Ok let me lay down a little background here.
I built a system almost 2 years ago (right before the 8 series nvidia came out)
I had 2 nvidia 7900gt cards one was an EVGA and the other was an XFX. I ran them in SLI and things were great. I like to game, Age of Empires III, Halo2, Oblivion, Sims2, FEAR, DOOM3... but I'm also an architect and frequently do 3d modeling and autoCAD on my computer. I have very limited funds so I would not even consider a Quadro so don't even suggest it.
My XFX 7900gt broke and began causing horrible artifacts everywhere to the point that I had to pull it out just to navigate around my desktop. I sent it back to them relieved to see that they offer a double lifetime warranty. they dont carry the 7900 anymore and told me they would send me back a 8600GTS 512mb, from all the benchmarks i've looked up most of the games I play a single 7900gt beats the pants off of a 8600gts. I raised the fact that this also defeats the purpose of having a more expensive SLI system.
So they claim that the 8600gts is superior to a 7900gt (B.S.), have shipped me an 8600gts and have stopped responding to my emails
so SLI is not even possible, what should I do?
do I sell the 7900gt on ebay and buy a second 8600gts and do SLI, sell the brand new in box 8600gts and just deal with one 7900gt, or sell both and buy an 8800gt/9series? whatever I do i can't spend alot, hoping for under $100 net loss here
You have a very legitimate beef because of your SLI setup will no longer be an option. I'd tell them that and see if you can at least get an 8800GS out of it. A $100AR 8800GS > 7900GT SLI in todays games, just don't tell them that.
But to be honest the 8600GTS beats the 7900GT in most new games. If I had to choose one of those two cards to play newer games on, without doubt I would rather have the 8600GTS. In crysis, COD4, UT3, Oblivion, NFS series, etc. it's the faster card. Old games both do well but the 7900GT may win. So from that standpoint, they gave you an equal performing card with newer features.
And actually you should get far better performance in Oblivion with an 8600GTS. The 6/7 series Nvidia cards performed horribly in Oblivion. I recently benched an HD2600XT vs my 7800GT and found that the 2600XT won in all the newer games and benchmarks. The 7800GT won in all the older ones, but performance was high enough on the 2600XT that it didn't matter. I tested both cards in the system in my sig as well as in the Q6600 system I was building, which had a DS3L and 4GB of PC-6400 running XP Home.
You should definitely sell both cards and go with the 8800GT/9series option. You'll get much better performance for very little cost. Later on after prices drop more you can add a second card for cheap and SLI again.
alot of you guys seem to play newer games, but really oblivion is the only newer game i play and I don't play it that much. I really don't buy many games anymore and enjoy playing older games on the lan, heck I still play Red Alert 2 and starcraft. Even in oblivion 2x7900gt in SLI would be faster than one 8600gts, so they are still screwing me here, i'll probably never buy an XFX again, not to mention their 7900gt died after a year and a half when my EVGA is running rock solid and cost less when it was new
and "pauldh" your suggestion about the 8800gs is exactly the first thing I tried, but they refused, it really pissed me off because the 8800gs is cheaper than their 512 8600gts so i'm pretty ticked off at xfx
anything with an 8800 gpu in it would be desirable they are in a whole nother class than a 8600. I'll give them some credit though they offered to take back my other 7900gt for another 8600gts before they knew it was an EVGA, they'd take it back if it was an XFX