2 smaller cards vs 1 larger card

joleme

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Sep 9, 2007
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Just a quick question I'd like to ask.

In anyone's opinion which would be better.

2 of these.

Sapphire Sapphire HD4870 1GB DDR5

or...

just 1 card of comparable value.

I have a 26" monitor that runs at 1920x1200.

I will be getting this motherboard.
Motherboard ASUS Crosshair III Formula AM3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

and one of these 2 PSUs

OCZ
Antec

I'll also be getting a phenom quad core processor


Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 
Buy the fastest/best/highest end single card you can afford.
Never start out with 2 lessor cards in Crossfire or SLI.

Some people people think, and even Tom's is now suggesting 2 lessor cards is sometimes the better way to go, I happen to think it is an unwise choice, value and performance-wise both.

In a year, what you have is now is 2 slow cards, and facing paying another premuim to update again. If you start with a single very high end card, in a years time the card is still considered pretty high end, and you can simply add another for a pretty hefty performance boost.
The cost of the card at the end of a year has usually dropped considerably as well.
 

invisik

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Depends what cards your want to pair up with. Dont cf/sli two weak cards because some games might not me optimized for mulit-gpu. cf/sli with mid/high end graphic cards. Most games today support multi-gpu while older games usually dont.
 

efeat

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A 4870 1gb is considered a 'small' card? -_-
I would think you'd need to wait for the DX11 cards before you find a single GPU that can really trump the 4870 1gb
 

invisik

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iAt that resolution cf/sli would work great with two high end cards. I play at that resolution with 2 oc gtx260 and they can max out any game easily. If you want to go with cf/sli i would recommend 2 4870 1gig/ 2 gtx260 896mb. Single card setup 4890 or gtx285. Im assuming your board supports cf so stick with ati cards.

"update" whats your budget?
 

AMDnoob

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I'm kind of in the same boat w/ joleme, not sure what to do to upgrade my graphics card. I have been eyeing the 4870 and the 4890's though. Will the release of the DX11 cards push the prices of those down? Cause i would be fine w/ a DX10.1, and I'm sure the 11's will cost a fortune at launch.
 

Duesouth

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a single ati radeon 4870 1 gig gdr 5 is plenty for now a days. does not matter which brand, msi, diamond, sapphire, xfx, just keep in mind that you will need to find the same manufacture of the card later on to do a crossfire. can not mix match the manufacture card, it has to be 2 msi or diamond, or saphhire and so on.

the 4870 1 gig gdr5 is roughly between 179 and 224 depending of the manufacture, there is no difference really in the manufacture of the board it is after all, all an ati radeon hd 4870.
 

invisik

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No you dont! they can be from different manufacture as long as its the same card. You can even mix and match same gen cards (ati 4xxx series) but not recommended.
 
There is no single cpu card comparable to 2 HD4870 1 gigs currently. There are cards like the HD4870x2 and GTX 295 that put two cards into one slot basically but that's it and they aren't a good value at all pricewise. I'd probably just get an HD4890. It should be fine for that resolution and later if you feel the need for more performance you can decide whether to add another in crossfire or get a DX11 card.
That's a very expensive AM3 motherboard. If I was going to spend that much on a motherboard I'd go for an i7 system personally.
 
SLi is usually for good performance for your money...it's only worthwhile if you have an Sli/Xfire motherboard, and want to max out games at high resolution.

For example, SLing two GTX260s will cost you about $350-$400, and get you the performance of a GTX295, which costs about $550.

SLi two GTX275s will cost about $400 to $500, and get you better performance than the GTX295.


SLi = best bang for your buck