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where does SLI show the most benefits?

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June 28, 2006 9:29:11 PM

In my ever continuing quest to learn as much as I can to prepare for my next system, I wanted to ask questions on SLI.

I know what it is, but what I don't know is where exactly does it benefit?

For example, one scenario I was thinking of doing was getting a 7900GT 256mb card for now, then down the road, dropping in another 7900GT in SLI mode. Seems like a good idea, right?

My question though is, what are the major benefits of running SLI? Do you see better results at higher or lower settings? For example, my rig is going to be running 1280x1024 @60hz. Would SLI benefit me at all?

When I look to the future and some of the games I look forward to playing:

-Company of Heroes
-Battlefield 2142
-Supreme Commander
-Dawn of War: Dark Crusade

I'd love to crank up the detail levels greatly for maximum viewing pleasure.

Can someone break it down for me, tell me where SLI makes the biggest difference?

Thanks

sektor

More about : sli show benefits

June 28, 2006 9:54:28 PM

Quote:
where does SLI show the most benefits?

It shows most benefit in the balance sheet of nVidia LLC.
June 28, 2006 9:55:12 PM

SLI is useful for very high resolutions and high levels of AA/AF. It can also come in handy when you have a bleeding edge game that requires alot of horsepower (like oblivion)

Unfortunately, twice the cost doesn't mean twice the performance. 125% to 150% performance increase is typical with two cards, although there are exceptions. Sometimes better, and sometimes even worse than a single card because of driver incompatibilities...

For my money, I've still never seriously considered an SLI/Xfire setup. Just isn't cost effective, and a single $400 X1900 XT runs everything well...

As far as upgrade paths, by the time you'll want that second 7900 GT, there will be a faster videocard available that will beat both of your 7900 GTs for cheaper... so SLI makes the most sense if you need the highest resolutions and AA, and have the cash to afford it RIGHT NOW.
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June 28, 2006 10:02:56 PM

Quote:
SLI is useful for very high resolutions and high levels of AA/AF. It can also come in handy when you have a bleeding edge game that requires alot of horsepower (like oblivion)

Unfortunately, twice the cost doesn't mean twice the performance. 125% to 150% performance increase is typical with two cards, although there are exceptions. Sometimes better, and sometimes even worse than a single card because of driver incompatibilities...

For my money, I've still never seriously considered an SLI/Xfire setup. Just isn't cost effective, and a single $400 X1900 XT runs everything well...

As far as upgrade paths, by the time you'll want that second 7900 GT, there will be a faster videocard available that will beat both of your 7900 GTs for cheaper... so SLI makes the most sense if you need the highest resolutions and AA, and have the cash to afford it RIGHT NOW.


Thanks for the info. That was very helpful and brings me to a few more points and questions.

I have a 19" monitor and run at 1280x1024 @ 60hz. I won't run at any higher resolutions (unless I get a 22"+ monitor).

With that, what would be the best solution for me to go with? A single 7900GT or x1800? Maybe a bigger card with 512mb RAM?

Since I don't think SLI would be beneficial to me (because I don't run at higher resolutions (I think anything above 1280x1024 is considered higher) just simple area really), but it might come in handy for demanding ames as well as AA/AF benefits.

Just trying to determine what would be in my best interest.

Appreciate it.
June 28, 2006 10:28:57 PM

SLi = not useful with a 19" monitor

512mb = not useful
June 28, 2006 11:02:42 PM

Quote:
SLi = not useful with a 19" monitor

512mb = not useful


Did you mean, both are not useful with a 19" monitor?

If that is the case, then it really boils down to the best 256mb card (Nvidia or ATI) then?
a b U Graphics card
June 28, 2006 11:05:07 PM

Quote:
In my ever continuing quest to learn as much as I can to prepare for my next system, I wanted to ask questions on SLI.

I know what it is, but what I don't know is where exactly does it benefit?

For example, one scenario I was thinking of doing was getting a 7900GT 256mb card for now, then down the road, dropping in another 7900GT in SLI mode. Seems like a good idea, right?

My question though is, what are the major benefits of running SLI? Do you see better results at higher or lower settings? For example, my rig is going to be running 1280x1024 @60hz. Would SLI benefit me at all?

When I look to the future and some of the games I look forward to playing:

-Company of Heroes
-Battlefield 2142
-Supreme Commander
-Dawn of War: Dark Crusade

I'd love to crank up the detail levels greatly for maximum viewing pleasure.

Can someone break it down for me, tell me where SLI makes the biggest difference?

