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Which card should i get? (No fanboyism please )

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 7, 2008 1:41:40 PM

Hi all.
I've been having mega troubles with my current PC and tbh, i'm sick of it. The thing is broken and the warantees simply won't work anymore :) 

Ok, so, I need to buy a new PC. I'm getting one from Overclockers UK, and this is the one that looks good http://www.overclockers.co.uk/syscon_int.php?prodid=FS-...
I will upgrade that with the coolermaster HAF 932 Ultimate Gaming Case, Intel core 2 quad extreme edition QX9770 3.20 GHz, arctic cooling freezer xtreme CPU cooler, G. Skill 8gb DDR3, the best power supply, best HD. BUT, there is a problem.

I do not know which gfx card to put in. The problem is that I don't know which is best :D  There's 2 choices. 2 x GTX280 (the types listed on the page) or 2 x 4870x2 (as listed on page).

Which is best? I play Crysis, WoW (The most), Age of Conan, WAR, WiC and I will play Dawn of War 2, Empire total war, other MMO's.. Things like that. :) 
How would this PC run these things, and which card is the best? I know there's a massive debate, but, try and give un-biased views :D 

More about : card fanboyism

December 7, 2008 1:46:21 PM

Forgot to add, the cards will be in Xfire or SLI
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 2:00:50 PM

@OP:

1. What rez do you plan to play at?

2. Water cooling? OCing?

Imo, consider getting Core i7 for a bit more $ instead of wasting it on a QX9770 (~$600-700). While a Core i7 920 = $300.
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December 7, 2008 2:01:02 PM

i'd go with the 2X 4870X2 ;) 
anyway, a single 4870X2 would run all your games
December 7, 2008 2:01:14 PM

right then first things first, don't buy from overclockers they over charge, and your choice of sli or crossfire is dependent on the motherboard you get, not unless you go with the intel i7, i would like to know what resolution your going to game at b4 i give you advice
a c 1401 U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 2:04:26 PM

Since money is obviously not a problem go with the HD4870x2 x 2.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 2:15:44 PM

Seriously that PC is WAY over priced. I'm not sure if the Freezer Pro could keep that QX9770 cool. Also it can't SLI. Only CrossFire.


Seriously get Core i7 920.

Get this:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=FS...
£1159.17 inc VAT
With Core i 920 + V1000 case + Vista Premium 64bit + ATI 4870.
You can CrossFire/SLI if you decide to do so.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 2:16:38 PM

I agree with Shadow and rolli59. If money is not an issue, go with the Corei7/X58. Be foolish to buy a Socket 775 system.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 2:20:05 PM

^+1. esp. considering LGA 775 is almost EOL.
December 7, 2008 2:32:19 PM

Also, res will be something native for a 22" screen. Nothing to special, but something that does look very crisp and good. Preferably no water cooling :)  If anyone else can find a good system, please link it :D  Needs to have fast shippingg, space for 2 x 4870 x2, good cooling solution (water if necessary, not too fussed), the best processor available, the best RAM, the best everything. Can't go over £4000 though please :) 
December 7, 2008 2:47:46 PM

1 4870x2 will be enough for a 22 inch monitor, you'll be wasting your money to go anything smaller than a 26 inch screen for those cards.
December 7, 2008 3:05:55 PM

What about 2x GTX 280 in SLI? Better than 1 4870x2? And most of all, which is best with WoW? Finally, can crossfire run with 1 4870x2 + 1 4870?
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 3:15:28 PM

One 4870X2 is more than enough for WoW.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 3:48:59 PM

^ Heck even a 9800GT is enough. Seriously if you play WoW the most why even get a 4870X2?
December 7, 2008 3:50:53 PM

I agree, but wow is not the only game I play :p  Please reply to my questions, not the responses :p  can crossfire run with 1 4870x2 + 1 4870 and are 2x GTX280 in SLI better (more reliable) than 2 4870x2s?
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 4:16:24 PM

^ No. You can only CrossFire/SLI the SAME card. The 4870X2 and 4870 are TWO DIFFERENT cards.
December 7, 2008 4:18:13 PM

OK.. And is it possible to use SLI for 3 seperate 280s?
December 7, 2008 4:19:29 PM

I have to add my two cents here . Any system is only as good as its weakest link !!! Spending money on highend vid cards without a high res monitor is like buying a ferarri and never being able to shift outta first gear .Spend the money on a good monitor , Youll never regret it .
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 4:27:39 PM

^Exactly.
December 7, 2008 4:34:17 PM

Who said I had a bad monitor? and in fact, who said I wasn't buying a monitor anyway? I'm more than happy with my HD monitor, and although 24", it hardly makes it awful -.-
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 4:43:32 PM

