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NVIDIA v ATI, dual v single...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hey guys--

I'm building a new rig and have decided between one of 4 graphics configs:

1) 2x 7800 GTX 256Mb SLI -- $900
2) 1x 7800 GTX 512Mb -- $750
3) 2x x1800xt Crossfire -- $980
4) 1x x1900xtx -- $600

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any reviews with all of these products tested simlutaneously, but the Tom's hardware reviews on 11/14/2005 and 1/24/2006 combined together compare these 4. The test setup for the two reviews are identical except for different drivers and PSUs. Three products are rated in both reviews: dual 7800 GTX 512 SLI, single 7800 GTX 512, and single x1800xt. Therefore, I decided to build a linear model mapping from the older review to the newer review using the three co-reviewed products to build the model. Assuming this model is accurate, the following is how the four products I'm interested in match up (#2-4 come directly from the 1/24/2006 review, #1 comes from my model):

(Winner in bold)



So from these numbers, x1800xt +Fire is the winner over the dual GTX 256 SLI config, but it's pretty close (except for half life which hates SLI), and the x1900xtx is the clear winner over the more expensive GTX 512.

So here are my questions: what will more games in the next 2 years support: SLI or +Fire? And is the $300-$380 difference between the dual card config and a x1900xtx worth it? Money is an issue, but I want a rig that will stay top-notch for as long as possible.

I'd love some thoughts on this issue!
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post #2 of 14
I would go for the nVidia card, as nVidia is leading in the graphics market. The x1900xtx was a desperate release by ATi, and it is only a matter of time until nVidia releases their new line of graphics.
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post #3 of 14
Id just go with a single X1900XT as it can handle any game out there, unless youre running at some insane resolution.
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post #4 of 14
go with one gtx 512.... then say 6months down the road get another in sli for like 250-300$...
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post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by klewiss
I would go for the nVidia card, as nVidia is leading in the graphics market. The x1900xtx was a desperate release by ATi, and it is only a matter of time until nVidia releases their new line of graphics.
Not true. The X1900 was ready before the X1800. ATI had planned the X1900 for a long time. If anything, Id say the 7800GTX 512MB was a desperate release.

Quote:
go with one gtx 512.... then say 6months down the road get another in sli for like 250-300$...
Why suggest an inferior card that costs more?
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post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by HrnyGoat
Not true. The X1900 was ready before the X1800. ATI had planned the X1900 for a long time. If anything, Id say the 7800GTX 512MB was a desperate release.


Why suggest an inferior card that costs more?
because there are more games supporting SLI than supporting crossfire....
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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbasil1
go with one gtx 512.... then say 6months down the road get another in sli for like 250-300$...
Quote:
Originally Posted by HrnyGoat
Why suggest an inferior card that costs more?
I agree that it seems silly to buy a more expensive inferior card, but I'm also interested in the technology for the next couple of years. If I go NVIDIA I'll get the ASUS AN832-SLI Deluxe mobo, but if I go ATI, I need a +Fire ready board. What's the best one out now? And down the line, is it better to go SLI or +Fire?

I don't mind upgrading a graphics card down the line (especially because SLI and +Fire will soon both allow you to have non-identical boards), but I don't want to have to upgrade a mobo.

As far as the original issue is concerned, it sounds like most people think that it's better to get the latest single card rather than two cards from the previous generation, right?
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post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by klewiss
because there are more games supporting SLI than supporting crossfire....
Is this true? This is what I really want to know.
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post #9 of 14
I'd definetly go with the x1900xtx, but's that's just me. And that's coming from an un-biased mind as I never have a preference, nvidia or ati, it's all the same. Just buy the better card, which is the x1900xtx. and it's cheaper too! seems like an easy choice to me...
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post #10 of 14
and just because I own an ATI at the moment doesn't mean anything. I've owned WAY more nvidia cards than ATI. In fact, I've only ever used a 7000, 8500, 9250 and now the 9600xt. I've used too many of nvidia's cards to count. I probably own like 10 of them even still. I just buy what fits the bill, which, in your case, I believe to be the x1900xtx. I doubt you'll regret choosing any of those setups though as they'd all kick some serious ass for awhile to come. If you want to spend the extra flow just to have the nvidia, than all the power to ya.
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