XFX nForce 680i LT: Video recommendation?

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I've got an XFX nForce 680i LT SLI Socket 775 mobo.  What would you
reccomend as the most powerful graphics solution for this mobo?  I'm
using it for gaming...

Re: XFX nForce 680i LT: Video recommendation?

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There are several catagories of solutions, just for the record.

1) SLI or Crossfire. Takes two (or more) cards and combines their GPU power.
    Scaleup is not perfect, in that two GPUs is not twice as powerful.
    Usually restricted to working with certain chipsets. In your case,
    if there were two video card slots, then "SLI" is possible.

2) "Dual GPU" cards. Puts two GPU chips on the same card/module. Saves over
    (1), in that only one PCI Express video card connector is required. May
    take two slots for cooling or mechanical construction reasons. The
    designs use a PCI Express switch chip, which converts the single
    PCI Express video card input, into two PCI Express interfaces to
    operate with the two GPUs.

            GPU1   GPU2 -----> drive a monitor
             +      +
             |      |

3) The single GPU cards you expressed an interest in, is the third case.

In terms of power draw, the HD 4870 X2 dual GPU card shows one
of the less desirable aspects of the high end cards. Uses 264W
or 12V @ 22A. The GTX 280 (single GPU) card is 178W. The
9800 GX2, a dual GPU card from Nvidia, is 182W.


Check the benchmarks later in that article, selecting the game you
want to play, and the resolution of your monitor, to figure out
what to buy.

HD 4870 X2  $530+
GTX 280     $400+
9800 GX2    $400+

Check the reviews on Newegg.com, to see how adequate the cooler is
on each solution. You don't want the GPU temperature to go too high,
because there have been issues with the underfill material used in
the GPU. The underfill material, is used to help the chip withstand
large temperature variations. The better the cooling system on
the card, the less temperature swing on the GPU.

It can make it hard to compare the cards, based on hardware parameters,
when one card has two GPUs and the other has one. The electrical power
numbers on this site, may come from the manufacturer, and represent "max"
numbers, rather than the "typical" value an actual measurement on
Xbitlabs gives you.


To run the 4870 X2, I'd probably want a power supply that leaves
no uncertainty about how many amps are available. Some supplies have
a single large +12V output, stated as such. Other supplies may have
a single large output, plus current limiters to divide the power
up into multiple "outputs". I prefer something where the documentation
is clearer. This one is $110 after rebate, and offers 12V @ 60A,
which should help with 22A for a single high end video card, plus
say 13A for the most expensive processor you can buy, and another
3A for sundries. There is a model above this one, with even more

750W 12V @ 60A

Also, examine your computer case, and make sure there is room
for a long video card. My current case is great this way, because
there is no drive bay right next to the video card slot. So I have
no problem with a long card. A more modern computer case I have,
has a drive rack in the way, riveted into place. Long video
cards can also cover up SATA ports, preventing
their usage.

Due to the large number of video card models introduced, it isn't
possible for any site to keep up with benchmarking them all. So
keeping charts up to date, is a chore. Nvidia has renumbered some
of their products recently, which adds to the potential for

Have fun,

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