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THG 4x SLI vs 3x SLI review

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June 12, 2008 9:23:33 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/quad-sli-falcon,194...

Honestly, this review looks a little bogus even if the numbers are relatively accurate.

There is a bit of hardware descrepancies namely 790i vs 780i motherboard, SSD drive vs non SSD- etc

More about : thg sli sli review

June 12, 2008 9:37:22 PM

still, the difference between the two is so minimal, or worse, that most likely even with the same hardware/ bettwer drivers the results would end up the same. sli doesn't scale very well after all. nvidia needs to work on the drivers.
June 12, 2008 9:38:02 PM

I am with you, They should have named it one system vs other system and not 3 way sli vs 4 way sli.

Related resources
June 12, 2008 9:44:48 PM

Yea, I agree godless - from everything i've heard Quad SLI is underperforming and its supposedly software relevant.

Nvidia is going to end up phasing out the 9800 GX2 as is, I don't think its going to improve.

The 9800 GX2 is still an excellent single slot video card - you can't knock it even if the numbers are accurate - but I think the bottom line is as rip181 said; calling it "3 vs 4 SLI" is stupid, because there are one, too many discrepanices, and two; they didn't benchmark modern games at all!
June 12, 2008 9:47:31 PM

Most games don't utilize 3 gpus, much less 4. Even when drivers with good support comes out, it'll still be a while before mainstream games utilize 4 gpus. :p 
June 12, 2008 9:50:33 PM

not to mention that they explain the difference in score because of the clock speed of the CPU!!!! lol that was just funny. here you are comparing sli combinations and yet ur thrown of by the cpu. thg needs to build identical machines with different sli and compare, not two diffferent computers.
June 12, 2008 9:54:04 PM

I'm actually kinda wondering who has done the last couple reviews including the desktop vs laptop article - again it made like zero sense in some areas namely COST.
June 12, 2008 9:56:36 PM

thg isn't what it used to be in my opinion. the articles are getting dumber and dumber. some are interesting and informative don't get me wrong. the graphics cards for the money that they do each month is pretty accurate since they do it each month. but these are exceptions, not the norm.
June 12, 2008 9:58:07 PM

godless said:
thg isn't what it used to be in my opinion. the articles are getting dumber and dumber. some are interesting and informative don't get me wrong. the graphics cards for the money that they do each month is pretty accurate since they do it each month. but these are exceptions, not the norm.

Why... they should fire those grubs and hire you. :p 
June 12, 2008 9:59:14 PM

Well, if you compare this article to say: the best systems for the money roundup done with 500$/low/mid/high PCs - that article was MUCH more thorough


This article was just a bunch of **** slapped together.
June 12, 2008 10:59:55 PM

Honestly I'm not surprised one bit to see the results here. Like it or not, the G80 cards still feel to me like a high-end card while the G92 has that midrange feel to it.

Regardless of how you put it, the 8800GTX (Or ultra if you will) is better built, on the other hand the 9800GTX just seems like a good card, but crippled compared to the other. On average the 9800 does great, but when all the bells and whistles are running @ 1920x1200 it is usually clear that the 8800 still win.

Now add to the above the rather poor driver support for Quad SLI and you have yourselves your answer.
a b U Graphics card
June 12, 2008 11:30:21 PM

i have owned a 780i than steped up to 790i. running xq9650 @4ghz on both systems with 3 8800gtx's and the difference is nominal between the two boards. Yes you get better ram throughput linked and sync'd with 1600fsb than you do running DDR2 1250 to 1600fsb. but in real world games it means about 3 fps or about a 8-15% increase in 3dmark depending on the resolution. i Fraped the crap out of both models and configs. you can see by my 3dmark06 score for my 790i setup link, that i score very close to both systems using the 3 8800 GTX's...9800 series shafted the customer on ram and you pay for it if you game at 1080p or greater. which is the kind of person looking for high end sli cards. 9800 series is a joke. i am glad i spent money on more 8800gtx's than waiting for 9800.
June 12, 2008 11:47:03 PM

Given that the 9800GX2 doesn't have 150% the preformance of the 8800 Ultra how could 2 of them be expected to beat3 Ultras, unless they thought that scaling would make up the difference?
June 13, 2008 2:37:44 AM

Aragorn said:
Given that the 9800GX2 doesn't have 150% the preformance of the 8800 Ultra how could 2 of them be expected to beat3 Ultras, unless they thought that scaling would make up the difference?



