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Replacing a 7800GTX

Chaotic42

Lifer
Jun 15, 2001
33,854
955
126
Hey all.

I've been doing some looking, and I'm having a hard time deciding between the ATI 4870x2 and the nVidia GTS280. I'm replacing my vintage 2005 7800GTX. I'm planning on upgrading to a 2560x1600 monitor (also keeping my 2x1920x1200 displays as non-gaming screens on the system). I'm going to be upgrading from Vista 32 to Vista 64, as well as adding a new PSU.

My 7800 has served me well, but it's showing its age. I have to turn everything down in WoW (except for draw distance), and I haven't even installed Crysis because the demo ran so horribly. Left 4 Dead runs at very low settings and Supreme Commander makes me cry.

If I needed to, I wouldn't be against Crossfiring/SLI-ing several months down the road. I'll probably be upgrading to a Core i7 next year at some point. It's hard to tell.

Here are my playability goals:

WoW-2560x1600, Max everything, flawless performance
Crysis - 1920x1200, High settings
L4D - 2560x1600
Supreme Commander - 2560x1600 or 2x1920x1200

So would you pick a GTS280 or a 4870x2? I thought there would be some good head-to-head comparisons of these two, but I'm not finding them.

If this is a repost, I'm sorry. :eek:
 

Chaotic42

Lifer
Jun 15, 2001
33,854
955
126
Well, I ended up getting a 4870x2 and wow, it's horrible. Considerable worse performance in World of Warcraft than my 7800 (Yes, I have a fresh Windows install).

I'm getting like 8fps.
 

Extelleron

Diamond Member
Dec 26, 2005
3,127
0
71
Originally posted by: Chaotic42
Well, I ended up getting a 4870x2 and wow, it's horrible. Considerable worse performance in World of Warcraft than my 7800 (Yes, I have a fresh Windows install).

I'm getting like 8fps.
Latest drivers?

The HD 4870 X2 is not a horrible card, it is the best card on the market right now; something is wrong on your end.

How are other games running? How does your 3D Mark Vantage score compare to similar rigs?
 

Leyawiin

Diamond Member
Nov 11, 2008
3,205
51
91
Do you have any addons, such as Questhelper? Its known to cause massive FPS hits on some ATI machines. Do you have anything like supersampling enable in the CCC in addition to multisampling in the game? If so you may want to try the Catalyst settings at their stock values and use the game video options only. How is your performance in other games?

A few things to try since you have a new card and drivers - in C:/Program Files/World of Warcraft delete the interface, cache and WTF files and allow those to rebuild. This has helped me numerous times when inexplicable slow downs would happen in the game. Also, since the big patch in October WoW seems to have become much more CPU dependent than GPU. What is your CPU?
 

Chaotic42

Lifer
Jun 15, 2001
33,854
955
126
Originally posted by: Leyawiin
Do you have any addons, such as Questhelper? Its known to cause massive FPS hits on some ATI machines. Do you have anything like supersampling enable in the CCC in addition to multisampling in the game? If so you may want to try the Catalyst settings at their stock values and use the game video options only. How is your performance in other games?

A few things to try since you have a new card and drivers - in C:/Program Files/World of Warcraft delete the interface, cache and WTF files and allow those to rebuild. This has helped me numerous times when inexplicable slow downs would happen in the game. Also, since the big patch in October WoW seems to have become much more CPU dependent than GPU. What is your CPU?
I tried removing Cartographer 3, it didn't really help. Disabling my second monitor helped quite a bit, but that's ridiculuous. Changing the ingame settings doesn't help either.

I have:

Core 2 E6600
4GB DDR2
15K SCSI Primary Drive
Vista 64

It's the same setup as a buddy, except he has an 8800GTS and runs at 2560x1600 with no problems. That's why I'm kind of down on the card. I've filed an issue report with ATI. I haven't tried any other games yet.
 

Chaotic42

Lifer
Jun 15, 2001
33,854
955
126
I went into Device Manager and turned off the crazy HDMI audio devices inside the card and things seem to be a lot less jerky now. I'm not getting such wild fluctuations in my frame rates anymore.

Hopefully the computer is happy now.
 

roid450

Senior member
Sep 4, 2008
858
0
0
shoulda bought a gtx 280. for some reason i hear more bitching about the ATI cards than nvidia. the ned nVidia drivers are bad assssssss down to the bone :p :)
 

Concillian

Diamond Member
May 26, 2004
3,755
8
81
Just FYI, if you want to track framerate realtime without having to memorize the numbers, recount has the ability to display a realtime FPS graph while you're playing.

Also, I have a HD4850 I run at 2560x1024 (2 17" monitors) but the actual game viewport is only 1280x1024 (left monitor). This is using Vista 64. The chat windows and a shrunken Cartographer 2 or Cart 3 is on my right monitor, no actual polygons are there unless you count the map, but that can't require much horsepower. I run all video quality options high (except full screen glow, ground clutter, & density since I don't like them), and set AA to 12x (4xAA with "edge detect"). Vsync is on and it generally pegs 60FPS everywhere I've been, with the exception of the occasional dip down into the 50s.

Compared to the 7800GT I upgraded from, which was very frequently in the high teens just looking around Warsong Hold.

I've had guildmates with issues caused by mods, but I don't know which mod. One had a 9800GTX and had a slide show when he'd turn, but it would be great when he was just standing still. He said disabling a mod fixed it, but I don't know which one.

I know another guildie recently upgraded to a 4870x2, and he hasn't complained. I'm pretty sure he would have mentioned it to me if he had an issue. I'm kinda known as the resident PC hardware expert.

Given the choice, I'd choose a single chip card over a multi-chip card if they have similar performance and price.
 

chizow

Diamond Member
Jun 26, 2001
9,537
1
0
Are you running in full screen or windowed for WoW? Running in windowed in either SLI or single GPU can cause slow downs in Vista, its a well known issue with WoW and lots of other games. Also, does turning off CF and using just a single GPU fix the low frame rate problems?
 

Chaotic42

Lifer
Jun 15, 2001
33,854
955
126
Originally posted by: chizow
Are you running in full screen or windowed for WoW? Running in windowed in either SLI or single GPU can cause slow downs in Vista, its a well known issue with WoW and lots of other games. Also, does turning off CF and using just a single GPU fix the low frame rate problems?
I'm running full screen and turning off the other core pegs me at 2fps.
 

Chaotic42

Lifer
Jun 15, 2001
33,854
955
126
Well, I removed my X-Fi from my system and it's running a whole lot better. Not perfect, but pretty darned good.
 

MegaWorks

Diamond Member
Jan 26, 2004
3,819
1
0
XFX Geforce 260 Black Edition (216sp) a lot cheaper than the GTX 280 for the same performance.
 

Chaotic42

Lifer
Jun 15, 2001
33,854
955
126
Originally posted by: MegaWorks
XFX Geforce 260 Black Edition (216sp) a lot cheaper than the GTX 280 for the same performance.
Trust me, I wish that I had gone with an nVidia card.
 

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