Why such a difference?

Discussion in 'Beginners Zone' started by sportshopdirect, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. sportshopdirect

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    Hey all... just joined the forum and I'm not necessarily new to 3D, just getting back into it after several years. I'm getting ready to build my own comp that I want to be a sweet machine, but I have a unique situation and I'm not sure what to do.

    I have 3 monitors (one of them is flipped vertical). I was looking SAPPHIRE 100270SR Radeon HD 4850 X2 2GB from NewEgg because it has 4 DVI ports on it for only $289. However, what I can't seem to understand is why that card is only $289 while other cards that are only 1GB with the same bit rate and only 2 DVI out ports are roughly the same if not more? DIAMOND 4870PE51G Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit for example is $299. Am I missing something?

    I'd like to get the nVidia GeForce 295 because I hear it's a great card, but my question to you guys to gain your experience is how can I run 3 monitors and use a card like the geforce 295 at the same time? I read up on SLI which seems like it will work for me, but does SLI merge two cards into one, or will it let you use both card inputs? I have 3 monitors and I'd like to use all of them, but I also want a really sweet video card... how can I accomplish this?

    Thanks so much for your help!!!
     
  2. Davros

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    you mean have the game split over the 3 monitors, you need a matrox triple-head2go

    ps: that saphire card
    from the review at newegg (allthough the other review is favorable)
    pps: how about the 285 (dual gpu cards have issues)
     
    #2 Davros, Mar 30, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2009
  3. sportshopdirect

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    Hey Davros... thanks for he reply!

    I'm sorry, should of clarified. No, I dont want the game to span over three monitors, just the main 27" one. The other two are mainly just for development/windows browsing. I just don't know if I can get all three to function together if I purchase two nVidia cards and then link them using SLI. Or will I even have to use SLI to accomplish what I'm trying to do?

    ps, you'd recommend the 285 over the 295?
     
  4. Silent_Buddha

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    1. You don't need SLI.

    2. For multiple monitors the ATI solution is slightly more elegant.

    3. If you want to use the 295/285...you can get pretty much any other Nvidia video card to run the 2nd and 3rd monitor and use the main monitor on the 295/85 for gaming.

    4. You can do the same with any pair of ATI video cards also.

    However. If you just want to use one video card to drive multiple monitors, I'd recommend one of the ATI x2 solutions or even ATI crossfire (although that's more than one video card) over SLI (again more than one video card).

    SLI has recently enabled multi-monitor over SLI but it's not nearly as robust or elegant as the ATI version of multi-monitor over crossfire.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  5. sportshopdirect

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    So what exactly does ATI Crossfire let you do? I thought it just let you take two graphics cards and use them as one for more power? If you have a top of the line ATI card, would you really need to do that? Or does Crossfire simply manage interconnecting two graphics cards so you can move/drag windows throughout each?

    And to pick your brain even more, which ATI card would you recommend for the ultimate gaming machine? I'm trying to build a sweet system and I have found when you contract work 70 hours a week for a year you are left with a big chunk of change that you never had time to spend. ;)

    Thanks again!
     
  6. sportshopdirect

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    Oh, and one more thing to all the video card experts out there.....

    Is it better to have a 512 bit card or a 448x2 bit card? I've read mixed reviews about both. What do you guys think?
     
  7. Chris123234

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    It basically sounds like you just want the fastest card there is. If money isn't an issue, just read the reviews and pick out the fastest one. Don't worry about 512bit/442x2bit, etc.

    As for what crossfire/SLI does, yes you use two for more power. It essentially merges two or more cards into one. If you have a high resolution, big lcd, you need lots of power. The solution is slap 2 top end cards together and laugh silently to yourself that all the other nerds don't have as much cool stuff as you.
     
