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sli/crossfire question

PraorPraor Member Posts: 519

I'm in the process of planning my list of hardware to get and build my first pc . I was thinking of trying sli or crossfire or just getting one of the newer higher end cards, anyone have any pros and cons from their own experience with this ?

I'm looking to spurlge around 2 grand for this and hopefully I can ride out the next few years without any upgrades. These pc's from best buy I always been using just aint cutting it anymore lol .

Waiting on Guild Wars 2

Comments

  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,298

    Can you wait until Fall?  If you do you can get an HD6xxx.  With a $2000 budget that would give you 3-HD6870 to crossfire, or 1 and a really really good SSD and top range system.

  • PraorPraor Member Posts: 519

    Heys Cleffy,  I didn't know about the HD 6000 series and yea I'm gonna wait for this, get 1 and a ssd, now were talking hehe.

    I'm looking forward to building this, I never actually ran a game at maxed settings before . This will be worth the wait, in the meantime I can get focused on my tower and board ,psu etc. You think an 800w would cover that card or should I go higher ?

    Waiting on Guild Wars 2

  • eyceleycel Member Posts: 1,334

    Originally posted by Cleffy

    Can you wait until Fall?  If you do you can get an HD6xxx.  With a $2000 budget that would give you 3-HD6870 to crossfire, or 1 and a really really good SSD and top range system.

    Im totally with cleffy on this, I like ati, Iv had a ati mobile card in my laptop for 6 years now and its playing aion still.  Things are like platinum.  Nvidia though has alot of nice stuff as well, if your considering wanting to play in 3d, there is stuff out by nvidia for that.  Also nvidia has phycisx built into there desktop cards. Ati has eyefinity so you can play on multiple monitors.  I cant really recommend anything desktop though since Im all about laptops.  Have you considered one before?  There really starting to take leaps and bounds in performance and play well with all games at max settings for the most part. 

    The new envy 14 is a super deal at the moment, for around 800 with rebates and stuff.  Its really pushing the size/performance of next gen tech, scoring around 10k in 3dmark06.  Not to intentionaly derail your thread just thought Id put that out there. 

    The new ATI 6xxx series, as much as I like ati, it about the same thing as what the 5xxx series is so Iv read.   Have you seen this beast of a card?  asus aresI really like this and the toxic cards, although this card is more expensive, ITs kinda cool I think.  This card beat alot of the triple sli gtx480 nvidia cards in benches which is amazing.  This is the asus ares 4gigabyte.   Personally I like the toxic card better, but this card is alsmot as cool as that card.  The review can be found here, theres some great benchmarks when wanting to find the best hardware for a desktop build. I was pretty surpized what they can all fit onto one card.  I dont think geting sli, or even xf is that importand as it once was with what they can do with single cards anymore.  Im kind hioping xf and sli will become a thing of the past quicker then what it is doing right now.  There is plenty of room to fit more gpus onto one card and I think its totally a gimic thing.  I know its kinda cool sli and crossfire but Im totally into these bigger duel gpu cards.  You dont even have to call them duel gpu if you dont want, and there still a single card.  having two of anything in your machine is a waste of space I think.  I guess raid can be considered but Im not that big of fan of raid any way.  Theres plenty of new tech that can use virtual machines/larger space on single drives that shouldnt have to warent using raid setup. 

     

    Ok heres my favorite card so far thats ever been released.  It even comes with two games for the 1k it costs.  Still having a card like this should be more then enough for the most part for a good while untill dx12 comes out.   

    image

  • lectrocudalectrocuda Member Posts: 604

    Originally posted by Praor

    I'm in the process of planning my list of hardware to get and build my first pc . I was thinking of trying sli or crossfire or just getting one of the newer higher end cards, anyone have any pros and cons from their own experience with this ?

    I'm looking to spurlge around 2 grand for this and hopefully I can ride out the next few years without any upgrades. These pc's from best buy I always been using just aint cutting it anymore lol .

     AMD phenom black2  3.4ghz quad core

    1.5Tb Seagate Barracuda HD

    EVGA GTX295 co-op (plays any game you want..has 1.9Gb ddr3)

    4Gb ddr 3

    24" acer monitor...not the best

    logitech 5.1

    logitech G15 keyboard

    logitech MX revolution mouse

    Cooler Master HAF case

    1200 dollars. add in 200 Win7 ult64

     

    well within your budget, and you could actually pobably get it even cheaper

    To the caterpillar it is the end of the world, to the master, it is a butterfly.

  • PraorPraor Member Posts: 519

    Originally posted by eycel

    Originally posted by Cleffy

    Can you wait until Fall?  If you do you can get an HD6xxx.  With a $2000 budget that would give you 3-HD6870 to crossfire, or 1 and a really really good SSD and top range system.

