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  • Looky! and a question.

    I got a really good bonus this year so instead of just getting a new video card I got this:

    -Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6600 - Retail

    -Scythe S-FLEX SFF21E 120mm Case Fan - Retail

    -SAPPHIRE 100226L Radeon HD 3850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

    -Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model BL2KIT12864AA1065 - Retail

    -ASUS P5K-E/WIFI-AP LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail


    So my question is about crossfire. The reviews I have read about the Radeon 3850 says they scale up fairly well. My intention is to buy another in 6 months or so if everything works out. But do I have to buy the same brand of 3850 at the same clock speed and memory size? Or just another 3850?
    I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
    - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
    - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
    - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
    - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
    - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
    - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

  • #2
    Re: Looky! and a question.

    SLI/Crossfire generally isn't going to do much good unless you're running games on a higher res. Then again, you would see more of a benefit from buying just a whole new, more powerful card.

    As for buying another and worrying about brand/etc, don't worry too much. I believe crossfire is pretty lenient with its requirements, but at the same time, if you buy a lower card and put them in crossfire, they'll run at the slower cards speeds.

    Perhaps consider an 8800 GT when they become more availible/prices drop a bit, they are pretty damn good for the price, as is the 3xxx series from ATI I hear.

    Enjoy the new system in any case!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Looky! and a question.

      Thanks for the info.

      I did the SLI thing with a 6xxx card and was pretty happy. By the time I was ready to buy I got another one for ~$25 used. It was at the same time I upgraded fro a 17" to a 20" crt. Performance was about the same, maybe a tad better, but at a higher resolution.

      The only reason I would do it with this new setup is because I am saving to get a 24" dell like I have at work. I would only do it to support the higher resolution.
      I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
      - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
      - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
      - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
      - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
      - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
      - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Looky! and a question.

        SLI/Crossfire are gimmicks its better just to go with 1 really great card then to bother with 2 IMHO unless you are running insane resolutions or are looking to burn cash to get 200 fps +
        |TG-Irr|Doctor

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Looky! and a question.

          Originally posted by Doctor. View Post
          SLI/Crossfire are gimmicks its better just to go with 1 really great card then to bother with 2 IMHO unless you are running insane resolutions or are looking to burn cash to get 200 fps +

          Hmmm. and hmmmm.

          Doesn't look like a gimmick to me.
          I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
          - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
          - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
          - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
          - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
          - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
          - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Looky! and a question.

            Last sentence on the page of the second review you linked: "While it'd be nice to be able to purchase two cheap cards and get better performance than the best out there, there are simply too many caveats to really embrace the idea."

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Looky! and a question.

              Depending on where you bought the card from, some online sites will recommend certain video cards to pair up with another video card so you can run SLI or Crossfire. Tigerdirect.com is one I know of that usually does this or use to anyway.
              My own opinion is go with Nvidia's 8800GT. Price isn't bad for the card and performance the card gives. Most reviews I have read even read the 8800Gt is outperforming any card ATI has out unless you overclock the ATI card and run it against the stock 8800GT. Another reason is I just don't care for ATI due to the fact of all the problems I have with mine I have now. ALthough I admit my ATI card I have now is old but I had problems from the time I had bought it new. I had to get it RMA'ed 3 times and then I still have problems with the ATI drivers. Most people I have spoken with that do own ATI really are not satisfied with them for gaming purposes. One more reason is I see the splash screen pop up on most games you buy and what do you see? The logo "Nvidia, the way it's meant to be played" which seeing that just makes me think most video game designers design around Nvidia cards and hope the game works with ATI.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Looky! and a question.

                Originally posted by sordavie View Post
                Last sentence on the page of the second review you linked: "While it'd be nice to be able to purchase two cheap cards and get better performance than the best out there, there are simply too many caveats to really embrace the idea."
                I do appreciate what you guys are trying to do. Protecting you fellow TG members from making a purchasing mistake is always a good and welcomed thing.


                But let us think about it from a practical and financial viewpoint. Six months from now I will want a little boost for a particular game that is coming out. Or maybe I finally convince my boss he needs to buy me a 24" dell beauty for my home (for when I work from home) and I would like to run that game at native 1920X1200 wide screen but to do it with my current card requires me to decrease the setting to their lower values.

                I have some options.

                Right now I can.

