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7900 GS SLI?

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April 24, 2008 4:22:19 AM

I'm just about to upgrade to an Intel e8400 with a MSI P6N SLI Platinum mobo. I will most likely overclock it to ~3.4+ Ghz (would overclock it higher, but when long HD video conversion jobs that will last 6 hours, I don't want to damage the processor). I needed to sell my old rig, and bought all new stuff, except for my 7900GS which I got in late 2006 for $190. I've only had it for a year and a half, and would rather not upgrade just yet. Sure the 8800GT is an awesome deal, but I'm a budget gamer, and my 7900GS is still pretty new to me. Would it be worth it to SLI the BFG 7900GS? I was thinking that it would perform a lot better at 1680x1050 SLI'ed vs. single as SLI generally shines at higher resolutions. I've seen used cards on ebay and craigslist for $65 and less... which seems like a good deal. Should I go for the SLI? Or should I just hang with my current single unit? I am not going to buy a new $200+ card within the next 4 months though. Thanks.

And if anyone knows of some decent comprehensive benchies on the 7900GS SLI'ed, it would be appreciated. I've done some googling, and I've only found one benchmark, but it didn't have too much info.

More about : 7900 sli

a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2008 4:33:10 AM

If your looking into another card, why don't you look at a superclocked 8800gs? I think newegg has em for 110 after rebate. Should give you about the same or better performance than a 9600gt, I think the 9600 is only like 15% worse than the 8800gt.
April 24, 2008 4:41:31 AM

yes, sell that your 7900gs for $65 and spend another $65 to get 8800gs. For the same price it outperforms sli 7900gs
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April 24, 2008 5:20:35 AM

I think my e8400 will provide a decent boost in performance. Maybe late summer I will pick up a 9800GTX or something of the like. If the 8800GT is down to ~$170 when it was $280 6 months earlier, surely the 9800GTX will be down to about ~$260 which is a nice price range for me. I did some more research, and I think I will stick with what I have for the time being. If I find a good deal on a 7900 GS (<$50) then i'll pick one up. I'm happy where I am, and I have better things to spend my money on :) 
a c 358 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
April 24, 2008 5:21:42 AM

Hmmm....

I would say sell your 7900GS and buy a 9600GT.

I am currently building a new HTPC and at the same time upgrading my current PC (in my sig below). I've decide to buy a GeForce 9600GT as a temporary upgrade until nVidia's next gen GPU comes out. The X1900XT will be put into my HTPC (yeah, kinda overkill). Based on Oblivion benchmark tests for both cards, the 9600GT is a pretty good increase in performance.

Below are benchmarks for the two cards. Please note that the review with the X1900XT is from 2006. Oblivion is the only game from 2006's review that is used to benchmark the 9600GT. Additionally, back in 2006 the CPU in the testbed was an AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 CPU. The testbed CPU for the 9600GT is an Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 processor.



*** Note highest resolution tested in 2006 is only 1600 x 1200. ***



@ 1600 x 1200 the 9600GT can do 55FPS (stock speed) compared to the X1900XT's 41FPS. That's a difference of 14FPS or about 34% boost in performance. Figure about 1/3 of the performance increase is due to the faster Intel X6800 (doubtful since Oblivion is more GPU limited). That cuts the performance boost down to about 23%. Not too shabby.

Your nVidia 7800GS is not even in the 2006 review, but you know it is slower than the 7800GT. Therefore, if you were to buy the 9600GT, you would see a huge performance boost.


The Xbitlab articles I am referring to are:

First Among Equals: ASUS EAX1900XTX/2DHTV/512M Review (page 8)

Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT: Worthy Rival to ATI Radeon HD 3000 (page 15)



In case you are wondering, the 9600GT I will be ordering is:

ECS N9600GT-512MX-P GeForce 9600GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3

It is a passively cooled (no noise) video card which will be moved to my HTPC when nVidia releases their next generation GPU. I will probably keep the X1900XT as an emergency backup, or simply give it away.


