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AMD, Intel, Dual-Core, Quad-Core,DirectX/10, 680i and SLI

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November 11, 2006 5:05:46 PM

Let's start this off with a great big "IMHO"
Right now, today, for the moment, until further notice...........
AMD can't hold a candle to the Intel C2D, this may change this year, maybe not.
The dual-core processor has not been fully exploited yet, most games aren't even written to take advantage of dual-core technology,
Next year programmers will begin to catch up with the dual-core.
To even think about utlizing a quad-core in his/her dream system i have to frown because i feel they instantly discounted the dual-core thinking it has fallen to the way-side, things can't be farther from the truth.
There is a time and a place for the Quad-core processor right now, that is inside a Server or High-End workstation, not inside a mid-tower trying to stay awake running script on "Sid Meiers Railroad", it is simply overkill on the grandest scale.
If you got dough to blow and you absolutely have to have the latest and the greatest then pursue your interests, otherwise just drop a 6600 C2D in a 775 socket and rock on.
The latest 8800 series graphic cards have ushered in advanced 3d rendering and DirectX/10, they will make a noticeable impact using Windows and have been proven to make graphics intensive games easier to play due to increased fps rates.
The 8800 series cards are actually designed in conjunction with Vista,
Vista contains contains the necessary drivers needed for the 8800 series cards to support DX/10.
Microsoft is not releasing DirectX/10 drivers for Windows, so unless your switching to Vista at the end of January and/or you want to optimize fps rates in a graphically intensive game
The new 680i motherboards are a combination of the 2 best overclocking mobo's available for the Intel 775 socket: the DFI Lanparty and the ASUS P5W, In a nutshell it's the overclockers dream-board for the C2D.
Unless you're a avid overclocker the 590 chipset in the 500 series motherboards will serve you well.
SLI (or Crossfire if your standing on the other side of the river) stands for "scaleable link interface" and is a term used to describe the joining of at least 2 graphics cards, whether it be a pair of 7950GX2's or a pair of 8800GTX's.
SLI motherboards don't need 2 graphics cards in SLI to function correctly, they simply have 2 PCI-E slots and will accept 2 graphics cards which you then bridge using a SLI connector between the 2 graphics cards.
SLI doesn't necessarily support the "if 1 is good then 2 must be better theory", SLI will not begin to shine until the system requirements have exceeded a single cards capabilities.
20" and larger or multiple monitors running high resolutions on graphics intensive programs with all the bells and whistles turned on can warrant the need for a SLI setup.
If your already using a top-shelf graphics card like the 7900GTX or 7950GX2 and all your games run smoothly at a minimum of 80fps with your favorite settings and native resolution then you will not see the benefits of SLI.

I realize this may be a controversial thread that may spark some heated debates but i have to get this off my chest, I just call it like i see it.

Agree or Disagree, makes no difference to me, my posts and my opinions do not necessarily reflect those of other board members or THG.
Take my views any way you wish, just keep in mind that these are my opinions and should be construed as such.
November 11, 2006 6:00:25 PM

right on!

for budget buyer, just buy what you need. there's always an exception for enthusiast but that's not we (me and the budget buyer) are now.. :evil: 
November 11, 2006 6:16:22 PM

AMEN!

This should be a sticky. It has 60% of most questions answered right here.

Hmmm I have money to blow should I buy 2 video cards or one nicer one?

Do I need a Quad core to play todays games?

Etc. I love it.
Related resources
November 11, 2006 6:24:23 PM

You have a lot of good points, but for each person, each has different.
needs. How much they can afford. How much updating they do
themselves. What kind of system they have now.

Me. I have a shixty system.
Running a 600 Mhz, no sound card (electrical storm). Heat problems,
in that if you turn it off, you can't use it for an hour or two. Anyway,
I'm getting a complete top of the line system now. Good parts, so I can actually update later. My old system is a dell.

