpu, although that's less of a factor than bus bottleneck.


You can't be serious! PCIe 1.1 (It is X16/X16 not X8/X8 which still would not make any concrete difference) does not bottleneck the 9800 GX2 in ANY way. The only remotely limiting factor is the power draw, not the bandwidth and the power draw is the same for both. How does a dualcore bottleneck quad GPU configurations? They still tend to beat quadcore based systems clock for clock thanks to the Ghz being the real deciding factor of GPU bottlenecking (more or less). Even IF somehow the E6750 @ 3.6 Ghz bottlenecked the quad GPU setup, it still does not explain how the 8800 GTS 512 in SLI gets around twice the minimum FPS than the 9800 GX2, even when the 9800 GX2 has a major advantage of being in SLI. Would you like the real reason? SLI/Crossfired cards do not suffer the same FPS hits as the 9800 GX2, which gets half the minimum FPS of it's single card equivalent. You are right that the minimum FPS of a dual card setup will tend to be SLIGHTLY lower than that of a single GPU card that gets the same average FPS, the scaling is far from perfect. And yes, my results match benchmarks.
November 12, 2008 8:29:14 PM

Thanks Dagger. I will have to go with those many benchmarks that still say the 9800GX2 is still the best unless in Quad. But even then its only 2 from the top which is excellent. I wonder how much better it would be if you ran all 6 GX2's.
November 12, 2008 9:18:29 PM

Spitfire7 said:
Thanks Dagger. I will have to go with those many benchmarks that still say the 9800GX2 is still the best unless in Quad. But even then its only 2 from the top which is excellent. I wonder how much better it would be if you ran all 6 GX2's.


You can't. It's not supported. Only one sli bridge slot per card. :p 
November 12, 2008 9:40:37 PM

dagger said:
You can't. It's not supported. Only one sli bridge slot per card. :p 


What? That sucks. Even with the EVGA 780i tripple 16x PCI-e? Would I then be better off getting the GTX 280 and getting three of them? Would that then way outperform two GX2's in SLI?
November 12, 2008 9:53:22 PM

Spitfire7 said:
What? That sucks. Even with the EVGA 780i tripple 16x PCI-e? Would I then be better off getting the GTX 280 and getting three of them? Would that then way outperform two GX2's in SLI?


Only 8800 ultra, 8800gtx, 9800gtx, and gtx280 support tri sli. As for tri gtx280, feel free if you're feeling rich. :na: 

The second set of charts I linked earlier includes tri gtx280 performance.
!