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Does a medium budget gamer even need SLI??

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 30, 2006 4:16:19 AM

I am thinking about getting a 680i board or waiting for the cheaper 600 series boards- I will likely get whatever mid range or low end dx10 board is available in mid january- My question is if I dont have the cash to ever buy 2 high end cards for SLI and upgrade my graphics only every 16 months or so- Will I ever really go with two old cards in SLI or would it always be faster to just get whatever the latest mid range card is and sell my old model? basically will 2 16 month old cards in SLI ever really beat a new gen single card?
November 30, 2006 4:41:21 AM

short n sweet.....nope; single, high end gpu is better than two midranged gpus'. (this however depends on the hands their in)
November 30, 2006 5:02:41 AM

A gamer with a medium budget will never need SLI. However, if your budget is unlimited, and you have a monitor that supports ultra high resolutions, than you might benefit from it.

Also, as Raven said, one newer, high end video card is much better than 2 mid-range (or last years high end) cards. For example: a single 7900GT is much better than 2 6800 ultras in SLI.
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November 30, 2006 5:37:19 AM

I love gaming and one thing I can say even if the card can handle everything on high most people dont use it. Textures effects on high and all others makes it hard to see whats going on. I need all the advantage in a game, being so friggen old. I know in a tank with effect and textures them shooting and you shooting its hard to see what the heck is going on real confusion in battle dude.
November 30, 2006 5:42:41 AM

SLI is usually used by people who really want top of hte line performance (in which case they use high-end cards), and to a lesser extent by people who want to improve their performance, but don't want to throw away their old card when they can get a 2nd identical card for CHEAP.

I would say the minimum SLI worth doing at this point is 2x 7600GT (only if you already own a 7600GT), but if you're making a system from scratch it makes much more sense to just invest that money into a more powerful card to begin with.


Cheers
November 30, 2006 5:50:05 AM

On a medium budget you could possibly slip in 2 x 7900GS or 2 x 1950PRO, which, in SLi/Xfire enabled apps, should easily outperform the 7900GT/x1950xt respectivly.
November 30, 2006 9:42:18 AM

Rule #1:
Never get SLI or CF unless you can get two top-line cards at same time.

Rule #2:
You need to be playing at very high resolutions, such as 1600x1200 to really see improvements.

So, SLI and CF are a waste, especially when the technology is moving so fast. Always go with the best card you can afford in a single setup, two low/mid-range cards are never the answer.
November 30, 2006 10:06:26 AM

I have a 7600GT and it eats everything I throw at it for breakfast and then some. But I am going to opt for an SLI mobo later on next semester since I have a 7600GT. Reason why I am moving over to an SLI board is because the board I have right now does not allow me to tweak and overclock very much. So since a lot of 939 boards are being phased out I am going to try and buy a sli board. Ironically the good single slot boards are actually almost the same price as some of the SLI board.Might as well as try to opt for another card later on and just double up the cards, but SLI is not very important unless you gain at high resolutions of 1600X1200 with the AA and the AF on very high.

In terms of one high end card vs. two midrange cards, I agree with the guy's here that the high end card will work out better than the two mid range cards.
December 1, 2006 2:38:50 AM

Well thanks for all the advice- I do see 24 inch monitors being the standard in the next year or so and 30 inchers being the high end starting point- Will I need SLI to power these or can it be done with just one card.
December 1, 2006 3:02:14 AM

For a 30" display, it'd help to get a multi-GPU system, or a 7950GX2. The extra texture memory helps at high resolutions.
December 1, 2006 3:42:51 AM

You don't need sli for a big monitor, also it's the resolution and not the physical size of the monitor that makes a difference with performance. A fast card or more than one fast card will help with high resolutions.

In terms of buying 2 midrange cards for sli, it is a waste when you can get a high end card now and have great performance, then buy another in the future when prices go down and have an even better system.
a b U Graphics card
December 1, 2006 3:46:08 AM

Quote:
Rule #1:
Never get SLI or CF unless you can get two top-line cards at same time.

Rule #2:
You need to be playing at very high resolutions, such as 1600x1200 to really see improvements.

So, SLI and CF are a waste, especially when the technology is moving so fast. Always go with the best card you can afford in a single setup, two low/mid-range cards are never the answer.



i would have to agree :) 
December 1, 2006 3:59:23 AM

Heavens no, a high budget gamer will generally not ever need that when theres $600 - $700 single cards requiring 550 watt PSUs.
December 1, 2006 4:01:49 AM

Driving 24" LCDs will put you in the Ultra-high budget category immediatley.
December 1, 2006 4:08:17 AM

With the 8800 series from nvidia out,I would have to say no.Although SLI does offer a superior performance when compared to a single GPU of the same make and model.I personally got a 30% increase in performance over a single GPU.As it was cheaper at the time for me to buy a second card of the same calibre than to buy one of higher performance.I am very happy with my two 7800gt's co,and although I am considering a gpu upgrade to a 8800gtx,I still find the performance level of the 7800 to be very satisfactory.I just am addicted to computers to the point where I will build a new one every 3-4 months.My girlfriend doesn't mind too much as she benefits from my upgrades.So do my friends as they get to purchase what would cost them large for about half the price and everything is still under warranty.Goodluck.

Dahak

AMD X2-4400+@2.4 S-939
EVGA NF4 SLI MB
2X EVGA 7800GT IN SLI
2X1GIG DDR IN DC MODE
WD300GIG HD
EXTREME 19IN.MONITOR 1280X1024
ACE 520WATT PSU
COOLERMASTER MINI R120
December 1, 2006 3:33:22 PM

Quote:
Rule #1:
Never get SLI or CF unless you can get two top-line cards at same time.