I never outright thought that 2 9800 GX2 would beat 3 8800 Ultras, however I would've hoped for a better point of comparison - the system specs are more than a touch off.
June 13, 2008 5:25:34 AM




yea


I think another thing that might be skewing this review is that (i'm going to double check on pugets site) but I believe the puget is using water cooling (deluge) which means they are probably running 8800 ultras clocked to hell

while falcon's might be running on air (also going to check)

just throwing out more ways that this review is flawed as hell lol - THG really is going to need some quality control for the gt200 series review because I really don't know if i'd trust them.

ed: yea, no way to tell if the ultras are liquid cooled, both processors on either system are though

the falcon is definitely air cooled GPUs

3x sli system is running 612 gpu 2160 ram - which im fairly sure is not outrageous

Regardless, there is something fishy about this article
a c 169 U Graphics card
June 13, 2008 5:40:51 AM

QuadSli has always had its issues remember 7950GX2? although the 9800GX2 drivers are better but still they have alot of problems
June 13, 2008 9:36:16 AM

While they provided a lot of information regarding the systems and listed all test settings, i can't but feel like i just read a paid advertisment.
As others have said, this isn't really a comparison between Quad SLI compared to triple SLI - that's just a catchy topic. The differences between the machines are too severe to talk about a comparison at all, as others have pointed out.
What this article basically does, is compare two different high end computers and give the reader a hint that Quad SLI might not be what it seems.
With using different GPU cores, different CPUs at different speeds, different RAM and a different motherboards, it turns this article from a comparison into advertisment.
I'm sorry to say so because there was a lot of work involved, without doubt, yet, the data provided by it is worthless unless someone is about to buy a computer and has to choose between exactly those two systems.
June 13, 2008 9:48:04 AM

ovaltineplease said:
I'm actually kinda wondering who has done the last couple reviews including the desktop vs laptop article - again it made like zero sense in some areas namely COST.


Joe Consumer also reads THG. Might not battle for glory in this forums, but hey, he still knows how to read. That was a clean, simple post. The Desktop machine was too expensive ? Depends on what country you buy. There was a post in the Graphics sections that we told about diferent price. Croatian, India, Iran, Spain and a few other countries where to the mix.
You americans might think your the biggest and the greatest, but there are more countries in the World. And FYI the server where this forums are hosted are french.

So the price wasnt too off. And there are popping Articles that are simplier for Joe Consumer, that doesn't know how to overclock. But knows how to read and wanna learn how to buy.

About the Tri-SLI vs Quad-Sli, lets be honestly guys. Its system vs system. A Raid 0 vs a SSD, its shouldn't be too much apart and in GAMING/FPS performance !!! In RAW perfomance the Quad-sli should be wipe the floor with the rest. But it doesnt.
And it was shown. Even if you putted equal specs, the end conclusion would be the same.

Look at the numbers and please take conclusions. Thats whats the numbers are for. They can be discussed and better conclusions might me drawn of them, but lets use a bit of common sense.
June 13, 2008 11:17:06 AM

radnor said:

About the Tri-SLI vs Quad-Sli, lets be honestly guys. Its system vs system.

That makes it sound easy. Sadly it isn't that simple. Either one of those systems comes in at around 5000$+.

radnor said:

A Raid 0 vs a SSD, its shouldn't be too much apart and in GAMING/FPS performance !!! In RAW perfomance the Quad-sli should be wipe the floor with the rest.

It's basically two different systems. The only thing they share is the video driver. The video driver.

radnor said:

But it doesnt.
And it was shown. Even if you putted equal specs, the end conclusion would be the same.


It better should be, but we will never know.