    Im totally with cleffy on this, I like ati, Iv had a ati mobile card in my laptop for 6 years now and its playing aion still.  Things are like platinum.  Nvidia though has alot of nice stuff as well, if your considering wanting to play in 3d, there is stuff out by nvidia for that.  Also nvidia has phycisx built into there desktop cards. Ati has eyefinity so you can play on multiple monitors.  I cant really recommend anything desktop though since Im all about laptops.  Have you considered one before?  There really starting to take leaps and bounds in performance and play well with all games at max settings for the most part. 

    The new envy 14 is a super deal at the moment, for around 800 with rebates and stuff.  Its really pushing the size/performance of next gen tech, scoring around 10k in 3dmark06.  Not to intentionaly derail your thread just thought Id put that out there.  The new ATI 6xxx series, as much as I like ati, it about the same thing as what the 5xxx series is so Iv read. 

     I never really considered a laptop, the thing is I gotta have a good size screen, right now I game on a 22' Samsung but I will be getting a 37 LCD later this year, so I'll be gaming on that .

    Waiting on Guild Wars 2

  • CatamountCatamount Member Posts: 773

    Originally posted by Praor

    Originally posted by eycel


    Originally posted by Cleffy

    Can you wait until Fall?  If you do you can get an HD6xxx.  With a $2000 budget that would give you 3-HD6870 to crossfire, or 1 and a really really good SSD and top range system.

    Im totally with cleffy on this, I like ati, Iv had a ati mobile card in my laptop for 6 years now and its playing aion still.  Things are like platinum.  Nvidia though has alot of nice stuff as well, if your considering wanting to play in 3d, there is stuff out by nvidia for that.  Also nvidia has phycisx built into there desktop cards. Ati has eyefinity so you can play on multiple monitors.  I cant really recommend anything desktop though since Im all about laptops.  Have you considered one before?  There really starting to take leaps and bounds in performance and play well with all games at max settings for the most part. 

    The new envy 14 is a super deal at the moment, for around 800 with rebates and stuff.  Its really pushing the size/performance of next gen tech, scoring around 10k in 3dmark06.  Not to intentionaly derail your thread just thought Id put that out there.  The new ATI 6xxx series, as much as I like ati, it about the same thing as what the 5xxx series is so Iv read. 

     I never really considered a laptop, the thing is I gotta have a good size screen, right now I game on a 22' Samsung but I will be getting a 37 LCD later this year, so I'll be gaming on that .

    If a laptop is really what you want, the MSI E7405 is a good choice. At only $1149 and with a Mobility Radeon HD 5870 (about the power of a single desktop 5770, and presently the second most powerful GPU), it's actually a fairly good deal. The screen is 17 inch, 1680x1050 (yes, someone still makes 16x10 laptops), and most games will run at pretty much high settings at that resolution, even with a little AA tossed on. I'm actually selling my present notebook to spring for one of these.

     

    Now, if you're the type who wants top-level performance instead of portability (my kind of gamer image), then Cleffy is right. Wait just a bit and Ati's new GPUs will come out, and will be notably faster than what's around with the Radeon HD 5000 series. I wouldn't bother doing triple-card setups right now; drivers still need to mature a bit (there are seriously only like a dozen games that will actually make use of 3 cards), but putting two high end HD 6000 cards (presumably Radeon HD 6870s) in crossfire will yield absolutely maddening levels of performance, so that you can actually enjoy games with all the eye candy turned on on that 37' screen (even games like Metro 2033).

  • eyceleycel Member Posts: 1,334

    Originally posted by Praor

    Originally posted by eycel


    Originally posted by Cleffy

    Can you wait until Fall?  If you do you can get an HD6xxx.  With a $2000 budget that would give you 3-HD6870 to crossfire, or 1 and a really really good SSD and top range system.

    Im totally with cleffy on this, I like ati, Iv had a ati mobile card in my laptop for 6 years now and its playing aion still.  Things are like platinum.  Nvidia though has alot of nice stuff as well, if your considering wanting to play in 3d, there is stuff out by nvidia for that.  Also nvidia has phycisx built into there desktop cards. Ati has eyefinity so you can play on multiple monitors.  I cant really recommend anything desktop though since Im all about laptops.  Have you considered one before?  There really starting to take leaps and bounds in performance and play well with all games at max settings for the most part. 

    The new envy 14 is a super deal at the moment, for around 800 with rebates and stuff.  Its really pushing the size/performance of next gen tech, scoring around 10k in 3dmark06.  Not to intentionaly derail your thread just thought Id put that out there.  The new ATI 6xxx series, as much as I like ati, it about the same thing as what the 5xxx series is so Iv read. 

     I never really considered a laptop, the thing is I gotta have a good size screen, right now I game on a 22' Samsung but I will be getting a 37 LCD later this year, so I'll be gaming on that .