Rule #2:
You need to be playing at very high resolutions, such as 1600x1200 to really see improvements.

So, SLI and CF are a waste, especially when the technology is moving so fast. Always go with the best card you can afford in a single setup, two low/mid-range cards are never the answer.


Perfectly put.
a c 273 U Graphics card
December 2, 2006 2:37:05 PM

First the res


then the settings






And the results without Sli


And with Sli enabled
December 2, 2006 4:00:58 PM

Quote:
I take it you've not thrown much at it......cause it surely wont run the latest games on high.


that wasn't very nice.

regardless, i see sli as amd 4x4.... its not that big of a deal, unless of course you play at ungodly resolutions. go with a single 8 series and it'll knock yer socks of. i think. never seen one in person, so just relaying what i've heard. but yeah, sli=4x4=stupid. unless you don't believe in running out of money.
December 2, 2006 4:31:07 PM

No offense, but I dont see the point of that slide show.
You chose the lowest possible resolution, in SLI at 1024 you're most likely CPU imited, and you're doing all you can to reduce the benefits from adding in that 2nd card. Chances are you know it too.

So my question then, would be - why?
a c 273 U Graphics card
December 2, 2006 4:52:40 PM

None taken.
The point was to show that Sli does make a difference regardless of resolutions 1600x1200 is not the only time it shows and my CPU may be be limiting my gaming as its only a 939 3800x2 @ 2.7ghz but it works for me.
December 2, 2006 4:58:44 PM

Actually I thought that was a good example, it showed a ~50% gain from SLi at low resolution with no AA.

A situation where most people try to say SLi offers no benefit.
a c 273 U Graphics card
December 2, 2006 5:56:41 PM

Thank you, you have just restored my faith in the power of pictures mate. :lol: 
December 4, 2006 6:04:01 AM

50% increase for the cost of a complete second GPU? Sound's like a con to me. If SLI were a cost-effective route then you should get double the performance. All it shows is how inefficient SLI is at making use of 2 GPUs.
December 4, 2006 6:58:51 AM

Nope.. If you're considering buying two fairly cheap 7600GT or so, just go for a 7950GT 512mb and you'll be better off, for less money.
SLi doesn't work in every game either anyway.
December 4, 2006 8:12:39 AM

Quote:
Rule #1:
Never get SLI or CF unless you can get two top-line cards at same time.

Rule #2:
You need to be playing at very high resolutions, such as 1600x1200 to really see improvements.

So, SLI and CF are a waste, especially when the technology is moving so fast. Always go with the best card you can afford in a single setup, two low/mid-range cards are never the answer.


what he said a 7600gt costs ya about 180 bucks and does wonders for 1024x768 and is alot cheaper than two 6800/s gts

sli cf waste if not playing at max settings with hueg moniter :D 
December 4, 2006 8:14:36 AM

Quote:
Actually I thought that was a good example, it showed a ~50% gain from SLi at low resolution with no AA.

A situation where most people try to say SLi offers no benefit.


Indeed. What most people actually mean is, that SLI offers no reasonable benefit given it´s price, which in turn is true.
Usually SLI is seen as possible Upgrade Path, wich is inherently wrong. From a consumers point of view Computer technology has the rather ugly tradition of advancing fast. This years high end is next years mid range. And if you buy a dead-end product you loose really, really bad.
To make SLI work as an Upgrade Path the second card would´ve to be bought 1) early or 2) you need a slow year of advancement with prices dropping like crazy. Option 2 is very unlikely since prices drop mostly due to newer products released which, as a slow year suggests, won´t happen to the needed degree. Option 1 is as it is right now.

I think the GPU manufacturers know this as well. Some retailers tried to sell mid-range computers with a 1600xt crossfired or a 6600 GT SLIed, but those offers vanished quite fast because nobody was taking the bait. Instead of slowing down advancement (wich is almost impossible - there´s always someone trying to cut out a market), they look at physics. If SLI/Xfire Physics comes, all those Multi-GPU solutions turn into a valid Upgrade path.

All this is on the assumption that money is relevant and that technology doesn´t advance in a linear way.
December 4, 2006 8:27:37 AM

Quote:
I have a 7600GT and it eats everything I throw at it for breakfast and then some.


I take it you've not thrown much at it......cause it surely wont run the latest games on high.

I beg to differ dude. I have a 7600GS (one below the GT version), it runs BF2142 on highest settings. Have to disable AA though, but at native res, it doesnt really matter.

Midrange cards perform quite well for their price, and I am continually frustrated by people who insist that you MUST have a high end 7900 or X1900 card to play games, becuase they are wrong, in a word.

On an interesting aside, has anyone noticed that you can run BF2142 at higher settings than BF2 on the same hardware, and get similar frame rates. I have anyways, and I have to congratulate EA/Dice for cleaning up their engine.
December 4, 2006 8:39:35 AM

Quote:

I beg to differ dude. I have a 7600GS (one below the GT version), it runs BF2142 on highest settings. Have to disable AA though, but at native res, it doesnt really matter.

Midrange cards perform quite well for their price, and I am continually frustrated by people who insist that you MUST have a high end 7900 or X1900 card to play games, becuase they are wrong, in a word.


And a 7600 GS isn´t even mid-range anymore. I´d almost call it low end, looking at the current cards and the fact that its available within the 100$ range.

While i don´t think that Battlefield 2142 is a good example since it is based on an older engine that was just a little improved and cleaned, generally you are right. It would be outright stupid for game designers to write their code with only the high end cards in mind. That would cut their consumer base to less than 1%.
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