Ok, this will open up 1001 opinions but it would be good to hear from those that have tried and proven both options.
I have the current setup of the following hardware:
Gigabyte Mobo GA M55SLI-S4 rev 2
AMD 6000+ X2 CPU
4G SLI OCZ memory
triple boot OS (Vista Ultimate, Win XP 64 & Media Center 2005)
NEC 19" Opticlear Multisync 90GX2 Monitor
I am thinking about getting a second video card to go SLI. I know my monitor doesnt really warrant it for the moment but that will likely change soon.
Im an avid builder and know my way around most hardware components this level and down.
The bottom line to the reason for my post is simple. Do you have a good idea as to the best path to upgrade to either SLI video cards or get the following:
Intel Q6600 CPU (199.99 at a local Microcenter)
EVGA 780 SLI Mobo (250.00)
and use my current single video card
The cost is a lateral expense either way. The thing is I have my system configured just the way I want it now. I have a triple boot OS, I obtained Windows XP 64 simply by resinstalling the Demo and going straight to Microsofts website and getting all of the updates. It has been nearly 4 months and Im not locked out yet!
With the video card solution I acomplish an upgrade by simply installing the card and use this current system for a few more months and upgrade to whatever falls into my price range at a later date.
I know it would be more powerful to go the CPU route but it will be a lot of work but I will do it if most everyone here knows this is a much better solution.
My other concern is my video card is hard to find and I am basically having to get a used one to go SLI. I am using the EVGA 8800 GTX ANS3 card. I am thinking if I wait it may be harder or impossible to get one. On the other hand I may want to sell my current 8 series card and get a 9 series card if they release one proven noteworthy to do so.
I haven't done this before but I would say. Upgrade the CPU and MB because just as you stated your card is hard to find, also newer better cards are just around the corner. You can go with a newer MB with PCI E 2.0 for the new cards.
Plus you have a 19" monitor, I don't think the sli will help as much with it.
Don't forget to calculate ram, don't know those boards offhand but should make note the ram is correct for the new mobo. I say sell the gtx you have for two gt's in sli which is about the same price. Then use the current money for the new mobo/cpu/ram. Win Win Win.
Good info Maziar. I dont really intend to buy the latest and greatest of everything as soon as it comes out but I do realize that my video card is the higher end component of my current system and upgrading my CPU and motherboard to higher specs would be a great benefit more so than a second video card.
I am leaning on getting the Q6600 for 199.99 and the EVGA 780 SLI Mobo and making do with my current video card, which is in fact still a better card than probably 95% of gamers have to date in their systems.
My primary concern was being able to find another card like mine for SLI when the time comes. Until I change my monitor, that doesnt really impact my game play for now and I realize that but I have been looking at much larger monitors and expect to get something this year.
And I may set my eyes on the 9800 once it surfaces.
Thanks for your input as well cah027. Sometimes you just need validation from others before you pull the trigger.
This will be a lot of work but I think I will keep my current CPU and mobo for a spare system and use the XP 64 bit (120G hard drive) and Media Center 2005 (500G hard drive) to migrate into another case and have a quick ready made system and reinstall Vista on my 1000G hard drive and install my spare 250G hard drive for a dual OS boot to XP on the new system.
I have considered that video card option. That is a nice option to consider. I am thinking that I will likely change the mobo & CPU and utilize the current video card until something comes along that is irrisistable.
I dont really have a good reason to do any of this due to the fact my current system does everything that I want it to do for now but you know how it is when you see sales prices on better hardware. And the fear of not being able to get something that you think you will need, such as a matching video card.
englandr753, Why not get the monitor first?
One thing that I've noticed between Sli'd 7900GT's and Sli'd 8800GT's is that unlike the 79's the second 88 does not really kick in until a screen resolution of 1680 x 1050, whereas both the 79's would run full chat at the lower 1280 x 1024 resolution.
So if you spend all your money on a sexy monitor now a) your current rig should still give good results, and b) you get to see what problems (if any) that the early adopters of the GF9 series suffer.
That is a good idea but today I reached out and got one of those Q6600 CPUs on sale for 199.99 and a motherboard that will do for now, Gigabyte N650SLI-DS4 on clearance for 100.00. Everything else I have is compatible and should be a smooth change over.
Most likely by the time I get a few extra bucks to do the monitor, then maybe the motherboard that I want if this doesnt suffice, the 9 series cards will be out and if they go well I might sell mine and upgrade.
You know how things are when prices change, your ideas change too...