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2 8800GTS 640's or 1 8800GTX?

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June 29, 2007 1:59:06 PM

Trying to decide between this:

Buying one 8800GTS then can SLI another later.

Issue with this: as of now, motherboards are 16x for first SLI card and 4x for next. Does this not hurt SLI performance? Should I just expect to buy an x38 board later to make SLI worth it?



Or buying an 8800GTX with our without an SLI capable motherboard.



Right now the gts I'm looking at is around $200 cheaper than the gtx. So I could in the future get two 8800 GTS 640's for the price of one GTX.



Thoughts? And thank you.

More about : 8800gts 640 8800gtx

June 29, 2007 2:35:33 PM

If you are looking at never getting another 8800 gtx, then I would say two 8800 GTSs, They offer great performance for the price and 2x 640mb GTS is a beast. I think your performance would be about 150%-175% greater with 2x 640mb GTS Than a 768mb GTX. OF course now someone else will come and dispute my claim, and say that that is a very high number. And it is. But I truly believe that the 8800GTS provides much better performance for the price that it is at.

On the othe hand, If you get one 8800GTX, It should be more than enough power to run most games for quite a while, and it would leave you time and slot space for another card, so keep that in mind.

I would love to hear some other responses here. :p 
June 29, 2007 3:00:54 PM

What res do you play at?

Unless you play at 2560 x 1600, buy one 8800 GTS 640 - you wont notice the difference from either a second GTS or one GTX.

Spend the money on speakers or something, or save it for G92.
Related resources
June 29, 2007 3:19:18 PM

I play at 1440 x 900 on a widescreen (that's it's wanted resolution anyway)

And the computer is mainly for gaming, MMO and FPS etc. So I want to worry about upgradeability too, don't want to hurt myself by going non-SLI capable motherboard, but then again there are none that will go with new processors/ddr3 later. So it's really a bugger right now.

I'm just not sure whether the ability to go SLI later will be better, or a P35 for going with the Penryns and DDR3 later would be better. (though SLI makes sense?)
June 29, 2007 3:23:55 PM

First and foremost, most modern motherboards do run both pci-express slots at full 16x speed in SLI.

Two GTS's in SLI would definitely be a performance beast, but they would offer nowhere near the 150%-175% performance boost that the previous poster claimed.

Before you go and buy these cards, please keep a few things in mind:

First, SLI is suited for very high resolutions, 1680x1050 and up. If you play below those resolutions, just get a single card, you will not be able to notice the difference. You can always add another card later if your needs change.

Second, two GTS's in SLI consume a tremendous amount of power, and you must make sure that your power supply is capable of running both of those cards safely. The most important number to consider is the amperage on the 12-volt rail.
June 29, 2007 3:39:53 PM

Quote:
If you are looking at never getting another 8800 gtx, then I would say two 8800 GTSs, They offer great performance for the price and 2x 640mb GTS is a beast. I think your performance would be about 150%-175% greater with 2x 640mb GTS Than a 768mb GTX. OF course now someone else will come and dispute my claim, and say that that is a very high number. And it is. But I truly believe that the 8800GTS provides much better performance for the price that it is at.


are you basing these claims on any statistical or real life information? or are you just making up numbers...

teemo - i doubt you will max out your 8800gts anytime soon at only 1440 x 900. you could probably get away with the 320 version at that resolution.
June 29, 2007 4:33:28 PM

I think it's a typo... the GTS640 can (in some cases) be overclocked to give in game performance CLOSE to that of a stock GTX (although not an OC'd GTX), a GTS640 SLI OC solution would exceed the performance of a GTX by a fair margin, but also at a greater cost

I think $$ / Performance wise, the SLI GTS would offer similar performance to a GTX (e.g. cost more but deliver more)... though only really if you overclock the GTS's to their limit

I think the guy that said 150% greater actually mean 150% OF the performance of a standard clock GTX (as in 1.5 times the perf, where as 150% greater would be 2.5 times the perf which is overly optimistic)

bearing in mind that SLI is still currently borked on Vista, it's very much a future thing than something anyone should consider doing now

Quote:

teemo - i doubt you will max out your 8800gts anytime soon at only 1440 x 900. you could probably get away with the 320 version at that resolution.


