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Sli or not? need some advice!

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April 12, 2008 5:54:09 AM

ok so i have a 8600 gt and i was playin crysis and i must say the graphics are the best for any game i have ever seen. but of course the 8600 gt will get like 5 fps at all maxed out settings. so i was woundering since my next upgrade i would like to get a new video card is it worh it to go sli or to get like a 8800? budget is about $350-$400.

More about : sli advice

a c 130 U Graphics card
April 12, 2008 9:24:28 AM

homeboy said:
ok so i have a 8600 gt and i was playin crysis and i must say the graphics are the best for any game i have ever seen. but of course the 8600 gt will get like 5 fps at all maxed out settings. so i was woundering since my next upgrade i would like to get a new video card is it worh it to go sli or to get like a 8800? budget is about $350-$400.


No contest get the best 8800 series card you can afford
Mactronix
a c 274 U Graphics card
April 12, 2008 9:40:14 AM

Sli? yes but with the 8800 not the 8600, never Sli the 8600 that would be wrong on so many levels.
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a b U Graphics card
April 12, 2008 9:59:32 AM

Get the 8800GTX. Make sure your board is SLI, if its Crossfire then get the 3870 X2.


You could actually go SLI with the Nvidia 9600GT. That card can be obtained for 179 each. My best friend got the 9600GT and we played F.E.A.R. on his 37" monitor with no glitches whatsoever. 2 of these would be sweet.

That is the only other card I would SLI other than the 8800GTX's atm.
April 12, 2008 12:20:08 PM

englandr753 said:

That is the only other card I would SLI other than the 8800GTX's atm.

Why?
Yes, 8800GTXs are mind-bendingly brilliant! (;)) But they're hot, unless you have excellent case cooling wil make everything else hot, are under-utilised in any game (bar Crysis) until your at absolute minimum of 1920x1200...
SLi GTXs are good, but unless you play at mega res, there are far better choices!
a b U Graphics card
April 12, 2008 12:22:47 PM

Definetly go with a 8800GTX.
For Crysis, and the money you have to spend, that is the king of the GPU's. When you crank up the resolution and the eyecandy, which is what it sounds like you want to do, it takes 2 cards in SLI of next best thing to come close to a single 8800GTX. And most of the time, the single GTX still pulls ahead...it has higher memory bandwidth than anything other GPU available.

Even if your board is crossfire, or an ATI Chipset, even though you couldn't SLI it, I would still suggest getting 1 GTX over anything else for Crysis.

April 12, 2008 12:28:03 PM

If your board is sli go for two 9600 gt, great cards. if crossfire go for two 3870. Two 3870 are cheaper than one 3870 X2 and performance is the same. Make sure you have enough vga connectors on your psu though.
a b U Graphics card
April 12, 2008 12:32:28 PM

^^ But Two 9600GT will outgame a single 8800GTX in crysis.
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_9800...

If we talk high res with fsaa, the 8800GTX may pass it but both would be unplayable anyway. I'd consider G92 GTS vs GTX. At minimum it would take two 8800GTX to push res and eye candy to make crysis a playable advantage over two G92. GTX will always get my vote over a GTS 512MB priced about the same, but if not priced the same then the GTS G92 looks good. I'd rather have dual 8800GTX than dual GTS G92 too, but it depends on the price difference. Dual 9600GT, 8800GT, 8800GTS G92 and the 8800GTX are all nice in SLI, and SLI is the way to play crysis IMO.

For the OP and a $350-$400 limit. Dual 8800GTX are out. And SLI 8800GT would be in his budget and creme a single 8800GTX in Crysis.
a b U Graphics card
April 12, 2008 12:49:20 PM

http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTQ3Miw3...
Here they state for for actual gameplay, there is no real world difference in the 9600's in SLI and the 8800GTX. Sometimes one pulls ahead, at times the other.
The great thing though about getting a single GTX is, you can always add another GTX! 2 GTX's in SLI still is, and will be for some time, a very powerful setup. (if you can afford the electric bill, heh-heh)
April 12, 2008 12:59:49 PM

there is no point getting SLI unless you have at least a 24" monitor so just get a 8800 gt OC cheap and fast
April 12, 2008 1:03:09 PM

