Graphics Card Question


J

Jitz

Hello,

I'm looking into buying a new system, and as I do a lot of gaming (first
person shooters included) the video card is an important consideration. I am
looking for good performance, but I don't want to pay for top of the line.
My question is, am I better off with one decent card, or two inferior cards
in SLI mode? Specifically, I've seen systems with either one Nvidia Geforce
7800GT, or two Geforce 6800GS's in SLI. The cost is comparable. Which is
faster? Any other considerations I should think about, such as the single
card running cooler?

Thanks in advance.

Jeff
 
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J

johan.vermaak

Well Jeff, personally I'd have to go with ATI's multi video card
solution called 'Cross-Fire' which has just recently been fully
released. But if you are stuck on SLI ( which may not be available to
work on every game, unlike Cross-fire ) I would recommend going with
one card. Partly because in some circumstances it will run cooler and
outperform certain lower end cards in SLI. But also because this will
then allow you to purchase another card of the same later on in a few
months or whenever you feel you are falling behind performance wise.
I'm not sure how you are considering purchasing you PC, but I'd highly
recommend buying it through www.cyberpowerpc.com . This is where I
purchased my computer 4 years ago and have been upgrading through
www.newegg.com .
 
J

Jitz

Well Jeff, personally I'd have to go with ATI's multi video card
solution called 'Cross-Fire' which has just recently been fully
released. But if you are stuck on SLI ( which may not be available to
work on every game, unlike Cross-fire ) I would recommend going with
one card. Partly because in some circumstances it will run cooler and
outperform certain lower end cards in SLI. But also because this will
then allow you to purchase another card of the same later on in a few
months or whenever you feel you are falling behind performance wise.
I'm not sure how you are considering purchasing you PC, but I'd highly
recommend buying it through www.cyberpowerpc.com . This is where I
purchased my computer 4 years ago and have been upgrading through
www.newegg.com .
Johan, thanks for the quick reply and advice. Regarding the card, I'm not
commited to an Nvidia solution, but from what I've read it seems that their
cards are a little stronger in terms of "bang for the buck." I'm open to ATI
(I currently have a Radeon 9500 and it's done the job the past 3 years), but
am not familiar with Cross-fire and why it might be better than SLI. Can you
explain?

Also, I have been looking at Cyperpower as well as others, including
ibuypower, which seems so similar I wonder if they're run by the same
people. How's their support been?
 
J

johan.vermaak

Well, I've been more interested in Crossfire mostly because of the work
that ATI has put into it in quality of picture, mainly their VIVO
technology. Crossfire works with ATI's xpress200 motherboards, not
sure exactly what brands sell it out there, but I'm pretty sure that
websites like cyberpower and ibuypower offer it yet. Crossfire
utilizes X800 and up video cards, but the second card has to be a
'mastercard' Ex: (
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102655 this is
the highest end mastercard, the X1800 ) While SLI has Crossfire beat
in being able to use two low price cards, I believe that if image
quality are important, I'd atleast purchase one X800 or higher card,
and then the crossfire edition one later on. Another large advantage
Crossfire has, is that it works with absolutely every game, unlike SLI.
SLI splits the screen in half for each card while Crossfire sections
the screen into a checkerboard like fashion, somehow resulting in
better picture, so say them. If you are looking for a cheap dual card
solution, SLI maybe the way to go, but even with SLI, I'd buy one
higher end card, and then purchase the second one farther down the
line. That way, you can pretty much do the same with Crossfire. I'm
not very thourogh on my explanation, not being ultra literate in deep
graphics talk, but if you need to know more, I'd recommend visiting
www.ati.com , its pretty simple to find out about it there. The only
major downside with crossfire is that it's yet to come out big. The
only place I have seen the hardware is on newegg.com.

Regarding online stores, I purchased my computer from www.buyxg.com,
when I received the computer, it was made by Cyberpower. So I'm not
sure if ibuypower does this also, but it may be a possibility. I
apologize, I can not tell you about the quality of their support, I
have never attempted to use it. Which, I'm not sure if thats saying
something about their computers, but I have not needed to yet.
 
J

johan.vermaak

Also, about the price/performance, I'd have to say that ATI is pretty
on par with NVIDIA, namely the X800 GT, GTO, GTO2's. All pretty
decent, although, I'm not sure about them in crossfire mode. Haven't
heard enough yet, but for single card solutions, pretty good. Also,
the X1600XT is for sure some awesome perforance for a budget gamer, ATI
does not yet have the crossfire edition out yet, but they should be out
shortly. I recommend surfing around at www.newegg.com, it is where I
spend lots of my time looking at the wide assortment of video cards,
and everything else you could need for your computer, especially
memory! (good deals)
 
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J

johan.vermaak

No problem man, email me back with your decision or how everything
turned out! Or if you need anything else.

_johan
 

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