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SLI vs. Non-SLI Need Opinions

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March 11, 2008 9:39:06 PM

Hi,

I've been reading several threads here about building gaming PC's, and I am in the process of picking out components myself for a gaming PC. I'm leaning toward the E8500, 4 GB DDR2 RAM, and I'm trying to decide whether I should go with 2 8800GT in SLI or 1 8800GTX. I've seen a couple of different opinions about the graphics setup, but I'd appreciate more perspective on which will perform better in terms of FPS (SLI vs. Non-SLI). Anyone want to offer an opinion?

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March 11, 2008 9:59:30 PM

Depends on your resolution you'll be gaming at mainly.
March 11, 2008 10:02:36 PM

I'll be using Microsoft FlightSim FSX using 1600 X 1200 resolution. FSX is known to be bound by CPU more than GPU in general.
Related resources
March 11, 2008 10:05:53 PM

Generally I think people say though that 1 high end card is better than 2 low end cards. I think I would consider the single card, and go that route, b/c you consider some games probably don't like SLI as well. Maybe look into the GTX or GT as well, though the GTX probably your better card, but get one made by EVGA. They are supposed to what's called a step up program, apparently within 90 days of purchasing your card, if you want to trade it in for a better card, you can put what you paid for the card toward a new one. Maybe get a GT or GTX, gambling that the 9800's will be out soon, and trade it in for a 9800 GX2.
March 11, 2008 10:09:56 PM

but be warned, the 9800GX2 is not all that impressive apparently
March 11, 2008 11:47:51 PM

I think that at that resolution you should go with 2 x 8800gt. Not sure what anyone else thinks. EVGA step up only works when you buy from EVGA, at least that's what I was told earlier today when asking about it.
March 12, 2008 8:55:42 PM

Mousemonkey, thanks for the link. I appreciate it.


Maziar,

Thank you very much for your post. I read through your explanation and found it to be very helpful. I'll go with a single 8800GTX instead of 2 8800GT in SLI based on your post. I hope you don't mind, but I'll paste some of your commentary here for others to see:

From Maziar:

Should i get 2 midrange cards instead of one high-end card ?
No, again i will answer this with example. 2 8600GT or single 8800gts ? this on of the most common questions in forums. single 8800GTS (320 or 640) will beat 2 8600GT in games , because a single 8800GTS has more stream processors , more memory clock , more bandwidth. so again 1 single high-end card will beat 2 midrange cards.

Should i get 2 High-End cards or one Ultra-High-end ?
This is again one of the most asked questions. (The time i am writing this guide , The best NVIDIA cards are 8800GTX and 8800 ULTRA). Many ask that 2 8800GTS 320 will cost like a single 8800GTX 768, which is a better buy?
Well, in some cases , 2 8800GTS 320 cards will beat a 8800GTX cards(Mostly in games that dont need high memory and also in games that benefit MultiGPU technlogy). But in some other games (Mostly the games that need more memory to run better) a 8800GTX beats 2 8800GTS 320 in SLI mode.
Also remember that 2 8800GTS 320 cards will be more noisier and also they will produce more heat than one single 8800GTX.

Do SLI or CrossFire double the memory ?
This is one the questions that many people make mistake understanding it .
The answer is NO , SLI or CrossFire doesnt double the memory , You have a 512MB card , adding another card wont make your memory 1GB, it still will be 512MB
Another example :
A game needs 512MB card to run at maximum settings , and you have a 256MB card , and you think if you add another 256MB card , your memory will be 512MB and thats not true.
March 12, 2008 10:33:18 PM

SLI no... it cannot do more than 50% boost. third card always wasted!
crossfire.... maybe... for high-end. you can use even 3 or 4 cards! buy a crossfire high-end/value product.
March 13, 2008 12:15:45 AM

that's not true... SLI does scale more than just 50% better..

"SLI proves to be quite useful in Company of Heroes, as the 88.3fps rendered by a single GeForce 8800 GT graphics card has been extended to an impressive 150.1fps, which is an incredible 70% increase at 1920x1200."

http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=716&p=2
March 13, 2008 12:39:38 AM

I saw it.. but in my experience a bless of god can do SLI this 70% gain!specialy while many SLI boards are not 32x.But my experience is not about one test.
you can see toms Triple-SLI review eigther,if you want a better source than me!
a b 4 Gaming
March 13, 2008 5:44:48 AM

massih said:
I saw it.. but in my experience a bless of god can do SLI this 70% gain!specialy while many SLI boards are not 32x.But my experience is not about one test.
you can see toms Triple-SLI review eigther,if you want a better source than me!

I feel that my own experience is a far better source than you [:mousemonkey:1], interesting that you bring up the the 32x thing though [:mousemonkey:2]
a b 4 Gaming
March 13, 2008 11:55:39 AM

amd_fanboi said:
that's not true... SLI does scale more than just 50% better..

"SLI proves to be quite useful in Company of Heroes, as the 88.3fps rendered by a single GeForce 8800 GT graphics card has been extended to an impressive 150.1fps, which is an incredible 70% increase at 1920x1200."

http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=716&p=2



Thats right as i have talked in the FAQ, i have said SLI doenst ALWAYS double the performance, in some games that support SLI then SLI is better, i have even seen a benchmark that 2 7950GT beated 1 8800GTX so yeah SLI is useful in some games but not in all

and as i have said SLI relaly shines in resolutions like 1920x1200 or higher
March 13, 2008 4:11:48 PM

agreed, but i am trying to quash this assumption that SLI makes only 50% boost per card. it's simply not true...

and dual GPU solutions do depend on the drivers and the game optimisations, granted.
March 13, 2008 4:40:02 PM

2 x 8800 GT in SLI will kick the crap out of a single GTX.

To put it simply.
a b 4 Gaming
March 13, 2008 4:42:51 PM

Cpt Deadboots said:
2 x 8800 GT in SLI will kick the crap out of a single GTX.

To put it simply.

[:mousemonkey]
March 13, 2008 4:46:51 PM

I agree 2 x 8800gt will beat the crap out of single GTX. Much different from 2 x 8600gt vs 8800gts (g84 or g92).
!