I'm going Quad - I also program for a living (I'm an old fart -
big wallet - small penix - So Quad is perfect). The
thing is, Gaming right now is single threaded. The next step is not
2 cores, then 4 and then 8. The industry is going multi-core, big time.
Even the consoles are now multiple cores. When this happens,
the big jump, I would assume, would be going from 1 to 2 cores.
Rather than 2 to 4. But, I'm guessing. For me, I can afford the x6700,
and my viewpoint, the dual is probably faster today, but, not by much.
So I'm getting something a little slower today, that in a year or two, will
be more noticeably faster. Some people -want faster today - and will
upgrade often - to keep it faster.
The ones that go the middle route - and upgrade often - are smart.
That's just not me. I'm slow to change, and when I do. I go big.
November 11, 2006 6:34:55 PM

I agree with just about everything you said except for the 8800 series graphics card. Tests have shown that it presently blows the competition away in DX9 games as well so it fully justifies paying more for the fastest card that will also future proof you. I could not recommend spending more than $300 on a graphics card right now unless you are going to get an 8800.
November 11, 2006 7:53:47 PM

Quote:
I agree with just about everything you said except for the 8800 series graphics card. Tests have shown that it presently blows the competition away in DX9 games as well so it fully justifies paying more for the fastest card that will also future proof you.

True, but only at higher resolutions that their monitor may not support or at a resolution that is not native to the monitor....
November 11, 2006 8:44:34 PM

Quote:
I agree with just about everything you said except for the 8800 series graphics card. Tests have shown that it presently blows the competition away in DX9 games as well so it fully justifies paying more for the fastest card that will also future proof you.

True, but only at higher resolutions that their monitor may not support or at a resolution that is not native to the monitor, i rest my case.No, the 8800GTX has made titles such as F.E.A.R. and Oblivion much more playable on a single card solution at all resolution, so saying it's a useless achievement would be a blatantly false statement.

The Geforce 8800GTX provides a much more playable Oblivion experience at 1280x1024 with antialiasing and HDR. http://firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_8800_pre...
November 11, 2006 10:39:56 PM

Ok, I'll chime in. You make some very good points and here are some not necessarily "counter" points:

If you got dough to blow and you absolutely have to have the latest and the greatest then pursue your interests, otherwise just pop a 6600 C2D in that 775 socket then rock n roll.

I hemmed and hawed over this for some time. Is that extra 2mb chache really worth $100? Well, I really, really wanted it so I bucked up, asked and work a few hours overtime, and bought the 6600. Maybe it's not the most economical processor, but I have a feeling that it will be "future proof" longer than the 6400 will.

The new 680i motherboards are a combination of the 2 best overclocking mobo's available for the Intel 775 socket: the DFI Lanparty and the ASUS P5W, In a nutshell it's the overclockers dream-board for the C2D.

I am lucky enough to own one of these puppies. I can't wait to use and abuse it. :) 

SLI (or Crossfire if your standing on the other side of the river) is a term used to describe the joining of 2 graphics cards, whether it be a pair of 7950GX2's or a pair of 8800GTX's.

SLI means literally "Scalable Link Interface" and there's no reason why it has to be 2 other than available connecting and support hardware, and drivers.

SLI doesn't necessarily support the "if 1 is good then 2 must be better theory", SLI will not begin to shine until the system requirements have exceeded a single cards capabilities.