                1. Simply buy the card now that will do that in the future. Well, right now the 8800 GT line is running at about 290 dollars for the cheaper ones and this is IF you can find one. That 90 dollars is simply over my budget and could be put to buying a couple of new games. But the performance is not $100 better. Maybe $50 better at most. The 8800GTX is like $500. Won't even go there.

                In the future I can.

                2. At the time I want a boost go out and by the card that will give it to me. Since I have already spent $200 on my current card and a mid-range card does not have much re-sale value I am looking at spending at least $200 more for a total of $400.

                3. Buy the used uber card of yesterday. Well, those are kinda hard to find. Most people that drop big bucks on current technology tend to use that technology until it is less than optimal. You can get lucky but I don't want to gamble like that. And even if you do find one often the seller wants more than they are worth because they spent so much on one.

                4. Buy a new uber card of yesterday. It has been my experience that they don't drop in price that much. Even if it goes down by 50% you are still looking at around $140-$250. The 7900gt is still going for ~$190 at newegg. Since I cannot SLI/Crossfire it I am still looking at $350 total layout.

                5. Buy a mid-range used card of yesterday and SLI/Crossfire it with the mid-range card I bought new. This is simply the most cost effective way to do things. After about six months the midrange cards get really cheap even new. I am talking $50-70 range. Even better there is a glut of used ones to be had because everybody is feeling inferior and $150 for the new midrange card doesn't look that bad. So you can get them for $25-50 no problem. I have even had friends just give away those things because the resale value wasn't worth the effort. Now the SLI/Crossfire doesn't boost your performance X2 but it does boost it 40-80% based on the game. A average 50% boost for $25? That is a deal.


                Plus there are some other benefits. If one card dies you can usually still play while saving up for something new. If a card in another computer dies you can put it in that one and keep going. That actually happened to me and my daughters computer.

                I think as long as you keep things in perspective SLI/Crossfire can be a very good thing. I have done it before and was happy with the results.
                I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Looky! and a question.

                  According to that same article, using Crossfire with 3850 gave even lower framerates on Quake wars and Call of Duty 4 than when using a single 3850 without Crossfire. So while Crossfire may boost your performance 40-80% on some games, in other games you lose performance. I think that is why they came to their conclusion. I don't see how you're concluding there's an average 50% boost with Crossfire. What data are you using? Are you taking in to consideration games on which you lose performance with Crossfire?

                  "AMD's release notes for the Radeon HD 3800 drivers informs us that some applications may show a performance decrease with CF enabled..."--Anandtech.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Looky! and a question.

                    Originally posted by sordavie View Post
                    According to that same article, using Crossfire with 3850 gave even lower framerates on Quake wars and Call of Duty 4 than when using a single 3850 without Crossfire. So while Crossfire may boost your performance 40-80% on some games, in other games you lose performance. I think that is why they came to their conclusion. I don't see how you're concluding there's an average 50% boost with Crossfire. What data are you using? Are you taking in to consideration games on which you lose performance with Crossfire?

                    "AMD's release notes for the Radeon HD 3800 drivers informs us that some applications may show a performance decrease with CF enabled..."--Anandtech.
                    Taking into consideration that the problem sounds to be video driver related and should be fixed. So there is a good chance that COD4 and others will see the boost eventually. Especially by the time I buy COD4. Which is when it gets down in the $20 range.

                    Have I mentioned I have two kids, a third one on the way and just finished adding a second floor to my house? Priorities, man!

                    At worst I will have to disable the card for a couple of games and play them a bit dumbed down. More than likely there will be a game or two that I won't see a increased performance on. In the long run still cheaper than the other options.

                    What I pointed out is not the path the elite geeks will want to take. You won't be able to impress the pimply 14 yr old boy next door. Fortunately I am passed trying to impress that crowd. I am a normal geek that wants to play games at a decent frame rate and impress the fine lady sleeping next to me with my financial savvy.

                    I just think it is a way to get a very good bang for the buck long term. A way to extend the value of a mid-range video card.

                    Kinda like buying used min-vans. Isn't sexy but financially prudent and you still get where you want to go in a comfortable fashion.
                    I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                    - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                    - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                    - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                    - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                    - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                    - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Looky! and a question.

