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280GTX over 2X 4870's for gaming good or bad?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 24, 2008 3:42:41 PM

This single card is about 100$ cheaper and seems to have better reviews than other brands of 2X 4870's Is this a smart move to go with 280GTX im really only using this computer for future games and MMO. Maybe Diablo 3 but right now i want to get warhammer online.

GIGABYTE GV-N28-1GH-B GeForce GTX 280 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

What decently priced monitor should I snag if im using this gtx card?
a c 143 U Graphics card
November 24, 2008 4:03:50 PM

Diablo 3 uses Havok physics, which will be supported by HD 4870 and HD 4870 X2 but not by the GTX 280.

With a GTX 280 or a HD 4870 1GB you could even get a 24" monitor. These cards can handle 1920x1200 all right.

Here's a sample benchmark for Quake Wars:

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3415&p=6

HD 4870 X2 (or HD 4970 1GB Crossfire) 100 fps
GTX 280 71 fps
HD 4870 1GB 64 fps

All excellent results, considering they are at 2560x1600 with high quality. Of course, in other games it won't be that great.

I'm personally a huge fan of Diablo 2 (best game ever, IMO) and can hardly wait for Diablo 3. I was told that Diablo 3 will work OK on my 8800GTX at 1680x1050, just not with all the eye candy and physics effects.
I'll buy a HD 4870 X2 when the game is released. I suspect it will be about $300 by then, not $530.


a c 165 U Graphics card
November 24, 2008 4:06:51 PM

The problem you might have with getting 2x 4870s is that the 4870 only has a 512MB frame buffer. This can limit performance at high resolutions. Unless you are willing to pay to get 2x 1GB 4870s or the 4870x2, you should get the GTX280. Another possible issue with the CF solution is some people are sensitive to the "micro stuttering" that can happen with them. Might want to see if you can barrow a friend CF/SLI setup and see if you are one who is.

As for your other question, whats "decently priced"? If I were you, I'd figure out what monitor you are getting first before deciding on the video solution. For example, if you get a 22" LCD with a 2ms response time, your resolution will only be 1680x1050. Even the 9800GT/4830/4850 is more then enough to handle that resolution. I'd only worry about getting the GTX cards if you have a 24"+ screen, one that does 19x10/19x12.
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November 24, 2008 4:36:58 PM

Isn't micro shuttering fixed in the 4870x2 :?
November 24, 2008 4:37:12 PM

From everything I've read, the 'micro stuttering' was on the 3870(x2s) and was corrected in the 4000 series.

edit: cyjock beat me to it :p 
a c 165 U Graphics card
November 24, 2008 5:35:08 PM

I thought it was something that effects all more then one video card solutions? Its something only found on the 3870x2?
November 24, 2008 5:35:44 PM

actually no it wasn't if u read reviews, 1 4870 X2 either has around the 280 GTX min frame rates or much lower.

Especially if u read the Guru 3D review ont he 4870 X2 with far cry 2.

There are times where 1 4870 1 gig would come out ontop of the X2 for min frame rates. Thats microstutter.

Obviously I could not leave out Far Cry 2, currently one of the hottest titles available on this globe. The GTX 280 is faster up-to 1920x1200 after which the two GPUs on the X2 kick in harder.

"The high framerate doesn't mean it was a smooth ride though. Contrary, in DX10 mode we see a lot of stutters and freezes with the Radeon series 4000 cards. "

http://www.guru3d.com/article/palit-revolution-700-delu...

The 9800 GX2 is also plagued by this, and I can vouch for that card, cuz I had 2 of em:) 

That doesn't mean they won't be improved, the hotfixed helped it a bit, but I realyl doubt they will be nullified completely.
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