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Best Graphics Performance Option?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 2, 2009 12:52:40 AM

Hi all, I'm new to Toms Hardware and I apologize in advance that this topic has probably been covered 10,000 times before. Essentially what I'm looking for is advice on what graphics setup I should go with. I don't need recommendations on what hardware to buy, I already have everything I'm going to use, but I can go two different ways with what I have. Here's the specifics.

Currently Installed Setup:

OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 32 Bit
Case: Apevia X-Cruiser
Processor: Intel Q6600
Proc Heat Sink: Zalman 9700
Motherboard: Intel D975XBX2KR
Hard Drives: 2X Western Digital Raptor 1500AHFD 150GB in raid 0 and single WD 320 gb
Ram: 4X 1GB PNY Optima DDR2 5300
PSU: 650 Watt BFG
Graphics Card: PNY XLR8 8800GT
Optical Drive: IDK some really **** ass Samsung. S183L I think
Monitor:Westinghouse 22W2 1680x1050

Other optional parts not currently installed

Antec True Power Quattro 1000W 80% Certified

2X ATI Radeon HD2900XT 512

Originally I had the 1000 watt psu and dual radeons installed back in 07 but that setup sucked because nothing supported Crossfire at that time and I think Vista wasn't even supporting multi GPU. Most of the good games at that time like Crysis and Bioshock and what not worked much better with Nvidia cards and the performance with the radeons was lackluster so I yanked them and switched over to the 8800GT and back to the 650 watt psu. So basically I have a 300 dollar power supply and 600 dollars worth of graphics cards rotting in my garage. I think it's been over a year since I put the 8800GT in and it has been a champ so far with the mild tweaking I gave it through Rivatuner (724 Core, 1608 Shader, 999 Memory). At this point I'm wondering if drivers and support are finally good enough for my Radeons to work properly and give me a boost above what the single 8800GT is capable of. Swapping all that crap in there is a huge pain, especially that gargantuan power supply and I wholeheartedly loate Catalyst Control Center, so I'm not going to bother unless there's a pretty solid performance gain to be had. I primarily play shooters like Crysis, Fallout 3, Far Cry 2, and Left 4 Dead, but also other stuff like Red Alert 3 and just about anything else that isn't WOW. If anyone has any thoughts, advice, or useful info I would greatly appreciate it.

~Jeff~
March 2, 2009 4:01:18 AM

Your board is a CrossFire Ready board. And now, ATi drivers and games support CrossFire. I'mnt on to suggest CrossFire. But, if you plan to look into it, get a HD4850X2 or HD4870X2. Or get a single HD4870. I think that would be enough for those games.
June 24, 2009 2:37:20 AM

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on this. I put the Crossfire Array back in and it still sucked hard compared to my 8800gt. I ended up selling the 8800gt and giving the two 2900xt's to friends. I then bought a 9800gtx+ which I got for like $8 after I used all my Best Buy Gift Certificates and the money from the 8800. It runs great and I love it. Not much room to overclock the gtx+ though. It seems happier when I leave it at stock clocks. Doesn't matter though I can still max out left 4 dead. Thanks again!

~Jeff~
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