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GTX 275 SLI vs. 4890 CF with new I7 build

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 30, 2009 5:03:50 AM

I know this question has probably been asked a million times now, but I have been out of the PC building loop for a while now, so Im trying to absorb as much information as possible.

Currently I have:

Intel Core i7 920 OC'd to 3.7ghz
OCZ Platinum 6gb DDR3 1600mhz triple channel
PC Power and Cooling 800w supply
Gigabyte X58-UD4P
Antec 902 Case
WD 1 TB Black HD

I have been debating back and forth between the ATI 4890 CF configuration and GTX 275 SLI configuration. Im not necessarily concerned about the price, because they are within about $30 of each other. Im interested in performance and compatibility with current games: Crysis, Far Cry, Left 4 Dead, Stalker, etc....

ALL my gaming will be on a Panasonic 50" 1920x1080p television via HDMI. Already tested with an older Nvidia card, and it looks great. Im sure it will look incredible with a newer graphics card setup.

From most of the reviews I can tell both cards perform almost identically in stock form. Even when both cards are OC'd it looks like they both perform almost exactly the same. I guess the main factor is the SLI vs CF configuration. Ive heard that SLI typically is more stable and has more developer support (presumably because they have a deeper pocketbook), but Ive heard some good things about CF with the later generation drivers.

I know this is more or less a temp solution until the Direct11 stuff starts arriving, but as it turns out I need something now and so these are the 2 options that Im looking at. I was considering the GTX 285 SLI but I think the other two options are smarter as the investment is less especially if they will be "obsolete" as the high-end graphics solution in about 4-6 months.

So the $1 million question, or should I say $350 question is which is the better option dual-card setup gaming at my resolution with my particular hardware. My motherboard supports both CF and SLI. I will probably be buying the XFX either 4890 or GTX 275 because I like the warranty and it should help the resale value a bit. These will be the stock versions as they can be OC'd rather easily so I dont much see the point of paying for a Black edition.

Thanks for everyone's time for reading this post. Great website! Im excited about finishing this in the next few days and Im stuck in a little bit of analysis paralysis. :) 

More about : gtx 275 sli 4890 build

a b U Graphics card
June 30, 2009 6:06:42 AM

http://www.pcgameshardware.com/aid,680543/Review-Ati-Ra...

With 2 cards of each, the cards SLI'd or CF perform about the same. The 4890 will be louder and hotter but probably pushes out slightly faster framerates. But you're building the equivalent of a race car od that isn't as much a consideration as the results at the finish line.

Your weakest link (if there is one) in this machine is the 800 watt PSU. With 4890s in CF, doesn't it "sound" better to go with a thousand watt PSU?
a b U Graphics card
June 30, 2009 7:10:24 AM

^ No he wouldn't need a 1000W PSU at any instance...
That 800W from PCP&S is more than suffice for your setup...

As for the debate on HD 4890/ GTX 275, I would agree with HundredIslandsBoy...

But personally instead of spending on 2 HD 4890s/ GTX275s, I would stick with a single card...
Reason -
1. A single card can easily drive those pixels very well for most of the games.
2. The main reason - ATI probably would launch newer DirectX 11 cards by October or latest by this year-end. So either you can get a powerful card for nearly the current price of a single HD4890 or
If the newer cards are very costly, anyways would push down the price of the older down, and then you can get one more later...
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June 30, 2009 2:56:20 PM

+1 for gkay09. Wait for the DX11 cards to drop, though I heard itll be later then October. I got to talk to an engineer from Palit ( I love Quakecon ) about the 4870x2 before it dropped last year and his info about pricing and release was right on. So if i hear anything ill be sure to drop a thread here in the forums.
a b U Graphics card
June 30, 2009 3:05:36 PM

Someone really needs to setup a 24/7 camera aimed at TSMCs 40nm wing, to see when the lights are on
a b U Graphics card
July 2, 2009 4:43:12 AM

^TSMCs ??
Will they not come from the Global Foundries ???
a b U Graphics card
July 2, 2009 6:19:27 AM

Dont expect cards from GF at least for another year from now. Theyre gearing up for 32 and 28nm bulk silicon first, I think ramp up production is scheduled 1st qtr 2010, 2-3, we'll see SoI with HKMG, not sure if HKMG is with 28nm at first ramp tho
a b U Graphics card
July 2, 2009 8:56:00 AM

^Oh...but I thought that the 40NM DirectX 11 cards that AMD displayed were from GF...weren't they ???
July 2, 2009 10:20:31 AM

Nope, they're from TSMC.

If you can manage it and if you can find them get the Sapphire Toxic editions of the 4890 it will outperform a 4890, GTX 275, and a GTX 285 and a good card will OC well.
a b U Graphics card
July 8, 2009 8:31:49 PM

If the 4890 outperforms the 285 then why would peeps even bother spending the extra 150.00$ for a 285? Does not make any sense at all......

I know the 4890 outperforms the 275 but I doubt it will beat a 285, in my opinion.
a b U Graphics card
July 8, 2009 9:04:54 PM

OvrClkr said:
If the 4890 outperforms the 285 then why would peeps even bother spending the extra 150.00$ for a 285? Does not make any sense at all......

I know the 4890 outperforms the 275 but I doubt it will beat a 285, in my opinion.


He is refering to an overclocked card, he also has tested it himself (tri and doubel crossfire VS SLI). He is entirely correct in his statement. Though the fastest OC 285 will still probably beat the fastest 4890 (though none of the 285's around come anywhere close to the factory OC of some 4890's). The OC levels the latest 4890's attain are in a different league from the stock 4890's.

Why people would spend the extra 150 is up to the person spending the extra 150.
a b U Graphics card
July 8, 2009 9:17:31 PM

Thank you sir... Now I guess I will wait till the 4890 x2's come out.

As far as price/performance its clear that the 4890 is a better buy...
a b U Graphics card
July 8, 2009 9:36:24 PM

On a side note.. If Nvidia doesnt get their act together it looks like I will be switching video card vendors.....

Even though I spent 240.00$ on 2x BFG 250 GTS, something is telling me that its time to switch to Ati, but first I will buy a single XFX 4890 1GB and test it vs my dual 250's and then I guess I will decide what is better.
a b U Graphics card
July 8, 2009 9:43:48 PM

Your sli setup should win out in most games, tho you may still have to sacrifice some eye candy, as the AA hit on G92s can be severe at times, even with sli
a b U Graphics card
July 8, 2009 9:45:20 PM

Its like a 4850x2, where we see it getting even results with the 285
a b U Graphics card
July 8, 2009 9:54:32 PM

Meaning 2x 4850's can hang with a 285?

Whoa.... sweet...
a b U Graphics card
July 8, 2009 10:02:27 PM

Yea and Nvidia is comming out with the 300 series so its gonna be a nice battle....

And hopefully this time there will be no re-badging....
a b U Graphics card
July 8, 2009 10:33:48 PM

OvrClkr said:
Yea and Nvidia is comming out with the 300 series so its gonna be a nice battle....

And hopefully this time there will be no re-badging....


There will always be rebadging so long as people buy it. Seeing as how the gts250 was the best selling card in years I don't see it slowing down for a while. So long as people spend the money on it companies will keep doing it. I cant really blame them.. even though it is powerfully annoying.
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