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Crossfire vs. One Card w/ 2 GPUs?

Stugotz

Junior Member
Jun 23, 2005
19
0
0
Hello everyone!

I recently obtained the Samsung 2443 BWX 24" wide LCD and LOVE the picture!

However, the performance and freezing of my current rig is driving me crazy.

Obviously, my rig is having a hard time pushing the resolution as it now freezes and or requires restart any time complex scenes or intense action occurs on screen.

I have already read and searched these forums for posts on 24" wide monitors + GPUs and cannot locate a conclusive answer.

Given my current rig, I am looking for the most efficient upgrade to solve my graphical dilemma:

AMD Athlon 64 4000+ San Diego 1Ghz Socket 939 Processor
Asus A8N SLI Deluxe
2GB Corsair Ram
64GB Western Digital Raptor (Windows XP)
250GB Seagate HD 7,200rpm
Nvidia 7800 GTX OC PCIe
Sound Blaster® X-Fi? XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series
PC Power & Cooling Turbo Cool 510 SLI
Thermaltake VA3000BWA ATX case
DVD-ROM and a DVD-RW


Option A:
Purchase a new mobo (ASUS RAMPAGE FORMULA LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX) processor (Core 2 Duo E8400 ) GPU (2x Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16) 2GB RAM (Windows XP)

Option B:
Same as above except try to swing a 9800GX2, GTX 280, or ATI 4870X2, 4870 1GB (basically one card with two GPUs) instead of running Crossfire

Option C:
Keep current rig, drop in upgraded Socket 939 (which I am having a hard time finding) processor and two 8800GT's into A8N SLI ready motherboard. (cheapest upgrade but might prove short term give rate of technology and discontinuance of Windows XP support)

Graphical performance speaking, given the 1920 x 1200 resolution of my new monitor, which type of upgrade do you feel is the best bet for gaming and to eliminate the crashing and freezing I am getting now?

(Play a LOT = COD 4 & WW, World of Warcraft)

I am completely open to model and brand suggestions, just going nuts since I did not have this bad of a performance issue until went with new monitor and would like to keep using it.



 

Stugotz

Junior Member
Jun 23, 2005
19
0
0
In addition, what is the deal I read on the AMD and ASUS forums about the ATI drivers not working well with Vista or for certain games?

Is nVidia a bit slower but more stable?
 

SolMiester

Diamond Member
Dec 19, 2004
5,331
17
76
Hi, I have never been a big advocate of multi GPU solutions. With ATi you need drivers releases for new games, and the fixes are often buggy or break something else. Both NV & ATi will have micro-stutter at high res and low FPS an the time delay between GPU increases....

This of course leaves you which only the single GPU solutions of ATi 4780 !GB or the GTX260\216 or 280, all of which would be able for your 24"LCD...

There are always refreshes and I believe we are on the cusp of 55nm GPU from NV of the above models....However I dont think you would get the best of the above card with your current system, so certainly a new mobo and CPU is a given.
 

Cuular

Senior member
Aug 2, 2001
798
13
81
Yes to drive any of the above graphics cards to their fullest at 1920X1200 you'll need a decent 3.0 or 3.3Ghz CPU. In todays CPU market that means a c2d intel chip.

Once you have that, if you go AMD/ATI crossfire or X2 model, then you want the CPU to be a 4core. See Legion Hardwares CPU scaling with 4870X2 article

Basically the dual GPU's need more CPU's to drive both of them. The ATI drivers use multiple CPU's.

From the same site, if you look up the CPU scaling with the GTX280, for the most part there is no useful gain from going to quad core.

So that's another thing to look into, you could save on CPU by going the Nvidia route.

Still seems to get the best bang for the buck around the 3.0-3.3Ghz speed.

So new CPU and new graphics card will be "required" to push that resolution at playable speeds, with all the eye candy turned on.

And I'd recommend looking into the highest performing single GPU solution. Whenever you go dual GPU both sides have the same issues with "micro-stutter" when you have the FPS drop down into the 40 and below range.

For some of us the occasional chance at micro stutter is worth it. Because most of the time, the FPS is so high that you don't see it. And you can basically turn on any options you want at the highest level without having to worry about it.
 

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