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SLI and G90 Questions

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June 22, 2007 9:06:24 AM

Hi everyone,
I am looking at building a new PC shortly (post 22 July :wink: ). I imagine I'll go for a well priced quad, but its graphics that is causing me the dilemma.

Initially I was planning on going with dual 8800 GTX's in SLI, but then I heard about the G90's coming out at the back end of this year, and it got me thinking... Maybe I should get an 8800GTS (320mb) to tide me over, and then get a G90 a little down the track (after a price drop or two :wink: )

My questions are this:
1. What do people think of this strategy?
2. Am I overcooking it with the 320mb GTS, should I just get the 256mb 8600?
3. Could I experience any upgrade probs down track with this strategy?
4. Does anyone know if the G90's are going to be like the current high end gear and run in SLI?
5. Lastly, is SLI even worth it? From what I understand it doesn't necessarily double your performance, but you end up shelling out a lot of cash on 2 high end cards as opposed to one. Are you just better buying one high end card upgrading more often?

As always your wisdom is apprecated :D 

p.s. I plan on getting a 1000w PSU for future proofing, and I have a 22" WS monitor running 1680 x 1050.

More about : sli g90 questions

June 22, 2007 10:19:44 AM

Why not just get a cheap 7600GT for 80$ then get the G92 when it comes out around chrismas?

you get a good card(as a back-up) hell you might be even able to use it to do Physics whenever the hell SLI 2.0 comes out and such games allow you to......
June 22, 2007 11:35:58 AM

SLI is rarely worth it, by the time games really take advantage the next gen of cards come out and a single card has more power than the 2 you have, at which point you sell the single card and by a new single card

Crytek have said that Crysis will be tuned to allow full settings to High on a GTX, so just hunt for a good deal on a GTX and know you probably won't need to upgrade for around a year (seeing as the 8800's will have been out for a year when Crysis comes out, it's fair to assume that it'll take another year for games to take advantage of G92 - giving you plenty of time to wait for some price drops on as well).
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June 22, 2007 12:51:58 PM

Quote:
Why not just get a cheap 7600GT for 80$ then get the G92 when it comes out around chrismas?

you get a good card(as a back-up) hell you might be even able to use it to do Physics whenever the hell SLI 2.0 comes out and such games allow you to......
Because the 7600GT is slow as hell? :roll:
June 22, 2007 1:39:45 PM

Quote:
My questions are this:
1. What do people think of this strategy?
2. Am I overcooking it with the 320mb GTS, should I just get the 256mb 8600?
3. Could I experience any upgrade probs down track with this strategy?
4. Does anyone know if the G90's are going to be like the current high end gear and run in SLI?
5. Lastly, is SLI even worth it? From what I understand it doesn't necessarily double your performance, but you end up shelling out a lot of cash on 2 high end cards as opposed to one. Are you just better buying one high end card upgrading more often?


To start from your last question, sli never doubles the performance of one card and in most games it rarely reaches +50%, so in my humble opinion it is plain waste of money and energy (because the second card draws the same amount of power as the first)

I think that most probably we will see the next gen of cards to utilize 2 GPUs, at least the high end ones. SLI will not be abandoned though.

Now, about your strategy. I think that at this junction with your monitor and depending on the games you want to play, the best value for money solution would be an ATI 1950Pro with 512MB of ram. It would cost you around $ 160, about $100 less than a 8800GTS 320. You can play any existing game @high res with medium to high eye candy on, again depending on the game. Wait until DX10 titles are out, check out real benchmarks of real DX10 games with existing cards, see what ATI and Nvidia are planning for the near future and then decide what card will cover your needs. Next gen cards will be less power hungry, will incorporate more and faster ram and will cost the same, or a little bit more than today's cards and i think that their announcement is really just around the corner! Maybe we will get to see some competition for the Christmas market, so prices may well surprise us (or not!) but anyway i think that, right now, waiting is the name of the game.

Just my two cents. Good luck! :D 
June 22, 2007 3:00:36 PM

1. Unless you have a horrendous card now, there's nothing wrong with this strategy.
2. It probably depends on what you want to play.
3. You would incur the slight hassle of having to change display drivers if you went from ATI to Nvidia or vice-versa in a future upgrade. Shouldn't be too much of a problem though.
4. Know I do not.
5. Unless you're gaming on a 24" monitor or larger, than SLI probably isn't worth it for you. With high end cards, I personally don't see the need to upgrade until your card is unable to deliver the frame rates or eye candy that you want. I would just buy one high-end card now and wait for 18-24 months and buy something that is likely to be twice as powerful than to shell out more now.
a c 143 U Graphics card
June 22, 2007 3:14:18 PM

I would just get one 8800 GTX. If we had some definite info instead of just FUD things would be different. Going with the temporary card you expose yourself to these risks:

1. what if the G90 card is released on Sep 14, 2008? Rumours say Christmas 2007, but nobody knows for sure. Delays have been known to happen in the video card field :oops: 

2. what if the G90 requires PCI 2.0, an 1400W PSU, and it's 16" long? You won't be able to just replace cards in the PC you build next month.

Also, is it really worth it, financially? Let's say you buy the 7600 GT for $80 and a year from now you sell it for $20. Or you buy the 8800 GTX for $500 and a year from now you sell it for $200. Going with the 7600GT you pay $60, as opposed to $300, but for the $240 savings you have to play a year with a crappy card. $240 is good money, but since you're asking about GTX SLI I'm guessing you make that amount in a day or two at work.

