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Intel17
08-20-08, 12:30 PM
Hi, all!

My birthday's coming up soon and my parents have offered me an upgrade to my computer (w00t!). Now, I'm wondering, would a GTX 260 be a significant upgrade from my current 8800GT? Or would I need to go to a GTX 280 to see significant benefits?

My motherboard supports Crossfire, but I'd really like to stick nVidia if possible.

Thanks!

saturnotaku
08-20-08, 12:39 PM
If money is no object and your PSU is up to the task, GTX 280 all the way. And you could keep your 8800 GT for PhysX. Just pop it into your board's 2nd PCI-E slot and follow instructions that have been linked to elsewhere in this forum. Your board is an Intel P35 chipset like mine, so that means the 8800 would run at PCI-E x4 speed, but that doesn't seem to have much impact on PhysX performance, at least in my limited testing using an 8800 GS as a dedicated PPU.

Intel17
08-20-08, 12:50 PM
Whoah, I had no idea I'd be able to use my 8800gt as a PPU! Sounds awesome!

bob saget
08-20-08, 03:03 PM
go for a ATi 4870 :D

cvearl
08-20-08, 03:28 PM
go for a ATi 4870 :D

4870 is in fact the equivalent to GTX260 but if his comfort zone is nVidia, he should go that route.

The "dedicated PPU" is not a reason for a card selection at this point. Could be down the road but "could be's" are something we get alot of in the PC gaming world.

C.

Medion
08-20-08, 03:54 PM
4870 is in fact the equivalent to GTX260 but if his comfort zone is nVidia, he should go that route.

The "dedicated PPU" is not a reason for a card selection at this point. Could be down the road but "could be's" are something we get alot of in the PC gaming world.

C.

I agree. Like DX10.1, PhysX is in its infancy, though I do feel PhysX has more of a head start. Here's the difference though. DX10.1, by all accounts, should increase performance. PhysX, if I understand, would decrease performance as opposed to not using it. And, if devs start to use this heavily, today's cards will likely struggle on the PhysX games of tomorrow.

On their own merits today, both cards are outstanding for their price range. I no longer feel that one is head and shoulders above the other, so buy the one that, as CV stated, is in your comfort zone.

Intel17
08-20-08, 04:39 PM
Will the GTX260 give me any noticeable increase over my 8800gt? I mean, I game on a 19" LCD, so my max res is 1280x1024. Having more AA is nice, though, so if that's what I'd get, I'm all for it...

bob saget
08-20-08, 04:46 PM
the 260/4870 can allow for much more AA then 8800GT, i hear of users on this forum saying this.

Medion
08-20-08, 04:53 PM
Will the GTX260 give me any noticeable increase over my 8800gt? I mean, I game on a 19" LCD, so my max res is 1280x1024. Having more AA is nice, though, so if that's what I'd get, I'm all for it...

Out of curiosity, what games are you playing on your current 8800GT that aren't running up to your standards?

Intel17
08-20-08, 06:09 PM
Eh, nothing really, to be perfectly honest. I mean, I'm a huge nerd and love to get my hands on new parts, so if I got a new card, I'd just have fun cranking AA/AF, overclocking, and benchmarking into the wee hours of the night :)

Medion
08-20-08, 07:19 PM
Eh, nothing really, to be perfectly honest. I mean, I'm a huge nerd and love to get my hands on new parts, so if I got a new card, I'd just have fun cranking AA/AF, overclocking, and benchmarking into the wee hours of the night :)

Well then, rather than a GTX260, I'd recommend a new monitor for now. A GTX260 won't push your framerates much higher at your res, but an 8800GT would still be decent at a higher res. After that, you could make your next GPU purchase, like maybe noe of the gTX200 series refreshes :)

namuk
08-20-08, 07:38 PM
i have a gt8800 xfx xxx at moment and was running 1366x768 all maxed out in games and had no trouble with speed i have a 32"hdtv now that dose 1920x1080 plays fine there also but i fell like i am streching it (when relesed they did say the 8800gt was for low res only they say) . so i am going the 280 route

running that res mate and screen you have no need to update card

Intel17
08-20-08, 07:40 PM
Well, I guess I'll just have my parents give me money or something and I'll just save for when my card starts choking on the latest games.