    Well the nice thing about laptops is that alot of the new technology is in making them more useable for everyone.  Laptops have many slots to connect to external displays.  Im even typing on my alienware area51m with an external vga crt and it works well.  Alot of the new laptops have HDMI/Displayport/DVI to connect to most anything that is newer. 

    image

  • PraorPraor Member Posts: 519

    How are the laptops today where cooling is concerned ?   can they withstand long sessions like a straight up 10-12 hours of gaming, which I sometimes do on the weekends . I just might consider one and hook it up to the 37 lcd .

    Waiting on Guild Wars 2

  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,298

    lol no not at all.  Some get over 70c in temp.  Anything with an 8 as its second digit as a video card option is going to run hot, really really hot.

    Definetly go with a desktop.

  • CatamountCatamount Member Posts: 773

    Generally, it's considered conventional wisdom to choose a desktop over a laptop for gaming, because they cost far less and perform far better. Laptops also do consistently suffer from relatively poor cooling, which leads to statistically high failure rates, especially when you're constantly gaming on them. Most have 10%-15% failure rates after 2 years, and 15%-25% after 3 years just with normal use, let alone when under constant stress that's cooking your components (source), and of course, they're not modular like desktops so most hardware failures will give you a thousand dollar brick once your out past the typical two year warrant you get from most manufacturers (a desktop failure just means replacing one component). Laptops are also hard to future-proof for games down the road.

     

    Now, that said, there are caveats when recommending a desktop for general gaming applications. Laptops have made big strides, especially in the past 5 years or so, and prices are especially good at the moment. Right now, being able to get a notebook with a Mobility Radeon HD 5870 for under $1200 shows that the market is really tanking on prices, so while not an ideal solution (even the most powerful notebooks struggle to run games at high settings), it's also not an unworkable solution. If you travel a lot, and you really think you'll be gaming seriously on the go, a laptop is a good option. If the machine is just something that would mostly hang around home anyways, then sacrificing the value, reliability and performance for the portability may not be worth it. That's something only you can decide, but as I said, using a desktop as a primary gaming machine is conventional wisdom, and by far the choice made by the vast majority of PC gamers. So you need to figure out if your usage is going to be atypically geared towards the mobile to the extent that it's worth parting with conventional wisdom.

     

    Also consider that you might well be able to get the best of both worlds, given your budget. If portable gaming is really important to you, but you don't want to give up the perks of a desktop, you could easily spend $1250 on a desktop, and $750 on a laptop. For $1250, you could probably crossfire a pair of $200 GPUs and the machine would be very powerful, while $750 would get you something like a Mobility Radeon HD 5650 on a laptop (like this one or for a hair more, this one).

     

    So just think about your situation. If mobility is completely paramount to your gaming, go out and get a portable monster of a laptop. If it's really important, but doesn't supersede everything else, get one of each. If it's really not that important, then get a monster desktop.

  • PraorPraor Member Posts: 519

    Thanks for all the valuable input from everyone. Mobility is not a concern for me, I rarely rarely travel and wouldnt game if I did. So with cleffys input, I can wait on the new cards coming in fall and stick with that. I been looking at some ssd's and somewhat confusing, for instance I was looking at one and it said it can be used for laptops or desktops, is that right ?

      Another thing I was reading on a few of them, some of the reviews state that these ssd's decay within like 2 or 3 years dropping the performance on them, whats that all about ?

    This one seems like it would suit my needs http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5256782&CatId=5300

     

    Also look at this case, this right here is without a doubt what I need, make sure to watch the video.

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4197077&csid=_21

    Waiting on Guild Wars 2

  • eyceleycel Member Posts: 1,334

    Originally posted by Praor

    How are the laptops today where cooling is concerned ?   can they withstand long sessions like a straight up 10-12 hours of gaming, which I sometimes do on the weekends . I just might consider one and hook it up to the 37 lcd .

    Well thermals are doing well.  Alot of laptops back in mid 2000s tend to get hot. Even so my alienware made in 2004 still runs games ok and it dosnt get hot.  I used to play wow alot, like alot alot 12-14 hours streaks coupled with SWG so my laptop would tend to get hot but even then I was able to play with it still and playing aion on it now I dont know why exatly but it dosnt get hot at all playing it for 10 hours straight. 

    Laptops any more you dont need to worry about temps. Thats a big concern for many though, and every laptop that is put out gets tested by many users.  You seem open to the suggestion at least so why dont you check out notebookreview and have a look around there.  Every brand know to human is listed in there forums with a cult following.  Theres alot of good info to take in and is the best place to look into finding what you want. 