  8. sportshopdirect

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    lol... I hope I'm not sounding like a pompus jerk at all... just trying to be honest in hopes to get the best answer. :)

    You wouldn't worry about 512 bit or 442x2? Not to question your answer, but may I ask why? there seems to be a significant price difference, so surely there would be something different, wouldnt there? Is one better than the other?

    ps, my main goal is really to get something as suped up as much as possible now, so I won't have to do this again for a few years (hopefully)...
     
  9. Anarchist4000

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    If clockspeeds were identical than 442x2 would be better than the 512 obviously. There is also a big hit to efficiency when that second card comes into play which is what the x2 indicates. The ram is also running at significantly different speeds so it's less of an issue. Each architecture also uses it's bandwidth differently so one may not require as large of a bus as the other. It's easiest to just ignore the bus size as the manufacturer would have already accounted for any bandwidth related issues.

    As for prices is a Ferrari that much faster than any other car that it demands the increased price? Going strictly by price isn't that best option either. Yeah it's probably a little faster but the different is small.
     
  10. sportshopdirect

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    Any idea why some cards that are exacltly the same GPU can get like a couple hundred dollars in difference? For example, the Diamond HD4870x2 and the Sapphire HD4870x2. Both from NewEgg.com, one is over $500 and the other is $430. Is that just typical manufacturer pricing?
     
  11. homerdog

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    Yes.

    I recommend a single GTX280 or 285 and another really cheap card (think 8400GS or 9400GS) for the second and third monitor. That would give you great performance in games while following the KISS principle.
     
  12. Silent_Buddha

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    If you want the fastest gaming then a Nvidia GTX 285 + el-cheapo nvidia cared for more than 2 monitors will do it.

    If price is a concern then a ATI Radeon 4870 + el-cheapo ATI card for more than 2 monitors will save you a couple hundred dollars.

    Then again in a few days the ATI 4890 is launching and there's always the possibility Nvidia might respond with something. Doubtful but possible.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  13. homerdog

    homerdog donator of the year
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    NVIDIA will be responding with the GTX275 AFAIK, which won't be as fast as the 285 obviously but could come mighty close to the 280.
     
  14. sportshopdirect

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    Everyone says to get the 285... why not the 295? It's kind of complicated, but I basically get a free video card from NewEgg.com regardless of price and I'm trying to decide which one. Is the 285 more stable or something over the 295?

    And what about the ATI 4890? I haven't seen or read much online. Is multiple monitor support better with ATI? Most people dont' play games with multi-monitor, do they?

    (sorry I have so many questions guys, I really appreciate it) I don't know if this is against the forum rules, but if anyone wants a coupon code to my work's website (www.sportshopdirect.com) just let me know. Thanks again!
     
  15. Davros

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    never used sli/crossfire but many people complain and at least 1 b3d reader replaced 2 crossfire cards for a single card (that offered no more performance) because he was fed up with the problems that suggests t me that they are far from minor
     
  16. sportshopdirect

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    Yea, I'm leaning toward nVidia but why do so many people suggest the 285? Wouldn't the 295 be a better card?
     
  17. Davros

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    why didnt you say find someone after a workstation card offer them $500 discount pocket the rest and laugh all the way to the bank
    [​IMG]

    edit: as to why people suggest the 285 over 295, because its a single gpu card the 295 is 2 260's put together
     
  18. sportshopdirect

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    well... that's where the "basically" comes in. lol. It's got to be "around" $500 or less. money is not that important if it's only a hundred or so either way. I just want to get what's best for the money. So my question is, is the nVidia GeForce 295 worth the extra money over the 285?
     
  19. Davros

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  20. Freak'n Big Panda

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    The 4850 X2 is actually a really a good deal for the money. Better performance than a 285, 4 DVI ports... pretty solid deal. That's what I'd recommend in this case.

    EDIT: Not sure how 3 monitors would with XFire though, I kno 2 is no problem but 2 may be the limit. In which case I'd recommend a 4870 1GB and a cheapo anything for the 3rd monitor.
     
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