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Get 3 GTX 480s or wait for 2 4GB 5970s??

Baasha

Golden Member
Jan 4, 2010
1,991
18
81
So I have a GTX-295 right now and want to upgrade my system.

I really want to get the best graphics solution for the rig so what do you guys recommend? I have a PC Power & Cooling 1200W PSU so I think that should handle the tri-SLi GTX 480 and the HD5970 4GB Crossfire. If needed, I can buy another PSU but that means I'll have to get a new case blah blah blah. And, I only have an Antec 902 so I'll probably upgrade the case anyway.

I do quite a bit of gaming, video editing, photo editing, and some 3D modeling as a hobby. Nonetheless, I want the best graphics for the desktop.

Let the arguments begin! :D
 

dust

Golden Member
Oct 13, 2008
1,339
1
71
I'd go for 2 480's right now, your PSU should handle them fine. Later you might want to switch to 5970's if the benchmarks show gain over tri SLI or upgrade the PSU+add another 480.

Tri SLI scaling sucks right now just like trifire, but it may get better with drivers.

Some insight from the Nvidia church regarding 3 480's:
http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.aspx?m=305721
 

Cookie Monster

Diamond Member
May 7, 2005
5,161
32
86
Remember that scaling gets worse as you add more video cards. Quad SLi, Xfire often have poor scaling across the board (mainly driver issues). Tri setups on the other hand seem to handle things better and less compatibility issues. Its scaling isnt as bad as a quad setup.

But a GTX480 SLi + water cooling + overclocking might be a better investment.
 

Dark Shroud

Golden Member
Mar 26, 2010
1,576
0
0
GTX 480 in Tri SLI have been recording at drawing just under 1200W at full load. A case can be made for GTX 480 in SLI but Tri-SLI is just a waste as this point. You also need serious air flow in your case or you'll be baking the rest of your PC.
 

Attic

Diamond Member
Jan 9, 2010
4,282
2
76
You have two options as I see it.

1) 480SLI But IMO you would need to go watercooling to not be sorely distracted/upset/focused on the noise 2 480's are going to be making when gaming. All reports point to 480SLI being an incredibly loud experience. Watercooling would negate the biggest drawback IMO of 480SLI.

2) Get a 4GB 5970 special card, the Asus Ares or Sapphire version which come overclocked and are beastly.

480SLI offers incredible performance, so do the 4GB 5970 special edition cards.

480TriSLI or 2x5970 not worth the hassle
 

Mr. Pedantic

Diamond Member
Feb 14, 2010
5,039
0
76
I wouldn't go with tri-SLI. It's just too much heat. Get 2 cards in SLI and spend the rest on a watercooling setup. That means you'll output less heat and it means that you won't be baking your chipset and CPU either.
 

CurseTheSky

Diamond Member
Oct 21, 2006
5,401
1
0
So I have a GTX-295 right now and want to upgrade my system.

I really want to get the best graphics solution for the rig so what do you guys recommend? I have a PC Power & Cooling 1200W PSU so I think that should handle the tri-SLi GTX 480 and the HD5970 4GB Crossfire. If needed, I can buy another PSU but that means I'll have to get a new case blah blah blah. And, I only have an Antec 902 so I'll probably upgrade the case anyway.

I do quite a bit of gaming, video editing, photo editing, and some 3D modeling as a hobby. Nonetheless, I want the best graphics for the desktop.

Let the arguments begin! :D
The ONLY thing multi-GPU setups will help with (aside from some specialty GPU number crunching programs) is gaming. And unless you're playing on a 30", 2560x1600 monitor, anything more than a single (possibly dual) card is a waste. Even with the 30" monitor, two GTX 480s in SLI will be plenty.
 

Apocalypse23

Golden Member
Jul 14, 2003
1,467
0
0
I'd get something like a 1 gb 5970 + 1gb 5850/5870, or a tri CF 1gb 5850/5870, you'd have to make sure that these are all reference boards so you can get a hefty overclock. I'll post some valid benchmarks in the coming week as soon as I get my i7 setup installed.
 

terentenet

Senior member
Nov 8, 2005
387
0
0
Waiting for EK waterblocks to become available and I will get a Tri-SLI GTX480 setup. Things will get better with new drivers, I am sure of that.
I have a Enermax Revolution 85+ 1250W PSU, I think it will handle the GTX480 Tri-SLI setup just fine.
 

jbh545

Member
Jun 10, 2008
45
0
0
The quadfire scaling has looked universally terrible. Trifire scales all right but you need 2GB or it suffers badly on a 30 inch monitor. My suggestion:

if gaming at 1920x1200, go 1gb 5870 + 1gb 5970

if gaming at 2560, triple 480s all the way.
 

Lonyo

Lifer
Aug 10, 2002
21,939
6
81
Wait for the 256 series drivers, save some money for extra monitors, and when the 256 drivers come out, buy whatever performs best at triple monitor resolutions.
 

