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2x 8800GTS 640mb or 1x 8800Ultra

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December 11, 2007 1:27:02 PM

Hi all,

My current situation:

I have a reasonable rig, that I've been upgrading part by part for the past year or so - currently sat with:

MB: M2N4-SLI
CPU: AMD X2 6000+ @ 3.2GHz
RAM: 2GB Corsair PC6400
GFX: EVGA GeForce 8800GTS 640MB @ 648/972

I'm either looking at getting another identical 8800GTS to add to the free PCI-e slot on my motherboard, and having them both run at x8 in SLI mode.
or
Selling my GTS and putting the money towards an 8800Ultra

I've done some research, mainly via Tom's VGA charts.
i.e. Cross comparing the figures between the "2007 VGA" chart and the "Dual & Quad VGA" chart. (The test rigs on both charts are pretty much identical, save the motherboard chipset)

From what I can tell, with 2x GTS in most games I can expect a nice increase in performance compared to having one 8800GTS alone.

However, what surprised me was that overall, the charts also seem to indicate that 2x 8800GTS 640 are better than 1x 8800Ultra.

Can anyone confirm this^?

What upgrade path does Tom's forums reccommend?


also,

Is it still possible to stably overclock 2 GTS's in SLI?
And, has anyone used a similar SLI GTS setup for Crysis? I understand that there is little support for SLI systems at present..


Any advice anyone can give would be much appreciated.

Cheers!!

Jord
December 11, 2007 1:34:39 PM

No reason to get 2x 640MB GTS. Either go 2x 8800GT 512MB (if you need to play at high res, otherwise just get one) or just wait for the new 8800GTS 512MB (Due on the 12th, I believe) or 1GB which will out perform the GT and get close to the GTX.

Quote:
However, what surprised me was that overall, the charts also seem to indicate that 2x 8800GTS 640 are better than 1x 8800Ultra.
Depends on your resolution. The main advantage of SLI appears to be when you start to hit the high 1900x1200 or 1650xwhatever resolutions. If you're playing at 1280x1024 or 1440x770 then you only need a single card.
December 11, 2007 1:42:09 PM

Sell the GTS and buy a GTS 512. It performs the same as a GTX (From what i've seen, which is very little) and is much cheaper.
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December 11, 2007 1:42:38 PM

rgeist554 said:
No reason to get 2x 640MB GTS. Either go 2x 8800GT 512MB (if you need to play at high res, otherwise just get one) or just wait for the new 8800GTS 512MB (Due on the 12th, I believe) or 1GB which will out perform the GT and get close to the GTX.


Thanks for the response.

I already have 1x 640mb GTS... surely it would be better £/performance to get one more, rather than to sell the current one at eBay price, then go out and buy 2x 512 GTSv2's ?

Also I play at 1680x1050 w/ AA and AF.

Cheers
December 11, 2007 1:51:16 PM

I take it you have had your 8800GTS too long for the upgrade program.

I came to that same delima you are looking at now when I first bought my 8800GTS 320mb video card and was later going to get a second card for SLI. Luckily within 3 days I came to the conclusion that I liked the idea of having a more powerful card with the option to be able to go SLI later so I took the GTS back and got the GTX ANS3 KO card.

I tested the GTS on Futuremark 06 and was getting about 9000. When I installed the GTX card I tested it and was able to squeeze out 11,000. I would speculate to hit between 12,000 and 13,000 with the second card installed.

But keep in mind these are benchmark numbers and who really knows the real benefit of either setup in real world situations. I can honestly say that I can play Crysis with everything as high as it goes and still be able to play the game nicely. I havent been able to see the issues that so many post saying they are watching a slide show and they have as good of a setup as I do.

If you can sell your current card and recover most of your money to apply towards a higher end card I don't think you will regret it. You will probably be like me and get anxiety attacks thinking about installing s second card but I am holding out to see if I can later get one below the 600.00 price tag.

Btw, I have the same CPU as you do...
December 11, 2007 2:08:13 PM

Upgrade program? o.0
Haven't come across that before.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is:

http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_sli2007.html?mod...
Compared to:
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx...

Look at the dual 8800 GTS 640mb score from the first chart vs the single 8800Ultra score on the second chart.
This seems to repeat on most of the benchmarks.

Surely this is the best option for me right now? for an extra ~£200 In almost all apps I'd get performance beyond a single 8800Ultra which clocks in between £500 and £600.



a b Î Nvidia
December 11, 2007 2:57:12 PM

Flash Jordan said:
And, has anyone used a similar SLI GTS setup for Crysis? I understand that there is little support for SLI systems at present..
Waiting just a few more weeks while the new 8800GTS/512 shakes out the pricing structure could make the picture clearer for you. (and also make your 2nd 8800GTS/640 a better bargin)
The main issue I see is that even SLI 2x8800GTS/640 may not get you the Crysis performance you want. In that case waiting till the new Nvidia top end cards get released in Feb/Mar? may be the better option. But if you're OK playing Crysis in Medium Quality a 2nd 8800GTS/640 may do nicely if you find a really nice price.
Chart from review @ HotHardware




December 11, 2007 3:07:45 PM

Cool, it does seem like a good idea to hold on for the pricing position to shift with the new releases.