Thanks

sektor


I have this widescreeen monitor, ViewSonic VX2025WM, with two EVGA 7600 GT's in SLI. Don't let anyone kid you. If you can afford two high performance vid cards in SLI it's a noticeable boost in video performance over say, one 7900 GT. To answer your question:

>>My question though is, what are the major benefits of running SLI?<<

Having two high performance video cards is like driving this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBG7eB-997s&feature=View...

My monitor is the best 20" widescreen on trhe market THG today:

http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/06/27/xxl_displays/pag...
June 28, 2006 11:29:09 PM

At 1280x1024, you're not likely to see worthy benefits. Single card solution is your best choice.

Also, if you're going with a dual card solution, make sure you get high-end cards at least, mid-end cards are a waste.
June 29, 2006 3:18:36 AM

Thanks guys for the input. I have been leaning towards a 7900GT because I figured in the future, I would just drop in another 7900GT in SLI mode, which gives me two cards and total of 512mb. Should be able to handle any games for awhile.

In the meantime, anyone have preferences on a brand on the 7900GT? Here are a few I was looking at. Let me know what you think:

7900 GT list

thx
June 29, 2006 8:36:00 AM

Two 256mb 7900s does NOT make 512mb - they cannot address each other's memory.

Neither would they need to - 512mb is MARKETING BULL.

Before you want another 7900, DX10 cards will be out and you'll want one of those instead.
June 29, 2006 1:25:17 PM

Quote:
Two 256mb 7900s does NOT make 512mb - they cannot address each other's memory.

Neither would they need to - 512mb is MARKETING BULL.

Before you want another 7900, DX10 cards will be out and you'll want one of those instead.

I second that.

The idea of "adding another card later" is stupid beyond belief. Especially with DX10 cards coming, until DX10 cards are out, 7900GT is just fine.
June 29, 2006 1:47:11 PM

2 is better then one, and you will notice it, no matter what the rez.
June 29, 2006 1:49:52 PM

Yes, you should see a difference, but money wise, it's not worth it.
June 29, 2006 1:53:37 PM

does that go for crossfire too?
June 29, 2006 1:54:49 PM

Yes, all dual card solutions.


Even Matrox's :lol: 
June 29, 2006 2:05:01 PM

hmmm, well no offence prozac, but looking through other threads, i see what youve got for a system.. are you just going by stuff youve read? ill be honest.. i bought a bfg 6600gt, and at first that was fine, not the greatest.. but it still kicked my 9600xt's butt.. then i got another 6600gt, and wow, what a diff. if your a gamer, id go with the most gpu power you can get, even if it means getting 2 of em. good things come in 2s you know ;) 
June 29, 2006 2:06:14 PM

Yes, I'm running a old, crappy system, but I've used SLI/CF systems.
June 29, 2006 2:18:04 PM

i do have a crossfire board and i was thinking of getting another x1900 but decided against as in reality i wont notice if counter strike source is running at 140fps at present or @ 200+ fps if i went down the crossfire route, true u get more preformance but not that much to justify buying another £250-300 card. IMO i'd wait will the dx10 cards come out and get the best one u can afford then ull be laughin :lol: 
June 29, 2006 2:41:51 PM

If you can afford the extra $100, it's well worth it to spend $400 on a single X1900 XT.

Much better than the 7900 GT...
June 29, 2006 5:35:09 PM

Quote:
If you can afford the extra $100, it's well worth it to spend $400 on a single X1900 XT.

Much better than the 7900 GT...


Appreciate the recommendations.

I was looking for some comparrions between the 7900GT, 7800 as wel as the x1800 and x1900...

Anyone happen to know off hand where I might find one?

Thanks again.
June 29, 2006 5:38:11 PM

newegg.com

zipzoomfly.com

tigerdirect.com

are some places.
June 29, 2006 5:41:36 PM

Here's a good review of the X1900 GT at firingsquad, but it pits it against an X1800 XT, X1900 XT, and 7900 GT. All the major bases covered. :) 

(the 7800 isn't in the running anymore, not as good as the 7900 line, and overpriced.)

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/sapphire_radeon_x1900_gt/page4.asp

The X1900 XT will own a 7900 GT in everything except OpenGL flight sims like pacific fighters and LOMAC - always thought that game segment is overrepresented in Firingsquad's reviews, a single openGL flight sim should suffice - but that's neither here nor there.

The bottom line is, the X1900 XT is alot better, especially in demanding titles like FEAR and Oblivion.
June 29, 2006 5:53:19 PM

Quote:
2 is better then one, and you will notice it, no matter what the rez.