Thanks, all!

cvearl
08-21-08, 08:27 AM
Eh, nothing really, to be perfectly honest. I mean, I'm a huge nerd and love to get my hands on new parts, so if I got a new card, I'd just have fun cranking AA/AF, overclocking, and benchmarking into the wee hours of the night :)

There will be a handfull of games that will be smoother on the 260.

Basically games that bench at 100+ fps for you already will not seem to run faster. Especially with vSync enabled. HL2:ep2, FEAR and games like that. Devil May Cry 4 problably stays pegged at 60 fps with vSync right?

Games that are simply RTS's that dont really need over 30 fps are already there on your 8800GT. Like WiC and COH.

But then there is heavier games you might see a difference in. If you play them that is...

Grid Maxed out with AA? Not sure an 8800GT can stay pegged 60fps at all times. Get a touch stuttery in some places?

Cryis at all HIGH at your res not the smoothest experience but on a 4870 (I dont own a 260) will hang in the mid 40's and feel fairly smooth.

Mass Effect maxed out with AA might not stay pegged at 60fps. I did not get to play it on my 8800GT so I cannot be sure.

I think you are right on the fence depending on your tolerance and the games you play.

Ask for a new 22" monitor! 1680x1050 Widescreen may not seem like fun until you used it for a few nights. Then the 19" will seem restricting.

C.

Blacklash
08-21-08, 08:51 AM
You don't have to break the bank for a 1680x LCD either. I prefer the 20" screens due to the better pixel pitch. Here are a couple that would be good for gaming-

Acer for 190usd
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009126

BenQ for 170usd
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824014176

Both of those models claim 16.7million colors too. So the colors should be good for what they are. I'd recommend using the DVI connection.

An 8800GT @ 660-700|2000 1650-1850 shader should be plenty of card for 1680x in most cases. Crysis all very high being the exception.

I was able to run AoC @ 1920x will all on and all enabled with the rest set to "high" @ 1920x on an 8800GT @ 700|2000 1750 provided I kept off AA. It did fine with 8-16xAF.

If you decide you must get a new video card for whatever the reason, try the below HD 4850-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102760

It runs cool and should do over 700 on the core when overclocked. It's 180usd with rebate.

Another great HD 4850 for the cash-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127370

It's 163usd with rebate.

Below you can see the HD 4850 compared to a stock 8800GT-
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/msi_radeon_4850_r4850_512m_review/default.asp

Review of the Sapphire Toxic HD 4850 is below-
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Sapphire/HD_4850_Toxic/1.html

Most of the time it will give you superfluous FPS @ 1680x. If 8xAA is your thing, you might want to consider it.

saturnotaku
08-21-08, 09:07 AM
Ask for a new 22" monitor! 1680x1050 Widescreen may not seem like fun until you used it for a few nights. Then the 19" will seem restricting.

C.

+1

I went from a 19" widescreen (1440x900) to a 22" and the difference was amazing. I'm contemplating going up to 24" but am hesitant to pull the trigger right now.

cvearl
08-21-08, 10:31 AM
+1

I went from a 19" widescreen (1440x900) to a 22" and the difference was amazing. I'm contemplating going up to 24" but am hesitant to pull the trigger right now.

Ya. I feel the same way. 1920x1200 seems groovy but then ... 6 months down the road and you end up lowering AA or AF or something else in some new game that comes out to try to keep the framerates above 50. :(

24" LCD's and up are definately a dual card/dual GPU kind of proposition over the long haul. It's not ALWAYS the case. But that res is a bitch to keep up there.

22" @ 1680x1050 is a decent alternative as the range of possible cards you can use with it for gaming is broader and easier to maintain. :)

Intel17
08-21-08, 12:56 PM
Hmm, I'm really tempted to go for a bigger monitor. I've been gaming at 1280x1024 for as long as I can remember. Perhaps it's time to go for a bigger screen. :)

Medion
08-21-08, 02:08 PM
Grid Maxed out with AA? Not sure an 8800GT can stay pegged 60fps at all times. Get a touch stuttery in some places?


I'm sure it's smooth, certainly not 60fps though. I run Gird maxed out, 1680x1050 ,16xCSAA/16xAF, and my framerate never stutters (9600GT). Though I think the framerate is in the 35-40fps area, I've never benched it. Curious to see if I can hit 60 with the 9800GTX+ when it arrives.