EDIT: I guess you already made your decision when I was typing my response.
April 24, 2008 5:39:28 AM

Thanks for your help though :)  I will consider that option aswell. Options=good :D .
a c 147 U Graphics card
April 24, 2008 4:11:23 PM

My roomate has a 7900GS and has to play COD4 on all low with vsync on at 1280x1024. I'd sell your card and get a 8800GS to hold you over. You can get one for $100 after rebate. That would walk all over a 7900GS sli setup and suck less power as well. Dump the 7900GS on ebay.

Heck for $120 after rebate you can get a 9600GT http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You won't be happy with 2 7900GS's I stake my rep on it.
a c 271 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
April 24, 2008 5:19:51 PM

Forget all the cobblers about SLI only working at higher resolutions as 2 x 7900GT's can't handle 1680 x 1050, this I know from experience the best res for them was 1280 x 1024 so I would imagine the 7900GS would be a similar beast.
April 24, 2008 6:07:33 PM

Mousemonkey said:
Forget all the cobblers about SLI only working at higher resolutions as 2 x 7900GT's can't handle 1680 x 1050, this I know from experience the best res for them was 1280 x 1024 so I would imagine the 7900GS would be a similar beast.


This is the problem with SLI, and why I have always kind of thought of SLI as more of a gimmick than a real option for most people. Not to say that there isn't benefits from using two of a card over one. But, with the rate that newer and better cards become available, it just isn't a viable option for most people. A lot of people buy a card (like a 7900GS, for example) with the intentions of possibly getting another when the price comes down. Then, when that time has come and the price is reasonable to purchase another, the new generation of cards can usually beat or come very close to it with a single card. Now, there are a few exceptions, like SLIing two 8800 Ultras. But, that is only for the super rich among the people building computers. The other scenario I see often, is people getting suckered into buy systems with two midrange cards SLI'd, like two 8500GTs or 8600's. Two midrange cards in SLI do not usually perform as well as a single top range card from the same generation, yet the cost is close to the same. Some computer building companies use these options, in my opinion, to "sucker" people into thinking they got a killer system. Like Ibuypower always has their systems with SLI 8500's. If you don't know much about video cards, you may be under the impression that you are getting a killer gaming PC, all because the AD for the computer says "SLI!!!".

Anyways, to the OP, sorry for the wall of text. But, I do agree with everyone else. Get rid of the 7900gs (sell it), and get a 8800GS/GT/GTS (whatever your budget affords). Believe me when I say you will be much happier.
a c 147 U Graphics card
April 24, 2008 6:26:07 PM

^
|
SLI has its place if you have a high performance card and a single card won't cut it. Like having 2 8800GT/GTS's in SLI. There is nothing that will beat them. And don't say Gx2 because that still doesn't and cost more.

But 2 8500,8600's in SLI is pointless.
April 24, 2008 6:53:47 PM

I agree Jay, I know how good two 8800 GT/GTS's can be. But, it is going to be trumped by the next gen of Nvidia cards. I know, the 98xx series was supposed to be the next gen, but it really wasn't. I consider the 98xx series nothing more than an extension of the 88xx series.

So, yes, SLI = great performance. But, the cost does not make it a good solution for most people. Basically, if I spend $500-$800 on video cards, I want them to be the best out there for more than a year or so. (which I know is impossible...)

I know that money is no object to some, but I don't have that luxury :) 
a c 147 U Graphics card
April 24, 2008 7:15:12 PM

basketcase said:
I agree Jay, I know how good two 8800 GT/GTS's can be. But, it is going to be trumped by the next gen of Nvidia cards. I know, the 98xx series was supposed to be the next gen, but it really wasn't. I consider the 98xx series nothing more than an extension of the 88xx series.

Yeah and what is really stupid is you have the 9600GT which totally BLOWS AWAY the 8600GT. But yet its based on the same tech as the 8800GT and GTS. It should have been the 9800Gt and 9800GTS, then 9800GTX (a joke, it's a GTS with better memory)
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2008 7:25:20 PM

The 7900GS is aweful in some newer games like Crysis, UT3, Oblivion, even COD4. SLI aweful still is not very good. Older games it could kick butt though. But, I'm totally with the guys who say sell the 7900GS and grab an 8800GS, 9600GT or 8800GT. Any of those cards will beat SLI 7900GS in newer titles.

!