    The laptop I want the alienware m11x, is a netbook gaming laptop, dosnt get over 60c, which is by laptop standards very chillie.  Most notebooks will tend to stay around 40 idle, and reach any wheres from 78c if your fair with it, like not covering vents, or leaving it under a hot lamp or using it on the hottest days of summer.  Sometimes laptops can go up hotter though to 80s and low 90s.  These types of temps are common, the only downside is temps in this range can make components degrade faster then what they do.  All computer components have a breaking point weather it be 1 year or 10 years.  You have to take care of your laptop unlike a desktop that you can just leave sit.  This isnt any inconvience though, basiclly a 5 minute job over the course of a few months to keep dust out of the components and general maintence. 

    image

  • ShinamiShinami Member UncommonPosts: 825

    I side with Nvidia for many reasons. I own more ATI cards than Nvidia, but I use Nvidia for higher end things. I stake my experienece as a computer scientist in this post:

     

    1) SLI scales better than Crossfire. This has been proven in many tests ran by people and results posted online. It also has proven well in what I have ran.

     

    2) I don't use Windows as my main Operating System. I use it as a main Gaming Platform for extreme gaming. For everything else I use Linux. The problem with ATI is that while ATI performs good on Apple Computers and they perform well on PCs, they fail completely on Linux. Any 3D program on Wine tends to Crash instantly on ATI due to poor ATI drivers. When Nvidia releases driver series, they tend to actually release at times Linux Drivers that run great.

     

    3) No company will give you the kind of Warranty that EVGA does for its product. They do two things...(they sell Nvidia Products), they give you a Limited Lifetime Warranty with any high end video card you buy. They also guarantee that if any high end video card is released in 90 days from you buying a card, you can pay the difference and get the top card to protect your investment. Goes great if you buy an SLI config and then 50 days later, two top cards come out. Warranty is highly important to me when dealing with comp products. Why buy the top end ATI card just to find if it blows out you have to fight and panic at losing your investment?

     

    4) Coolers: Every single ATI card I have purchased I have had to buy an Aftermarket cooler. The two that I did not buy an Aftermarket cooler, the card burned out from the top and I play games in a room with an ambient temperature of 16C. Nvidia Cards come with decent coolers that tend to be heatpipe solutions which actually work very well. I have never had to buy an Aftermarket Cooler for an Nvidia Card.

     

    5) Since the Radeon 9700 days ATI has colored their heatsinks "Copper" and Sold them as Copper heatsinks. Copper has more than three times the density than Aluminum and a higher melting point. I've studied their heatsink composition and they tend to be kind of thin....However, these days they have improved but not by much.

     

    6) Integrity: The Threshhold to the Nvidia GF100 - GF104 (the 400 series cards) are 105C. Creating a core like this takes higher quality materials to make it work well without melting. I have been able to run games in stress testing at 95 - 100C with 0 Errors and Crashes....It is ROCK SOLID...When I get an ATI card around 20 - 30C away from threshhold, they start having problems and crashes. I can't explain it. I just know what I see..

     

    7) PhysX: Nvidia has the option on two cards in your computer, one of them can be turned on to work just as a physics processor aside from just the basic card itself. PhysX is something that when you take and compare the same game on two benchmarks. Every single game that deals with a heavier physics engine the Nvidia Cards just come out on top due to that ability. You literally are getting two kinds of processing on an Nvidia Card and that is one reason why the costs are higher. If you dropped to a low resolution like 800 x 600 and 1024x768 and disabled every single setting, an ATI tends to get a higher framerate. Enable everything maximum and you start to see where the ATI card falls apart.

     

    8) Overclocking Myths: ATI is obsessed with Lower Power Consumption for their Video Cards. Truth is that Video Cards are about wanting pure power for your games to work. As far as Electronics Go, a 6-PIN PEG supplies 75W, the PCI EXpress Slot can feed 75W of power and an 8 Pin PEG feeds 150w of power. You get a lot of ATI overclokers who talk about overclocking, when ATI should have just got a stronger PCB...with higher quality materials and a better cooler they would have been able to sell their cards at 30 - 40% greater performance. ATI advertises Overclocking, but they sell you a card from a price point that you will overclock knowing that most of the time most wont overclock, which isnt fair. Finally, when you overclock...if your base FPS is 30 in a game....a 20% overclock does not mean a 20% performance increase...you literally see a 12 - 15% increase when OCing by 20%...Point is that unless you have a high Framerate to begin with, overclocking gives minimal gains which is why most overclockers start with top of the line equipment from the beginning.

     

    9) Drivers: This is the one that bothers me the most because I used to be such a fan of the ATI drivers before Catalyst came around and forced people to download and run microsoft framework to make it all work. ATI drivers have the highest optimization for the latest cards in their latest series....You see the most improvements there. Nvidia Drivers actually improve most cards in multiple series in a uniform fashion. This has been confirmed for years by many...