MisterMister
08-21-08, 05:37 PM
Intel17,

I think I may be of some assistance to you in regards to making this decision.

My brother and I both have Samsung SyncMaster LCD's. I have a 20" and he has the 22" version. I’ve played a lot on both. Even though both monitors have the exact same specs other then screen size, I can tell you that I prefer to play on my 20" because things looks crisper (I believe someone mentioned this before). As far as screen size goes, I really can’t tell that there is a difference in viewing area unless I am looking at the monitors back to back. In fact when I got my monitor my brother thought I had the exact same one he has.

Anyway, my point is that you can save money by getting a 20" over a 22" while still having the advantage of using a higher resolution monitor with a larger viewing area (vs. your current monitor). Now, you might think that "well 19 inch vs. 20 inch isn't much difference", but it’s much more then just 1" if you think about it. The viewing area is measured from corner to corner at a diagonal slant. Due to the fact that you are going from a standard 4:3 monitor to a 16:9/16:10 monitor, you will notice a MUCH larger difference then if you simply went from a 19" to 20" 4:3 monitor.

Add in the fact that you will be viewing things at a much higher resolution; you will be amazed at what a difference the screen upgrade will make.

But back to the point at hand... save yourself some cash by going for the 20", 1680x1050, wide screen monitor, then use the surplus to get a video card which will play the latest and greatest at your new resolution. For that application the ATi 4870 or the Nvidia 260GTX will fit the bill... HOWEVER so will a 9800GTX... and that’s good news for you! The 9800GTX has come down in price by a LOT lately. You can get one for well under 200 bucks right now (see below).

A 9800GTX is more then enough power to push a 1680x1050 monitor to a 60FPS average in basically every game out (as well as those which are still yet to be released), at it's respective maximum detail level including AA and AF (except Crysis of course, you would need to disable AA for that).

Here is a good example of what I am talking about:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500037

That’s a brand new, in the box, 9800GTX for $185.00! Given that this card was almost 400 dollars 5 months ago, that's an AWESOME deal if you think about it.

Oh, and here is the EXACT same monitor I am currently using for only 173 bucks!

http://www.circuitcity.com/ccd/productDetail.do?oid=170983&om_keycode=67

That's the Samsung SyncMaster 206BW. It’s a 20" wide screen LCD monitor with a 3000:1 contrast ratio and a super fast 2ms response rate (this is important for gaming LCD's because slow rates gets "ghosting" and motion blur. There is NONE of that with this monitor)... and FYI, I bought this monitor for almost 100 dollars MORE then the current cost here a little under 5 months ago! If you get this one, I hate you for that. LOL.

Cliffs notes:

If you take my advice and get the Samsung SyncMaster 206BW 20" LCD and the Nvidia 9800GTX video card, you can get BOTH products for about the same cost as a single 280GTX! You can shop around if you like, I am sure you will be able to find these products for a LITTLE less then what I found, but ATM these prices (which I linked above & below) are REALLY good.

So, basically, you can get your self a monitor upgrade AND a VERY GOOD video card upgrade for roughly the same amount of money your parents were willing to spend on a single 280GTX GFX card! Talk about having your cake and eating it too, eh?

9800GTX @ $186:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500037

Samsung SyncMaster LCD @ $173:
http://www.circuitcity.com/ccd/productDetail.do?oid=170983&om_keycode=67

edit: BTW, by sticking with Nvidia cards you will be able to keep that 8800GT and use it as a dedicated PhysX card. You wont be able to do that if you get an ATi card as your upgrade. Granted, PhysX is still new tech, but the drivers are being improved upon every day and this dedicated PhysX video card deal will be more and more of a performance boost as time passes. In any case, by getting that 9800GTX you will be able to have your dedicated PhysX card basically for free! This is just icing on the cake so to speak. So, if you look at it this way, by getting that 9800GTX, and keeping your 8800GT as a dedicated PhysX card you will be getting an even better performance boost then by simply swapping out your current GPU for a new one!

Intel17
08-22-08, 01:17 AM
Thanks, MisterMister, I'll talk that option through with the folks! Thanks to everyone here for your inputs!

