ATI Questions

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by sindustrial777, May 13, 2006.

  1. sindustrial777

    sindustrial777 OSNN Addict

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    I was looking into getting a few new parts for my pc and just had a few questions first:

    1. Are the ATI x1600 and/or x1800 cards better than the x700 (PCI-E) I currently have, I wasnt sure how the 1k series is compared to all the other cards (are all the 1k series cards better than the other x series (like my x700)?

    2. If anyone has used a crossfire set-up, is it much better (worth it) compared to a single card? I've seen some people saying they dont get that much of a boost.

    3. What is a good crossfire board out there?

    Any of these questions you can answer would be great!

    And I know there are many of you out there that love SLI but please keep the topic on crossfire!

    Thanks!
     
  2. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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    1). You can't just use the number when describing a vid card the suffix is very important! It can make a 2x difference in speed.
    A x700PRO is faster than a x1600PRO, the x1800 comes in several versions (XT, XL and GTO which is the slowest).
    All much faster than the x700 or x1600.

    2) Crossfire or SLI will give you about 50% faster performance than a single card but can be as little as 10% depending on the game. Whether or not that is worth the money depends on the particular card type. The 6600 GT SLI was a classic, dirt cheap, and still gives good performance for the money though the chipset is getting old.

    3) Good luck. I don't see or hear much on crossfire setups. BE AWARE you have to have certain ATI MB chipsets to use crossfire. So that means a new MB and 2 video cards, vs just getting a single top end vid card.

    PS I don't like either. I did a cost benefits study and dual cards lost. Life cycle cost was close assuming you already plan on a new MB but hassle factor and higher probability of failures with 2 hot running cards goes up. The advanatge is if one card dies you at least still have a gaming rig for the 4-8 weeks a repair can take.
     
  3. sindustrial777

    sindustrial777 OSNN Addict

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    The x700 PRO is what I have

    After some research I suppose one of these would do good for me, I suppose the more expensive one is better but value wise what the best, I know i'll probably end up spending the $30 extra no matter what :)

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102612

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102007

    And to run this I will probably need a new PSU, my one final question is can any motherboard take any PSU or do boards have a limit to the wattage they can take?
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2006
  4. digerati

    digerati OSNN Addict

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    x1800xt will give you very strong performance at an affordable price (for performance cards anyways).

    Not too familiar with crossfire setups though I think the DFI crossfire mobo is pretty popular, and you have to buy a crossfire card to go along with your main vid card to enable crossfire.

    Personally, I dont see the point of Sli or crossfire unless you really have the cash to burn for top top performance now. The arguement that down the road you can get a second card and boost performance and maintain longevity doesn't really work for me.

    For the price of the new card, I could sell my old card, split the difference and make a more significant upgrade to a completely new single card.
     
  5. ShepsCrook

    ShepsCrook Red Sox Fan!

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    You could save a couple $ and go with this one. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102007R
    Same card, just refurbished. I don't have a problem buying refurbs.
    Or you could go with the 7900GT with a Lifetime warrenty.. $289
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814130281
    Or the 7900GT-XT for $289
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814122243
    There are some other 7900GT models with a higher clock for $10 more

    I have been very happy with my 7800GTX. Absolutely outstanding card. You could try the HardOCP FS/FT thread. They have a lot of people trying to get rid of 7800GTX's to get the latest and greatest video cards, and they are selling their cards for under $300 a lot of times.
     
  6. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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    For $30 difference I would not even consider the x1800XL. That X1800XT looks tempting at that price. Hmm, 30% faster fill rate and 60% faster memory bandwidth than my X800XL, hmmm.

    Before you buy make absolutely sure the card IS crossfire compatible. ATI's claim that "all" their cards are compatible with a Crossfire master is not true. You usually don't find out the truth until after you buy.

    Remember that you will need to buy a compatible Crossfire Master card later and the 1800 series is the older model card and will go out of production ssoner than the 1900's. The fact that the 1800 prices are dropping now looks like they are dumpting inventory in preperation to discontinue them.
    Update. Yup, the X1800 reached end of life last month and is being phased out. Going to crossfire at a latter date will be very hard unless you can find a used single X1800XT master (unlikely, they will probably be sold paired with a slave by people upgrading). If a future crossfire upgarde does not matter the X1800XT is probably the sweatest price/performance deal out there right now.

    You will need a dual rail power supply (18A each 12V rail) to run the X1800XT with or without crossfire.

    Be aware they have a newer crossifre MB chipset coming out about now. The R200 was last years model.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2006
  7. Steevo

    Steevo Spammer representing. Political User Folding Team

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    I flashed my X1800XT to a XTPE and can run it 740-830 stable 1.425 core 2.05 Mem-IO.


    1280X1024 6X-16X All high quality. Crossfire is gonna be great!!!
     
  8. Scott Young

    Scott Young Real picture of me

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    I think youd be better waiting for the x1900 GT, its on par with the 7900 GT, but has greater performance than the x 1800XT for the same price. Should be out this or next week.
     
  9. sindustrial777

    sindustrial777 OSNN Addict

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    Yeah it'll take me a while to save some dough before any of these things are phased in or out so I guess I'll have to see whats avaliable at that time. I may just get one good card instead of crossfire. As for the PSU could anyone suggest a good one that will run crossfire, i dont quite understand all those rails and volts and whatnot :lick:

    Thanks
     
  10. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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    What power supply you need depends on what card or cards you get. They have changed the power supply standards 4-5 times in the last 4 years to support the new processors (P4, AMD 64), video cards (6800+, X series, SLI Crossfire) and HDs (SATA).

    Right now an Antec Truepower 2, 550W will handle just about anything and costs ~$90. But that can change in a month or two as Intel and AMD are both coming out with new standards.

    If you don't plan on Crossfire/SLI and assume CPU power consumption has peaked (a safe bet since Intel and AMD are pushing power reduction designs) then a 480W at $69 may be enough.
     
  11. sindustrial777

    sindustrial777 OSNN Addict

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    The next upgrade I get after my video card will be my cpu: currently AMD 3200+ going to either a AMD X2 3800 or 4200. I think I'll be ok with the 480W
     
  12. ShepsCrook

    ShepsCrook Red Sox Fan!

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    Well, as for the PSU, I would suggest a Truepower. They usually perform quite nicely. If you are going Crossfire or SLi, you will need a PSU that supports those. How many harddrives, and optical drives are you going to be having? That will help determine exactly what would be good for you, and not breaking your wallet.