why get a 8800 GTX when you can get a 9800 GTX cheaper and faster?
a c 169 U Graphics card
April 12, 2008 1:10:52 PM

to pauldh:
Yeah 2 9600GT may beat a single 8800GTX in some games but not all so i say go for a 8800GTX instead of 2 9600GTs

to NVIDIAFANBOY:
Because if u play @ high resolution + AA and AF 8800GTX beats the 9800GTX, its 768MB memory becomes useful


to homeboy:
I made the FAQ for u mate :) 
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/245454-15-crossfire...
April 12, 2008 1:12:10 PM

Between 8800 gtx and 9800 gtx i would also choose 9800 gtx, i think the performance will go up with new drivers for sure. I have 22'' monitor and play at 1680x1050, with one 8800 gts 640 it wasn't that great but i put another 8800 gts in last month and the performance went up big time. So i would have to say sli is great even on 20'' 22'' monitors as well.
a b U Graphics card
April 12, 2008 2:42:48 PM

jitpublisher said:
http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTQ3Miw3...
Here they state for for actual gameplay, there is no real world difference in the 9600's in SLI and the 8800GTX. Sometimes one pulls ahead, at times the other.
The great thing though about getting a single GTX is, you can always add another GTX! 2 GTX's in SLI still is, and will be for some time, a very powerful setup. (if you can afford the electric bill, heh-heh)

Yeah, they said the exact same thing about HD3870X2 and the 8800GTX. I have read the endless pages of forum bashing about it. While I like [H]'s testing, there is a big probelm with assuming [H]'s settings are the best playable for each user. Nobody with SLI 9600GT IMO is going to play at medium details without fsaa. They don't test enough settings or spots in the game to make a conclusion. All they show is at 16x12 at their settings and their level and route the two gamed the same. That was 10 minutes in one level, what about the other 20 hours of the game? They state they test assault harbor map which with all it's explosions and physics effects hammer the CPU too. And there is a huge difference between medium and high in crysis, but at least they had shaders high. IMO it is spot benching and to assume the whole game 9600GT SLI = 8800GTX throughtout the game and at various settings, is a careless assumption. I'm not accusing them of purposely doing anything wrong in their review, but saying the reader can misuse the info, espcially if listening to [H]'s own rants in the forums. Lets play both at high details in the paradise lost level and two 9600GT will pull ahead for sure. There are parts of the game where one GPU gets beat hard, and two scale very well.

I like what [H] does, but they have been so bashed they get instantly defensive and strive to back themselves up rather than actually explore all levels of real gameplay. I guarantee you I could find settings and maps in crysis to show one 8800GTX beating sli 9600GT but also GPU demanding areas where sli 9600GT way outgame a single GTX. If 16x12 medium no fsaa is your goal for crysis, sure avoid SLI. I'd sure wager an 8800U/GTX owner would not have nearly the playability I had throughout crysis at 16x10 all high 2xaa/16xaf with SLI 8800GT. Granted that is 8800GT SLI not 9600GT SLI. I've proably got 30+ hours into just performance testing Crysis so far and I often (certain levels)find better results in actual gameplay with 8800GT SLI than I find in the Crysis GPU benchmark Utility often used for reviews.


edit: not that this needed to be longer, but I almost think [H] is against dual GPU solutions or for proving a single 1.5 year old card still rules well. I'm surprised a site that specifies over and over in the past that 60 fps is their sweet spot and 30 minimum, would state the 9600GT SLI didn't provide a better gaming experience than the 8800GTX in COD4. Look at their fps chart and it is a spanking. The GTX rarely goes above their 60 fps target, it's way under the 9600GT for chunks of the time, and SLI 9600GT doesn't drop below their 30 fps limit. I unfortunately start to question their motives/conclusions in cases like this, but give them credit for at least mentioning the 9600GT win in fps. http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTQ3Miw0...
a b U Graphics card
April 12, 2008 2:58:30 PM

Maziar said:
to pauldh:
Yeah 2 9600GT may beat a single 8800GTX in some games but not all so i say go for a 8800GTX instead of 2 9600GTs

to NVIDIAFANBOY:
Because if u play @ high resolution + AA and AF 8800GTX beats the 9800GTX, its 768MB memory becomes useful


to homeboy:
I made the FAQ for u mate :) 
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/245454-15-crossfire...