I wouldn't advise that, the next raft of games (e.g. starting with GRAW2 in a couple of weeks) will need more than 320mb of texture memory for the "high" textures setting, a 320 will have to be turned down to medium, killing image quality, if the OP can afford a 640 then I really suggest that as the best option
June 29, 2007 5:16:01 PM

Very good, and yes, I "can" afford whatever I'd like within reason. But, I do not want to just waste money for a little performance either. I'd like the best gaming rig I can get, while not going "all out" just to have the best. If the best makes practical price/performance sense, then yes. With the 8800's for instance, price/performance is looking like an overclocked 8800GTS 640. Looks like the gains are not worth the money for the GTX.

And I would play at higher resolutions if it would look that much better, but my screen is only a 19" widescreen http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16824254005

And I haven't had higher resolutions, so have no idea if that's something I should shoot for.
June 29, 2007 6:13:33 PM

Quote:
I play at 1440 x 900 on a widescreen (that's it's wanted resolution anyway)

And the computer is mainly for gaming, MMO and FPS etc. So I want to worry about upgradeability too, don't want to hurt myself by going non-SLI capable motherboard, but then again there are none that will go with new processors/ddr3 later. So it's really a bugger right now.

I'm just not sure whether the ability to go SLI later will be better, or a P35 for going with the Penryns and DDR3 later would be better. (though SLI makes sense?)
At 1440 x 900 you'd see no benefit from either 8800GTS SLI or an 8800GTX; I say go for the single 8800GTS 640MB.
June 29, 2007 6:23:06 PM

Quote:
First and foremost, most modern motherboards do run both pci-express slots at full 16x speed in SLI.

Two GTS's in SLI would definitely be a performance beast, but they would offer nowhere near the 150%-175% performance boost that the previous poster claimed.

Before you go and buy these cards, please keep a few things in mind:

First, SLI is suited for very high resolutions, 1680x1050 and up. If you play below those resolutions, just get a single card, you will not be able to notice the difference. You can always add another card later if your needs change.

Second, two GTS's in SLI consume a tremendous amount of power, and you must make sure that your power supply is capable of running both of those cards safely. The most important number to consider is the amperage on the 12-volt rail.



Ah, Pompeii, I hoped you would say that, so I can add to what you said.

First of all, Under most circumstances you would be right on with the fact that the 150%-175% that I mentioned is way off. and it is. By the way, I did not mean a 150% increase in performance, merely 150% OF the performance.

I meant more of a 25%-50% increase in total power over a single gtx. Now, lets look at some numbers.

First, the benchmarks.



This benchmark clearly shows the 8800gtx outperforming the GTS in all applications. Correct me if i am wrong, but I believe that this is due to a greater amount of dedicated ram and a faster core clock speed.

Also note that the GTX has an even greater gap when used at a higher resolution. The cause for this is a greater amount of memory in the card.

Now, if you take into account the two GTS 640mb cards, and assume for the moment that the memory is not hindered by altered speed or poor power supplies. The 768 MB 8800GTX has a higher amount of memory alone, but the amount of useable memory doubles when you SLi a card.

That totals 1280MB of total memory that is useable in this mode. If you run mainly in 1440x900, a single GTS or GTX card is probably the way to go.

Another thing to think about is the Memory clock speed. The higher the memory clock, the faster the card will generally perform, especially at resolutions of 1600x1200 and above.

Now, we need some actual numbers of cards, mainly 8800s.

EVGA 768-P2-N835-AR GeForce 8800GTX 768MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SUPERCLOCKED HDCP Video Card - Retail

Chipset Manufacturer: NVIDIA
Core clock: 621MHz
DirectX: DirectX 10
DVI: 2
Memory Clock: 2000MHz(effective)
Memory Interface: 384-bit
OpenGL: OpenGL 2.0
Stream Processors: 128
TV-Out: HDTV / S-Video Out
VIVO: No

This is the EVGA 768MB 8800GTX card. As you can see, it has huge amounts of power.


Also take a look at this card.

EVGA 640-P2-N825-AR GeForce 8800GTS 640MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SUPERCLOCKED HDCP Video Card - Retail

Chipset Manufacturer: NVIDIA
Core clock: 576MHz
DirectX: DirectX 10
DVI: 2
Memory Clock: 1700MHz(effective)
Memory Interface: 320-bit
OpenGL: OpenGL 2.0
Stream Processors: 96
TV-Out: HDTV / S-Video Out
VIVO: No

This is an 8800 GTS my the same maker. Now, as you can see, the specs are not nearly as high. But if you plan to put two of these cards in a machine, there is no doubt that your computer will have greater performance, especially at higher resolutions.


Also, as Pompeii stated, the power consumption of cards needs to be taken into consideration.