     

    10) DirectX. Its true that ATI cards are less expensive, but they offer less internal features. When Nvidia Cames out their Direct X 11 implementation was Solid. THe first ATI Cards released that were DirectX11 compatiable where not "Full DirectX11 cards" I know this because I had tried to work with DirectX11 API and on the average it takes 2 years to make a full implementation work. I know for a fact Nvidia had a lot more time to make it work on their cards and they will reap the rewards while ATI SOLD Direct X 11 cards in a time most games were DirectX 10.1. Turn on DirectX 11 settings on Video cards like the 4XXX and 5XXX series and there are times when THOSE CARDS CRASH ON ME when I am actually working with the API itself. The same thing on Nvidia does not cause a crash to occur. The problem with Nvidia is dealing with a room becoming a heatbox from using them.

     

    Finally I love how 3D Vision Surround works. When it was released to compete vs EyeFinity, almost every single game worked right out of the box for Nvidias 3D implementation. They managed to do it all without creating a new interface and they even managed to activate the technology on all their previous generation cards starting with the 200 series and up.

  • eyceleycel Member Posts: 1,334

    The only reason I like ATI is because how good there card has been for me in my laptop.  Iv a desktop with a nvidia in it and its older but always worked too.  Alot of nvidia stuff is nice in the market today.  Its kinda sad that we live in a world where there are only two different brands of graphics processors to begin with.  There really isnt all that much to know about just two brands. 

    Given this though, I know there have been laptops with nvidia specifically that have not performed as well as ATI.  Specifically the 8xxx series compared with ATIs 3xxx series.  AS of lately the general sences is ATI is a better choice and is kind of the graphics processors at the moment in the mobile market at least.  I know there are alot of nvidia fanboys out there, alot more then ati, but I call it when I See it and what I see is a 6 year old ATI product in my laptop that has always been there for me.  So im glad about ATI. 

    I personally like the drivers ATI has always put out.  I dont like having everything set in stone and its only one way with nvidia.  I might be the only person but for me I like catalyst.  Sometimes it takes some doing geting ATI drivers to work and alot of drivers are from 3rd party resources which I think is so cool. 

    I dont think the scaling should be detrimental in determining which brand of card is best.  I am no where near an expert on what that means really, but I did just read a review of some benchmarks comparing new cards and it had some stuff about it.  Personally I dont think SLI/CF is econimical and even a gimmic.  I really like what ATI has done with there 4970 and 5970 duel gpu cards.  I realize nvidia has come out with some super duel gpu cards too, but not as of late.  They were behind in tech for dx11 for quite some time, and I think ATI should get some credit where it is deserved in sales. 

    Im by no means knowledable about desktop stuff, but I come across some stuff here and there.  I do know how ever anything youd like to know about the mobile market. 

    image

  • miguksarammiguksaram Member UncommonPosts: 835

    I just wanted to point out that a few statements in this post are not completely accurate.  I can't speak for other laptops on the market at the moment but I am currently using an ASUS G73JH for all my gaming needs and not only have I not found a game I can't run at max settings with at least 30 FPS (avg 60 FPS) but I have been doing this every weekend for about 8-12 hour sessions and have had ZERO performance issues.  The cooling system they use in this model, while not totally revolutionary (basically just like a desktop), is amazing for keeping everything running cool.  The only complaint I have for this as a desktop replacement is my old desktop was running on a DELL 30-inch monitor and the current video out options on this laptop does not allow it to connect to it due to the Dual-DVI cable requirement.  However I have used it with my 47 LCD TV at full 1080p HD quality and its pretty freaking awesome.  Just a thought.

  • CatamountCatamount Member Posts: 773

    Originally posted by miguksaram

    I just wanted to point out that a few statements in this post are not completely accurate.  I can't speak for other laptops on the market at the moment but I am currently using an ASUS G73JH for all my gaming needs and not only have I not found a game I can't run at max settings with at least 30 FPS (avg 60 FPS) but I have been doing this every weekend for about 8-12 hour sessions and have had ZERO performance issues.  The cooling system they use in this model, while not totally revolutionary (basically just like a desktop), is amazing for keeping everything running cool.  The only complaint I have for this as a desktop replacement is my old desktop was running on a DELL 30-inch monitor and the current video out options on this laptop does not allow it to connect to it due to the Dual-DVI cable requirement.  However I have used it with my 47 LCD TV at full 1080p HD quality and its pretty freaking awesome.  Just a thought.

    Any game a desktop 5770 can't run at 60fps average with "max" settings (meaning ALL quality settings turned to their highest, and full AA and AF), a Mobility Radeon HD 5870 can't. That list right now includes Metro 2033, both Crysis games,Dirt 2, Need For Speed: Shift, Risen, Battlefield 2 Bad Company 2; pretty much every major release from 2009/2010 is going to be more than can be run at 60fps at maximum settings.

    The Mobility Radeon HD 5870 will run most of those games maxed out at an average of 30fps or greater, though Metro 2033 is still an exception there, as are the Crysis titles, which will only give that level of performance with Gamer/High settings (especially when anti-aliasing), instead of Enthusiast/Very High.