Check out this comparison of the 8800GTS G92 vs 9600GT SLI:
http://en.expreview.com/2008/02/23/geforce-9600gt-revie...

Don't get me wrong, the GTX still is a beast and I wish I had two of them instead of two 8800GT. But what GPU demanding game would SLI 9600GT struggle in that a single 8800GTX offer better gameplay in? In the firingsquad review SLI 9600GT beat the 8800U and the 9800GTX in every game, and sometimes by alot. And say SLI doesn't scale well or is broken and set off in a game like NHL07, is a single 9600GT hurting in those games? I am not saying the game doesn't exist where this would happen, far from it, what I am saying is I am unaware at this time of any popular GPU demanding game where the 9600GT SLI would CURRENTLY (inc. drivers/patches'etc.)provide the worse gaming experience. I'd appreciate being informed of some so I can add them to my test suite. With vista/XP and DX10/9 there surely should be some, I tend to look at maxing Win XP performance as that was my chosen route. But It seems Fear, Oblivion, COD4, Crysis, UT3 etc all favor an SLI solution. The orange box has little benefit with sli from what I have seen, but either solution does the job well so it doesn't really matter.

Now, if there is ever a thought of adding a second GTX I have no issue with buying one GTX. If the long term plan is a $350 one time purchase that provides the best gameplay now and down the road, I would rather have SLI 8800GT or 9600GT. I don't fault anyone for choosing either option as best for them though.
April 12, 2008 3:46:41 PM

if your budget is 350-400, 8800 Gt's Are you b*tch. Or you could buy a 9800 GTX and save up for another one for the Future.
a c 169 U Graphics card
April 12, 2008 3:58:14 PM

pauldh said:
Check out this comparison of the 8800GTS G92 vs 9600GT SLI:
http://en.expreview.com/2008/02/23/geforce-9600gt-revie...

Don't get me wrong, the GTX still is a beast and I wish I had two of them instead of two 8800GT. But what GPU demanding game would SLI 9600GT struggle in that a single 8800GTX offer better gameplay in? In the firingsquad review SLI 9600GT beat the 8800U and the 9800GTX in every game, and sometimes by alot. And say SLI doesn't scale well or is broken and set off in a game like NHL07, is a single 9600GT hurting in those games? I am not saying the game doesn't exist where this would happen, far from it, what I am saying is I am unaware at this time of any popular GPU demanding game where the 9600GT SLI would CURRENTLY (inc. drivers/patches'etc.)provide the worse gaming experience. I'd appreciate being informed of some so I can add them to my test suite. With vista/XP and DX10/9 there surely should be some, I tend to look at maxing Win XP performance as that was my chosen route. But It seems Fear, Oblivion, COD4, Crysis, UT3 etc all favor an SLI solution. The orange box has little benefit with sli from what I have seen, but either solution does the job well so it doesn't really matter.

Now, if there is ever a thought of adding a second GTX I have no issue with buying one GTX. If the long term plan is a $350 one time purchase that provides the best gameplay now and down the road, I would rather have SLI 8800GT or 9600GT. I don't fault anyone for choosing either option as best for them though.



But u are reading only the firing squad review check out some other reviews and u will see than in some games a single 8800GTX beats 2 9600GTs
April 12, 2008 4:07:37 PM

no it doesn't. the only Way the 8800 GTX beats it is at high Resolutions. Just like the 9800 GTX beating beaten, and the 9800 GX2. Up till 1080p, The 700 Megs of ram doesn't count for much from all the benchmarks I've seen.
a b U Graphics card
April 12, 2008 5:25:19 PM

I currently have an 8800GTX ANS3 and am waiting for the new Corsair power supply to come out and install the second one I've had for 2 weeks to go SLI. I can say these cards are awesome and I am proud to be an owner of them.

I have also played games on my friends 9600GT and was very impressed. He is on a tighter budget than me so I recommended for him to buy that card. I honestly think I would be perfectly happy with two of those cards in SLI from what I have seen from actual game performance.

