Asus A8N SLI, best 2009 graphics card?


I have an older Asus A8N SLi Deluxe MB with 2 Gig RAM and a 3800X2 running at ~4.2-4.6GHzGHz "equivalent" (core is 2.4GHz) Power supply is 600 watts. My current carda are 7800GT in SLI. XPSP3 is installed.

My question is, what would the best "new" 2009 graphics card be on this MB for Crysis, FarCry and Fear type game titles? I can't get the resolution fine enough to see the darn characters in Crysis2! If I can run 1024 x 768 at "highest" settings, I'd be doing well. I can't use any X2 or X4 filtering with the 7800GT's to improve resoution or my frame rate goes below 30FPS using the test program.

1.0 I can use SLI, or single slot card solution. PCIe slots go to X8 in SLI from X16 in single slot. So this MB is SLI (more than one GPU) only with two cards using both slots, I don't know what to call the new dual GPU card using one slot, "compiler SLI?.
2.0 A modern single card can possibly even exceed a dual slot card (260 verses the SLI 8800GT type), so I can use Nvidia or ATI single, and Nvidia SLI. I have used and enjoyed both vendor cars over the years, so I'm not too biased (except Nvidia seems to manage drivers better).
3.0 I have a Trinitron CRT so I can tune resolution for frame rate very easily. I'm not limited by a LCD native resolution problem, but higher is better for clarity. The newer cards use a DVI to VGA adapter to feed the Trinitrion, right?
4.0 My 3800X2 CPU is stuck as is as 939 CPU's are about maxed out at 4.5GHz, and I'm overclocked close to that right now, but it should be pretty good at 4.2GHz. Any CPU stuff is going to be small potato improvement. I do not think that the CPU is the bottleneck right now, but it could be with a more modern card. I can adjust my CRT resolution to suit what my CPU and card can do.
5.0 I use XPSP3 so RAM is maxed at 2GHz, right? Would more RAM really help, or is the GPU cards RAm really what I'm after for image processing? I'm pretty sure 32bit XP is 2GHz RAM usage.
5.0 I figure about $300.00 :o is not too bad to keep this PC going. It does amazingly well with the 7800GT is SLI, but the newer titles would be easier to play at X4 filtering and higher resolutions wherever my CPU and (???? newer) video card can run it.

Will this PC run;
Nvidia SLI 9800GX2 ($280.00) 197Watts
GTX260 ($275.00) or 280 ($350.00)? 235watts
The ATI HD4870 ($230.00) or ATI4870 1Gig ($255.00)

The 280 proice is almost in my budget, and if my PC will run it, could be a solution. Thoughts if you had this PC?
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  1. Many newer GPU's use TWO processors on a single cars, but are not technically SLI, is what I mean. A card can use take-up TWO SLOTS, but plug into ONE.

    My CPU is overclocked to the next BIN higher or so, and has been for awhile. The clock is the "equivalent", yes, the core is NOT at that speed, any more than it is at 3800MHz. Are you going to slam me for calling it a 3800+? The core is somewhere around 2.4GHz. You have to really play with the hyper transport speed and such. So to avoid confusion, I quoted the "equivalent" clock, OK.

    You guys are just looking for a fight, I need a video card. Fight somewhere else.

    Two 9800GTs? Why not one 9800GX2?
  2. @rower30: Go for either the GTX260 or HD4870 according to taste, anything higher will not be used fully with a 3800X2 processor and I might suggest that even the 9800GTX or HD4850 might fit you existing system better, and particularly if your monitor cannot exceed 1600x1200 resoloution.
  3. OK, That'ss what I need to know, where the bottleneck is. Which branded GTX260 should I consider? I'll run it pretty stock since this is not a high-end system anymore, so pushing up a hill when a mountain needs to be climbed is dumb. I'll run it at as high a resolution as I can get with 30FPS minimum on farcry2, using their in game test platform. But, this PC can be uncorked pretty well with a modern card (7800GT's were modern less than three years ago, ouch!).

    The DVI has VGA support usig a DVI to VGA adapter, right? This support will vanish inside the DVI port and is not there at all with HDMI.
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