I'm in the process of building a new system based on a MSI 790FX-GD70 motherboard.
With crossfire technology now in the mix, what is the best way to spend, say, $300 on a graphics card?
Should I buy one $300 card, two $150 cards, three $100 cards, or four $75 cards?
In addition to getting the best value now, I would like to keep this system viable as a gaming computer for three or four years. Right now my system has an AGP based video card (thus the need for a new system) and I'm kind of wondering if it's worth it to even worry about the future, or if everything will be obsolete in six months anyway.
The best way to go would be with two 4850 1GBs. The 512MB cards can run out of memory using higher settings thus limiting their effectiveness, so this also applies to the 4770. Two 4850 1GBs are pretty much faster than any single GPU card. On the other hand if you go with a single 4890 now (preferably one clocked at 1GHz ) You can add another one (or two) latter for more performance. The only thing is, you need a much better and more expensive PSU to support two 4890s as opposed to two 4850s.
3-100 cards aren't worth it. Such a configuration would be 3 4850 512MBs or 3 4770s, and while that would give you alot of raw power you wouldn't really be able to use it since at demanding settings the 512MB would limit the whole thing and pretty much leave your GPUs spending a good deal of time just waiting for stuff to be swapped between the GPU RAM and the System RAM. Also, crossfire doesn't seem to scale well beyond 2 cards. While there is a big difference between 1 and 2 GPUs, the difference is much smaller between 2 and 4 GPUs. 3 GPUs is pretty close in performance two 4 GPUs though.