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Thinking Of Going SLI

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January 18, 2008 9:10:55 PM

And I need some help.
I've got about £300 I can spend.
I'm thinking of getting two cards running in SLI together.

The things I wanna know are:

-What cards can I get in my budget and how much will the two of them cost?
-How do I connect the two together so they work in SLI?
-Will my motherboard (Asus P5N-E SLI motherboard) take these two cards in SLI mode?
-Will a 700W PSU handle SLI?
-Will I need any extra cooling (I currently have 3 fans, 1 front, 1 back and 1 side)
-Will SLI work with my current specs?
-How do I set them up? Is it a matter of just plugging them into PCI slots, linking them together and installing the drivers?
-I Read something about needing a PCI power supply lead or something?
-Am I Going to have to buy a new PSU?
-Is there a tutorial with video or pictures to show how to connect them up?
-Is it a matter of connecting two of them together with the bridge cable and then installing the drivers?

My current specs are:
Intel Quad Core Q6600 2.40Ghz x4
Geforce 8500GTS
4GB DDR2 RAM
Sound Blaster X-Fi Extreme Gamer Sound Card
1.5TB Total HDD
Asus P5N-E SLI motherboard

Thanks for any help I recieve

More about : thinking sli

January 18, 2008 9:15:10 PM

Buying one powerful card is way better than buying two weaker cards and SLIing them.

Unless you already have an existing video card, I would never recommend SLI.

Anyways, an 8800GT should fit your system well.
January 18, 2008 9:27:40 PM

agreed...

the only reason I'm going to do SLI is because I got the first card as a gift. So I built the system for SLI....now I'll just wait till the next nvidia cards are released and get a second 8800 gt for a lower price.

for 300 bucks though, the 8800 gt is a winner IMO

I'm playing pretty much All the games I have at max...except Crysis of course...though I can still play it maxed out, DX9 very high custom config, @ 1360x768
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January 18, 2008 9:48:01 PM

I'm talking British Pound here, before prices get confused.
So you think it'd be better to buy a single more powerful card than two lessers?
But what about if I reallllyyyy wanted SLI, could you answer my questions?
January 18, 2008 9:52:15 PM

ChillcoRE said:
I'm talking British Pound here, before prices get confused.
So you think it'd be better to buy a single more powerful card than two lessers?
But what about if I reallllyyyy wanted SLI, could you answer my questions?

If you really want SLI, currently the best price/performance is 2 x 8800GT. There is no single card that can offer the same level of performance for a good price. Currently that is.

The only problem is it might be out of your budget.
a b U Graphics card
January 18, 2008 9:52:55 PM

Just depends. I'd rather have two 8800GT 512MB cards than a single 8800GTX, and your prices may be equal. Here in the USA, a single 8800GTX is now a bit cheaper.

Anyway, don't SLi anything less than the 8800GT (or possibly 8800GS and 9600GT when available). Dual 8600GTS is not worth it. But if you can get two 8800GT for £300, go for it. If not just grab a single 8800GT or 8800GTS(talking about both 512MB versions) and forget SLI of an 8600 series.
January 18, 2008 9:55:15 PM

pauldh said:
Just depends. I'd rather have two 8800GT 512MB cards than a single 8800GTX, and your prices may be equal. Here in the USA, a single 8800GTX is now a bit cheaper.

Anyway, don't SLi anything less than the 8800GT (or possibly 8800GS and 9600GT when available). Dual 8600GTS is not worth it. But if you can get two 8800GT for £300, go for it. If not just grab a single 8800GT or 8800GTS and forget SLI of an 8600 series.


Thanks, that's exactly what I plan to do. Two 8800GT for £300 at this link:
http://www.microdirect.co.uk/(27313)Gigabyte-GF-8800GT-SLI-512MB-DDR3-PCIE-DVI.aspx

But I need the other questions in my first post answered, such as will I need any extra leads, will my motherboard handle SLI and will my PSU handle it?
a b U Graphics card
January 18, 2008 10:09:26 PM

What PSU do you have. I am running two 8800GT 's with an Antec TP Trio 550W. You need two PCI-e power connector leads (6-pin) and a good 40 amp on the 12v rail. If you want to play it real safe, you can grab a certified SLI power supply. For instance, my TP3 550W is not certified for 8800GT SLI, but he 650W version is. http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build_psu.html

Your 650i SLI mobo is fine for dual 8800GT. I researched and found that there is almost zero difference between dual 16x and the 8x/8x that the 650i chipset runs SLI at, so I bought a 650i instead of more expensive 680i mobo.


And if you want to see a good example of 8800GT SLI, check out Oblivion: http://firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_8800_gt_...

January 19, 2008 7:10:13 AM

I currently have some random PSU that the builder put in. I might be able to get a model name of it but it just looks like a random blank one to me.
Can someone then give me a link of the cheapest SLI PSU capable of running SLI with two 8800GT aswell as the rest of my specs?
And is there a picture or video tutorial on how connect up and setup two 800GT in SLI.
January 19, 2008 7:23:34 AM

Sorry to post AGAIN but it won't let me edit my own posts for some reason.
Will this PSU do the job?
It says it's SLI ready and it's a 700W
January 19, 2008 1:29:01 PM

But will it be able to take two 8800GT?
I was thinking of this one:
http://www.yoyotech.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=63_62&...