Agreed. I challenge to someone to prove to me why two 8800's in SLI is better than 1 8800, outside of a benchmark. Oh wait, there's the answer. :) 

Cheers!
November 11, 2006 10:55:11 PM

Thank-you
November 11, 2006 10:59:43 PM

Quote:
Agreed. I challenge to someone to prove to me why two 8800's in SLI is better than 1 8800, outside of a benchmark. Oh wait, there's the answer. :) 

Cheers!
Let's say you want to play F.E.A.R. and Oblivion on your 30" 2560x1600 LCD monitor will antialiasing; you'll probably want two 8800GTXs instead of just one. :wink:

November 11, 2006 11:24:53 PM

Quote:
Agreed. I challenge to someone to prove to me why two 8800's in SLI is better than 1 8800, outside of a benchmark. Oh wait, there's the answer. :) 

Cheers!
Let's say you want to play F.E.A.R. and Oblivion on your 30" 2560x1600 LCD monitor will antialiasing; you'll probably want two 8800GTXs instead of just one. :wink:


Amen to most of what everyone is saying.

I have a 24" mon. at 1920x1200. I've always played stuff with no AA because the impact is so big. Even then I'm lucky to get 3 or 4 frames a sec. at full res. in oblivion sometimes. I got so fed up with having a getto rig I thought OK f*ck it, and ordered two of these:
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

Should go nicely with the rest of my new build I'm slowly putting together:
Asus 680i Mobo
6800 extreme with phase change cooling (either vapochill LS or prometia MACH II.. havent decided yet).
2 x 150gb raid 0'd raptors + 250GB WD for backups/archiving.
2GB 1111Mhz PC8888 dominator corsair memory.

I considered the quad core but actually the core2 extreme gets better gaming scores and overclocks a hell of a lot better.
November 11, 2006 11:31:00 PM

Quote:
Sounds good to me. I have a 24" mon. at 1920x1200. I've always played stuff with no AA because the impact is so big. Even then I'm lucky to get 3 or 4 frames a sec. at full res. in oblivion sometimes. I got so fed up with having a getto rig I thought OK f*ck it, and ordered two of these:
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

Should go nicely with the rest of my new build I'm slowly putting together:
Asus 680i Mobo
6800 extreme with phase change cooling (either vapochill LS or prometia MACH II.. havent decided yet).
2 x 150gb raid 0'd raptors + 200GB WD,
2GB 1111Mhz PC8888 dominator corsair memory.

That should be a rockin system...congrats
November 11, 2006 11:32:18 PM

Good luck with that system man, that'll make Oblivion fly at 1920x1200.
November 11, 2006 11:39:01 PM

Quote:

That should be a rockin system...congrats


Thanks guys, I hope so after all to moola I'm spending...

Hey can anyone see any actual difference between these?:

http://www.asus.com/products3.aspx?l1=3&l2=11&l3=397&sl...

They both seem to be really available asus 680i mobos with exactly the same spec, except the p5N... one is $100 cheaper than the striker.
It was wondering if they could be actually the same motherboard just with different marketing.
November 12, 2006 12:01:16 AM

There are lots of physical differences, one of them being the P5W supports a higher FSB than the striker.
November 12, 2006 12:55:07 AM

If that's the case, I'd go for the cheaper of the two.
November 12, 2006 1:14:53 AM

The one reason, and only one reason I would never own the stricker extreme is this.

In the upper right hand corner on that picture the heat pipe covers a power plug. Yes I may NEVER use that power plug, but just the fact that they did that pisses me off to no end. But I cant afford it so it doesnt matter. 8O
November 12, 2006 3:48:29 AM

Quote:
The one reason, and only one reason I would never own the stricker extreme is this.

In the upper right hand corner on that picture the heat pipe covers a power plug. Yes I may NEVER use that power plug, but just the fact that they did that pisses me off to no end. But I cant afford it so it doesnt matter. 8O


Yeah I see it. It may just be the camera angle that makes it look covered though , at least on the one pic I can find of the striker.
November 13, 2006 4:03:35 PM

Quote:
If your already using a top-shelf graphics card like the 7900GTX or 7950GX2 and all your games run smoothly at a minimum of 80fps with your favorite settings and native resolution then you will not see the benefits of SLI without Vista.