Medion
08-22-08, 08:14 AM
Intel, I have one tweak you should know about MisterMister's post. The 9800GTX by itself may give you, at most, a 20-25%% boost over your 8800GT. I feel that's not worth $185. IMO, get the monitor first, then decide after using it if you still want a GPU upgrade. If you still want one at that point, at the very minimum, get a 9800GTX+. It costs about the same as a 9800GTX (you can get them as low as $170 after rebate on Newegg), and will give you a 30-40% boost over the 8800GT.

I'm not a fan of marginal upgrades though. If you want to upgrade past an 8800GT, the best value is probably the GTX260 or HD4870, which both go slightly over $250. So get the monitor first, then see if you're having issues with GPU performance.

Thunderbolt56
08-22-08, 08:54 AM
Monitor all the way. I wouldn't go for anything smaller than a 24" either. This is one upgrade that should last you through more than one pc build and the scaling issues are, for the most part, a thing of the past. I have a Dell 2707WFP with a native res of 1920x1200 and run most all my games/sims at 1680x1050 with an 8800GTS (G92). I get great frames and normally run 8xAA, 16xAF globally.

I don't play (or even have) Crysis, but UT3, COD4 and Oblivion all run flawlessly along with my flight sims (IL2:1946 and LOMAC) and while I'm not running the highest res, the AA settings and the large screen real estate make everything I do on it a completely new and wonderful experience.

I upgraded from a 20.1" 4:3 LCD and the difference was nothing less than amazing. You can get a really good 24" monitor these days for less than a GTX280.

My .02c

MisterMister
08-22-08, 07:23 PM
Intel, I have one tweak you should know about MisterMister's post. The 9800GTX by itself may give you, at most, a 20-25%% boost over your 8800GT. I feel that's not worth $185. IMO, get the monitor first, then decide after using it if you still want a GPU upgrade. If you still want one at that point, at the very minimum, get a 9800GTX+. It costs about the same as a 9800GTX (you can get them as low as $170 after rebate on Newegg), and will give you a 30-40% boost over the 8800GT.

I'm not a fan of marginal upgrades though. If you want to upgrade past an 8800GT, the best value is probably the GTX260 or HD4870, which both go slightly over $250. So get the monitor first, then see if you're having issues with GPU performance.

Meh. other then running cooler I cant see any reason to get the "+" over the standard 9800GTX. Yes, the + version has higher stock clocks, but the standard 9800GTX can OC to that level and beyond with the stock cooling. To me it's not worth the extra 30 bucks over the standard version. Of course if you can get them for almost the same price, go with the "+" version.

As for the "%" increases, Im afraid those figures don't hold much water given that the performance differences vary depending on the application (sometimes varying greatly, sometimes not). In either case, a 9800GTX, + or not, will run your games at 1680x1050 without a hitch, much more so then a 8800GT. Basically you are looking at going from running high detail with no AA/AF to running very high detail (maximum) with AA/AF turned all the way up when going from the 8800GT to the 9800GTX.

And, remember, we are talking about an 8800GT and NOT a GTX/Ultra or even a GTS. There is a rather sizable performance difference between those two cards (the 8800GT vs the 9800GTX, respectively).

-MM

edit: Of course the 260GTX has come down in price DRASTICALLY! Check this out:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814261016

That's a standard 260GTX for only $235 after the $20 MIR! That is an AMAZING deal, and well worth the extra ~$50 over the 9800GTX. Granted you don't NEED all that power for a 1680x1050 resolution, but it WILL allow you to max out super hardcore games such as Crysis as well as future-proofing your rig even further. Since it's your B-day (happy b-day), perhaps you can swing it so that your parents pony up the cash for most of it while you kick in 50 bucks or so of your own moolah (perhaps the money grandma/grandpa sent?) in order to get both that Samsung SyncMaster and the 260GTX? And believe me that Samsung SyncMaster 206BW is an AWESOME product. I did weeks of research before purchasing mine, so I am trying to save you a lot of reading and time by suggesting that specific product. There is NO back light bleeding, NO ghosting, and best of all I've never seen a dead/stuck pixel on ANY SyncMaster monitor (that's a big one)... plus with a 3K:1 CR and 2ms RR, its one of the best performing monitors available in terms of specs. Of course you don't have to just take my word on it. Consumer Reports as well as a myriad of online reviewers give this monitor top notch reviews as well.

-MM

Intel17
08-22-08, 07:35 PM
Well, looks like I'm going for the new monitor and will hold off on a new GPU until the time comes such that my games crawl on the new native res. Thanks, all!