GeForce 7900 GTX 256 Watts
GeForce 7950 GX2 277 Watts
GeForce 8800 GTS 273 Watts
GeForce 8800 GTX 308 Watts
Radeon X1950 XTX 280 Watts

Now, the number for the 8800 GTS is 273 watts, which is still quite high. If you plan to run two of these cards in SLi, you need a powerful power supply and an SLi Motherboard that can supply this power to these cards.

The GTX uses about 308 Watts of electricity, which is higher than the GTS, but also much less if it is not run in SLi.


So in short, At high resolutions and in very memory-demanding applications, the SLi'd GTS is definitely the way to go. If you are into gaming at lower resolutions, the GTX may be the way to go.

Look at it this way. The emergence of dual-core and quad-core processors was a great step forward in the processor industry. When people began to use quad-core processors, they also began to wonder why they were not performing as well in some games as the dual core processors.

If you look at the specs of the dual-cores, the numbers are undoubtedly higher than similarly priced Quad-cores. This is because when a processor is separated by core, the power is split up more, allowing the computer to run more tasks or processes, but ONLY if the program is made to support running all of the cores in parallel. To some extent, the same is true in this instance. The 2 8800 GTSs may be like the quad-core, they have more total memory and can run better at higher resolutions. But look at the GTX, as it has higher stock speeds and can no doubt give the SLi'd Graphics cards a run for their money, especially in terms of price:p erformance. It all depends on what you want to do, which is the beauty of choice.


Time to end what is no doubt the longest post I have ever made in my life.
June 30, 2007 9:41:21 PM

Sorry to burst your bubble, but you need an nvidia chipset to run SLI. It doesn't work on Intel or ATI chipsets.
June 30, 2007 10:55:45 PM

revolink24 said
GeForce 7900 GTX 256 Watts
GeForce 7950 GX2 277 Watts
GeForce 8800 GTS 273 Watts
GeForce 8800 GTX 308 Watts
Radeon X1950 XTX 280 Watts


You mean the system power requirements, not just the video card requirements. Those are nearly the system watt ratings for rigs with a 6800 extreme.

I've noticed many THG posters vastly overrate their power requirements. Overkill is fine, but it's not always necessary, unless you plan on upgrading soon.
a c 143 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
July 1, 2007 12:03:40 AM

SLI needs a 680i-based motherboard, or an Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus. These are the only ways I know to get SLI with both cards at 16x. P35 can't do that.

That being said, I think SLI is overrated. If you get an 8800 GTX and a P35-based motherboard you'll be all set for at least two years, and after that there will be cards out there that will do better than a pair of 8800 cards.
July 1, 2007 12:07:01 AM

I read a THG post saying Nvidia was dropping the 8800GTS 640mb's. Nvidia plan to slide the 8800GTX into that price range of the 640MB version and leave the 320MB 8800GTS unchanged. Its getting about time for Nvidia to drop prices on their top GPU the Ultra.

This move may impact your future plan for an SLI upgrade so I say save more and get the 8800GTS 320MB. Rumor is Nvidia is comming with a 9800 in the fall and the G92 around Xmas. That saved cash may come in good for G92 GTS.

Heres the best benchmark review I have ever found.
http://www.computerbase.de/artikel/hardware/grafikkarte...
The review also shows the gains in SLI.
http://www.computerbase.de/artikel/hardware/grafikkarte...
July 1, 2007 12:24:08 AM

Quote:
Now, if you take into account the two GTS 640mb cards, and assume for the moment that the memory is not hindered by altered speed or poor power supplies. The 768 MB 8800GTX has a higher amount of memory alone, but the amount of useable memory doubles when you SLi a card.

That totals 1280MB of total memory that is useable in this mode. If you run mainly in 1440x900, a single GTS or GTX card is probably the way to go.
That's incorrect; SLI does not add memory. You're limited to 640MB of usable memory, be it textures or the frame buffer.
July 1, 2007 12:43:56 AM

Quote:
Now, if you take into account the two GTS 640mb cards, and assume for the moment that the memory is not hindered by altered speed or poor power supplies. The 768 MB 8800GTX has a higher amount of memory alone, but the amount of useable memory doubles when you SLi a card.

That totals 1280MB of total memory that is useable in this mode. If you run mainly in 1440x900, a single GTS or GTX card is probably the way to go.
That's incorrect; SLI does not add memory. You're limited to 640MB of usable memory, be it textures or the frame buffer.