I still need to know how to set them up.
Is it a matter on plugging them into my PCI slots, plugging them into my PSU and then using the bridge to link them together?

And does anyone thik this is a good combination;
Two of these:
http://microdirect.co.uk/(27313)Gigabyte-GF-8800GT-SLI-512MB-DDR3-PCIE-DVI.aspx
With this PSU:
http://www.yoyotech.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=63_62&...

Would that be good?
a b U Graphics card
January 19, 2008 2:47:44 PM

That OCZ 700W you linked to is SLI certified for two 8800GT. The Corsair 620W menstioned is very good. And even this Antec 650W TP3 is SLI certified for two 8800GT. http://www.yoyotech.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=63_62&...

And like I said, this one is working fiine for me with the system in my specs ( 2 HDD, 2 Optical). But at your prices I wouldn't skimp on the 550W, go for one of the others. http://www.yoyotech.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=63_62&...


A 6-pin PCI-e power cable doesn't mean SLI certified. Matter of fact, you will need two of those connectors, one for each card, and even a PSU with two doesn't mean it is certified SLI ready for the 8800GT.
a b U Graphics card
January 19, 2008 3:14:24 PM

BTW, setting up SLI is very simple. First on your mobo like mine you must remove the SLI switch card red on your mobo. Turn it for dual cards (8x/8x). Then install both cards and the sli bridge connector. When you boot up, SLi will be detected in the NV drivers and it may ask you if you "want to enable it (recomended)". Otherwsie open up the NV control panel and just enable it there.
January 19, 2008 3:22:22 PM

Thanks for the help.
There is no red card thing in my mobo though..?
January 19, 2008 3:51:52 PM

Chillcore -
I haven't seen anyone ask you what resolution is your monitor capable of, or are you gaming at? This is an important factor in deciding whether you should even consider going with SLI. Personally I think you will see such a big difference with a single 8800GT from what you have now that you will be more than happy.

Also to answer some of your questions from your original post.


Quote:

-What cards can I get in my budget and how much will the two of them cost?
-How do I connect the two together so they work in SLI?
-Will my motherboard (Asus P5N-E SLI motherboard) take these two cards in SLI mode?
-Will a 700W PSU handle SLI?
-Will I need any extra cooling (I currently have 3 fans, 1 front, 1 back and 1 side)
-Will SLI work with my current specs?
-How do I set them up? Is it a matter of just plugging them into PCI slots, linking them together and installing the drivers?
-I Read something about needing a PCI power supply lead or something?
-Am I Going to have to buy a new PSU?
-Is there a tutorial with video or pictures to show how to connect them up?
-Is it a matter of connecting two of them together with the bridge cable and then installing the drivers?


-The 8800GT looks like it will work for you but with a new power supply could be tight.
-Your board has 2 PCI-E slots one card goes in each slot. Then you use the bridge that came with the mother board.
- Yes your current mother board will work fine.
- Your 700W power supply is large enough however it sound like you do not have the necessary connectors. As discussed you will need 2 of the six pin connectors, I think you said yours had only 1. I guess your 8500 card doesn't need it huh.
- Your cooling should be fine, the card have their own cooling as well. Long as your case is cool overall you should have no issues.
- Yes from a rig standpoint you are fine, just the power supply seems to be at issue.
-Setting it up, yes you will use the latest driver for the card you choose for the operating system you have. Then you will go into the card settings to enable/disable SLI.
- Yes the larger more powerful cards need the special card connector (of which you have 1).
- New PSU yes if you want SLI with bigger cards. But you could just get 1 8800GT and run that and then decide.
- Check the nvidia sli site they probably have some video of pictures etc.
-Yes its pretty much like that.

Here is an article with your current card in SLI
http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2184&p...

Here they mention too that a larger card would serve better then 2.

Don't want to see you throw money away if you are not going to be able to really see a difference, so what resolution are you using?" target="_blank">http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2184&p...

Here they mention too that a larger card would serve better then 2.

Don't want to see you throw money away if you are not going to be able to really see a difference, so what resolution are you using?
January 19, 2008 5:40:52 PM

pauldh said:
see the picture (click red on your mobo) above. Don't you have an SLI selector card right below the top PCI-e 16X slot?
http://www.techspot.com/articles-info/43/images/Image_1...



Yeah I do, I didn't see it, the heatsink on my current GFX card was half covering it.
But what does it do?

[qoute]I haven't seen anyone ask you what resolution is your monitor capable of, or are you gaming at?[/quote]

I don't know what it's capable of, but it's currently running at 1440x900.
This is it:
http://www.ciao.co.uk/HP_W19__6533081

And the games I mainly play are COD4, GoW, CS:S and R6V.


And yes, I'm thinking of getting two of these: http://microdirect.co.uk/(27313)Gigabyte-GF-8800GT-SLI-512MB-DDR3-PCIE-DVI.aspx
!