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Xfire Increase Video Memory?

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I was curious - I think I know the answer, but I'm not sure - When running either X-fire or a dual GPU card are you getting the benefit of doubling your video memory?

I play a modded game with custom models. We use pretty hi-res textures with the models. It's not unusual for the models to have 15meg of color texture maps plus another 5meg of illumination maps. There's also the background images, explosions, etc. 8-10 models on screen during a single skirmish/battle isn't uncommon. There are sometimes many more.

Typically, with a good card, frame rates, even with high poly counts, isn't a problem. I have a 3870 512meg and frame rates stay above the 85Hz screen refresh rate. Running out of video buffer and having texture swapping is the more common cause for lag in game play.

So, strictly from the video memory performance. Is a single GPU with 1gig of ram better than a dual GPU with 512meg per GPU? From what I understand dual GPUs are actually storing everything into memory twice, once for each GPU and you aren't actually getting the benefit of 1gig of RAM. Is that correct?

The cheapest way to upgrade my video performance is to buy a 2nd 3870 and running X-fire. If that doesn't increase my video buffer though it won't help any. I'd be better off buying a 4850/4870 1gig, if that's the case.

Thanks
 

spearman914

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No, the only vram used regards to the lowest vram gpu.

Ex:

512MB 4870
512mb 4870

only uses 512mb

ex:

1GB 4870
512MB 4870

still uses 512mb
 
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the 1 gig card is the way to go... xfire does not increase video memory.
 

spearman914

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What res do u game at?
 
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That's what I thought. I'm not panning on X-firing a 1gig card with the 3870. I'd just replace the 3870 with either a 1gig 4850 or 4870 and sell the 3870 off. I don't need anymore GPU power, just VRAM.

ATM I run 1280X1024. I know that's not very hires, but we're continuing to add higher res models, backgrounds, effects, and anything else we can mod. :)
 
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spearman914

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Is this a dual GPU card? I can't find any info on it. Even at Sparkle's site.
no its a 9600GT single gpu with 2gigamommas of ram. its GDDR2 tho, so i would personally go for the 4830
 
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a 9600GT with ddr2:shadedshu that thing would be bottlenecked so bad . . .
 
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Lol, and 2GB of it too. That's one "wanky" card :laugh:

More like a marketing gimmick "OMG, 2GB Video card, THE BEST!"
 

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IMO, why would a low end card need 2GB vram anyway??? 256MB at most. :D
 

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That's what I thought. I'm not panning on X-firing a 1gig card with the 3870. I'd just replace the 3870 with either a 1gig 4850 or 4870 and sell the 3870 off. I don't need anymore GPU power, just VRAM.

ATM I run 1280X1024. I know that's not very hires, but we're continuing to add higher res models, backgrounds, effects, and anything else we can mod. :)

Well u say u need more video ram but u must keep in mind that a card that has a relatively strong GPU isnt guaranteed to be able to handle 1 gb of vram.
For this occasion,the 1gb 4850,that i own too,doesnt get much of benefit when compared to the 512 mb one...
4870 would though.Its a matter of processing power oF the core and thats why ATI builds them with 512mb.What vendors do afterwards is mostly marketing....
MY POINT,if u need more than 512 mb VRAM try a 4870 1GB cos 4830/4850 wont get much good from the extra 512mb.
Which game are u playing anyway??!
 
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So would a 9800GX2 have only 512mb available, or is that different? Also same for the 4870x2, would that only have 1gb usable memory, as it has 2gb in total for the 2 gpus?
 
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Well u say u need more video ram but u must keep in mind that a card that has a relatively strong GPU isnt guaranteed to be able to handle 1 gb of vram.
For this occasion,the 1gb 4850,that i own too,doesnt get much of benefit when compared to the 512 mb one...
4870 would though.Its a matter of processing power oF the core and thats why ATI builds them with 512mb.What vendors do afterwards is mostly marketing....
MY POINT,if u need more than 512 mb VRAM try a 4870 1GB cos 4830/4850 wont get much good from the extra 512mb.
Which game are u playing anyway??!
I believe the reason you don't see much improvement is because you haven't exceeded the 512's video buffer. Get to where you need more than 512meg RAM and the card will fall over big time. Frame rates can drop to single digits if texture swapping becomes excessive.

I'm in NZ and, between the currency exchange, small market, and shipping stuff to the end of the world, everything is pretty pricey here. Sometimes there is just no availability. The 1gig 4830 isn't available here yet. The 1gig 4850 starts at $378 and the 4870 is $528. The 4850 is about all that I want to spend on a card. I'm toying with getting the 4870, but I still have to pay the mortgage. ;)

The game is an oldie, Starfleet Command II. The original game has 256²x8bit textures for everything. I've been replacing the stock textures with 1024²x24bit bitmaps. Most of the custom models have 1024²x24bit bitmaps, or 2048²x24bit textures if the author really wants to add a lot of detailing.

We have the source code for the game and plan on updating the game's rendering engine in the (hopefully) not too distant future. At that point we'll be able to take advantage of DDS textures, auto-LOD, etc... For now though it's all on the hardware to handle whatever we throw into the game.
 

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I believe the reason you don't see much improvement is because you haven't exceeded the 512's video buffer. Get to where you need more than 512meg RAM and the card will fall over big time. Frame rates can drop to single digits if texture swapping becomes excessive.

I'm in NZ and, between the currency exchange, small market, and shipping stuff to the end of the world, everything is pretty pricey here. Sometimes there is just no availability. The 1gig 4830 isn't available here yet. The 1gig 4850 starts at $378 and the 4870 is $528. The 4850 is about all that I want to spend on a card. I'm toying with getting the 4870, but I still have to pay the mortgage. ;)

The game is an oldie, Starfleet Command II. The original game has 256²x8bit textures for everything. I've been replacing the stock textures with 1024²x24bit bitmaps. Most of the custom models have 1024²x24bit bitmaps, or 2048²x24bit textures if the author really wants to add a lot of detailing.

We have the source code for the game and plan on updating the game's rendering engine in the (hopefully) not too distant future. At that point we'll be able to take advantage of DDS textures, auto-LOD, etc... For now though it's all on the hardware to handle whatever we throw into the game.

Well u are unlucky!Here the 4850 1GB costs less than 200euros...
Why dont you buy it online?
 
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