What does this mean? That I will see improved performance with my 7950GX2 Sli set up with Vista and I am not seeing the full benefit of SLI from XP Pro?? So I guess that means that Vista's DX9L is an improvement over XP's DX9? Thats awesome news if it means I'll see better performance from my SLI'ed DX9 cards in Vista. I thought it was more of a lateral move with fun colors and cajun spices.... This would be the first place that I read that said my SLI set up would run better on Vista... not that I have read anything to the contrary... but this is good news if I read you correctly.
November 13, 2006 4:44:36 PM

What he means is that the XP games that support SLI now don't have a real advantage over a single VGA setup. For example I play Company of Heroes at 1600x1200 with ALL settings maxed at about 135fps on my single 7900GTX (this is really awesome). Now the games being built for Vista with DX-10 support are going to be better able to leverage an SLI setup due to the fact that the quality level of games are going to make a quantum leap in the next 6 months. Crysis is a very good example of this. Also nVidia's QuantumPhysics Driver will come out for the DX-10 cards and ATI's new HAVOK FX engine based cards will come out fully supporting DX-10 and the possibility of a 3 VGA setup (read: 3 cards in Crossfire).

Hope this helps. :wink:
November 13, 2006 5:07:53 PM

Here is the quote again:
Quote:
If your already using a top-shelf graphics card like the 7900GTX or 7950GX2 and all your games run smoothly at a minimum of 80fps with your favorite settings and native resolution then you will not see the benefits of SLI without Vista.


Uh I don't think thats what he meant.... He specifically said "already using" as in using right now on XP then he goes on to say, "you will not see the benefits of SLI without Vista.". The important part (i think) is "...without Vista." He doesn't say anything about DX10 or the Q or Havoc engines... nor am I asking anything about that. I'm asking about Vista which (i think) he states will make better use of SLI. I think this may have something to do with DX9L being better than XP's DX9. Information about DX10 and its features are of no use to me seeing as I am not buying a DX10 card for quite some time and if what I think he is saying is true I won't have to.

To delve into the DX10 thing for a second. Most games that will utilize DX10 will also be written to support DX9L and DX9 seeing as Vista will not be commonplace for at least 2 years nor will the hardware to support it. Money will prevent an "All games to DX10" revolution. You can't sell millions of copies if there are only thousands of users...
November 13, 2006 7:28:17 PM

He's saying exactly what I said. The current round of games that are designed to run on Windows XP suck at using SLI because most systems don't have SLI. Like I said I can run Company of Heores at 1600x1200 with ALL settings maxed at 135fps on one 7900GTX. Now, most of the games being designed for Vista will have full SLI support (read: designed from ground up with SLI in mind). SLI won't be a code patch or update or anything like that, it will actually be part of the program (read: the user will have graphics options in the game based on the existence of an SLI setup and hte ability to setup the game the way they want it). Vista is just a requierment to play the game, not a requierment for SLI.
November 13, 2006 8:15:24 PM

Quote:
He's saying exactly what I said. The current round of games that are designed to run on Windows XP suck at using SLI because most systems don't have SLI. Like I said I can run Company of Heores at 1600x1200 with ALL settings maxed at 135fps on one 7900GTX. Now, most of the games being designed for Vista will have full SLI support (read: designed from ground up with SLI in mind). SLI won't be a code patch or update or anything like that, it will actually be part of the program (read: the user will have graphics options in the game based on the existence of an SLI setup and hte ability to setup the game the way they want it). Vista is just a requierment to play the game, not a requierment for SLI.


Ok this answers my question... kinda. What you said before did not. This is stating "games designed for Vista" as opposed to "DX10 games". Again he does not state, "DX10 games" in the quoted area I was asking about. DX10 games will have to processed through the DX10 emulation layer of Vista DX9L if you are using DX9 hardware (i.e.7900GTX or 7950GX2). I had read on the microsoft forums that this action of going through the emulation layer would amount to "slower" performance. Granted that was about 2 months ago... The statement I took the qoute from in this forum is saying kinda the opposite. "Games designed for Vista" will most likely have a DX9 version or DX9L version.

