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Are 2 weaker GPU's not as good as 1 powerful GPU??

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a b U Graphics card
February 10, 2009 11:08:41 AM

I've read lots of research mainly in Forums where people seem to state that two weaker GPU's are not as good as 1 more powerful GPU. I'm looking at a new system soon and plan to buy either a GTX285 or 4850X2. (The GTX295 and 4870X2 are just too expensive). However the benchmark results seem to show around 10-20fps in favour of the 4850X2 as opposed to the GTX285. I like to play COD4, Crysis Warhead and TDU at 1680x1050 full everything.

Can anyone explain which would be the better buy?

Many thanks.
February 10, 2009 11:39:58 AM

in the comparison of the 4850 X2 and 280 or 285 GTX, for me isn't a choice. I would much rather have a slightly slower single GPU, then dual weak gpus, if the extra gain is sometimes nill. Thats my 2 cents on the situation. The thing is that the 285 GTX can be 100$+ more than the 4850 X2. Which can be a problem. And the 4850 X2 is a Sapphire exclusive, which doesn't raise my confidence in the card either.

If it were me, I would bite the bullet and grab a 285 GTX...but at your resolution I would also look into the 260 GTX or 4870. I mean the 285 GTX can be overkill for that resolution...only game that you can't say overkill in is Crysis. The most of the rest can be handled by a 8800 GT:p 

But like I said, even the 285 GTx can be pushed to its limits at that low resolution (just like any card) if the game is just ridiculously demanding. Also I want to add that for the 4850 X2 to work, the game needs to scale, so its alot more driver dependent than the 285 GTX or any other single gpu

The 4850 X2 and 280 GTX are basically on par from benchmarks I've seen, with the 4850 X2 slightly edging it out in most benchies, and the 285 GTX is generally 10% faster.

But I've been rambling whats your specs.... I mean all of this can be ignored if you don't have the hardware:) 
a c 130 U Graphics card
February 10, 2009 12:02:39 PM

Any dual GPU set us be it a X2 or traditional Crossfire/SLI is only as good as its driver and software support.
Crysis didnt support dual cards when it was released and if that happened again you would effectively end up with a single 4850 in your case.
Im 100% in agreement with L1qu1d on this one i would always get a single slower GPU over any Dual card set up.
For example if i had a choice between a 4850X2 a 4870 or a 285GTX i would go with the most cost effective single card option.
My own set up for example is getting a screen upgrade soon and could use the power of a 4870 but realistically dosent need it and a 4850 is what i have settled on.
Mactronix
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a b U Graphics card
February 10, 2009 12:18:08 PM

L1qu1d said:
in the comparison of the 4850 X2 and 280 or 285 GTX, for me isn't a choice. I would much rather have a slightly slower single GPU, then dual weak gpus, if the extra gain is sometimes nill. Thats my 2 cents on the situation. The thing is that the 285 GTX can be 100$+ more than the 4850 X2. Which can be a problem. And the 4850 X2 is a Sapphire exclusive, which doesn't raise my confidence in the card either.

If it were me, I would bite the bullet and grab a 285 GTX...but at your resolution I would also look into the 260 GTX or 4870. I mean the 285 GTX can be overkill for that resolution...only game that you can't say overkill in is Crysis. The most of the rest can be handled by a 8800 GT:p 

But like I said, even the 285 GTx can be pushed to its limits at that low resolution (just like any card) if the game is just ridiculously demanding. Also I want to add that for the 4850 X2 to work, the game needs to scale, so its alot more driver dependent than the 285 GTX or any other single gpu

The 4850 X2 and 280 GTX are basically on par from benchmarks I've seen, with the 4850 X2 slightly edging it out in most benchies, and the 285 GTX is generally 10% faster.

But I've been rambling whats your specs.... I mean all of this can be ignored if you don't have the hardware:) 


Thanks for both responses. My specs i'm looking at building are i7 920, 6Gb DDR3, GTX285 or 4850X2 Corsair 850W PSU. Thanks again.
February 10, 2009 8:39:31 PM

Kkkk1 said:
Thanks for both responses. My specs i'm looking at building are i7 920, 6Gb DDR3, GTX285 or 4850X2 Corsair 850W PSU. Thanks again.




850W PSU for this system even a Corsair 620W PSU is more than fine. But if you want in the future to add a second GTX285 then take the Corsair 750W.
February 10, 2009 9:25:37 PM

Just for PSU comparison...