     

    Is that bad? No, it's not. I know people who use GPUs with that level of performance, and they do alright. Is it ideal, especially when talking about $1400 budgets (that's roughly what the G73JH costs)? No, it's not, not when you can do three times better on a desktop. In a year's time when more intensive games start coming out (or even 6 month's time, when Crysis 2 comes out), it's going to start mattering even more. I'm not saying notebooks are bad, but if mobility isn't an issue, which is isn't for the OP, then they are still vastly inferior to desktop in terms of performance.

  • CatamountCatamount Member Posts: 773

    Originally posted by Shinami

    I side with Nvidia for many reasons. I own more ATI cards than Nvidia, but I use Nvidia for higher end things. I stake my experienece as a computer scientist in this post:

     

    1) SLI scales better than Crossfire. This has been proven in many tests ran by people and results posted online. It also has proven well in what I have ran.

     

    2) I don't use Windows as my main Operating System. I use it as a main Gaming Platform for extreme gaming. For everything else I use Linux. The problem with ATI is that while ATI performs good on Apple Computers and they perform well on PCs, they fail completely on Linux. Any 3D program on Wine tends to Crash instantly on ATI due to poor ATI drivers. When Nvidia releases driver series, they tend to actually release at times Linux Drivers that run great.

     

    3) No company will give you the kind of Warranty that EVGA does for its product. They do two things...(they sell Nvidia Products), they give you a Limited Lifetime Warranty with any high end video card you buy. They also guarantee that if any high end video card is released in 90 days from you buying a card, you can pay the difference and get the top card to protect your investment. Goes great if you buy an SLI config and then 50 days later, two top cards come out. Warranty is highly important to me when dealing with comp products. Why buy the top end ATI card just to find if it blows out you have to fight and panic at losing your investment?

     

    4) Coolers: Every single ATI card I have purchased I have had to buy an Aftermarket cooler. The two that I did not buy an Aftermarket cooler, the card burned out from the top and I play games in a room with an ambient temperature of 16C. Nvidia Cards come with decent coolers that tend to be heatpipe solutions which actually work very well. I have never had to buy an Aftermarket Cooler for an Nvidia Card.

     

    5) Since the Radeon 9700 days ATI has colored their heatsinks "Copper" and Sold them as Copper heatsinks. Copper has more than three times the density than Aluminum and a higher melting point. I've studied their heatsink composition and they tend to be kind of thin....However, these days they have improved but not by much.

     

    7) PhysX: Nvidia has the option on two cards in your computer, one of them can be turned on to work just as a physics processor aside from just the basic card itself. PhysX is something that when you take and compare the same game on two benchmarks. Every single game that deals with a heavier physics engine the Nvidia Cards just come out on top due to that ability. You literally are getting two kinds of processing on an Nvidia Card and that is one reason why the costs are higher. If you dropped to a low resolution like 800 x 600 and 1024x768 and disabled every single setting, an ATI tends to get a higher framerate. Enable everything maximum and you start to see where the ATI card falls apart.

     

    8) Overclocking Myths: ATI is obsessed with Lower Power Consumption for their Video Cards. Truth is that Video Cards are about wanting pure power for your games to work. As far as Electronics Go, a 6-PIN PEG supplies 75W, the PCI EXpress Slot can feed 75W of power and an 8 Pin PEG feeds 150w of power. You get a lot of ATI overclokers who talk about overclocking, when ATI should have just got a stronger PCB...with higher quality materials and a better cooler they would have been able to sell their cards at 30 - 40% greater performance. ATI advertises Overclocking, but they sell you a card from a price point that you will overclock knowing that most of the time most wont overclock, which isnt fair. Finally, when you overclock...if your base FPS is 30 in a game....a 20% overclock does not mean a 20% performance increase...you literally see a 12 - 15% increase when OCing by 20%...Point is that unless you have a high Framerate to begin with, overclocking gives minimal gains which is why most overclockers start with top of the line equipment from the beginning.

     

    9) Drivers: This is the one that bothers me the most because I used to be such a fan of the ATI drivers before Catalyst came around and forced people to download and run microsoft framework to make it all work. ATI drivers have the highest optimization for the latest cards in their latest series....You see the most improvements there. Nvidia Drivers actually improve most cards in multiple series in a uniform fashion. This has been confirmed for years by many...

     

    Finally I love how 3D Vision Surround works. When it was released to compete vs EyeFinity, almost every single game worked right out of the box for Nvidias 3D implementation. They managed to do it all without creating a new interface and they even managed to activate the technology on all their previous generation cards starting with the 200 series and up.