The 9600GT is a very good option IMO for budget minded setups and yes you can argue buying one GTX for the price of two 9600GTs and thats a good option too if you can swing it...
a b U Graphics card
April 12, 2008 6:04:57 PM

Maziar said:
But u are reading only the firing squad review check out some other reviews and u will see than in some games a single 8800GTX beats 2 9600GTs

Well, there is the expreview link above also. Or this driverheaven review that shows some serious 9600GT SLI scaling and that solution much better than a 1GB 8800GTS.
http://www.driverheaven.net/reviews.php?reviewid=551&pa...

Just provide links showing either solution on top. The more info the better so we can weed through it and see what is useful info and when each solution makes sense.


BTW Driverheaven uses real world gaming and not scripted timedemos. So just look how SLI 9600GT scales while actually gaming!

quote - "Driver Heaven does not use benchmark scripts. We play the games for long periods of time on various levels and report any unusual findings we see. Then we record with FRAPS across several in game levels recording the averages. This is real world testing and is just how you guys will experience the game. Occasionally we might throw in a time demo as a further comparison, but we will note it."


a b U Graphics card
April 12, 2008 6:21:55 PM

Alright, looking over driverheavens gameplay evaluation we have 10 games. SLI 9600GT is ahead of a 1GB 8800GTS in all 8 games with sli profiles. In some games it's a huge lead. Crysis was not huge, but they tested 12x7 res all high with no fsaa, afterall this is a miderange card test not an sli test. You simply won't see a large SLI advantage at low res without fsaa. Again show me even those settings but with 4xaa and we would have more to go by.

So in that review, if you play COD4, Dirt, Quake Wars, Gears of War, Lost planet, HL2 ep2, Crysis or Oblivion, the 9600GT SLI solution was better than a 1GB 8800GTS. If you play Tiger Woods or Blazing Angels, you'll be running single gpu mode and the GTS 1GB is better. Um, OK easy decision for me. :) 

No 8800GTX, but have you seen an 8800GTX crush a 1GB GTS like this? And a 730/1825/1050 clocked 1GB GTS? I bet this card trades blows with the 8800GTX anyway. And according to xbit labs it is faster than a GTX - http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/gainward...
April 13, 2008 7:24:36 AM

so many sugguestions. thanks so much. i think im gonna buy the evga 9800 gtx. then ill sell my 8600 gt to someone.
a c 169 U Graphics card
April 13, 2008 9:17:17 AM

pauldh said:
Alright, looking over driverheavens gameplay evaluation we have 10 games. SLI 9600GT is ahead of a 1GB 8800GTS in all 8 games with sli profiles. In some games it's a huge lead. Crysis was not huge, but they tested 12x7 res all high with no fsaa, afterall this is a miderange card test not an sli test. You simply won't see a large SLI advantage at low res without fsaa. Again show me even those settings but with 4xaa and we would have more to go by.

So in that review, if you play COD4, Dirt, Quake Wars, Gears of War, Lost planet, HL2 ep2, Crysis,Oblivion.... the 9600GT SLI solution was better than a 1GB 8800GTS. If you play Tiger Woods or Blazing Angels, you'll be running single gpu mode and the GTS 1GB is better. Um, OK easy decision for me. :) 

No 8800GTX, but have you seen an 8800GTX crush a 1GB GTS like this? And a 730/1825/1050 clocked 1GB GTS? I bet this card trades blows with the 8800GTX anyway. And according to xbit labs it is faster than a GTX - http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/gainward...