"(read: the user will have graphics options in the game based on the existence of an SLI setup and the ability to setup the game the way they want it)" read that from where? its not in maddogs opening comment anywhere and thats what we're discussing here... i think?

All I wanted to know is if my DX9 SLI setup will run better in Vista.. Why? because maddog said...
Quote:
If your already using a top-shelf graphics card like the 7900GTX or 7950GX2 and all your games run smoothly at a minimum of 80fps with your favorite settings and native resolution then you will not see the benefits of SLI without Vista. [/qoute]

Basically what he is saying that high end DX9 equipment will still be good for Vista.. it may even be "better" on Vista hence the statement "you will not see the benefits of SLI without Vista." Everything before that statement is in reference to DX10 equipment. Would maddog please answer me seeing as you are the one who would know what you were talking about? anything we say SPARTAN is heresay... lets find out from the horses mouth... please. :roll:

PS Company of Heroes is a horrible fps reference. Try FEAR or QUAKE 4 with all the settings maxed and see if you ever hit anything above 70fps. Battlefield 2 is another good test.
November 13, 2006 8:50:45 PM

No, your DX9 SLI setup won't run any better in Vista. If you'd wanted to know that ask don't beat around the bush with comments like "That's not what I've read.", just ask and we'll answer.

I'm trying to interpret what mad-dog said in my own words for you. He is saying that without Vista you won't be able see any difference in games. This is true because any game out there that is designed to run on Windows XP has no gains when it comes to SLI because if you look at the benchmarks in the TH VGA charts then you'll see that the only difference besides a 3DMark score is fps, and all games on this chart are playable on 99% of current video cards (read cards that don't support SLI or Crossfire). Every game that is designed for Windows XP isn't designed to support SLI to the fullest extent. Only on Vista where the DX-10 will be the only option for a while, will you see any gains in having SLI. And even then you'll need a DX-10 card for that. As for the "(read: the user will have graphics options in the game based on the existence of an SLI setup and the ability to setup the game the way they want it)" that didn't come from him you're correct. I said that trying to show you what SLI will be like in Vista based games. But apparently you can't read :wink:

To dumb it down for you some more, games can only run as good as the lowest common denomenator of a system (all be it they'll do far better on a high end system but they are designed to run on minimum capabilities)

The minimum system requierments for the Windows XP OS are:

450mhz CPU
128mb RAM
1.5gb free HDD space

Now most games designed for XP follow this line of thinking. Company of Heroes is one of the most graphically demanding games out there right now and its minimum requierments are:

1ghz CPU
64mb VGA
256mb RAM
4gb free HDD space

This is pretty low for a game thats reputed to bring high end riggs to there knees.

Now for the Vista OS:

2ghz CPU
1gb RAM
128mb VGA
15gb free HDD space

Now following the same line of thinking as before with Company of Heroes we can expect games in Vista to require alot more of the system than there XP counter-parts.

Oh BTW when some does the whole (read:...) they are trying to prevent you from misunderstanding what they said.

What mad-dog means by this "If your already using a top-shelf graphics card like the 7900GTX or 7950GX2 and all your games run smoothly at a minimum of 80fps with your favorite settings and native resolution then you will not see the benefits of SLI without Vista. " is that for those of us using a single VGA setup and are happy with it then SLI isn't requiered until we move over to Vista based games. No where in there does he say anything about 2 7900GTX's in SLI being un-noticable in performance compared to a single 7900GTX, he is saying that if we are considering SLI currently we should really wait till Vista comes out. I think you're just looking for justification for the $1000 in VGA's you have in you rsystem is all.

Hope this helps.
November 13, 2006 9:04:51 PM

Quote:
All I wanted to know is if my DX9 SLI setup will run better in Vista.. Why? because maddog said...