I'm a tad worried that the exact card I have could be discontinued if I wait too long - not sure if this will be a problem or not.

I mean I get a playable framerate out of Crysis as it is at 1680x1050 with 2xAA and all settings at High.
There is a little slowdown in some of the busier area's, but nothing nasty enough to warrent dropping res or AA..

I'm thinking although Crysis hasnt treated SLI users that well so far, I will see a benefit at the higher res / AA settings.. and perhaps if they release a patch with SLI optimisations it will be alot more worth while..
But in the meantime other games that do have good SLI support (such as those in the Tom's VGA charts) I'm hoping for similar gains as displayed in the charts I linked previously..
December 12, 2007 1:08:33 AM

@ spotless, i think the benchmarks in your link are off. They show a 8800gt beating a gtx and the g92 gts getting more min fps with 4xaa than 0xaa.
December 12, 2007 1:41:23 AM

Even if they discontinue your card you can find them everyday on ebay and other known sites for months to come afterwards. They wont cease production and dissapear from the retailers overnight so you dont have to worry about that issue anytime soon...

I would wait for the newer card releases like WR2 suggested.
December 12, 2007 9:54:22 AM

Something I've noticed:

Been looking for the exact card I have, (Evga 8800GTS 640mb - non SSC version).
All the places advertising it list the specs to be different to mine.

eVGA Graphic Processor NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 640Mb
GPU Clock Speed 500 MHz

However at stock before I overclocked, mine was 575 MHz Core, and 792MHz Memory.

I read that when in SLI mode, the cards have to be identical.
What would happen if I added a card of the same chipset and manufacturer, but running at a slightly different clock speed to my 1st card?

Would it work? Could I clock it up to match the original card's speed?

Cheers,
J
December 12, 2007 11:01:34 AM

they adjust (the faster card is underclocked I believe)

but you can oc both.
December 12, 2007 11:19:06 AM

I'd keep looking for the identical card if possible. It has to be out there somewhere.

It makes sense what Stemnin said but I can't verify that since I have never done that.
December 12, 2007 11:38:20 AM

First of all using SLI on that mb is a waste of money. You might get 10% or so out of it. It does not support 16x16 sli only 8x8. A single card solution is much better. Secondly that graphics card is not going to support the new version of DX10. Buying another card that will miss out on a good performance boost is a waste considering that inside of 2 years its very possible it wont be supported at all.

If you are looking to upgrade atm then I suggest one of the new AM2+ MBs with the 790fx chipset. You can plant your cpu, ram and everything else on it and start on the new socket layout.
December 12, 2007 12:13:08 PM

jerseygamer said:
First of all using SLI on that mb is a waste of money. You might get 10% or so out of it. It does not support 16x16 sli only 8x8. A single card solution is much better. Secondly that graphics card is not going to support the new version of DX10. Buying another card that will miss out on a good performance boost is a waste considering that inside of 2 years its very possible it wont be supported at all.

If you are looking to upgrade atm then I suggest one of the new AM2+ MBs with the 790fx chipset. You can plant your cpu, ram and everything else on it and start on the new socket layout.


Ok, the motherboard upgrade is something that was considering soon(ish), but I am unsure what direction to take with that.
I've always been an AMD fan, and have been holding out for the Phenom before making any decisions in that department.

Since the initial reports show that the Phenom has been a bit of a flop compared to the Core 2's Intel have been churning out, I am not yet prepared to make any concrete decisions which is why I am looking only to upgrade my graphics at the moment. Perhaps if AMD sort their game out, I'll go over to AM2+ - but if no change next year, I'll probably turncoat and go with Intel like the majority of gamers.

I hear what you say about the futureproofing myself, but as I say, at the moment I'm looking at £ vs Performance.. upgrading to one of the new cards doesn't seem feasible, it'll cost me alot more than simply buying another GTS 640.
And please forgive me for not being too clued up on the matter, but is DX10.1 really that important? Doesn't seem like theres an awful lot of differences between versions, and since we've only recently got our hands on DX10 games, is it something we should be worrying about between now, and say 2H 2008?


re: SLI 8x8.. I've read from a couple of sources that the difference between 8x and 16x is minimal... barely visible. This may have been referring to a single card @ x8 vs a single card @ x16.. but surely these results wouldn't change by doubleing up via SLI?


Thanks for your replies :D 

Jord,

December 13, 2007 7:56:06 AM

jerseygamer said:
Secondly that graphics card is not going to support the new version of DX10.


Does the new 8800GTS(v2) 512MB support the new version of DX10?
December 13, 2007 8:49:13 AM

no, the new gts 512 is 10.0, not 10.1. don't worry about 8x or 16x, 8x is fine.
!