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Help! which Graphics card or Config. of cards to use

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May 7, 2009 3:09:03 PM

Help!

I sure could use some help on my video card selection. With the newest cards ATI 4890 and Nvidia GTX295 out I'm not sure which way to go. I don't know if one of the latest cards is a good choice or two cards. I know two is better then one, but not sure which way to go I have everything bought except for the graphic card or cards. I've tried looking up the cards on the forum but there was so much out there that I got totally confused. I want this build to last another year or so. The following is what I have purchased already. I sure would appreciate any advice.

Case
Lian Li PC-B70
$269.00

Motherboard
ASUS P6T Deluxe V2
290$

Processor
Intel Core i7-920 Nehalem 2.66GHz
$289

CPU Cooler
Thermalright True Black 120 Rev.A (With Fan)
$84

Graphics Card or Cards
??????????????????????

Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB (Two in Raid 0 configuration)
$200

Memory
G.Skill Tri Channel Memory F3-12800CL8TU-6GBPI
$ 87.00

Power Supply
Corsair CMPSU-850TX850W ATX12V2.2
$128

Already owned 24” in monitor
a c 143 U Graphics card
May 7, 2009 3:29:07 PM

Not bad at all.

With that MB and PSU, you can have two GTX 285 cards or two HD 4890 cards. You can compare performance at 1920x1200 here for example:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/gtx285sli-hd4890cf_9.html

In all those games, the GTX 285 has one meaningful win (52 fps vs 40 fps in Mass Effect). The HD 4890 CF also has a single meaningful win (60 fps vs 38 fps in HAWX). Even in these cases, 38 or 40 fps is playable all right so you can't go wrong either way.

In all other games in the benchmarks you will see both setups doing over 60 fps, which is the typical monitor's limit, so they will be indistinguishable. Or they do something like 40 fps vs 38 fps, which again is playable and you won't be able to see a difference.



May 7, 2009 3:33:34 PM

+1 it basically comes down to ati fan or nvidia fan.

4890 can has it's potential to oc far.

Both cards will fit your needs in gaming or with what ever you do.

Related resources
May 7, 2009 3:52:32 PM

I agree. The 4890 is standing out right now. Crossfire would demolish competition right now with that card...I would recommend the GTX 295 but its just wat too expensive for its performance...unless you can get x2 4770's or x2 GTX275's or x2 GTX 260's. The GTX 285 is good too, but a little high in price like the GTX 295.
May 7, 2009 4:22:34 PM

Kill@dor said:
I agree. The 4890 is standing out right now. Crossfire would demolish competition right now with that card...I would recommend the GTX 295 but its just wat too expensive for its performance...unless you can get x2 4770's or x2 GTX275's or x2 GTX 260's. The GTX 285 is good too, but a little high in price like the GTX 295.


Kill

I could do a two card set up. Would the GTX 285 be the best setup over ATI 4890 single card?
a c 143 U Graphics card
May 7, 2009 4:41:04 PM

LOL, you're lazy... Here's a table for you comparing one GTX 285 with one HD 4890 at 1920x1200. The numbers are from the same review I linked earlier, and rounded:

GTX 285 HD 4890

CoD: 54 66
Cryis 17 19
QW 96 95
FarCry 49 44
FEAR 100 82
Left4 96 84
Stalker 29 30
Fallout3 50 66

etc etc.

They are again identical for all practical purposes. The GTX has a meaningless win (100 vs 82 in FEAR, both reduced to 60 by the monitor). The HD 4890 has an almost meaningless win in Fallout 3 (66 fps is not really distinguishable from 50 fps IMO). Do notice however that with a single card you won't enjoy Stalker (29 fps) and Crysis even less (19 fps). You would need to lower the resolution and/or the eye candy for the more demanding games.
May 7, 2009 5:40:08 PM

I don't mean to be lazy. But to be honest with you I don't understand all of the benchmarks. I think I understand what you are showing GTX 1st & 4890 2nd. But I'm not sure on the benchmarks for 2 GTX 285 cards. It sounds to me maybe at the present one GTX 285 and down the road add another one when games become more demanding. Is this correct? Easy now.
May 7, 2009 5:50:41 PM

I wouldnt see most games running both cards unless its crysis.. 4890 oc'd crossfired would probably be the most power hungry set of cards.

If your thinking on dualing the gtx 285 or 4890, look at the corsair 1000hx..
May 7, 2009 5:58:55 PM

^a good 750w would do that job, e.g a corsair or silverstone 750w.
a c 143 U Graphics card
May 7, 2009 6:52:37 PM

For one HD 4890 or one GTX 285, a Corsair 650TX is enough.

For two HD 4890, Corsair 750TX is enough.

For two GTX 285, nVidia recommends the Corsair 1000HX, but I think the 850TX will do all right too.
http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build_psu.html

By all means get a single card for now. The second one may not be needed at all, depending on which games you like. If it turns out you do want a second card, it will be cheaper in a few months.