Was it the driver? A lack of memory on the G92 card? Gave the higher bandwith the g80 the final advantage? Was it the PCIe bus? etc....

Some answers can be concluded from the benchmark scores, but most are quite speculative.


radnor said:

Look at the numbers and please take conclusions. Thats whats the numbers are for. They can be discussed and better conclusions might me drawn of them, but lets use a bit of common sense.

That's actually where the benchmarking and the objective authoring work come in. Right now there is only one logical conclusion:
There is a 5000$+ system that can beat another 5000$+ system as long as they both use the same driver software. Everything else is speculation.


June 13, 2008 1:31:50 PM

I'm very disappointed in the quality drop in THG's reviews. I find that the THG forums have better reviews:D . Like the marvelous review of the 8800 GS ha
June 13, 2008 1:37:34 PM

It was a sound reply, so ill have to quote you back :) 

Slobogob said:
That makes it sound easy. Sadly it isn't that simple. Either one of those systems comes in at around 5000$+.


It is that simple. They usually test with the same platform when they wanna show the diferences between GPUs or RAMs for example. I wanted a Quad-SLI vs Tri-SLI showdown aswell. But the benchmark was system vs system. That quite undeniable albeit the Title "is" misleading.

Slobogob said:

It's basically two different systems. The only thing they share is the video driver. The video driver.


Yup. They didnt test clock per clock, nothing. They practically just picked up out-of-the-box system and lets them rip !!

Slobogob said:

It better should be, but we will never know.


I would love to have that info as well in the post. But honestly the only thing they gave us was the reading of graphs.I agree with you its not sufficient. I would thrill to see a Big review. But in the end its a system VS system review. He gave his possible review without much tinkering.


Slobogob said:

Was it the driver? A lack of memory on the G92 card? Gave the higher bandwidth the g80 the final advantage? Was it the PCIe bus? etc....

Some answers can be concluded from the benchmark scores, but most are quite speculative.


Although i find decent info and very nice discussions in this forum, its was we usually do. Speculate. An Educated Speculation (sometimes, anyway) but thats what we do. We think, we discuss, we can agree or not.

Slobogob said:

That's actually where the benchmarking and the objective authoring work come in. Right now there is only one logical conclusion:
There is a 5000$+ system that can beat another 5000$+ system as long as they both use the same driver software. Everything else is speculation.


I read the Article and it was my conclusion, system vs system. Not Quad vs Tri. You can speculate about the results, after analyzing the Graphics, adn try to take an educate conclusion. But that's all you might take. I have a sh*tload of questions as well. They weren't answered and it was a nice post for the "enthusiast" low on enthusiasm and high on bucks or Eurobucks.


What was the temps of the 4/3 cores ?
What was the loads of the 4/3 cores ?
Were all being used ?
Were is the bottleneck ?
What was the Amps from both PSU ?
Power consumption for both systems Idle and Full load ?
Power consumption for Both Tri and Quad GPUs (only) ?
Testing with diferent drivers ? Would that change the outcome ?
Testing with more games ?
Testing it with Vista 64, Vista 32, Win XP 32 and Linux 64 (if driver availability, check phoronix and see tests WINE vs Windows)

And a whole lot of questions.

June 13, 2008 4:08:44 PM

radnor said:

I would love to have that info as well in the post. But honestly the only thing they gave us was the reading of graphs.I agree with you its not sufficient. I would thrill to see a Big review. But in the end its a system VS system review. He gave his possible review without much tinkering.

What makes me really wonder is the targeted audience.
Enthusiasts build their own or buy something close to what they would build. They are out.
The average gamer does not spend 5000$ minimum on a computer. Neither do mom and pop unless they are both nobel prize winners, lawyers or doctors.
So it's obviously targeted and a very slim minority that A) can afford both PCs and B) doesn't really care what's in it as long as it's fast.

radnor said:

Although i find decent info and very nice discussions in this forum, its was we usually do. Speculate. An Educated Speculation (sometimes, anyway) but thats what we do. We think, we discuss, we can agree or not.