Sorry about the rant. I have the same problem and I'm frustrated because nVidia stays quiet and makes it hard to make an intelligent decision :evil: 
June 22, 2007 3:27:20 PM

Go with a single GTX and be happy! It certainly won't be a poor performer for a few years especially at the resolution you presently have. I play on a 22" LCD and love my 8800 GTS 640mb. If you have the money to spend on 2 GTXs then why bother with a lower performance GPU for a year. Or live for the promise of something newer and better tomorrow. Keep in mind that most of the people on here giving you advice couldn't afford a GTX if the price fell $200.
June 22, 2007 3:34:08 PM

That's all awesome advice people, thanks for that!

I completely hear what your saying about the SLI'ed GTX's, not giving you twice the performance, so it's a bit hard really to justify the outlay.

I'm starting to lean towards a single GTX now, and will look at what's about for an upgrade in 18 months time or so.

I'm fine with swapping out the video card for the latest tech, in fact have done it that way for a long time, but I REALLY hate having to junk multiple components in a system in order to get good recent high end stuff.

What sort of worst case scenarios are we looking at here for when next gen cards come out (e.g. replace mother board for PCI 2.0? Could that also mean the rams gotta go and a new CPU???) - Apologies for the newbie type questions... It's been 4 yrs since I've had a PC, so I've got WAY behind the eight ball on understanding everything.
June 22, 2007 3:37:34 PM

Thanks Craxbax, thats good advice. Your right too. At the end of the day money isn't really the issue for when I go about building a gaming rig. I just want to try and make it as future proof as possible, so that when I do upgrade in 2 - 3 years, I'm not having to start over and junk most of the system.
a c 143 U Graphics card
June 22, 2007 3:52:16 PM

Well, to get PCI-E 2.0 you would need an X38-based mobo (or something else that hasn't been announced yet but wil be there in 18 months). It's very likely (but not 100% sure) that these mobos will require DDR3 and you'll have to replace your DDR2. You may find one that works with DDR2 but doesn't have some other things you'd want and which are common 18 months from now.

I think the CPU should be fine, for example even now lots of new mobos still support Pentium 4. But you'll want a new CPU in 18 months anyway, if it's $266 and has 8 cores at 4.5 GHz 8O (Just guessing here, this is not insider info from Intel, unfortunately)

What about the case: an Antec P182 for example fits the 8800 GTX and a 750W PSU, but without too much spare room. It might be too small for the next card and a (much) more powerful PSU.
June 22, 2007 3:52:20 PM

I agree. The GTX won't be a G90, but it's still better than everything else.
June 22, 2007 3:59:33 PM

In terms of case, I'm not sure exactly, It's going to be an Alienware system, so whatever they are.

P.S. Does anyone know of any articles that benchmark SLI'd cards against single cards. (I'm interested to see how dual 8800 GTS 640mb cards stack up against a single 8800 GTX)
June 22, 2007 4:03:09 PM

Thanks Avem. Presumably you'd advise me not to pay the extra for the low latency ram if I get DDR2 then? (Does anyone know if this is really worth it? Will I see a worth while performance boost? - I was planning on getting 4GB of the stuff, and the price difference between the normal ram and the low latency stuff was about $250).
June 22, 2007 4:06:04 PM

I seriously doubt theyd release the g90 anytime soon. Especially since lower types of g80's are coming out now.
a c 143 U Graphics card
June 22, 2007 4:47:44 PM

I'm assuming you don't intend to overclock. DDR2-800 is your best bet IMO. I think performance will be very much the same regardless of which brand or flavor of DDR2-800 you pick. Higher clocked RAM won't bring enough of an improvement to justify the additional cash. Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong...

You need to pick a type of RAM that is compatible with the motherboard. Honestly, that's the part that bothers me most about my next PC. I guess you need to pick the motherboard and then see what types of RAM it accepts and then pick the RAM from that list :lol: 

Get 4 GB if you want Windows Vista. XP can do nicely with 2 GB, and won't use all 4 GB anyway even if it has it. Personally I'll get XP and 4 GB just because DDR2 is cheap and I may switch to Vista after Vista SP1 is out and after some really promising DX10 game is out.
a c 143 U Graphics card
June 22, 2007 5:31:49 PM

Nice! Yeah, looks like the 8800 GTX can provide 70 fps or more in all those games at 1920x1200 (and of course at lower resolutions too).

The GTS SLI can beat it at 2560x1600, but somebody who pays $1000 or $2000 for a monitor like that will probably get GTX SLI, not GTS SLI.
June 22, 2007 5:37:13 PM

If you have the extra money get 1 8800GTX and your computer will be fine for the next 18 months. Already some preliminary benches with DX10 games show that you get playable frame rates with this GPU.

Bear in mind that the next nvidia G92 GPU is coming out at the end of Q4 07 will be twice as fast and probably will cost you the same amound of money. If you don't mind buy the 8800GTS 320 which will cost you $300 less, is only 30% slower than GTX and will be ok with DX10 games for the next 18 months. Probably you won't be able to put everything in high detail in order to get playable frame rates for the next year DX10 games but the same can be said for GTX.

So save your money and next year you could spend the rest $300 to get G90 series mainstream GPU. It will be twice as fast as this one so you can have all eye candy enabled with playable frame rates for the next year.
June 22, 2007 5:39:05 PM

If you have the extra money get 1 8800GTX and your computer will be fine for the next 18 months. Already some preliminary benches with DX10 games show that you get playable frame rates with this GPU.

Bear in mind that the next nvidia G92 GPU is coming out at the end of Q4 07 will be twice as fast and probably will cost you the same amound of money. If you don't mind buy the 8800GTS 320 which will cost you $300 less, is only 30% slower than GTX and will be ok with DX10 games for the next 18 months. Probably you won't be able to put everything in high detail in order to get playable frame rates for the next year DX10 games but the same can be said for GTX.

So save your money and next year you could spend the rest $300 to get G90 series mainstream GPU. It will be twice as fast as this one so you can have all eye candy enabled with playable frame rates for the next year.
!