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Sarge27

For those looking at the new ATI 4870 x2

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Yeah I saw those its a shame so I have kinda decided to go with the 9800 GX2's though I know the lack of VRAM (Only 512mb) will probably come back and bite me in the rear.

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What a dilemma when looking for a new card. Just when I think I have it sorted out along comes something else or you see benchmark results like this (FSX). I am not sure whether to go for a GTX280, a 9800Gx2 or the 4870x2 (and hope a future driver update will sort it out). I dont play games much but I dont want that to limit the card choice as I'm sure the kids will be wanting a crack at it on Crysis or something similar.The more I research goodies for my new system the more bewildered I get!

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>What a dilemma when looking for a new card. Just when I think>I have it sorted out along comes something else or you see>benchmark results like this (FSX). I am not sure whether to go>for a GTX280, a 9800Gx2 or the 4870x2 (and hope a future>driver update will sort it out). What

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So what does this mean?"As usual, Flight Simulator X teaches us more about the drivers than about the cards themselves. "Basically this means that FSX really isn't that hardware hungry, rather well written drivers for FSX will put it on top performance wise?

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Does anyone know whether you need a water cooling system just to run this card?BFG Tech BFGEGTX2801024H2OCWE GeForce GTX 280It says its water cooled, but is it all self sustainable? I don't have a water cooled system but want a card like this

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>Unless ATI releases some miracle driver the Nvidia GTX 280 is the best choice right now with CPU bound sims/games.In FSX the performance advantage of the Nvidia GTX 280 is due to the 512-bit memory bus (Phil taylor has previously stated the memory bus width is currently a performance choke point for most hardware configurations).Performance will always be limited by the weakest link in your hardware chain, be it the CPU, the GPU, the video memory bus width (or even your mains circuit breaker if present power consumption trends continue!)But as you change your hardware "chain" you can also shift the performance bottleneck to other hardware!So if you are running FSX with 1 or 2 19" 1280 x 1024 monitors without any AA, your performance bottleneck will likely be the video adapter's memory bus bandwidth, or even your CPU.Now add a Matrox TripleHead2Go Digital Edition with *three* 1680 x 1050 LCDs with 12xAA/AF (because after a firmware upgrade the MTH2G now "does" widescreens!) and watch your FPS drop to nil as the performance bottleneck shifts to the GPU(s). After all, 2.4 TeraFLOPs is 2.4 TeraFLOPs...Also the GTX 280 does DX 10 whereas the HD4870X2 does DX 10.1 (which is what DX 10 was supposed to be had they finished developing it by the time Vista was released.) This may not be important for FSX but it might be for other games.So the card you should buy, IMHO, depends on whether you fly with one low res screen or multiple larger screens. Your call!Cheers,-jahman.

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Hi Sarge,Do you still have a link to the same test using the 8800 cards? I'd be interested to see how those compare to the latest.Despite their second attempt to match (or beat) nVidia ATI are still trailing with the 4870X2.I'm very happy with my 8800GTX even though the image quality is below that of the ATI 3870X2.Cheers,

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Same card, same comment Ray. I had my credit card out and ready to go until I saw this thread. The image quality of my 8800GTX has never been what ATI gave me, but its acceptable across three monitors and it runs FS9 very smoothly.

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Chuck,I'll be keeping the 8800GTX until it dies. I'll not be building another machine until FSXI is out and hopefully Vista morphs into the next gen OS.Keep that wallet shut! :-)

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Assuming we ever SEE an FS XI! Its been 2 1/2 years since FSX and affordable hardware STILL hasn't "caught up" to Microsoft demands. Of course, they could move MSFS to the XBox platform -- which I believe would end up being cheaper for all of us in the long run. But, how would you add the FlyTampa's KaiTak to the XBox?

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Trust me Chuck, there will be a PC version of FSXI. And only a PC version.<You couldn't - hence why they'll never go down that route. And a X-Box version might be cheaper but without being able to add 3rd party stuff how long would it retain its appeal? How many here run a default FS? No-one I think. ;-)

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>Assuming we ever SEE an FS XI! Its been 2 1/2 years since>FSX and affordable hardware STILL hasn't "caught up" to>Microsoft demands. It's a safe bet to assume MS will release FSXI: The gains from are-write to fully milk multi-CPU, multi-GPU hardware are simply toohuge to ignore!Think 8x CPUs (Nehalem) and 8x GPUs (2x Radeon R900-powered"HD4970X2"s)!Cheers,-jahman.

