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3870 vs 9600GT vs 8800GT vs SLI vs Crossfire!

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
I am using my room-mates 8800GTX since it does not fit in his case. I sold my 8800GTX back in January. I am going to need a new graphics card by mid April or so. I am pretty pacient and willing to wait, although I will have to move by mid April.

I still really don't even know the performance I am looking for. I have scouted out prices and reviews on everything from the 9600GT and the 3850 to the 3870 X2.

For the first time ever, I am open to multi-GPU. It seems that the scaling for both SLI and CrossFire at the 2 card level is very good and SLI is a worthwhile consideration.

I am going to be getting a new motherboard in the near future. If I decide to go multi-GPU, either SLI or CrossFire, I will obviously have to step up the process on the new motherboard. Requiring a Nvidia chipset for SLI is a big detractor for me to SLI. It also considerably raises the cost of SLI. However, SLI seems to have a more broad support in games than CrossFire.

What I am looking at:

1 x 8800GT as low as $210
1 x 3870 as low as $180
2 x 3870 CrossFire as low as $180 per card
1 x 8800GTS (G92) as low as $245

I have to say I prefer Single GPU over multi GPU. If I went multi GPU I would prefer CrossFire over SLI, however I perfer Nvidia GPUs over ATI ones. This has nothing to do with Nvdia vs ATI but rather EVGA and XFX as far superior to anything reseller for ATI.

My videocard will be watercooled with a MCW60. This will not fix a 3870X2 making it a long shot for me. I would make a custom bracket for it if I got the 3870X2 but it would be a real pain.

Nvidia OpenGL (CAD) performance is horrendous unless you get a very expensive Quadro GPU. Does anyone know how ATI graphics card perform in OpenGL CAD applications, preferably CATIA.

Please provide input.

Edit!!! I cannot use SLI as it does not support multi-monitor.
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post #2 of 38
Get the 8800GT SLI, that's the most powerful of the bunch. Otherwise, if you just want to go single card, get the X2. Don't take my word on it, but I think the 9600GT sli beats the x2 also. I'll look that up real quick.
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post #3 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mth91 View Post
Get the 8800GT SLI, that's the most powerful of the bunch. Otherwise, if you just want to go single card, get the X2. Don't take my word on it, but I think the 9600GT sli beats the x2 also. I'll look that up real quick.
The 3870X2 is pretty low on the list because the MCW60 won't fit it and the considerably higher cost than 3870 CrossFire.
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post #4 of 38
Then i'd stick with the first idea, the 8800GT SLI.
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post #5 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mth91 View Post
Then i'd stick with the first idea, the 8800GT SLI.
But how much better is the 8800GT SLI over the 9600GT SLI.
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post #6 of 38
If you're gaming at 1440x900, then your VGA is less important than your CPU.
post #7 of 38
sli/crossfire isnt supported by 3d programs! Atleast C4D/3DSM doesnt to my knowledge. Just a heads up.
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post #8 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RussianGrimmReaper View Post
If you're gaming at 1440x900, then your VGA is less important than your CPU.
Not really sure what this has to do with anything, but I am playing games and doing quite a bit of CAD (CATIA) at 3360 x 1050 (1680 x 1050 x 2).
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post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by pauldovi View Post
Not really sure what this has to do with anything, but I am playing games and doing quite a bit of CAD (CATIA) at 3360 x 1050 (1680 x 1050 x 2).
Well that's a different story. In that case your only thing you can do is a pair of HD3870's. SLI doesn't support multi-monitor, CrossFire does.
post #10 of 38
you should probably get rid of anything that will be too difficult to use your watercooling with.

i never have figured if you game much but i still think one card does well enough, but two might be fun. in all reality one 8800gt or 3870 should do well enough, otherwise i say support ati and buy a pair of 3870's.

on a side note, how do 2 x hd3870 vs 2 x 8800gt stack up? crossfire is supposed to scale a bit better so are they close in performance?

edit: as a minor fanboy i vote for two HD 3870's.
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