In the xbit review check the 1920x1200 resolution , 8800GTX 768 beats 8800GTS/GT 1GB in Crysis,Call of Juarez,Bioshock,QUAKE WARS,HL2 EP2

In some games 8800GTS 1GB beats the 8800GTX 768MB but the differene isnt much but in some games that 8800GTX beats the 8800GTS 1024 the difference is very noticable (even in lower resolutions like 1600x1200, look @ BIOSHOCK)

a b U Graphics card
April 13, 2008 3:29:38 PM

Maziar said:
In the xbit review check the 1920x1200 resolution , 8800GTX 768 beats 8800GTS/GT 1GB in Crysis,Call of Juarez,Bioshock,QUAKE WARS,HL2 EP2

In some games 8800GTS 1GB beats the 8800GTX 768MB but the differene isnt much but in some games that 8800GTX beats the 8800GTS 1024 the difference is very noticable (even in lower resolutions like 1600x1200, look @ BIOSHOCK)

You must have misread the charts as the 1GB GTS beats the 8800GTX in Bioshock 65 to 57 fps at 19x12 and also 50 to 45 fps in HL2ep2. And the others are a stretch to call a victory. 9 fps vs 11 fps in crysis? And that benefits who? :)  Same with jaurez at 17 vs 18 fps...no real benefit if it's uplayable settings. Quake wars was a 0.2 fps win, hardly a victory 50.9 vs 51.1 fps. The majority of the time at 19x12 the Gainward 8800GTS 1GB won at 19x12 and the 8800GTX didn't have a single playable settings clear victory really.

But none of this was my point. My point was we can look at the 1GB Gainward which is about equal to(or even better than) the 8800GTX. And in real world gaming a pair of 9600GT easily beat that card in the driver heaven review the same way the pair of 9600GT beat the 8800GTX in Firingsquads review and in the expreview. We now have 3 reviews that all point to 9600GT > the 8800GTX or Gainward 1GB GTS. No, not every game, but the vast majority of games and also the most popular GPU demanding ones. And then there is [H] that would show them more on par with each other. And all this backs up my point about about areas the SLI 9600GT would shine at as driverheaven uses real world gameplay of many levels of the game vs [H] real world gameplay of one level. Plus it was 10 games tested vs [H]'s 3 games. Going by [H]'s review and opinion of 3 games alone to claim there is no real world playable settings can be misleading like I stated up above. And actually, I feel it's a false conclusion even. So far the conclusion IMO still has to be in more games than not a pair of 9600GT in SLI beats the 8800GTX in both real world gaming and scripted timedemos. And sometimes it's a big lead, but even so most of the time both solutions offer amazing gameplay anyway.

And I personally don't think the 8800GTX will be playable cranked to settings where it would dominate the 9600GT SLI because of amount of ram or memory bandwidth. People say that because theoretically it's possible. But I am yet to see one review that would show this happening at a playable setting. It would really take an 8800GTX vs SLI 9600GT/8800GT type review to explore this as most reviews we have to go by are testing lesser solutions and don't crank the settings enough to let SLI shine or the GTX memory shine. I will say, at 16x10 all high details and 4xaa/16xaf, I feel my 8800GT SLI setup needs more than 512MB VRAM in Crysis as some levels become choppy and I need 2xaa. And average fps are fine until this happens. But one 8800GTX would never handle those settings either, much worse than 8800GT SLI. But this could be a spot where SLI GTX or SLI 1GB G92 could really outgame SLI 512MB G92. I'd love to see this explored.

Anyway, again, IMO a pair of 9600GT more often than not outperforms a single 8800GTX and in the USA anyway is cheaper solution. If an SLI mobo owner is looking for a $275-450 option, they would more often than not be best served by SLI 9600GT, SLI 8800GT, or SLI 8800GTS G92. If their plan is to SLI 8800GTX, then fine by all means buy a single 8800GTX as prices are good and the card is still a mighty beast. (or single 9800GTX for those that have them priced well).
a c 169 U Graphics card
April 13, 2008 4:07:06 PM

Oh sorry i made a mistake with 8800GTX and HD 3870X2 i thought in the charts the last one is 8800GTX but it was
HD 3870X2 :D 
Well the difference really isnt much the 8800GTS 1GB beats the 8800GTX 768MB in most games as we cant say that a 8800GTX is a bad buy now ( i know u didnt say i am talking generally) its price has dropped alot

about 2 9600GTs vs 1 8800TGX, i didnt find a review from better sites like XBITLABS and ANANDTECH or HOTHARDWARE to compare 8800GTX vs 2 9600GTs

but u are right in most games 2 9600GTs beat a 8800GTX i agree with that


Thanx for the help like always your answers are complete and very good :) 
!