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Single card vs. Two in SLI - not much difference?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 28, 2006 7:34:05 PM

I was looking at the interactive VGA charts and comparing single cards to SLI dual cards and their respective performances and I was not impressed with what SLI does.

For example, looking at the 7900 GTX compared to the 7900 GTX SLI:

for Rise of Nations in 1280x1024, there was no difference. In most games, the difference is minimal. The only place where you see a real difference is in the 3DMark test.

Well, I don't play 3DMark - I play games and I can't see where paying for a second card is really worth it, according to the tests.

Thoughts?

By the way, no I don't have an SLI setup so I don't know what the "real world" difference is. I was just wondering before I spend the money for a MB with 2 x16 slots. Any input from those of you with actual experience betrween a single card and then adding that second in SLI mode would be helpful.

Thanks.
November 28, 2006 7:40:48 PM

At higher resolutions, you do see bigger differences in games. In some cases you do see quite big improvements, but mostly not much.

It is not worth it as it doesn't double performance. It was created to get more money from the buyer. Some people would buy two 7900GTX just for bragging rights, and they make more money that way. Same with Crossfire.
a c 359 U Graphics card
November 28, 2006 7:47:19 PM

Rise of Nations is not a good game to use as a benchmark simply because the game is not very graphics demanding. SLI (and Crossfire) is good for playing games that are very GPU demanding. Oblivion is an obvious example, other are F.E.A.R., X3: Reunion, Prey. It also depends on at what resolution you play games at. Anything resolution at 1600 x 1200 or higher should benefit from a dual GPU setup. Oblivion is an exception, you may want an SLI (Crossfire) setup at resolutions of 1280 x 1024 or higher.

Dual GPU setups are for those real hardcore gamers who are willing to spend a rediculous amount on two highend cards
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November 28, 2006 8:00:05 PM

SLI is very good for high res and high quality setting gaming. Getting the 8800GTS will give a better performance than 7900GTX SLi and that DX10 support as well. :wink:
a b U Graphics card
November 28, 2006 8:42:46 PM

i run sli and my next purchase will be a highend dx10 card. just one
November 28, 2006 8:59:01 PM

I say that my single 8800 GTX is better than even two 7950GX2's in quad SLI with my 30" LCD.

The one card works so well I really nearly cannot beleive how great it is.
I have a second for SLI but the current drivers do not work yet for my board.

WIth SLI I know I can have all current games at max settings, 2560x1600, and AA in the 16 area if not higher. Even Oblivion.
November 28, 2006 10:47:48 PM

Thanks for the replies. No, I'm not a Newb. I'm a Computer networking type and I've been so for over 15 years. I've known computers for just as long and have never bought a system. I always build my own so I know parts... that is, as I upgrade, I learn about the components and latest technologies prior to upgrade. I'm not like most "hardcore " gamers in that I don't have the money to shell out for new technology hot off the assembly lines. Hence the reason this come so long after SLI has been out. For example, my current system is a P4 (given to me from someone who was upgrading) and my video is an AGP GeForce 2 MX400. I know, everyone's wondering what kind of gamer I can possible be with that. Mostly, counterstrike source. I average about 30 fps in 800x600 with no fancy options.

So I want to upgrade to something that will give me better resolutions (at least 1024x768) with all the option on for most any game I might get in the near future. I still plan on continuing with counterstrike but I'd like to have a nicer picture.

So by my calculations, I'll probably be fine with something around a 7800 or 7900 single card setup.

By the way, the processor I'm going to be upgrading to is a 64 X2 4600.

Sorry if the answer was already in the forums, but I looked at a couple pages of topic headings and didn't notice anything specifically on the diff between single and SLI performance. If there were some, maybe people should name their topics a little better?

Anyway, thanks for all the inputs. I appreciate it.
a b U Graphics card
November 28, 2006 10:55:34 PM

Quote:
So I want to upgrade to something that will give me better resolutions (at least 1024x768) with all the option on for most any game I might get in the near future. I still plan on continuing with counterstrike but I'd like to have a nicer picture.

So by my calculations, I'll probably be fine with something around a 7800 or 7900 single card setup.

By the way, the processor I'm going to be upgrading to is a 64 X2 4600.




you should be good to go. happy computing. :) 
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