I'm doing a i7 920 gaming system. I got the i7 920 for $219. My main sticking point is the graphics card. I was thinking about the GTX285 ot 295 but I wanted to wait to see ATI's 4890. I was reading that it has 800 streaming units next to the 285's 240 and the 295's 480. I was amazed at the core clock speed. Maybe I wanted an excuse to stay with ATI. I had one NVidia card but it overheated and died within a 1 1/2 years. Ive had 2 ATI cards and never had a problem...except seeing soo many updates for its drivers lol.
I plan on buying the LG 24" (2ms) LCD monitor, either the Asus V2 mobo or EVGA, as well as a full tower. I'm going to keep this system for a while. (Some other buys: triple ram and Vista)
I noticed that the 4890 is in the $200 and has great specs. The 285 and 295 are $300-$500+. A few months ago, quite a few were telling me that the 285 or 4870 was a good buy (and go SLI or Crossfire). Has this changed? Is the 4890 the way to go? I'm looking to go crossfire or SLI.
From a ground up build id go with the 4890 since its $100 cheaper than the GTX 285 right now...for a single card system. But if you planned on running multiple cards I would have to suggest SLi, crossfire support across games is rather poor and lacking (i speak from experience). Im not saying Crossfire is a total waste, but SLi is just a better investment.
So....4890 if you want a single card build, GTX 295 if you want a SLi build. Two GTX 285's would be more expensive but will beat a GTX 295.
Also, I would wait till some 4890's start popping up with better coolers.
As far as the motherboard goes, ive personally never owned an ASUS motherboard that didnt eventually start having problems in less than a year of ownership. I would stick with Gigabyte or EVGA.
I was reading that it has 800 streaming units next to the 285's 240 and the 295's 480. I was amazed at the core clock speed.
The stream processors (or shaders) that ATI use are very different than the ones that nvidia use. You cannot compare ati shaders and nvidia shaders purely by quantity. The clock speed is the same story. Different card architectures mean that an 800 mhz nvidia card cannot be compared to an 800 mhz ATI card.
As far as your questions go, the 4890 seems to be the winner for single-card options; offering very solid performance while staying in the mid $200s for price. However, for sli/crossfire, spathotan is right - ATI has pretty limited support for what games can utilize crossfire. It's a shame too, since crossfire can scale amazingly when it's all working right, it's just that there are far more games that use sli than crossfire. I don't know if ATI is just dropping the ball with their driver support, if game designers are just choosing to not support crossfire, or if nvidia is persuading game developers (with large cash donations) to not support crossfire. Regardless of the reason, SLI seems to be the better choice for multi GPU setups.
Perhaps looking at benchmarks of your favorite games will help you decide what's better. Take a look at which cards give you the best performance in what you like to play and how well they scale with multiple GPUs. Anandtech did a few reviews aimed specifically at multiple GPU setups, here are the results of the 2 GPU setups.
The one beast that I have which is making me take forever is FSX. I do plan on getting Sims3 and DC online and Jumpgate Evolution. I do have other games but I believe FSX is the one that I am most concerned at.
It comes down to the best bang for the buck. Do I get a 295 and if the price lowers get another. Do I get a 285 and get another later, or do I get a 4890 and buy another. I hear that the 275 and 490 are good for 16x10 and 19x20 screens. I dont want to pay $500 for a video card. For price/performance and great framerates, Im willing to go as high as 350. I remember the x1900 that I bought was over $400 and the price plummeted!
What would be in its place? Is the 285 a safer bet?
I know SLi or Crossfire would be overkill but then again, At least my system would destroy anything now and later (mmm love the candy also
This is the source of my headache. Im gonna start ordering parts tonite (leave the video card for last).
Im also thinking between the CM HAF tower or Thermaltake Armor +
The Armour has more room and has slide out motherboard tray but one less fan.
The HAF has 4 fans
I read both have great cable management and for cooling. I love the slidout mobo tray but everyone gleams over the 932 and Ive seen many point to the HAF. I look at it and say (not the most attractive looking cases lol but Im leaning towards the HAF cause of the reviews and everyone in the forums points to that one.
What I ment was, the 4890 and GTX 275 are too good for their own....good. The GTX 275 will canibalize GTX 280/285 sales, as will the 4890 to a lesser extent to the 4870 and 4850X2 (which is garbage anyways). Personally im seeing the 4890 being in limited production, and the GTX 275 being stricken by stock restrictions just like its offspring the GTX 295, which is one reason why these dual GPU cards suffer an early death.
Of course what I said is pure speculation on my part. Regardless, id still go for two GTX 275's. Or a single GTX 285.