I agree.

radnor said:

I read the Article and it was my conclusion, system vs system. Not Quad vs Tri. You can speculate about the results, after analyzing the Graphics, adn try to take an educate conclusion. But that's all you might take. I have a sh*tload of questions as well. They weren't answered and it was a nice post for the "enthusiast" low on enthusiasm and high on bucks or Eurobucks.


What was the temps of the 4/3 cores ?
What was the loads of the 4/3 cores ?
Were all being used ?
Were is the bottleneck ?
What was the Amps from both PSU ?
Power consumption for both systems Idle and Full load ?
Power consumption for Both Tri and Quad GPUs (only) ?
Testing with diferent drivers ? Would that change the outcome ?
Testing with more games ?
Testing it with Vista 64, Vista 32, Win XP 32 and Linux 64 (if driver availability, check phoronix and see tests WINE vs Windows)

And a whole lot of questions.

Well put.
It only leaves me with one possible conclusion. I am not the targeted consumer group and the title is misleading as the targeted consumer group of rich-people-that-don't-care probably don't know or, well, care about SLI. As such, it is in my best interest to just disregard the article as a mislabeled "glitch" containing a few thought provoking details. Nothing more, nothing less. As a matter of fact it now shares a striking resemblance to an infomercial with lots of redundant information that each could be interesting if looked into in-depth.
They forgot to post the phone and ordering numbers though.
a b U Graphics card
June 13, 2008 5:19:15 PM

we all know how easy it is to manipulate benchies. Nvidia (the more notorious of the 2 major players) has done so frequently with software tricks or simpley dumbing things down without notifing the user. And like i said i own nvidia cards. i prefer them most generations though i have ati/amd systems too. The simple fact is this. the 9800 series (gtx, gx2) are disappointing considering the early promise showed in early 8800 g92 cards. The fact is they do not "blow high end 8800's out of the water". yes they are slightly better in most benchies but as long as the ram and its bus is castrated the 9800 doesn't come close to utilizing its full potential and from what i have read about the 280/260gtx's....nvidia has stumbled hard. AMD/ATI does have the means to top nvidia this time with the 4870 series by a fairly good margin. which is good, its about time we had some serious competion in the grphx market. Kudos for AMD/ATI stepping up their game when everyone thought it was time to stick a fork in them. that's just my two cents!
June 14, 2008 1:22:20 AM

well personally, how much Nvidia F*@$ed our wallets...I hope they burn in hell:D 
June 14, 2008 1:22:59 AM

L1qu1d said:
well personally, how much Nvidia F*@$ed our wallets...I hope they burn in hell :D 

Didn't you buy a 9800gx2? :na: 
June 14, 2008 1:30:49 AM

yeahbut I paid 500 cash. thats how much 2 x's GTS 512 were, and I have the option for quad.

Remember dual GPU cards usually scale better than sli, alteast from benchies I've seen.

Plus this thing drains less than a 8800 GTX and it saves me some room from buying 2 8800 GTX or 2 8800 GTS G92:D 
a b U Graphics card
June 14, 2008 3:11:55 AM

well three does well in certain games, which i all play thus in my case making a 3 8800gtx's worth it. for most people i think single to dual card is plenty at >1680x1050
June 14, 2008 12:47:44 PM

atomicWAR said:
well three does well in certain games, which i all play thus in my case making a 3 8800gtx's worth it. for most people i think single to dual card is plenty at >1680x1050

Only 21k for qx9650 and tri sli is actually pretty bad. Maybe you should try to tweak it some more... :p 
a b U Graphics card
June 14, 2008 5:02:07 PM

i am scorring just shy of the utlra's in the test (though the article is down now) by less than 1000marks @ default settings when their cpu running the 3 utlra's was @ 4.17 when mine is at 4.00. between the sligtht clock differance and the the fact the 8800gtx is not clocked as fast as the ultra...forgive me if i don't share your sentiment though i won't argue the fact i will always want it to be faster.
June 14, 2008 5:09:03 PM

atomicWAR said:
i am scorring just shy of the utlra's in the test (though the article is down now) by less than 1000marks when their cpu running the 3 utlra's was @ 4.17 when mine is at 4.00. between the sligtht clock differance and the the fact the 8800gtx is not clocked as fast as the ultra...forgive me if i don't share your sentiment.

