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2 9800GTX+ SLI or 1 GeForce 200 Series

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 27, 2009 10:47:47 PM

Hello, I have been having a dilemma over buying 2 EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 and using them in SLI or getting a single higher end card, i.e. a GeForce 200 series card.

I am not willing to spend much over $300, I'd like to be under $325. I do like to game at high settings and I do alot of HD video editing. I also run dual-monitors (I have heard that SLI and multi monitors causes problems). I will be buying an AMD 955 Phenom II 3.4 GHz along with this and the necessary Gigabyte motherboard and some G.SKILL ram (DDR3 1600).

I have looked at all the benchmarks and comparisons available on this website for the 9800s and 200s. Seen Here. I have also read all of the SLI/Crossfire FAQ stickied to these forums, which suggest that a single card would be better in most cases.

The SLI 9800s beat the 275 GTX (somewhat in my price range) by quite a bit in every test except Far Cry 2 FPS, but I have been told different things by many people. People on other forums said go with the single card and someone at a very knowledgeable computer store that I have gone to for questions repeatedly said that the SLI option would be better. I thought I'd better ask once more.

Bottom line: Would I be better off buying two EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 cards for SLI or a Series 200 card like this (or maybe slightly more expensive)?

Thanks for any help. Hopefully I wasn't too lengthy.
a b U Graphics card
December 27, 2009 10:57:17 PM

9800gtx sli would be between the gtx 275 and gtx 285 by my estimate

a b U Graphics card
December 27, 2009 11:03:30 PM

2 9800 GTXs would be about the same, maybe a bit faster, than the GTX 285. The only single card in your price range that would be faster is the 5850, but it wouldn't be faster by much. Though on the other hand it will use far less power, produce far less heat, and it has DX1 so I would go with the 5850.
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a b U Graphics card
December 27, 2009 11:06:21 PM

and ati eyefinity could give you a possibility of 6 monitors
December 27, 2009 11:09:38 PM

Damn. Now I'm getting more confused because I had pretty much decided on Nvidia, as that is what I'm using now and have had trouble with ATI cards. I had not planned to spend more than $270 on a graphics card.
a b U Graphics card
December 27, 2009 11:12:44 PM

ati has really come along since amd took them over
December 27, 2009 11:18:59 PM

I suppose that's true. I am a strong AMD supporter and have always gone with AMD processors. Unfortunately, the HD5850 is not on any of the benchmarks available on this website.

Is this a good option? I have a hard time differentiating between various manufacturers when it comes to ATI.
a b U Graphics card
December 27, 2009 11:30:02 PM

SAPPHIRE is the biggest ati vendor
XFX has the best warranty
HIS is also really good
a c 1311 U Graphics card
December 27, 2009 11:35:45 PM

Quote:
I have had trouble with both Nvidia and ATI in the past, get used to it :) 


The bottle line is the GTX260 isnt worth the money, sure its a fast card but you have to live with the fact that you put $80 down the toilet just to aviod the similarly performing 5770.

If you want to stick with Nvidia consider the GTS 250, they are basically rebadged 9800 GTX+ but slightly faster and use slightly less power, The Palit GTS 250 can be had for $112 on newegg.com

You will have to check the pricing on the GTX260 cards again. I can not see where you get the $80 price difference http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... It actually has a bit more performance than the HD5770
December 27, 2009 11:41:43 PM

Quote:
Do not worry about the company the performance will be the same, its just the warranty and cooler that is different. Sapphire make good cards.

Like I said you do not have to get the 5850 if you do not have the funds, you havent even told us your full specification so I am unsure your rig can even run it will without bottlenecks.

If you was happy with the GTX 260s performance you'd be happy with the 5770. Also consider the ATI 4890 its faster than both and is relatively cheap too.
Its getting late, I will answer the rest of your questions tomorrow afternoon

Power Color 5770 $154
XFX 4890 $189

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Here is what I was planning to get (I have everything else):

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-790FXTA-UD5 AM3 AMD 790FX OR ASUS Crosshair III Formula AM3 AMD 790FX

Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W, unless you think I should go with the 965 or higher.

Memory: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel OR G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

I can afford a $300 graphics card, I was just hoping to get one a little under that. If you think it's a great advantage, I will go with that.

Also, can I do dual monitors if I decide to crossfire this card (or SLI if I go with the 9800s)?
December 28, 2009 12:30:57 AM

Why would the 4890 be better than the 5850? Are you talking about doing Crossfire?
December 28, 2009 1:07:18 AM

Yeah, I'd rather get a 5850, then maybe in a year or so, I'll get a second one.
December 28, 2009 2:13:46 PM

The new Radeon HD 5850 has some definite advantages over a pair of GeForce GTX 260s in SLI or a pair of Radeon HD 5770s in CrossFire. It doesn't need a CrossFire-compatible motherboard, it uses a lot less power thanks to its 40nm manufacturing process, and it sports DirectX 11 capabilities (plus Eyefinity).

Now what there not telling you is the 5850 has alot of untapped power at hand and anything you see the 5870 doing in gpu core speed the 5850 can do it also because it's the same gpu other then what was disabled.. so it can also reach 1000Mhz core speed as there are afew people running there cards like that and is already as powerful as HD4870 Crossfire/260GTX Sli before you crank it up ..
December 28, 2009 4:06:41 PM

I have a HIS HD5850 and it runs prefect so i would not wait with all the bad news about Nvidia as people will buy them all up again..
December 28, 2009 4:16:29 PM

Yes, but I will be one of those people. I probably need to do more research before getting my PC anyway. I will probably order it in January some time.
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