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Please help me Upgrade

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  • Motherboards
  • SLI
  • Product
Last response: in Motherboards
March 21, 2006 9:46:24 PM

Based on my setup below, I am going PCIE, using the existing CPU and Mem. I will be upgrading the Video card (not sure which one yet but probably 7900) and possibly going to SLI. Before I purchase an SLI board, with a 20.1 LCD (and I do a lot of gaming) is SLI worth it? Is it true that's the only way I will be able to run 1600x1200 with all the effects on high.
If I don't go SLI, can't I still get all the effects on high using a 7900, only at lower resolutions?

I have been using gigabyte for years and have been happy with them.

I will do some overclocking, but not to the point to where I add extra cooling features.

I have read the gigabyte boards are very stable, as mine has been, but I have also read that most of the top MFGs boards are very stable nowadays.

I don't have an unlimited budget, but I will spend more if the value is there. If I can get a board that is under 100 that will provide almost the same performance as the 200 boards, then I would rather do that, as I am not an overclocking enthusiast, just a OC rookie.
One other thing, should I only run the SATA drives and remove the PATA for better performance? I have XP 64 on my PATA drive now. This could also effect my MB choice.

Thanks for your help, any suggestion is appreciated.

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a b V Motherboard
March 22, 2006 1:24:22 PM

" Before I purchase an SLI board, with a 20.1 LCD (and I do a lot of gaming) is SLI worth it? Is it true that's the only way I will be able to run 1600x1200 with all the effects on high. "

Many of today's games can indeed be run at 1600x1200 using a single high end card such as a 1900XT or 7900GTX, although if you are determined to add 8xAA/16xAF at that res, you might be tempted to look at an SLI 7900GT rig, which offers great performance at the $598 (for a pair of 7900GT cards) video price point...

There was a recent article at www.firingsquad.com where they examined the several cards' performance levels in SLI/Crossfire/single card rigs when playing at 2560x1600 resolution, and several cards were deleivering playable (near 30 fps avg) framerates even in a single card config...

You personally will have to weigh your "cash outlay"/"frame rates desired at a given res with desired AA/AF levels" ratio in your desired gaming titles to determine if you feel SLI is worth it...
a b V Motherboard
March 22, 2006 1:27:13 PM

"I have read the gigabyte boards are very stable, as mine has been, but I have also read that most of the top MFGs boards are very stable nowadays.
"

There have been several Gigabyte NF4/SLI board users on the mainboard forums complaining of stuttering sound during gaming, with or without onboard sound being utilized, so I'd look more to Asus, MSI, DFI, or Epox SLi boards I think...
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a b V Motherboard
March 22, 2006 1:31:16 PM

"If I don't go SLI, can't I still get all the effects on high using a 7900, only at lower resolutions? "

Absolutely...

ALthough many claim the image looks "less nice" when running at less than the native res of an LCD panel, I have a 2001FP monitor as well, and I think several of the games I play look quite nice at 1280x1024 or even 1024x768....
a b V Motherboard
March 22, 2006 1:46:58 PM

"One other thing, should I only run the SATA drives and remove the PATA for better performance?"

I would naturally arrange the operating systems and most commonly used apps on the SATA drives, and use the IDE drives for simple storage where possible..; that being said, even the most modern SATA drive capable of sustained 65-70 MB/sec throughput would not be able to saturate an ATA100/133 channel, if so connected....

But removing the IDE drives completely would not really offer any advantages, other than saving ~50 watts of power...
March 22, 2006 5:13:33 PM

Spammer! :lol:  :wink:

The other advantages of SATA are smaller cabling (easier to route in the case and restricts less airflow = a neater case) and SATA is hot swappable. You're right when you say that SATA provides no performance advantage over PATA.
Quote:
There have been several Gigabyte NF4/SLI board users on the mainboard forums complaining of stuttering sound during gaming, with or without onboard sound being utilized

I've got the GA-K8NF-9 and it has performed absolutely flawlessy for me. These issues could be a result of a wide variety of problems - i'd like to see anything else you have on this topic.