Keysplayr

Elite Member
Jan 16, 2003
21,209
50
91
Last edited:

MarcVenice

Moderator Emeritus <br>
Apr 2, 2007
5,664
0
0
Haven't tested tri-sli GTX 480's yet, but I can confirm that two GTX 480's in sli scale really well, up to 100&#37; at times when fully gpu-bottlenecked. That's in games like Far Cry 2, Bad Company 2, Crysis Warhead, Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising and DiRT 2. Only in Metro 2033 did the scaling suck.

At 2560x1600, everything was 100% playable. No AA in Crysis though... But tri-fire would be a bit of a waste. A HD 5970 can produce some awesome framerates too btw, and will cost considerably less...
 

Keysplayr

Elite Member
Jan 16, 2003
21,209
50
91
Haven't tested tri-sli GTX 480's yet, but I can confirm that two GTX 480's in sli scale really well, up to 100% at times when fully gpu-bottlenecked. That's in games like Far Cry 2, Bad Company 2, Crysis Warhead, Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising and DiRT 2. Only in Metro 2033 did the scaling suck.

At 2560x1600, everything was 100% playable. No AA in Crysis though... But tri-fire would be a bit of a waste. A HD 5970 can produce some awesome framerates too btw, and will cost considerably less...
Haven't tried Metro2033 yet. I'll give that a shot next.
So far I've tried Stalker CoP and Battleforge. Sweet scaling.
 

Madcatatlas

Golden Member
Feb 22, 2010
1,155
0
0
Id like to see some reviews of the 4gb overclocked special edition 5970s. Im betting the toxis verson from Sapphire will be a killer (im guessing they are all quite alike, but still i think the sapphire one will be the one to get)

480 SLi however has already been branded a VERY good deal, if you can fi the issues of heat, noise and power draw.
a third 480 seems both overkill and ...fail..(what else to write)

Right now, since the 5970 isnt out yet, Id either wait for that to see reviews or i would grab 2x480s and sli them. I do envy watercooling people.. just a little bit.
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
744
126
I would likely get 2 GTX 480s in your case. Although I would say a single 5970 or dual 5850s should be an even better bang for the buck.
 

Lonyo

Lifer
Aug 10, 2002
21,939
6
81
I would likely get 2 GTX 480s in your case. Although I would say a single 5970 or dual 5850s should be an even better bang for the buck.
Someone looking at dual 4GB HD5970's or tri-SLI GTX480s isn't looking for bang for the buck.
But if you're going all out, then triple monitors would be something I would really look at.
 

Attic

Diamond Member
Jan 9, 2010
4,282
2
76
Yea, Lonyo brings up a good point. With all the money/time/consideration given to getting as much graphics horsepower as possible at this point of PC gaming, not going multi monitor would be a bit of a let down.

Mulit monitor gaming is the only thing that is going to push and really show off the advantages of having as much horsepower as 480SLI or 5970 4gb editions. Single monitor with that much horsepower, even 26x16 is a waste IMO.
 

Baasha

Golden Member
Jan 4, 2010
1,991
18
81
Guys,

Thanks for the replies.

I'll wait for the 4GB HD5970s to come out and then make my decision. And, if I do go the NVidia route, I will do Tri-SLI as I want the top of the line. I will do QUAD if possible but I believe only 3 will work (?).

Regarding monitor setups, that's a great point. I currently have TWO 1920x1200 monitors (24" & 25.5"; Dell & Samsung respectively) but I plan to get a 30" 2560x1600 as well. The only issue is for Eyefinity or Nvidia's version of it would look somewhat weird with two smaller monitors and one monstrous 30" in the middle.

Ideally, I could sell the two smaller ones and get 3 30" monitors but I'm probably not going to do that in the near future.

And, is the Apple 30" the best one out there because it's an IPS panel? What is the best 30" monitor available?

Here is a benchmark video of Tri-SLI of the GTX 480:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GMJkVQiq5c

Looks incredible (with his whole setup)
 

MarcVenice

Moderator Emeritus <br>
Apr 2, 2007
5,664
0
0
Guys,

Thanks for the replies.

I'll wait for the 4GB HD5970s to come out and then make my decision. And, if I do go the NVidia route, I will do Tri-SLI as I want the top of the line. I will do QUAD if possible but I believe only 3 will work (?).

Regarding monitor setups, that's a great point. I currently have TWO 1920x1200 monitors (24" & 25.5"; Dell & Samsung respectively) but I plan to get a 30" 2560x1600 as well. The only issue is for Eyefinity or Nvidia's version of it would look somewhat weird with two smaller monitors and one monstrous 30" in the middle.

Ideally, I could sell the two smaller ones and get 3 30" monitors but I'm probably not going to do that in the near future.

And, is the Apple 30" the best one out there because it's an IPS panel? What is the best 30" monitor available?

Here is a benchmark video of Tri-SLI of the GTX 480:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GMJkVQiq5c

Looks incredible (with his whole setup)
The Sapphire is a HD 5970 4GB with clocks at 900MHz. That's two HD 5870's 2GB at 900MHz crossfired. That will be close with two GTX 480's, but I think it will lose to two GTX 480's, if only marginally.

As for 30"-screens, I think all of them are ips or pva. The dell's are quite popular too.
 
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