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Old 06-20-08, 03:55 PM   #1
Maverickman
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Default Why a GeForce GTX 280 is still much better than a 9800 GX2 or 8800 GT SLI

For those of you with a GeForce 9800 GX2 or GeForce 8800 GT SLI setup who are contemplating picking up a GeForce GTX 280, here's some advice from someone who has used both. If you can stomach the price, the GTX 280 will be well worth the investment. Many argue that a 9800 GX2 or SLI setup is just as good or better than a single GTX 280. If you look strictly at the benchmarks at all those websites, this may appear to be true. However, benchmarks only reveal part of the story. It's the GAMING EXPERIENCE that means the most. Right now, the GTX 280 offers by far the best gaming experience on games like Crysis and COD4. My 9800 GX2 would stutter all over the place on Crysis. The GTX 280 runs it as smooth as butter at 1920X1200 with everything on HIGH and three settings on the right at VERY HIGH. It does stutter for a second in highly textured areas, but this is to be expected on such a demanding game. I would say that the overall framerates are similar to the 9800 GX2, but the stuttering problem is almost non-existent with the GTX 280. This really improves the gameplay experience in Crysis. COD4 also runs without stuttering on the GTX 280. I did get those "microstutters" with the 9800 GX2.

In sum, the GTX 280 is an incredible performer. You wouldn't think so by looking at all those benchmarks, but if you can get the card, you'll be astonished at the gaming goodness it can offer. It has changed the whole Crysis experience for me!
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Old 06-20-08, 04:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why a GeForce GTX 280 is still much better than a 9800 GX2 or 8800 GT SLI

Does this really warrant another thread? Pretty sure you summed this up nicely in your other thread today.
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Old 06-20-08, 04:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why a GeForce GTX 280 is still much better than a 9800 GX2 or 8800 GT SLI

Ive played through Crysis with my GX2 with no stuttering at all.. im very suprised to hear this coming from so many people. I only noticed some stuttering during the Crysis benchmark.

I tried out the 3870x2 befor ethe GX2 and had worse problems with stuttering and performance in COD4 and Crysis.

I still intend on purchasing a 280 tho for sure.
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Old 06-20-08, 04:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Why a GeForce GTX 280 is still much better than a 9800 GX2 or 8800 GT SLI

THe reason being is that in SLI you have 2x 512MB card but still the game can only address 512MB while the GTX 280 has 1GB to address. As such minium frame rates are better on the GTX 280 then two 512MB cards.
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Old 06-20-08, 04:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: Why a GeForce GTX 280 is still much better than a 9800 GX2 or 8800 GT SLI

So, are you payed to be nvidias personal damage control, or are you just crazy and do it for fun?
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Old 06-20-08, 04:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: Why a GeForce GTX 280 is still much better than a 9800 GX2 or 8800 GT SLI

I definitely agree, overall the GTX 280 is so much smoother in games.

For me the biggest difference was WiC and Crysis, very, very fluid framerates.
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Old 06-20-08, 04:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: Why a GeForce GTX 280 is still much better than a 9800 GX2 or 8800 GT SLI

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Originally Posted by jAkUp View Post
I definitely agree, overall the GTX 280 is so much smoother in games.

For me the biggest difference was WiC and Crysis, very, very fluid framerates.
A single 8800GTX was a step up from the 9800GX2 as far as fluidity in games goes. SLI blows, never again for me.
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Old 06-20-08, 05:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Why a GeForce GTX 280 is still much better than a 9800 GX2 or 8800 GT SLI

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So, are you payed to be nvidias personal damage control, or are you just crazy and do it for fun?

I'm not damage control for Nvidia, that's for sure!

I probably covered this in my other thread, but what I have stated here is my opinion only. I have used both a GeForce 9800 GX2 and an 8800 GT SLI setup in my computer. I thought the 9800 GX2 ran better, but I still had that dreaded stuttering problem. I also have another computer with an 8800 GTS 512MB which also stutters in Crysis. That game obviously needs a large amount of RAM for textures, so the 1GB of RAM on the GTX 280 really comes in handy.

Is the GTX 280 really worth the money? I would say it's not. If the card were priced at $499 or less, it would be a terrific bargain. But hey, don't expect a discount on the fastest card on the market! Still, it provides an incredible gaming experience for those who demand the best!
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Old 06-20-08, 07:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Why a GeForce GTX 280 is still much better than a 9800 GX2 or 8800 GT SLI

if the 4870 delays again i will invest on one of these
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Old 06-20-08, 07:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: Why a GeForce GTX 280 is still much better than a 9800 GX2 or 8800 GT SLI

Eh. If you want to be have to shut off AA in a year or so when games start exceeding the 512 framebuffer. Then 9800GX2 is fine. If you want a card with any kind of lifetime. Buying a 9800GX2 is a poor decision compared to other products within its price range that take up 1 slot.
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Old 06-20-08, 10:13 PM   #11
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Default Re: Why a GeForce GTX 280 is still much better than a 9800 GX2 or 8800 GT SLI

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Eh. If you want to be have to shut off AA in a year or so when games start exceeding the 512 framebuffer. Then 9800GX2 is fine. If you want a card with any kind of lifetime. Buying a 9800GX2 is a poor decision compared to other products within its price range that take up 1 slot.
I dont know if that really holds water, the people that buy $600 cards are upgrading every year, or sooner, typically. So the whole "its not future proof" doesn't really matter, IMO. I mean, in the same boat, you shouldnt buy a NV product at all because it doesnt support DirectX 10.1, which games already are using, and will use more in the future.
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Old 06-21-08, 12:44 AM   #12
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Default Re: Why a GeForce GTX 280 is still much better than a 9800 GX2 or 8800 GT SLI

People who pay 600 dollars for a graphic card also pay to use AA and high resolution, I used the 9800GX2 alot. Including a Quad 9800GX2 setup. Being able to not turn on 16xQ/8xQ AA at high resolutions is a big enough reason to take the GTX 280. The 9800GX2's strongest mode right now is 4xAA/16xCSAA simply because it doesnt have the memory to enable anything higher beyond 1600x1200 resolution.

There is zero good reason to opt for a 9800GX2 at its current price range. It doesnt have the improved geometry shader cache. It has half the memory. Its reliant on AFR scaling. It's idle is significantly higher than that of a GTX 260/280 ((65-70 watts verses 25 Watts per GPU)). It can't be 3 way SLI'd. I have 3 9800GTX, 2 9800GX2, 3 GTX 260's, and 2 GTX 280's and I see no compelling reason to opt for the 9800/9800GX2 cards over the other cards. In any configuration. Including 2 way GTX 260.

1920x1200 @ 16xQ/8xQ = 275 megs of framebuffer for AA storage alone.

1920x1200 @ 4xAA/16xCSAA = 145 Megs of framebuffer for AA storage.

2560x1200 @ 4XAA/16xAF = 250 Megs of framebuffer usage.

2560x1200 @ 8xQ/16xQ = 380 Megs of framebuffer usage.

This does not include textures, normal maps, or HDR backbuffers which can only add to the zbuffer load. I'm not suggesting people with 9800GX2's are likely to be tempted to rush out and buy the GTX260/280. But they just arent wise purchases with whats currently available.

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