I second that. the memory stays at 640 irrespective of SLI.
July 1, 2007 12:56:12 AM

For the low resolution you're running at, SLI is definitely not a good idea, go for the GTX.
July 1, 2007 1:01:23 AM

I actually saw a benchmark review of this scenario a while back, it also had 2900xt's in it. I'll be damned if I can find it again.
July 1, 2007 3:03:03 AM

Why NOT to get SLI:

-Power Requirements: no matter how you slice it, 2x880GTS cards consume plenty more power than a single 8800GTX
-No Triple Buffering: the only way you'll be able to stop tearing will be by V-Sync and sometimes that can drastically lower your FPS
-Inefficient: SLI doesn't work with all games, i.e. no profiles. I'm not saying they don't work at all, but the difference between 1 card versus 2 will be minimal.
-More slots: That is a total of four slots you're going to be taking up. Ouch.
-One monitor: I'm not sure on this *at all*, but I've heard that SLI users can only use one monitor?

~Ibrahim~
July 1, 2007 3:38:40 AM

get one 8800gts 640 and send me the money you saved from buying two or a gtx, so i can buy a 7900gs (currently running onboard... don't ask)

for these reasons

A) i'm poor

B) sli is a waste of money based on (current) preformance specs
b)any one good card is better than two lesser cards

C) you'll max it all out on the gtx 640 and be fine for a year or more

D) if you make enough money to dump like that (two 8800's)... you're going to geek out and buy a next gen card soon anyway... so don't bother wasting any of it on "over buying"



** "overbuying" is a term I like to use to describe 'getting excited' about having wicked awesome stuff that you can brag to your friends about... eg. buying a 96 toyota supra with a jz engine but not driving it, or not racing it, or not tweaking it, or just plain trashing it, or smashing it into a tree.... eg2. having a pc that will max out any game you can buy for the next 2 years or more. (I know how you feel... but don't let the cash burn a hole in your pocket)

point being.... buy something that will play your stuff well... but don't waste your money... 8800gts 640 is almost overkill. the 320 will do well enough, but i'm guessing you have a bunch of dough lying around and like that extra little eye candy... so go for one 8800 gts 640 and be happy! :-p

cheers.
July 2, 2007 2:25:14 PM

Quote:
Now, if you take into account the two GTS 640mb cards, and assume for the moment that the memory is not hindered by altered speed or poor power supplies. The 768 MB 8800GTX has a higher amount of memory alone, but the amount of useable memory doubles when you SLi a card.

That totals 1280MB of total memory that is useable in this mode. If you run mainly in 1440x900, a single GTS or GTX card is probably the way to go.
That's incorrect; SLI does not add memory. You're limited to 640MB of usable memory, be it textures or the frame buffer.

I second that. the memory stays at 640 irrespective of SLI.


Indeed, you are correct, I had forgotten about that when i began the rant.
July 2, 2007 2:33:23 PM

Thanks everyone, I decided to go with one 8800GTX. I had a hard time deciding between the GTS 640 and GTX, but the extra stream processors finally won me over.
July 2, 2007 2:55:14 PM

Good luck and don't skimp on the PSU!

:D 

~Ibrahim~
July 2, 2007 4:00:33 PM

Ended up going with:

Antec Nine Hundred Steel Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Western Digital Caviar RE WD1600YS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

EVGA 768-P2-N831-AR GeForce 8800GTX 768MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI ATX12V 700W Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1 Channels PCI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler

Windows Vista 32 bit Home Premium

Surely the OCZ 700 will do fine. I know, if I end up having to SLI two GTX's I'm looking at new mobo and power sup heh. But hopefully that won't be for 3 more years.

My last computer lasted 2.5 years, .5 shy of what I'd hoped. But it was right before PCI-E, so yeah, it has an AGP card. No upgrading with that heh.
July 2, 2007 4:09:03 PM

Quote:
Good luck and don't skimp on the PSU!

:D 

~Ibrahim~


I second that. And I'd suggest a PSU of 700wt or more. You might get by on a smaller PSU, but if you add much hardware or do any overclocking , the power requirement gets steep.

ikjadoon-Good seeing you around. Its been awhile since I've seen you around here.
July 2, 2007 4:55:46 PM

i need a new job... :-p
July 2, 2007 5:00:10 PM

It has been a while, lol, you're right! :)  I've had school and college is coming around soon. Ugh.

Feels good to be back. I should be posting more often, hopefully! :D 

~Ibrahim~
!