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162 posts

Master Geek

Topic # 57956 2-Mar-2010 12:41
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Hi guys, im planning on building a new gaming PC around the p55 & intel i7 860 lynnfield platform.
iv been doing some research which has helped me narrow down my choice to a few options. id like your advice on the setups i am currently considering.

option 1.  2 x HD4850 running in crossfire mode. (approx $450)
optoin 2. 2 x HD4870 running in crossfire mode.  (approx $500)
option 3. 2 x GTX 260 running in SLI mode         (approx $600)

Lets say i have $600 to spend on graphics and can go either crossfire or SLI what would you do. I will consider other options within my price range too including single cards - not just the ones i listed.

Option3 is really pushing the budget a bit, but i would proberbly buy one card, then another at a later date when funds allow if this proves to be the best option.

Thanks, all advice appreciated Laughing 


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  Reply # 303848 3-Mar-2010 00:47
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If possible I'd wait to see what the new Nvidia cards are like.  They should be out at the end of March (but their are no guarantees they will be out on time).

However, if you need to buy now... I would get a single ATI Radeon 5850 1GB for ~$480 for the following reasons:

1:  It's rarely worth spending more than $500 for a video card or video cards.  The best price/performance for gaming is usually in the mid range.  You could look at the 5870 if you want to spend $600-700 but the top end always has a premium for not much more performance.

2:  The 5850 has direct X 11 hardware support, the 4000 series and GTX2xx series are old tech, several years old now.

3:  1GB of video memory vs 512MB (or 8xxMB for the 260's).  Remember with crossfire/SLI the total video memory is not card1 + card2, each card needs to store the same textures to work on.

4:  Micro stutter (google it), not as much of a problem as it used to be in older cards but if you are picky you may notice it.

5:  Most games require profiles/driver support to utilise crossfire/SLI otherwise the game uses one card.  Old games may not be supported and new games often aren't enabled until a driver update comes out.

6:  1 card = less heat generated, less power used and less noise.

Personally I think crossfire/sli is a good solution for the extreme top end users who are pairing two of the newest/best cards together for ultimate results OR when giving a bit more gpu power to an existing system that already has 4850 or 260.

That's my opinion anyway.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 303858 3-Mar-2010 07:17
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Hi, I would reccommend the HD 5850 as Ragnor has mentioned, it does Direct X 11, and is a seriously awesome card,

I hope you will be using Windows 7 with this new build,

Let me know if you need any help sourcing or building the PC, I run my own business building gaming computers, and supplying gaming accessories.



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  Reply # 303921 3-Mar-2010 11:28
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As above - i believe unless you are looking for absolute top end, Crossfire/SLi arent that beneficial. A single card uses less power, generates less heat and scales much more effectively than 2 cards. And the reasons above.

162 posts

Master Geek

  Reply # 303967 3-Mar-2010 13:23
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thanks for the replies guys, I will seriously look into the hd5850, looks and sounds like a very good card and I spose I could always get a second one sometime down the road when prices have dropped.

I do plan on going with windows 7 64bit for the build.
Thanks for the offer zCelica im sure you will hear from me.

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