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To SLI or P35

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October 11, 2007 3:58:49 PM

I am working on my first build and am at a crossroads on the motherboard. I am not a gaming maven, but I like for the games to run smoothly. I'm looking at going with an SLI set up, buying one card now and another down the road when the cash frees itself up. I'm not really intrested in spending 1k on 2 video cards, so the 8800GTX is out.

My question is, am I going to see significant increased performance with two 8800GTS 320's or should I just save my $ and go with a single GTS and a P35 board.

More about : sli p35

October 11, 2007 4:20:43 PM

First off, what size monitor will you be using? Anything under 22" or so, and SLI makes no sense at all. Not only will you have more expense when the second card comes out, you'll also have to spend more on a capable PSU, and more for the MOBO itself. Lets assume a $50 difference between a capable P35 board (Gigabyte D3SL), and a good 680i SLI board (EVGA's basic 680i board), and another $50 difference between a stable solid 500w PSU and a 550w or more stable solid SLI capable PSU. That's a $100 savings right now which can be used later when you do want to buy "a second 8800GTS" to buy a single card which COULD end up being more powerful and more energy efficient than 2 8800GTS's.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't P35 boards been shown to overclock better than 680s?
October 11, 2007 4:46:37 PM

Here's what I'm working with.

Already Have:
Monitor: 22" Samsung 226BW
CPU: Core 2 Duo E6750
PSU: OCZ GameXStream 700w
RAM: 2GB GSkill
CPU Cooler: Coolermaster Hyper TX2
HD: 500gb Seagate 7200.10
Optical: Samsung 20x Sata DVDRW
Case: Silverstone Temjin Tj02

To Purchase:
Video Card: 8800GTS 320 (x2?)
MOBO: TBD

Just looking to get 3GHz out of the CPU, nothing too extreme. I think I have plenty of room power-wise. I was looking at that basic EVGA 680i board, and loved the price. Seemed to have good reviews too, but I hadn't seen much on the forums about EVGA boards.
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October 11, 2007 5:33:04 PM

I have been contemplating this same question... except I am looking at the x38 chipset with the PCIe 2.0 that allows SLI to be a full 16x each card...the one thing holding me back is the lack of driver support from nVidia (they seem to want their chipsets to be SLI mainly) and thus seem to be dragging their feet, or so I have read online. I may even go as far as to go ATI for the driver supported xfire. But the main reason I am considering SLI is that I will be getting a 24" monitor and running Crysis in max res at high setting SLI is needed. the other thought is to buy one GTS, and them wait for the next gen cards and upgrade to that one, then use the older GTS to run my second/third monitor and the new gfx card to run the 24" one. At least from the past 2 top cards in SLI don't out perform the newest chipsets of the next generation.
October 12, 2007 3:53:29 AM

p3matty said:
First off, what size monitor will you be using? Anything under 22" or so, and SLI makes no sense at all. Not only will you have more expense when the second card comes out, you'll also have to spend more on a capable PSU, and more for the MOBO itself. Lets assume a $50 difference between a capable P35 board (Gigabyte D3SL), and a good 680i SLI board (EVGA's basic 680i board), and another $50 difference between a stable solid 500w PSU and a 550w or more stable solid SLI capable PSU. That's a $100 savings right now which can be used later when you do want to buy "a second 8800GTS" to buy a single card which COULD end up being more powerful and more energy efficient than 2 8800GTS's.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't P35 boards been shown to overclock better than 680s?


So in other words, SLI is just for the capability of running dual videocards?

so if the most sophisticated game I play is World of Warcraft, on a 20.5 inch LCD, are you saying that SLI is a waist of time?

If thats the case, I need help, because I was building a new system, this is what I purchased so far:
EVGA nVidia 8600GTS 512MB V-Card
2gb Corsair ram PC2-6400 at 800Mhz

Need help on the board, and the Power Supply needed, I run 4 Sata 320 Seagate drives, and 1x 60Gb IDE with my Windows XP Operating System.

as of now, I have to wait a month on the CPU chip, but I have the Intel P4 TH 3.2 Ghz chip, and will be upgrading to a Duo2 Core 6850 Chip in a month or so.

So I must have a board that can run the Intel P4, and is upgradable to the Duo2 Core chip.
Also be able to have the Sata connections needed, 6 would be better.
I will never run 2 video cards at once, so only 1 PCIe x16 is needed I would think.

But I have no Idea what is the first thing to look into, as far as the type of board and things, as you seen, I was about to buy a SLI board, not even knowing why. Also my Mobo budget is in the $200 range.
October 12, 2007 5:00:40 AM

First off EVGA makes some of the most used hardware in gaming rigs. There MB is used by tons of not only bigger custom gaming rig companies but by a large amount of custom computer builders. You don't have to wrry if you get one. I personally own 2 EVGA video cards and the 680i board all are killer products. To answer your question I wouldn't SLI 2 8800 GTS 320mb cards. The gain in performance with SLI with lower cards is not that great. If you are going to do something like that then I would highly recommend to just buy one high end card and be the end of it. I would say one 8800GTX would run just as fast at higher resolutions as two of the cards you want. Hope this helps...

And about the SLI drivers for Intel Chipsets as far as I know Nvidia has no intention of doing SLI driver support for the Intel chipset.
October 12, 2007 6:13:53 PM

Thanks for the advise. I don't think I'll end up doing SLI, but maybe I can free up some cash for the GTX.
October 12, 2007 6:48:44 PM

One thing you can do is look at the tomshardware bench mark have 2 windows open, one of the SLI, and one of normal cards, you will see that a GT/GTX in SLI of the older generations are slower than a single GT/GTX card of the next generation. The only x factor is how PCIe 2.0 and the fact it can support 2 x16 slots in SLI.
October 13, 2007 3:04:49 AM

I have the 8800GTX on a P35 board 6850 and the viewsonic 22" it is perfect. I haven't used a machine with two cards, can you and I "see" a difference? If I did go for two, It would have to be two GTX. Nay, stay with one and let's see what Tom has to say about the next gen.
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