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Liort

New GPU - which one to get?

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I want to get a GPU, any recommendations? I suppose i'd want to stay up to date with SM 4.0, so i was thinking about the newer generation cards like the gtx280 or gtx 260 What are your thoughts on this ? Can i use them standalone or only in SLI mode ? Any other cards that u can recommend ? Thanks

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The ati 4850 is really cheap for its performance.
It supports SM4.1 and DX10.1.
But don't worry much about those just get the best price/performance card.
I have a DX10 card but I'm still playing d3d9 games and coding in d3d9 :|

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The price for the mentioned cards in the US is pretty cheap (for me)..

Except for price what are the disadvantages of using these

or better off - u can tell me which cards do u guys use

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The GTX 260/280 are not worth their money, in my opinion. While they do have some stunning ALU power, the 9800GX2 is faster overall than the GTX280, and cheaper.

Two 8800 GT cards in SLI are faster and slightly cheaper (with slightly less RAM) or slightly more expensive (with slightly more RAM) than the GTX 260.

Of course you could go all crazy and SLI two GTX 280s if you have the money to burn, but seriously, to what benefit?

The situation might look different when the 55 nm versions with DDR5 come out in fall/winter, if they do. That might give the cards some extra bang and they might use less power for more "power", too.
However, seeing that AMD has withdrawn from the high end market, there is no competitive pressure, so it may just be that nVidia delays the 55 nm series in the same way they delayed the geforce 9 series last year.

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How does one compare then say the 9800gx2 and the gtx280?

How can u say that it's not worth the money or that overall performance is better/worse? i've seen some sites that do benchmarks i think it's a good idea to check them out.

However the goal is not to buy the "best card on the market", but to buy a card that is powerful enough (and that shouldn't be replaced in the very-near future).

Also i dont think i prfer to go SLI i prefer to stick with a one card setup.

Can anyone tell me of their own setup ?

Thanks
LiorT

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I bought a 9600GT 512MB a few months ago. While not the fastest card it supports DX10 (Not 10.1), SM4, is fast enough (at least compared to my Raedon 9800 ><). I've had no problems running games like TF2, CoD4, CivIV, WoW, at max detail with playable framerates.

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Quote:
Original post by Liort
How does one compare then say the 9800gx2 and the gtx280?
By putting either of them into the same computer and measuring different applications, or by reading a review made by someone you trust.

Quote:
How can u say that it's not worth the money or that overall performance is better/worse?
Regarding the performance, I've read Anandtech's review which compares, among others, those 4 setups.

Regarding whether or not it's worth the money, here is how I came to my conclusion:
1. The GTX280 has no features that the others don't support. The only differences are a wider memory bus and a lot more transistors. The GTX260 is a downclocked, partially disabled GTX280 that fell through quality control.
2. My TFT has a 1600x1050 resolution, so anything higher is irrelevant. I don't care whether I can run a game in 4096*4096 :-)
3. A single 8800 GT (i.e. non-SLI) can display all games I play at good frame rates (good = not noticeable).
4. A single 8800 GT shows acceptable (30+ fps) frame rates on the latest top of the line games (which I don't play, but which someone else might play).
5. A 8800 GT is cheap like crap compared to the 200 series, but it supports every feature they do, so it's entirely sufficient for development.
6. If the 8800 GT really becomes too slow, the 9800 GTX costs only 20 euros more for "roughly 10 fps extra" in the more demanding games
7. I am not doing GPGPU where I need several teraflops

Quote:
However the goal is not to buy the "best card on the market", but to buy a card that is powerful enough (and that shouldn't be replaced in the very-near future).
That's why I'm saying they're not worth the money. They're not only top of the line models but they're also sold at top prices.
On the other hand, the "older" cards will absolutely do for the next 2 years (or longer) and cost a lot less.

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Quote:
Original post by samoth
However, seeing that AMD has withdrawn from the high end market, there is no competitive pressure, so it may just be that nVidia delays the 55 nm series in the same way they delayed the geforce 9 series last year.


AMD Hasn't withdrawn from that market, they just compete differently. Nvidia likes to make their big chips first for the extreme performance crowd and then scale that down to the lower-tier markets. AMD targets the mainstream performance and mainstream crowd initially, then gangs a couple chips together on one card for the extreme performance crowd.

AMD is currently very competitive with nVidia's best offerings. The 4870 performs within 10 percent or so of the GTX280 and sometimes surpasses it, depending on the game. The only caveat is that nVidia's cards don't suffer as much of a penalty as AMDs at very high resolutions (2560+ width) with 4xAA or greater, but very few consumers have displays larger than 1920x1200, even that is a rarity.

Now you have to take price into consideration and AMD is absolutely dominating there -- a 4870 can be had for $275, while a lower-performing-across-the-board GTX 260 with less RAM can be found for $280, but only after mail-in rebate. Even the 4850, which is still within spitting distance of the GTX 260, can be had for only $175. GTX 280s, which only just barely outperform the 4870 are going for around $440 after MIR.

Not that SM4.1 and DirectX 10.1 support isn't terribly necessary (it just adds some filtering guarantees, I believe) but its worth noting that AMD's cards support it and nVidia's do not. The recent Microsoft announcement of DirectX 11 revealed that it would support DX 10.1 cards (but not fully by DX 10 cards).

Unless you're one of the few that has an extremely high-resolution monitor or are tied to SLI by your motherboard, or are willing to pay a 70% premium for a 10% performance advantage in a few games, there is absolutely no reason to go with nVidia this round.

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Thanks guys for answering!

To melt all this discussion into making a choice, can u name 3-4 cards that i should look into?

Reading "between the lines" i take it that it's not a wise move to buy one of the GTX family cards (not the best bang for the buck).

I haven't even considered the AMD-ATI family cards (lack of awareness to their line of gpu's).

What would u say the top 3-4 i should consider?

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In no particular order --

AMD 4870, AMD 4850, nVidia 9800GTX , nVidia 9600GT

Check out some benchmarks, any recent bench should include most or all of these cards, and then consider their prices. I still say that, right now, AMD has the best value proposition (price/performance/future-proof-ness), but neither the 9800 or 9600 from nVidia are poor cards.

Just months ago, when I build my new PC, I went with the 9600GT because it was the best value proposition at the time (at the time its competitor was the AMD 3800 series, which were inferior) at only $150. I don't regret that purchase, but things would be different if I were building today, in which case I'd go with an AMD 4850.

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