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3 graphic card/display related questions

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 30, 2011 12:45:42 PM

Hello everyone,
I will be building a system for my girlfriend this summer (will be my first) and I am doing my research for every single part. I have a few questions regarding the gpu:

1. What are the disadvantages of sli/crossfire other than I'm guessing a costlier mobo/PSU as they need to be compatible? I read the stickied post about sli/crossfire in the forum but it only mentioned their disadvantages against each other.

2. She is quite picky about the games she plays. She doesn't like fps or any shooting games. She played/ will play the diablo series, dragon age [RPGs], civ, heroes of might and magic [turned base strategy]. The reason I give you this info is that after reading that dragon age 2 was optimized for amd/ati and was wondering if the company who made the game always supports amd/ati or possibly a correlation between the performance of various card manufacturers and genres of games.

3. The system will be used mostly for gaming and entertainment (movies). I was wondering if watching hd movies 1080p is easier on the gpu than running a game on high to highest settings (I know it depends on the game but the reason I ask this is to find out if I could get a monitor with 1680x1050 resolution for gaming and a bigger one size/resolution 1920 x 1080 for movies cause, and correct me if I am wrong, it's not a good idea to get a 1920 x 1080 resolution monitor and run games at something like 1680x1050. (I really dont see the point of gaming at 1920 x 1080 :S

4. Any other tips/info that you wished you had known when you were a nub like me making your first build?

Thank you all for your time,
Appreciate all answers and specially detailed ones.
a c 84 U Graphics card
March 30, 2011 1:18:27 PM

1 well unless you are aiming for the top performance possible with 2 expensive ($300+) cards, there's not really any point in multigpu setups imo. Pairing two low/mid class cards isn't very smart, because when a game doesn't scale well you get really low performance.

2 the reason might be that amd was first to launch dx11 capable hardware, so they used amd stuff in the development stage of the game

3 movies are way easier, even the lowest end dedicated cards can playback blurays just fine. There isn't really any reason to use crossfire/sli setups below HD resolutions (they are good for like 30'' (2560*1600) screens and multimonitor setups), so this question sort of contradicts the number 1. But yeah running below native resolution blurrs the image somewhat.

4 get a good monitor recardless of size, read tests and reviews around the net, like prad.de (also available in English)
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March 30, 2011 1:44:53 PM

1. The reason I am thinking of SLI/crossfire is not to buy 2 cheap cards but to buy a single 300$ card and adding another one in 2 years time (so i would be getting pretty high increase in performance and the 300$ card will be something like 150$ then) vs a new highend 300$ card in 2 years and not use the gpu card i get now.

2. And what about Civilization V is another title that normally works to NVIDIA’s benefit?

3. The way I see it is that if you are willing to play at 1680x1050 vs 1980x1200 then you will be able to play more games in the future at the same settings with same fps. But are you saying that SLI/crossfire doesnt help gaming at resolution of 1680x1050? and only starts at 2560*1600?


And thank you for taking the time to answer, really appreciated.
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a c 84 U Graphics card
March 30, 2011 2:26:57 PM

or you could sell the 'older' card for $150 and buy the new 300 card and get the same performance without the problems. And there will be a 'huge' jump in performance with the next gen 28nm microarch (edit meaning better power consumption to performance ratio)

crossfire helps at lower resolutions as well, as long as you are not cpu limited, but if you get like 100fps with single card and 200 with crossfire the extra 100fps doesn't matter at all

Until the new consoles are released there wont really be that many demanding games released anyways if the game industry doesn't change their focus away from consoles which I think is highly unlikely to happen.
and nvidia has their 'the way it's meant to be played' aid'n'assistance program for game developers

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March 30, 2011 3:24:33 PM

ok, thank you again for your help :D 
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