     

    SLI does still scale better than Crossfire, but as Ati cards are vastly superior at the moment anyways, save when comparing them to the Geforce GTX 460 (the first competently designed Fermi card), it really makes little difference at this point, because there's still very little to recommend Nvidia cards (again, save the Geforce GTX460), including for multi-GPU setups, where the power requirements for two Fermi cards are such that anything you're going to gain from a 10% scaling advantage in SLI is going to be lost on having to pay more for a beefier power supply because two Geforce GTX 480s consume as much power as FOUR Radeon HD 5870s (and good luck coming up with a way to vent all that heat). Keep in mind, too, that this is with Nvidia competing with Ati cards from a YEAR AGO. Nvidia has barely gotten Fermi out the door, and Ati is already just about to put out Southern Islands, which will yield a signficant improvement over their Radeon HD 5000 series (which Fermi can barely keep up with as it is), and is not that far from releasing Northern Islands, which is going to represent a fundementally new GPU design altogether, meaning that Fermi is going to be competing with a new architecture, which is basically going to work about as well as G200 cards competing with Radeon HD 5000 cards worked (hint: it didn't work).

     

    As for cooling, no card in the Radeon HD 4000 or 5000 series has had any problems with cooling of any sort. I might have said you had a point back when Ati's flagship card was the X850 XTPE or X1800XT, but these days, praising Nvidia for making better coolers, when it's only to compensate for the fact that their cards are technologically inferior and need far more transistors to achieve a given level of performance, is hardly appropriate. Instead, you should be chastizing Nvidia for needing such beefy coolers to cool their poorly designed GPUs in the first place.

     

    As for Linux, that's nice. I'll remember that the next time I come across a genuine Linux user, as Nvidia could use the extra 1% market share. As I'm sure you know, however, most people have little or no inclination to use Linux seriously, and gamers have even less inclination. I'm actually quite familiar with Linux myself, and know my way around both the Gnome and KDE UIs very well and around BASH. Do I ever have reason to use Linux to do the exact same things my Windows 7 OS does better and with less time and effort spent on setup? Nope.

     

    For overclocking, you're getting flat boosts to clock speed, so if overclocking the cards at home wouldn't have yielded a linear increase in performance, then having Ati specify that higher clock in their own specification wouldn't have either. A clock cycle is a clock cycle. It's not like having more of them from the manufacturer gives a magical modifier that us home-overclockers don't get.

     

     

    Now, I wanted to address two points specifically, because they're what we call anecdotal evidence, and have no place in serious recommendation from a professional, and a 'scientist' at that:

    6) Integrity: The Threshhold to the Nvidia GF100 - GF104 (the 400 series cards) are 105C. Creating a core like this takes higher quality materials to make it work well without melting. I have been able to run games in stress testing at 95 - 100C with 0 Errors and Crashes....It is ROCK SOLID...When I get an ATI card around 20 - 30C away from threshhold, they start having problems and crashes. I can't explain it. I just know what I see..

    Your personal experiences mean relatively little here, especially given the haphazard methodology of "I remember one time that this happened, while I was doing this, and I thought 'this' about it". You of all people should be able to appreciate that that's no basis of any kind to draw any conclusion from.

    With a little effort (when it's above 80F in my computer room), I can get my own Radeon HD 5770s -both of them- up to 90C or higher with Furmark. I have never experienced a crash from doing so. My Radeon X850Pro, which had a cheap aftermarket single-slot cooler (it was a very cheap card; I thought I'd risk it), never ran at less than 90C under load, and 100C was common (105-110 was rare). This card was put under very constant stress, running like that for hours every single day, and now, 5 years later, that card is still running.

     

    I could knock this point right out from under you just by pointing out that only Nvidia's horribly designed GPUs get nearly that hot anyways, as Radeon HD 4000 and 5000 cards alike typically have LOAD temperatures in the high 60s to mid 70s, but really I just want to call BS here in general. You're trying to prove a negative here, proving that Ati cards can't handly high temperatures just because you've had cases where that isn't the case, but your personal experiences here mean even less than my personal experiences, and the fact that you can't even explain what you're claiming gives what you're saying even less validity.

    Give us controlled tests, and scientifically backed explanation for what you're claiming, and it might be worth taking seriously, but as someone who is also in the sciences (in my case, biology), I have to say that I'm appalled that you would use this as the basis for any kind of serious conclusion.

     

    10) DirectX. Its true that ATI cards are less expensive, but they offer less internal features. When Nvidia Cames out their Direct X 11 implementation was Solid. THe first ATI Cards released that were DirectX11 compatiable where not "Full DirectX11 cards" I know this because I had tried to work with DirectX11 API and on the average it takes 2 years to make a full implementation work. I know for a fact Nvidia had a lot more time to make it work on their cards and they will reap the rewards while ATI SOLD Direct X 11 cards in a time most games were DirectX 10.1. Turn on DirectX 11 settings on Video cards like the 4XXX and 5XXX series and there are times when THOSE CARDS CRASH ON ME when I am actually working with the API itself. The same thing on Nvidia does not cause a crash to occur. The problem with Nvidia is dealing with a room becoming a heatbox from using them.