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What it means is there may be a problem with the drivers and FSX..A driver update may solve the issues with low framerates. This is a new card design and there are bound to be bugs. Give them a driver release or 2 and we'll see. If you read the beginning of the article, it says they were having driver problems and could not run at all resolutions. I have the wait and see attitude. 4870X2 looks real good, and seeing how it performs, It will be a dominant force, once the price drops a bit :)I'm running an 8800GT right now so I expect this card or even the single 4870 to give me a decent boost.Larry

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I personally will be getting this card, mostly because I want to run 2 in crossfire :) Is that possible with the X2's? :)FSX is not my only interest, and I see this card excell in the games I'm currently playing.Notice the benchmarks for the 3870X2 and the 4870X2, they are almost the same...Seems like either their drivers or FSX can't figure out how to use the power of the cards...and they are the same at both resolutions with not much difference whether AA and AF are on or off...anybody have any ideas? The 4870 actually is a tad quicker across the board. Bus width should not be a problem for the x2 compared with the 280, both are running 512, although x2 is running 2x256. Is this just FSX not being able to use both GPU's?Larry

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>I personally will be getting this card, mostly because I want>to run 2 in crossfire :) Is that possible with the X2's? :)You can use 2x 4870X2's in CrossFire, but I recall reading that ATIis not planning to release a driver capable of actually using 4 GPUsat this time.>FSX is not my only interest, and I see this card excell in the>games I'm currently playing.>>Notice the benchmarks for the 3870X2 and the 4870X2, they are>almost the same...Actually every review I've read shows the 4870X2 (and the 4870)with vastly superior performance in just about every game!>Seems like either their drivers or FSX can't>figure out how to use the power of the cards...Well, there's not much a video card can do when the FSX bottleneckis the CPU.>and they are>the same at both resolutions with not much difference whether>AA and AF are on or off...anybody have any ideas?This is where the R770 GPU in the 4870 and 4870X2 with its hundredsof stream processors (as in 1.2 and 2.4 TeraFLOPs, respectively)really shines!The fact that you can do AA and AF without seeing an increase in FPSis actually "a good thing": It means your GPU can handle theadditional AA and AF processing load and *still* not become theprocessing bottleneck! (The FPS doesn't increase because FSX isstill CPU-bound.)So use the power of the R770 for more AA/AF or more screens orhigher resolutions (or all three!) without having the video cardbecome the processing bottleneck.>The 4870 actually is a tad quicker across the board. >>Bus width should not be a problem for the x2 compared with>the 280, both are running 512, although x2 is running 2x256. >>Is this just FSX not being able to use both GPU's?>Indeed, FSX is not optimized for multiple GPUs and the drivers arestill green in this respect, but performance may increase as driversmature. (Example: The HD4870X2's 5 MBPS GPU-to-GPU data bridge iscurrently not used being by the video driver.)Cheers,-jahman.

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According to AMD, there is a system called Crossfire X that will enable 3 and 4 GPU crossfire modes.http://game.amd.com/us-en/crossfirex_about.aspxAnd heres a guy who says he's done it already..whether it's actually working correctly is subjective.http://forums.amd.com/game/messageview.cfm...3&enterthread=yWouldn't this CrossfireX be a 4870X2 use eventually... ? I do concede it is not listed in their specs ..yet.. :) But the 3870X2 is.. The benchmarks I was talking about were for FSX, sorry :) .If you compare all 3 cards, all are within a frame or 2 in FSX bench..hence my question, is there something in FSX ATI has so far, not been able to beat? Seems like the 4870X2 would be running a bit higher on the frames than the older 3870X2. I find that a little weird. But I'm no tech so it may be weird only to me :)No arguments that it wups up on just about everything else out there in the higher resolutions..I think Nvidia still does well in the lower res's though..Although if your going to spend this kind of money on a video card, I'd think you'd want the monster monitor to show it off LOL.Larry

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>According to AMD, there is a system called Crossfire X that>will enable 3 and 4 GPU crossfire modes.>>http://game.amd.com/us-en/crossfirex_about.aspxInteresting... It says "supporting up to four ATI Radeon HD graphicscards" so could that be up to eight GPUs? Perhaps I was wrong andwhat ATI said is it wasn't going to support more than 4 GPUs in thedriver at this point.>And heres a guy who says he's done it already..whether it's>actually working correctly is subjective.>>http://forums.amd.com/game/messageview.cfm...3&enterthread=y>>Wouldn't this CrossfireX be a 4870X2 use eventually... ? I do>concede it is not listed in their specs ..yet.. :) But the>3870X2 is..> >The benchmarks I was talking about were for FSX, sorry :) .If>you compare all 3 cards, all are within a frame or 2 in FSX>bench..hence my question, is there something in FSX ATI has so>far, not been able to beat? Seems like the 4870X2 would be>running a bit higher on the frames than the older 3870X2. I>find that a little weird. But I'm no tech so it may be weird>only to me :)Think of a "processing bottleneck" by analogy to a pipeline with asqueeze in it: It doesn't matter how much wider you make the restof the pipeline, the squeezed part will still keep limitingthroughput. Same for FSX: It doesn

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I checked out their system specs for the test...definitely no slouch there. Still, why does Nvidia go faster with the same CPU? I guess it just does some things better than ATI's in FSX..go figure LOL.I'm curious if they used Vista 64 or 32 though. I thought I read that 32 bit could only address 1 gig of the video ram? Like it can only access , what, 3 gigs of system memory? So this card may be handicapped running 32 bit OS's? Anyone hear anything about this? Does 32 bit OS consider the Vram part of the overall ram? If it does, this card could kill your system ram :( It carries 2 gigs. Unless the drivers somehow lock out part of the vram. Also I did not see if they ran FSX in DX9 or DX10 mode..Would be curious to see how each fared.I'm still going to buy it though...just looks awesome all around.Larry

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