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2 lower end cards vs 1 high end

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  • Gaming
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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 5, 2010 2:58:08 AM

so i may have fried my graphics card and i was wondering if i will get more "bang for my buck" if i bought two lower end graphics cards instead of 1 high end for a gaming PC

More about : lower end cards high end

a c 173 U Graphics card
November 5, 2010 3:13:00 AM

It depends if it is two way crossfire or sli only. Two way is a dead end solution and I have gone that road twice. It yields well for a while but as new games come out and new cards come out you will start hitting walls performance wise. So I suggest that you look at getting ether a 6850 or a GTX460 to start off with if you are budget limited or go for the moon like a GTX470 or another 5850.
November 5, 2010 3:19:25 AM

well if my motherboard has 3 PCI express slots could i get 2 cheap cards then invest in a nice one later on? or to double/triple up they have to be the same card?
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a b U Graphics card
November 5, 2010 3:21:41 AM

First of all we need to know what cards your talking about.
a c 176 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
November 5, 2010 3:30:44 AM

Two very low end cards will continue to perform poorly. For example, if you CF two ~$40 5450s, you would have been better off just spending the $90 or so for the 5670. 64bit wide DDR2 doesn't provide a lot of memory bandwidth. On the other hand SLI two GTX460 cards and you have the performance of the GTX480, but cheaper. So as long as your not tying two junk cards together you may or may not get what you want.
a c 376 U Graphics card
November 5, 2010 3:49:10 AM

In general SLI/crossfire is better left as an upgrade path, not used as a starting point but we really can't answer your question without knowing about your system, monitor, budget, ect.
November 5, 2010 4:04:27 AM

Motherboard: ASUS P7P55D Deluxe
CPU: Intel i7 840
RAM 8GB (4GB x2) DDR3 1333MHz
PSU: Ultra LSP650 650w
Monitor: using my 26" 720p HDTV
OS: Windows 7 64bit
HDD: Baracuda 500GB 7200 and Seagate 1TB 5900/32MB/SATA-3g

@AMW1011 - not looking at specific cards atm. looking for info for a possible near future setup

budget: < $225
a c 376 U Graphics card
November 5, 2010 4:16:06 AM

Your resolution is quite low by today's standards. The most you should bother with for 720p is an HD5770 for about $140. Anything more powerful will just be a waste unless you move to a higher resolution.
a b U Graphics card
November 5, 2010 4:17:45 AM

newjackcity said:
Motherboard: ASUS P7P55D Deluxe
CPU: Intel i7 840
RAM 8GB (4GB x2) DDR3 1333MHz
PSU: Ultra LSP650 650w
Monitor: using my 26" 720p HDTV
OS: Windows 7 64bit
HDD: Baracuda 500GB 7200 and Seagate 1TB 5900/32MB/SATA-3g

@AMW1011 - not looking at specific cards atm. looking for info for a possible near future setup

budget: < $225


Hate to be the barer of bad news, but your PSU is basically junk, so keep that in mind. For your price range, I cannot recommend any dual card setup, over an equivalent single card.

As for 2v1 in general, it really depends. However, single has its benefits, so I would say that if the 2 card setup doesn't outperform the single card by atleast 15%, assuming they are the same price, then go for the single card.

A few years back, I bought 2 8800 GTS 512mbs at the same time, but that was because there was no single card that could touch them at the time. Unless you get a good deal, I can't recommend doing it if there is a similar performing single card, even if its a little bit more money.

My recommendation:

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

or

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

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

$215-$235

You won't notice much of a difference between those cards at your Res, like jyjjy pointed out, but the GTX 460 768mb will steadily outperform the 5770 at higher resolutions should you upgrade.
November 5, 2010 4:23:02 AM

Quote:
Hate to be the barer of bad news, but your PSU is basically junk


haha its ok. this is my first build and it has been nothing but. i keep discovering that i did not do enough research tho i am glad i found this forum
a b U Graphics card
November 5, 2010 4:24:41 AM

newjackcity said:
Quote:
Hate to be the barer of bad news, but your PSU is basically junk


haha its ok. this is my first build and it has been nothing but. i keep discovering that i did not do enough research tho i am glad i found this forum


We all had those moments. My first build was pretty crappy, much worse than yours and I did obsessive amounts of research. A lot of it is more experience than hard info, when picking parts. You kinda have to have a feeling for the market and when to buy, and what to look into.