^ Ok:

Let's get some things out of the way for clarification:

1. What resolution is your LCD?

2. Is this a pure gaming build?

3. Are you willing to install your own HDDs, GPU, water cooling?
December 7, 2008 4:46:12 PM

No offence meant hethkor . Up above you stated 22" monitor at native resolution . So i just thought i'd throw my opinion in which is why you posted here right? Just trying to help a gamer out and make your playing more enjoyable . Most people overlook displays in my opinion . If your happy thats all that matters
December 7, 2008 4:53:34 PM

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound grumpy :p  What I mean is that when one thing is sorted, ANOTHER thing is the problem :p 

And shadow, no, sorry :S What I ask for, Overclockers will be able to put in before it's shipped off to me. And Also the 24" is a typo, it's 22, as stated earlier. It's a Samsung, primarily TV, but I use it as a monitor. I can upgrade to a 30" though. ATM, I use a resolution 1360 x 768 (on desktop), in games such as wow I use higher, but otherwise it just looks too small on desktop :p 

If I were to get a 30" Dedicated LCD monitor, eg http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MO..."%20Widescreen%20LCD%20Monitor%20-%20Black%20Aluminium would it be alot better for the cards? And also, still in answer to the first q, which should I get, the 4870x2 or the GTX280.. The 4870 seems far more unreliable, but it seems there are many people saying its better.. I seem to like the GTX though.. My experience with my current ATI has left alot to be desired with the silly driver releases.
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 4:59:27 PM

^ Yes! By all means get a 30". BUT DO make sure it a QUALITY 30" I have never heard of Hazro, any one else? Could be cause it's a UK only brand?

The 4870X2 vs 280GTX depends on the game. Check out some benchmarks. The people saying they are having problems with 4870 are usually running older drivers.
a c 106 U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 5:35:50 PM

Shadow703793 said:
^ No. You can only CrossFire/SLI the SAME card. The 4870X2 and 4870 are TWO DIFFERENT cards.


Actually you can crossfire a 4870X2 with another 4870 for tri-crossfire, and the last crossfire compatibility chart said that you could also crossfire a 4870X2 with a 4850. While there are reviews on the tri-crossfire setups I don't know anybody who's done it. I don't think I've seen any 4850 4870 mixed crossfire setups either.
December 7, 2008 6:00:58 PM

Gah. I'm really really still stuck :p  The problem I have is that this TV is VERY new. Dad bought it for me as a gift, and I don't want to be harsh and almost make him buy me a new one. The thing is, on my Xbox, when playing a game such as dead space, when I use my HDMI cable (either, not just one), there are visible lines instead of straight edges. i think it's where I'm using a premium, not elite, but ofc, I cannot be sure.. On the PC I haven't noticed a problem, but then again, I only play wow after my last format..

If I continued using my Samsung 22" TV with either Tri-SLI GTX 280s or 2 4870x2, will there be a performance decrease?
December 7, 2008 7:53:00 PM

Any responses?
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 8:46:45 PM

How could performance decrease? The resolution on the TV is lower than a 24" or larger LCD, therefore performance should be better, not worse.
December 7, 2008 9:09:58 PM

Well thats what i though but "the system is only as good as its weakest component". If the reso is smaller, as megamax suggests it is a "weak" component.. I don't understand, that is what I meant :) 
December 7, 2008 9:20:32 PM

woops, wrong name :p  sorry Max, I meant "snotman"
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 9:51:00 PM

hethkor said:
Well thats what i though but "the system is only as good as its weakest component". If the reso is smaller, as megamax suggests it is a "weak" component.. I don't understand, that is what I meant :) 

No, what people are saying is that having a lower res (ie 1400*1200) is UNDERUSING your GPU,etc.
December 7, 2008 10:11:23 PM

I understand, but its FPS i need, not Resolution :)  I'm quite happy with my 22", seems too unfair that my father spent £400 then had to buy another for £800.
I've decided. I'm going to go for SLI 2x GTX 280. It seems alot more stable and less buggy for certain games :D  Also, I've had so much trouble with ATI with this card, will be nice to return to nvidia :) 
December 7, 2008 10:12:01 PM

exactly, no point in going tri SLI for that low of a resolution, you could do one 280 and be fine...especially for WoW
a b U Graphics card
December 7, 2008 11:41:31 PM

^+1.What's the point of getting 100+fps on WoW? You can't see more than 60fps or so.
December 8, 2008 8:09:43 AM