Quote:
If your already using a top-shelf graphics card like the 7900GTX or 7950GX2 and all your games run smoothly at a minimum of 80fps with your favorite settings and native resolution then you will not see the benefits of SLI without Vista. [/qoute]

Quote:
Basically what he is saying that high end DX9 equipment will still be good for Vista.. it may even be "better" on Vista hence the statement "you will not see the benefits of SLI without Vista." Everything before that statement is in reference to DX10 equipment. Would maddog please answer me seeing as you are the one who would know what you were talking about? anything we say SPARTAN is heresay... lets find out from the horses mouth... please.


You're absolutely correct in interpreting what i said, however, youre incorrect in interpreting what i meant..............
After i explain this to you i am going to edit my original post to reflect our conversation here:
What i meant to say was "you will not see the benefits of SLI"...
I mistakenly added the Vista part and i can see why that caught your attention, and i would like to thank-you for bringing it to my attention.

I do however question your source on the creation of this "rumored" DirectX/9.0L driver and/or it's reported function.
If you are using XP and you install a 8800 series card you will realize a taste of the increased 3d rendering, however the true potential of the card will not be realized until vista is installed, i hope we are clear on this subject and you are no longer the only boardmember who presently has trouble reading between the lines.......Thank-you
November 14, 2006 12:25:44 PM

THANK YOU MAD-DOG!!! That is exactly what I was tripping up on and thanks for your attempt at trying to read maddags mind SPARTAN. Ok as for the DX 9L "driver" my man maddog its not a driver. DX9L is DX9 for Vista and the DX10 emulation layer that allows your DX9 hardware to play DX10 games. The latter is slightly shrouded in mystery but the former is fact. It was thought for a little while that DX9L (the L is for Longhorn) was DX10 for XP. This was because of a false statement from The Inquirer. Google it. Or wait... I'll post the link.
Inquirer Corrects Mistake:
http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=35140
If you google it you'll see how their lie spread like a bad rash all over the rig ranting community. The part about DX9L being an emulation layer I'm pretty sure I read either on the nvidia site or directly on the microsoft site. It was an article where some one (from nvidia?) was talking to a MS representative about programming games for DX10. At the time that I read it he was saying the DX9L was going to make you run "slower" but now I can't find the article to save my... face.

<<DELETED>>
November 14, 2006 1:03:04 PM

Try to be easy on Spartan bro, me and him are pretty tight and he was only trying to defend his bud because he knows i meant well just get my words mixed up sometimes.
He's a good cat (albeit a little blunt) and means you no harm,
Spartan-117 is a wealth of knowledge and has lots to share when given the chance.
BTW, it was great meeting you and i look forward to many future discussions ........
November 14, 2006 2:16:01 PM

It was nice meeting you both. Spartan I wasn't trying to be a jerk. No hard feelings bro. We got off and a little tangent. Sometimes I think I'm funny and I'm not... lol. I know when I'm getting crazy.. I start using smileys. I also suck at apologies... obviously.

Yeah taking out "without Vista" from your statement brings new meaning to the statement. I wasn't trying to correct you or anything like that. I was glad to hear the qoute with "without Vista" added because it upped the resale value of my GX2's but it did sound like maybe to good to be true so I was just asking for verification. I'm hoping to get at least 500 a peice for them on ebay. I've noticed a few others have. That will keep me on my under 200 dollar video upgrade trend. Thanks for everything!
November 14, 2006 9:39:00 PM

Its alright LtUh8meDoncha. If you stayed up for 18hrs a day for a couple of days straight you become edgy. Sorry if I've offended you. As for you mad-dog I'm "a little blunt" try alot blunt (haha :tongue: ). A pair of 7950 GX2's will be great in my current rig when I build a new PC. Reason being I'll make the current rig I have a graphics workstation with an FX-60 CPU and 2 7950GX2's in SLI for 2gb of rendering horsepwer oh yeah!!

Talk to you all later.
!