    This has the same basic problem as above. I don't care if the DX11 Api crashes on your for reasons unknown, and I'm calling you out on a spurious correlation here. Unless you can cite a real and credible source that gives specifics and says that Cypress does not fully support DX11, what you're saying here means little to nothing.

    Nvidia didn't keep Fermi off the shelves for almost 8 months because they were perfecting their DX11 support; it was because they had problems getting workable yields on the chips. I'm honestly shocked that you aren't aware of this, being in the industry, and that you would try to correlate it to Nvidia releasing "Full DX11 Cards" while Ati did not; I've never read any such thing from any source, anywhere.

     

    I should again point out that you're essentially trying to prove a negative here. I have run almost every DX11 title in existence in Cypress cards, and have never had a crash when enabling any DX 11 feature (though I've heard of my fair share of Catalyst 10.6 problems, but that has nothing to do with inherent incompatibility with the API). Those titles I haven't tested myself, I've seen review pages cover.

    To repeat myself, I'd like to see you cite a source here, because honestly, I think you're just trying to cover up the fact that Ati has consistently supported recent new APIs faster than Nvidia, and Nvidia has responded, not by trying to catch up with their own good implementations, but by launching marketing capaigns against the new APIs, and pressuring the game-makers that they have co-marketing arrangements with to drop support for said APIs (like they did with the infamous Assassin's Creed case).

     

     

     

    Rather than advancing their technology to match the market, Nvidia's recent approach has consistently been to try to strong-arm the market to hold itself back to their level, and it has failed time and time again. It's a wonder Nvidia hasn't already gone out of business (even if just about everyone is expecting them to if things don't change), given that from the the Geforce GTX 280 to the Geforce GTX 460 (their only competitive product), Nvidia hasn't had a single good card on the market; They only managed to sell enough G200 cards to stay afloat because they bottomed out the prices to the point of making almost no profit, in order to make up for the intrinsic inferiority of their cards (needing more complex cards for the same level of performance) while Ati has raked in the money on both the Radeon HD 4000 and 5000 cards. Given their often downright shameful business practices in trying to compete with Ati (I'm sure we all recall the Batman Arkum Assylum Anti-Aliasing case), I think Nvidia is getting what they deserve.

     

     

    Addendum: I'd like to make one final point on drivers in general. Ati and Nvidia both have driver problems from time-to-time, but I've had no fewer problems with Nvidia drivers than with Ati drivers. In fact, when bought my Radeon HD 4870, it was to replace a Geforce 8800gts. At the time I was playing Battlefield 2142 a lot, as I still do, and Nvidia's "updated" drivers actually killed the title, because the 179.xx drivers completely broke anti-aliasing. That was something like two years ago, and to my knowledge, Nvidia has still not fixed this problem within this title (these the drivers you're so quick to praise). When I bought my Ati card, the problem was nowhere to be found. I have NEVER had a problem with games running due to Ati drivers, and the last Nvidia card I replaced had its problem FIXED by Ati drivers not having a problem that Nvidia both had and refused to fix.

  • MehveMehve Member Posts: 487

    Originally posted by Praor

    Thanks for all the valuable input from everyone. Mobility is not a concern for me, I rarely rarely travel and wouldnt game if I did. So with cleffys input, I can wait on the new cards coming in fall and stick with that. I been looking at some ssd's and somewhat confusing, for instance I was looking at one and it said it can be used for laptops or desktops, is that right ?

      Another thing I was reading on a few of them, some of the reviews state that these ssd's decay within like 2 or 3 years dropping the performance on them, whats that all about ?

    This one seems like it would suit my needs http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5256782&CatId=5300

     

    Also look at this case, this right here is without a doubt what I need, make sure to watch the video.

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4197077&csid=_21

    Firstly, I notice all your links are to Tigerdirect - perhaps things are completely different for their US side of operations, but we tend to laugh at their prices up here in Canuckistan, compared to most other online retailers. At the very least check out Newegg for some price comparisons, if not some other sites as well.

    That aside, regarding SSD's - the 2-3 years decay(aka "NAND cell degradation") is no longer an issue. That's mostly FUD from back when they were first hitting the market, and companies weren't willing to offer concrete guarantees on their longevity. But these days (for any modern SSD), you'd basically have to use them in a server-environment for several years straight, or some other equivalent form of abuse, before decay became a factor. For desktop usage, no worries.

    The SSD you linked to is a good model, although common procedure these days is to get an SSD for things like your operating system and programs you use frequently, and get a normal harddrive for everything else. And no matter what SSD you buy, it'll be cheaper next week, and there'll be a faster model out next month. ALWAYS. It's ridiculous, even by computer hardware standards.

    A Modest Proposal for MMORPGs:
    That the means of progression would not be mutually exclusive from the means of enjoyment.

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