Yes, as with all SLi systems you'll notice a distinct lightness of wallet, no matter what resolution you're running.
June 29, 2006 6:11:33 PM

Quote:
Here's a good review of the X1900 GT at firingsquad, but it pits it against an X1800 XT, X1900 XT, and 7900 GT. All the major bases covered. :) 

(the 7800 isn't in the running anymore, not as good as the 7900 line, and overpriced.)

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/sapphire_radeon_x1900_gt/page4.asp

The X1900 XT will own a 7900 GT in everything except OpenGL flight sims like pacific fighters and LOMAC - always thought that game segment is overrepresented in Firingsquad's reviews, a single openGL flight sim should suffice - but that's neither here nor there.

The bottom line is, the X1900 XT is alot better, especially in demanding titles like FEAR and Oblivion.


Thanks for the link...looks like the x1800x 512mb card is pretty good as well.
June 29, 2006 6:54:23 PM

Quote:
2 is better then one, and you will notice it, no matter what the rez.


Yes, as with all SLi systems you'll notice a distinct lightness of wallet, no matter what resolution you're running.

Right..... And a $600-$800 single highend card wont? :lol: 
June 29, 2006 6:59:14 PM

Quote:

Right..... And a $600-$800 single highend card wont?


That's why the $400 X1900 XT is a recommended buy... :twisted: :) 
June 29, 2006 7:08:42 PM

Quote:

Right..... And a $600-$800 single highend card wont?


That's why the $400 X1900 XT is a recommended buy... :twisted: :) 

Not everyone here is American ;) 

eVGA GeForce 7900GT 256MB DDR3 PCI-Ex16 Graphics Card - Dual DVI, Video-Out $344.84
XFX GeForce 7900GTX TD2 256MB DDR3 PCI-Ex16 Video-In, Video-Out ,2xDvi, Video-In, Video-Out $618.84
MSI GeForce NX7950GX2 -T2D Dual GPU 1024MB DDR3 PCI-Ex16 Graphics Card - Dual DVI, HDTV, Video-Out $766.84
ATI Radeon X1800XL All-In-Wonder 256MB DDR PCI-Ex16 Graphics Card - VGA, DVI, Video-In, Video-Out $388.84
ASUS Radeon Extreme AX1900XT 512MB DDR3 PCI-Ex16 "Crossfire" Graphics Card - VGA, DVI, Video-Out $690.84
ASUS Radeon Extreme AX1900XTX 512MB DDR3 PCI-Ex16 "Crossfire" Graphics Card - VGA, DVI, Video-Out $797.84
Sapphire Radeon X1900XTX 512MB DDR3 PCI-Ex16 Graphics Card - Dual DVI, Video-In, Video-Out $621.84

These are Canadian prices.

Edit:

Whoops, add 14% sales tax on top of that... :x
June 29, 2006 7:26:34 PM

I'm canadian too... :roll:

Canadians know US is as close to a world currency as you get. Going on an international forum and quoting Canadian prices doesn't make alot of sense unless that's specifically what we're talking about...

You also neglect to mention, X1900 XT's can be had in canada for under $600 easy.
June 29, 2006 7:31:03 PM

Quote:
Going on an international forum and quoting Canadian prices doesn't make alot of sense unless that's specifically what we're talking about...

You also neglect to mention, X1900 XT's can be had in canada for under $600 easy.


whoops, never thought of it like that.... as for the card, cant get it that cheap in my town :( 
June 29, 2006 7:39:54 PM

Quote:
where does SLI show the most benefits?

It shows most benefit in the balance sheet of nVidia LLC.
exactly what i thought :p 
June 29, 2006 8:08:47 PM

There is definite improvement, but I use two grapgic cards with seperate monitors. The new 7950 chipset gives you the same advantage as SLI, a Dual Graphics engine at just over $600.00, the cost of 2 cheaper ( Slooower ) cards.

Right now I'm on a 4200+ dual graphic card system with 2 Samsung 215TW monitors and 1 cheap Xerox 19" wide LCD. PCIe cards are XFX 6800GT's, not on SLI...

All our very best,

OleGeek
June 29, 2006 10:23:39 PM

Where the hell are you buying your cards?
June 30, 2006 10:35:43 AM

The most expensive card I could find there was £411, which was about £50 more than the next most expensive one which was about £50 more than the next most expensive one to that, and I'm pretty sure they both had stupid pre-done watercoolers on them.

They all top out at about £320-340, the ones that cost more than that have stupid pumps and stuff so they don't really count.
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