The good news is, that PSU I listed is a great one and should last you a good while.
a c 176 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
November 5, 2010 5:21:03 AM

I thought the LSP line was a good one. Ultra does have good PSUs.
a c 217 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
November 5, 2010 6:05:22 AM

It is my opinion, do to many pitfalls of SLI/CF, that you should choose a single powerful card over two lower end or medium cards. SLI/CF is generally only best when it outperforms all the single cards on the market or as an upgrade from a single card.

If you do SLI/CF, you have to realize that occationally you might be left using only 1 card due to various reasons. If it took 2 cards to reach reasonable performance, you'll be left in a bad situation during those times.

Here is a list disadvantages of going SLI/CF:
1) Not all games support SLI/CF (today, it's mostly supported).
2) Often times, your minimum FPS will be as low or lower than one of the cards in SLI/CF, which would be a lot lower than a single more powerfull card. (this is quite often). Generally your minimum fps mean more than your max.
3) Somes games experience various glitches due to SLI/CF. (most don't)
4) Multiple card setups are generally noisier, use more power and run hotter.
5) SLI/CF doesn't work in windowed mode, so if you play any games in windowed mode, you are only using 1.

Most the time, it's advised to go with a single card. I personally wouldn't go to a dual card setup unless you can't get the power you want from a single card. (460's and up, or 5850/6850's and up).
a b U Graphics card
November 5, 2010 5:25:24 PM

4745454b said:
I thought the LSP line was a good one. Ultra does have good PSUs.


The X3s were good, but that's about it.

From what I've heard, the LSP line is an overrated Wintec design. I know the LSP750 should be rated at 600w (Wintec's rating), not 750w, but I don't know about the 650w. I just wouldn't trust it.

Fun story: I have a useless Ultra X3 1000w, which is a good PSU. It's useless because I lost the cables and only have a few. So I email Ultra and they tell me that they don't supply extra cables, even under warranty, nor will they let me buy them. So... yeah its a terrible company, especially with the patent BS a few years back saying any consumer who bought a non-Ultra modular PSU was infringing on their rights, and went after the other PSU companies as "accomplices".
a c 217 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
November 5, 2010 5:52:02 PM

AMW1011 said:
The X3s were good, but that's about it.

From what I've heard, the LSP line is an overrated Wintec design. I know the LSP750 should be rated at 600w (Wintec's rating), not 750w, but I don't know about the 650w. I just wouldn't trust it.

Fun story: I have a useless Ultra X3 1000w, which is a good PSU. It's useless because I lost the cables and only have a few. So I email Ultra and they tell me that they don't supply extra cables, even under warranty, nor will they let me buy them. So... yeah its a terrible company, especially with the patent BS a few years back saying any consumer who bought a non-Ultra modular PSU was infringing on their rights, and went after the other PSU companies as "accomplices".


Couldn't you just have bought some cables at Fry's? Most cables are universally the same from one company to the next, and Fry's does sell them.
a b U Graphics card
November 5, 2010 5:56:54 PM

bystander said:
Couldn't you just have bought some cables at Fry's? Most cables are universally the same from one company to the next, and Fry's does sell them.


I've looked into it a bit, and I would need to match the resistances. Even if the universals didn't work, I COULD have them custom made, but I haven't gotten around to doing any of that yet.
a c 666 U Graphics card
a b 4 Gaming
November 5, 2010 6:40:34 PM

A powerful single card is always a better option versus a dual card setup. With a single card, you will experience fewer compatibility issues and driver problems, and you will have more space for airflow in your case. The caveat is, unless you can get a dual card setup that is cheaper and faster than the single card you are comparing it to (i.e. two GTX460's vs. 1 GTX480). With a single card, you will always have the option to add a second at some point in the future.
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