I'm using a Core i7 920, 6GB DDR3 1600, 6 HDs (including 2 raptors), 2xDVD R/Ws, a 8800GTX, and a SoundBlaster Elite Pro, driving 9 fans on a 750w Thermaltake. My Zalman power meter shows that I've never used more than 301 watts...and I typically see use ~270watts.

So I'm guessing that to need these 1gigawatt PSUs that are common now you need to put some kind of rediculousnous in your case like ... 3xGTX285s.
February 10, 2009 9:39:51 PM

a 8800 GTX uses as much power as a 280 GTX, the intel i7s have been known to go up to 200 watts:S are you sure thats all its going up to 300 watts? with 6 hdds 6 gigs of ram 2 dvds a sound card and the main system...I don't think thats accurate:S

I wouldn't be able to push all those things on a 400 watt psu.. I read the i7s are power hungry too.
February 10, 2009 10:05:14 PM

Well, I guess there's a chance that the display on my Zalman power meter is off or the power meter just stinks and is way off base. ...but right now its reading 263 watts.
February 10, 2009 10:09:54 PM

don't get me wrong your system is off the hook, but the readings seem soo low.
February 10, 2009 10:16:58 PM

You're being kind...my graphics card is way yesteryear and 74GB Raptors aren't exactly state of the art.


...but she serves her purpose and is still the fastest system I've used so I'm not complaining.
February 10, 2009 10:34:48 PM

lol its not like 3 seconds extra loading times on the new hdds will help;) and the 8800 GTX is a legend, I mean you don't need anything more powerful for most games:) .

If you can buy an i7 system I'm sure you'll be jumping into a new card soon:) 
February 10, 2009 10:42:24 PM

I'm not too much of a gamer...just my flight/remote-control-flight sims...everything else is done on consoles. ...but I would like to run my flight sims @ 2560x1600 on my 30" with better performance than I currently get so perhaps I'll consider a GTX280/285 at some point.
February 10, 2009 10:49:52 PM

well from what I understand is that FSX, is CPU limited. So I doubt Graphics Plays THAT much of a role.
February 10, 2009 11:23:11 PM

looks really good, comparable to the fsx, how do u like it, and what makes it dif from other flight sims?
a b U Graphics card
February 10, 2009 11:29:02 PM

Agree with L1qu1d and the mactronix on this one, i've seen too many people talking driver problems with the HD4850x2 including the $1250 SBM test. I'd go with the EVGA GTX285 at $335 after rebate.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

in a real budget crunch there's some GTX280s still out at good prices.
February 11, 2009 6:51:21 AM

L1qu1d said:
looks really good, comparable to the fsx, how do u like it, and what makes it dif from other flight sims?


Its for R/C aircraft only. I'm trying to learn heli aerobatics.
a b U Graphics card
February 11, 2009 7:04:00 AM

dirtmountain said:
Agree with L1qu1d and the mactronix on this one, i've seen too many people talking driver problems with the HD4850x2 including the $1250 SBM test. I'd go with the EVGA GTX285 at $335 after rebate.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

in a real budget crunch there's some GTX280s still out at good prices.


Brilliant, i'll got with the GTX285. Do you think a Corsair 850W will be enough if I wanted to add another GTX 285 in future, bearing in mind i'd have an i7 920, 6GbDDR3 3HD's 1DVD? Thanks.
February 11, 2009 9:23:23 AM

I do not get it why people want to buy a bigger power supply of what they need. This system with i7 920 (OC), 6GbDDR3 3HD's 1DVD, 2 GTX285 a Corsair 750W is more than fine.
a c 175 U Graphics card
February 11, 2009 1:05:59 PM

Sometimes it isn't just a matter of wanting "bigger." I really wish the Antec Signature had a 500W model, but it doesn't, so I had to order the 650. It is way more than my system needs, but that's what I have to get if I want the best.
Newegg has that 650W Signature for $160 now. That would be a good size for you. Otherwise, Corsair, Antec, and PC Power & Cooling make good PSUs in the 650W-750W range for a lot less. Check out the Earthwatts 650 for a quiet, efficient, well-reviewed unit.
February 11, 2009 2:08:44 PM

can i just point out its not watts that matter its amps......


a machine pulling 300 watts but 20amps on a 800w psu that can only provide 18amps will crash either way you look at it.
a c 175 U Graphics card
February 11, 2009 9:15:02 PM

Considering that watts = volts * amps, if you know any two, you can find out the third.
What I think Flakes meant is that you need to consider how much of the available wattage / amperage is on the +12V rail(s) where modern PCs need it most.
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