Gah, no offence but your really avoiding most of my questions. As i said my MAIN game is WoW, MAIN, not only. I play crysis and I want a card (or set of cards) that eat it for breakfast. And also, as I have said, money really is not a problem at all. If i get one GTX 280 then buy a bigger and better screeen, then I need to go and buy another GTX 280 to tackle the newer games.. The PC is not just to last "a month or two" but far, far longer. If its not set for the future I'll need to rebuy everything.
December 8, 2008 8:30:33 AM

imo anything above 22" is ridiculous because you would have to sit back way far to actually see anything and avoid frying your eyes.. just my 2 bob.

imo just grab two GTX 280s and oc the hell out of em.
December 8, 2008 1:47:19 PM

i will give you the best advice, dont get a nvidia motherboard there as buggy as hell, and for that resolution your going to game at, stick with a 4870 or the 260, you wont be disappointed, and ill say again DONT! get a nvidia motherboard
December 8, 2008 3:08:46 PM

and stay away from overclockers.co.uk, there prices are overinflated, the cheapest place to buy in the UK is ebuyer.com and they do free shipping as well
December 8, 2008 6:27:30 PM

1. I'm not going for an Nvidia board, simply an Asus P6T OC Palm edition which has got amazing reviews. I'm going for the Intel Core i7 940 3.66Ghz (Nehalem) (Socket LGA1366) processor. 2 GTX 280s. Now, Rangers, I understand what your saying, but mate, you really haven't read my posts. As i said, IN THE FUTURE, I will be upgrading my monitor. In the very near future. I might as well get the bundle now than have to wait longer.. And the FPS benefits with 2 GTX 280s in SLI really are unparalleled. Finally, I'm going with overclockers because as I've said before, money is not a problem. not in the slightest. If its overpriced but can be with me by the next day, I'm more than willing to buy it. Whats more is that their support is great. Thanks for everyone's opinions
December 8, 2008 6:42:11 PM

if your trying to future proof your computer you've already lost . Keeping up with technology is virtually impossible . I agree with ranger , For your needs and resolution 1 4870 or 280 will suffice . All i was saying is if your gonna drop a grand on video cards why would you play them through a 150 dollar monitor . You'll call your friend over and say check out my new 4000 pound computer and it wont look any better than his 1000 pound system . So whats the point ? At that low of a resolution your not showing what your new system can do .
December 8, 2008 7:19:14 PM

280 GTX tri is stronger than 2 4870 X2 most of the time, but 2 4870 X2 is cheaper solution for almost the same thing.

Though personally I'd never go quad over reg sli or Max tri sli. The more GPUs there are the harder it is for the drivers to work properly.
December 8, 2008 8:18:54 PM

i do envy you, the Intel Core i7 940 3.66Ghz is an amazing peace of tech, but instead of tri sli i would go for one 4870x2 and put the cash i saved into 3 or 4 OCZ 30gig solid state drives in raid0, the thing would boot almost instantly, and if i needed more gpu power down the line i would stick in another 4870 1gig. but I would just like to add, i would not go SLI or crossfire, the problems it can cause out way the performance, one 280 or one 4870x2 is the way to go, but its your cash knock your self out, and i hope it all works out for you
December 8, 2008 8:30:50 PM

yeah but see he wants performance, though i agree 4870 X2 (or a 280 GTX, though u'll get a bit more from the X2) would do enough than adding anymore GPUS.

To make sure you get ur money's worth best solution would be to stop at 2 280 GTX (unless your going to have 2560x1600 resolution) or 1 4870 X2.

500$ (ball park) for the X2

around 700-800$ for the SLI 280 GTXs.

The 280s will perform better but with a 200-300$ higher price tag.
December 8, 2008 8:36:43 PM

any comments on the 4 OCZ solidstate drives in raid0
December 8, 2008 8:41:54 PM

once again, thanks for the comments :D  See Liquid knows EXACTLY what I'm saying :p  And yes, I'm going for 2 GTX 280s in SLI. Sounds like a good and stable crysis killer :p  I'm slightly worried about SLI compatibility with WoW, but all the posts are roughly 4 months + old, and since then there have been many major patches, so I guess its been adressed. And Rangers, concerning the state drives, atm, I can't do that, but possibly in January I can.
December 8, 2008 8:44:28 PM

even with SLI off, honestly alot of cards are doing 100 fps lol. my 9700M GTS does 100 fps constant in WOW:p 

As for the 4 OCZ solidstate drives in Raid 0.

It would help load times and boot times, but for Game fps avgs I won't do much. Unless its games like Grand theft auto where the map loads as you play:) 
!