                      I'm not sure why you think the price of midrange cards will plummet in 6 months. Taking a look at the prices of some midrange cards from June 2007 and their prices now shows that they haven't gone down much. The 8600GT has gone from ~$115 then to ~$100 today. The X1950PRO has gone from ~$150 then to ~$140 today.The X1950XT has gone from ~$200 to ~$250 (due to rarity) if you can even find it. The 8800GTS has gone from ~$280 then to ~$290 today. I'm willing to bet money that the 3850 won't be in the $50-70 range in 6 months.

                      I don't think anyone is saying that the 3850 is a bad card. I think what people are suggesting, including the hardware review sites, is that trying to maximize performance/price at this point isn't going to be done by utilizing crossfire or SLI with two cheap cards. That's so even if you plan on buying the second one in half a year.

                      Anyway, you could save $65 on your processor by going with an E6550 instead of the E6600. I think the E6550 with a 1330 front bus side capable motherboard (like the one you have listed) will outperform the E6600. The former is $170 at newegg and the latter is $235. The only differences are that the E6600 is clocked at 2.4ghz with a 1066mhz front bus side and the E6550 is clocked at 2.33ghz with 1333mhz front bus side. Not sure why anyone would go with the older E6600 at this point.

                      That would put the 8800GT only $25 over your budget.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Looky! and a question.

                        I built a system with future crossfire intentions a year and a half ago.
                        1900xt - Paid $200
                        1900xt crossfire edition currently selling for $350 if I were to upgrade.
                        Total $550

                        8800 GT
                        Total $450 in video card purchases if went with 8800 GT

                        8800GT Nicely outperforms 1900xt Crossfire setup.

                        Crossfire would take up a PCI slot and only leave me with one. Unacceptable.

                        Conclusion
                        Crossfire SLI = Poo Poo
                        Last edited by Hambergler; 12-07-2007, 08:44 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Looky! and a question.

                          Ok. Have had it running for a few days now and I have to say I would recommend all the parts above to anybody looking for a good system.

                          Motherboard.

                          It is nice. The built in wireless is pretty good. I get good reception and I didn't even hook up the antenna. It is quite because it has no fans. I did a bit of overclocking to see and it works as advertised. If the system becomes unstable because you pushed it to far it detects it and you can reset the bios in software. I put everything back to normal with one confirmation (I don't really like overclocking.)

                          You can download and install bios updates from the internet.

                          Choosing the motherboard for me is always the hardest part. There are so many choices and I have been disappointed by my past choices (MSI and Biostar) for various reasons. I am so far very happy with this one.

                          And another thing is the onboard sound. It is really good. I only had an audigy before but compared to that it is much clearer. The advertisement said something about being able to increase clarity on VOIP in games and skype type applications. I don't know about skype but I think the VOIP in games is cleaner and not nearly as muddy.

                          Radeon 3850:

                          First it is quite. I have a 8600 in my work computer and this one, even though much more powerful, is much quieter.

                          I run all my current games in high (BF2 and it's mods, Front Lines: Fuel of war beta, Supreme commander) and everything is smooth. I think the biggest boost is in Supreme Commander. At high settings and one particular battle with many, many units flying around every thing is just fantastic. Zooming, rotating multi views etc is consistently above 55 fps.

                          I also think, but can't prove, that the colors are much better in all cases. Video playback on DVDs also looks much better than the 8600 or the old card I had. It crisper.


                          The CPU.

                          I am amazed at how quite it is. I am used to AMD chips and their stock fans have been loud.

                          Temperatures on everything are cooler than the old system I had. I did add an extra low flow quite case fan and that could have something to do with it. But the first case I had used three fans and it was still much warmer than what I have now.


                          Overall the speed increase is amazing. I do data driven development and one complex query I have took about 5.5 seconds on my old system. Now it take about 700 milliseconds! On our production servers (16 gig ram, two of the new quad core Intel sever CPUs, very fast raid arrays) it takes 400 milliseconds. That is very good performance. Another example is compiling a rather large project. Old system about 30 seconds. New system about 5 seconds. And like I said before all the games I play run better than I expected. For some reason the BF2 Forgotten Hope 2 mod does get choppy at certain times.

                          Above all I would recommend the Asus motherboard to anybody looking for a mid-range component. I am not saying it is the best but it was pain free and has pretty good features and is very quite.
                          Last edited by El_Gringo_Grande; 12-16-2007, 10:32 PM. Reason: spelling
                          I知 not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                          - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                          - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                          - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                          - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                          - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                          - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

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