Between GTX 285 and HD 4890: if they were the same price, I'd get the GTX 285 because it is a bit faster. However, with the GTX 285 at $330 and the HD 4890 at $230 (both made by XFX, both at Newegg, both without bundled games), I'd prefer the HD 4890.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150367
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150359
May 7, 2009 8:10:54 PM

aevm said:
For one HD 4890 or one GTX 285, a Corsair 650TX is enough.

For two HD 4890, Corsair 750TX is enough.

For two GTX 285, nVidia recommends the Corsair 1000HX, but I think the 850TX will do all right too.
http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build_psu.html

By all means get a single card for now. The second one may not be needed at all, depending on which games you like. If it turns out you do want a second card, it will be cheaper in a few months.

Between GTX 285 and HD 4890: if they were the same price, I'd get the GTX 285 because it is a bit faster. However, with the GTX 285 at $330 and the HD 4890 at $230 (both made by XFX, both at Newegg, both without bundled games), I'd prefer the HD 4890.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150367
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150359



When you determine which is faster do you look at the Core Clock speed? or do you look at the Shader clock Memory clock or? Also is DDR5 ram faster then DDR3?
I'm so green at this

GTX 285 shows 670MHz CCS

&

HD-489A-ZDFC shows 850MHz CCS

Brand XFX
Model GX285XZWFF
Interface
Interface PCI Express 2.0 x16
Chipset
Chipset Manufacturer NVIDIA
GPU GeForce GTX 285
Core Clock 670MHz
Shader Clock 1476 MHz
Stream Processors 240 Processor Cores
Memory
Memory Clock 2500MHz
Memory Size 1GB
Memory Interface 512-bit
Memory Type DDR3
Ports
DVI 2
TV-Out HDTV Out
General
Max Resolution 2560 x 1600
RoHS Compliant Yes
SLI Supported Yes
Cooler With Fan
System Requirements 650 Watt
Dual-Link DVI Supported Yes
HDCP Ready Yes



Model
Brand XFX
Model HD-489A-ZDFC
Interface
Interface PCI Express 2.0 x16
Chipset
Chipset Manufacturer ATI
GPU Radeon HD 4890
Core Clock 850MHz
Memory
Memory Size 1GB
Memory Interface 256-bit
Memory Type DDR5
3D API
DirectX DirectX 10.1
Ports
DVI 2
General
Max Resolution 2560 x 1600
System Requirements Minimum Power Supply Requirement: 500 Watt
Power Connector 2 x 6 Pin
Dual-Link DVI Supported Yes
HDCP Ready Yes
Manufacturer Warranty
Parts Lifetime limited
Labor Lifetime limited



May 7, 2009 8:22:12 PM

Bigdog100 said:
When you determine which is faster do you look at the Core Clock speed? or do you look at the Shader clock Memory clock or? Also is DDR5 ram faster then DDR3?


You cannot compare specs between ATI and Nvidia. The only way to compare is with game performance.

GDDR5 is faster than GDDR3, but the size of the memory interface also matters (ie 256 bit, 448 bit etc.).
a c 143 U Graphics card
May 7, 2009 8:30:15 PM

I compare the numbers from the benchmarks. It's the only way, unfortunately.

All those clocks are useful only if you want to compare two flavors of the same card, like for example a standard GTX 285 with a factory-overclocked GTX 285.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130442
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130487
When you do that, the clocks give a decent idea about the relative speeds of those cards.

However, if you try to compare an Nvidia card with an ATI card based on clocks, it's totally pointless. Apples and oranges, you know. They have totally different architectures, with different types and numbers of stream processors.

Here's a simpler example: let's say you downclock a GTX 285 to use the same clocks as an 8800GTX (that's an older card, used to be the best in 2007, I got one myself). This is a simpler comparison because they both use the same type of stream processors. Even at the same clocks, the GTX 285 would win big against the 8800GTX simply because it has almost twice as many stream processors.


Between GDDR3 and GDDR5 - the GDDR5 does give the ATI card an advantage. The card consumes less and gets better results and is cheaper to make, compared to what they could have achieved with GDDR3. I'm sure nVidia will start using GDDR5 too, pretty soon, because it would allow them to cut prices and compete better.

May 7, 2009 8:44:46 PM

King soopers union workers are going a strike soon...if anybody cared to know :( 
May 7, 2009 9:30:46 PM

I deeply want to express my appreciation for all the knowledgeable and generous reply's you all have provided. You guys are one reason that this site is what it is. Magnificent!!! I think I'll speed a little more money and go with the BFG GTX 285 OCX graphics card. If this is not a good choice and is over kill or not worth the extra money please don't hesitate to say one way or the other. Again thanks for all your input.
a c 143 U Graphics card
May 7, 2009 9:48:44 PM

I think you'll be happy with that choice.

My own card is a factory overclocked BFG too (BFG 8800GTX OC2) and I'm happy with it. It's quieter than other flavors of 8800GTX, for example. :) 

I'm not sure which card you're looking at, actually. There are 4 BFG GTX 285 cards at newegg, all factory overclocked. These two here are the best bang for the buck IMO:

$325, 666 MHz (standard is 648)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814143168

$340, 675 MHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814143170

There's another one that costs $390, 691 MHz - not worth it IMO.

Then there's a water cooled version that costs way too much and doesn't include games either.

!