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Can't decide on which card to get.

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I know, I know.

Both you and I have seen this exact same kind of thread time and time again.

But instead of closing this tab, please post and help me out!

Perhaps this thread could be a reference for others.

Anyway I'm looking get a new Nvidia card.

My budget is around $400, give or take (so no GTX 280 suggestions!) and I game at 1680 x 1050.

My choices are:
  1. ONE GTX 260
  2. ONE 9800GX2
  3. TWO 9800GTX+ in SLI

Now I know what you're all going to say. Get a ATI HD4870! Or wait it out for the HD4870X2.

Well I've seriously considered switching over to an ATI card after seeing some very impressive benches that rival the GTX 280 for half the price.

The problem is that with my current setup, I have an Nvidia 780i board. I don't even think it supports Crossfire, and I honestly doubt (although I'd love to be proven wrong) that an ATI card is going to run in my board without difficulties and with just as high benches as any Intel or AMD board.

And (if) that is true, I'll be sticking to Nvidia. I hope that sounds reasonable. Otherwise, I'll go ATI.

So going back to my choices, I have the GTX 260, the 9800GX2, and SLI'ed 9800GTX's picked out.

I haven't seen many benches of the GTX 260, but from those that I have seen, it's about neck and neck with the 9800GX2. It beats it in some games and loses in others. Both are around the same at lower resolutions, but the GTX 260 wins at resolutions above 1920 x 1200 (which I don't game at, so I don't care about) because of the higher vram. The 9800GX2 may actually be somewhat better, however, since it can compete with the GTX 280.

Both of the above mentioned cards cost around $400.

Now, what about two 9800GTX+ in SLI? That's $400. And it should kick the ass of even a GTX 280 (I think). I like the idea of having SLI'ed cards on my 780i board and the opportunity to go tri-SLI later on (for just $200!). A minor problem is that each card only has 512mb of vram, which could be a problem at higher resolutions in case I ever get a bigger monitor, and explains why the 8800GTX outperforms it.

However, the biggest problem here is, in a word (or should I say three), SLI.

I've heard nothing good about SLI. I heard it doesn't scale well (even on my 780i board?), glitches up a lot, crashes a lot of games or doesn't even support them, and has microstuddering issues. Now two of my options suffer from this, the 9800GX2 and the 9800GTX+ in SLI, which makes the GTX 260 look far more... appetizing. Still though, the SLI'ed 9800GTX look rather tasty (I mean c'mon, not just one of Nvidia's next to top end cards, but TWO!).

So, fellow members of Overclock.net, please give me some advice. It would be great if it even came from people who faced the same dillemma and made a choice - that they were happy or unhappy with. Remember it's not all about the frames, but also the studdering.

Thank you for your time.

~Xombie

EDIT: Oh and forgot to mention that if I do get any of these cards, they'll be from Evga so I can Step Up in the future. Perhaps I might Step Up from the GTX 260 to the 280 seeing as they are close in price range, but if I get the 9800GTX+ it would be really expensive to upgrade to anything worthwhile, another con.
Edited by Xombie - 6/27/08 at 8:58am
Xombinat0r
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Xombinat0r
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post #2 of 19
DO NOT GET A 260!

Not yet anyway, my bro got his yesturday, put it in... nothing, the fan doesnt even spin. We're sending it back, we put it in mine, still nothing.

Well done nvidia congrates...
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post #3 of 19
I think a single HD4870 would run fine on your board. nVidia wouldnt cripple its performance on purpose. But it still would be kinda strange. I personally would do the 9800GTX+ in SLI.
    
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post #4 of 19
Why wouldn't an ATI card run on your board? You can't crossfire but a single card should work just fine. That said, I would go for either SLI'd 9800GTX+ or a singe GTX260 depending on the benched coming on.
post #5 of 19
Being you dont want the 4870, Id say SLI a pair of 9800GTX's if you must, although you would get same performance from 8800GTS', but no TRI SLI in future....

I wouldnt buy a ATI card either... Sorry guys, but its just how it is, even if it does backflips over the nvidia counter part, Im not interested...

Plus, I dont care what the new cards are like, SLI'd 8800's beat them anyway

SO for the OP, go SLI if you have to now, or just give it a month on the 2xxGTX series for price drops and driver updates

And this is the nVidia section of the Vid card forum, ATI is down the hall
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post #6 of 19
$400 budget but doesn't have to spend it. I would do three options. 1. Another GT for SLI. 2. 4870. 3.9800GTX SLI.
Edited by linskingdom - 6/27/08 at 12:07pm
post #7 of 19
why not just get 1 9800GTX+ at 1680x1050 it can max out any game, if its not enough fir you get another 9800GTX+
    
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post #8 of 19
Get the 9800GTX+ when it comes out in July.
 
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post #9 of 19
I have the same mobo and ran a 2900XT on it for a bit and it worked just fine. A single HD4870 should work without a problem (though no Crossfire).
post #10 of 19
i dunno how much it will be or when its coming out, but the HD4870x2 would probably also be a good bet. Thats the card I'm thinking about upgrading to if the GTX280 prices dont go down.
    
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