Well, a lowly q6600, costing under $200 plus a single $160 8800gts got 15k.

Your $1000+ qx9650 plus 3 8800gtx at $300+ each got 21k. While certainly high, it still seems more than a little lacking for that kind of a system. :p 
a b U Graphics card
June 14, 2008 5:25:59 PM

i mentioned it early but i thought i was responeding to another thread. yesterday tomshardware put out some benchies of 9800gx2 in sli verses 3 ultra's. the systems varied a bit the 9800gx2 with a 790i was running on a qx9770 @4ghz and another machine with 3 ultra's on a 780iwith a qx9650 @ 4.17. thg claimed, though they since pulled the article, the clock differance made both systems comparible considering the chipset differance.

4.17 tri ultra set up only scored 22k. as i said in my prior post i am dang close to that with less cpu clock. i think your grasping. on orb it shows not many systems out their beat mine with similar hardware and if they do, its by a nominal amount. Not to say their aren't uber good enthusist's who can squeeze more, but keep in mind the 790i is still "broken" and i am not the only one having some trouble. while the PO-5 bios has helped many with the hdd corruption and the 1600 glitch somewhat...the boards linked and snyc'd at 1600 freeze so u have to drop the fsb/ram to 1599 to avoid a pummle of crashes every five minutes. i an clock my ram lower to keep the FSB stable at 1600 but i get more benefit link'd and snyc'd 1599. so when i say i am at 4 ghz in truth i am at 3.995. Nvidia has stumbled. end of story. not to say they can't find new footing but they need to do so quickly.

Last thing i say on my score for 3dmark...its a synthetic and real world games i do see a great deal of bene's. crysis on very high no filters i get 40fps @1080P...or damn close with fraps depending on the map. when i first had the machine set up i got more like 32fps but between patches and bios updates i squeezed more out. i think the numbers your expecting just don't exsist unless you start water cooling your video cards and over clocking them to hell. as for my gigabyte cards, if i oc the GPU i can pull another 200 marks...but the second i overclock the ram even a little the score is actually less than stock. Had i bought a OC version of the gtx like i have in times past, yes my score should be higher, but i didn't and you get what u pay for. sad as it is yes i paid alot for my grphix cards...but did so over time i started with one in an old fx60 setup and upgraded over the last year. now i get double my score since when compared to my old rig in sli with 2 gtx's. in the end though there is no question you pay out the nose for running tri sli. disporationately so...but i also spent an ass load on my last rig and while it ended with an fx60 it started with an fx52, i had the same ram/mobo for 3 years.

i get that kinda of milage out of this thing by adding grphx (when jusitifible which for nvida cards its not right now or even the near future) and faster CPU's. plus don't get me wrong for my high end system..i have few systems, none quad gpu cause the support just isn't their yet...tri-gpu is great for 1080p though. all scores at default setting 3dmark setting.

q9300 @3ghz with 3870x2 ans 3870 (scores in the 17k range) on a 50" 1080p hdtv

phenom 2.5ghz be again 3870x2 + 3870 (scores in the high 15k range) on a 24" 1200P monitor

5000+ (am2 so 2.6ghz) with two 8800gts (g92) (scoring high 11k 3dmarks) 1280x1024 monitor

...point being it shows my speeds are somewhat in line and proves your point that less money can get you a better price performance ratio...i just happened to be able to afford uber high end to run my "personal" PC and using low/mid to high end machines for laning and servers for folding@home.
June 14, 2008 7:05:11 PM

dude space out your posts, Paragraphs...this is an eye soar to read...

The basic logic of tri sli and Quad sli is practical.

3 x's 9800 GTX

While Quad Sli Would be:

4 x's 9800 GTX (Ofc down clocked by 75 mhz on each card.)

But the drivers are just not stable or working in most games. With new generation games utilizing CrossF and SLi more and more we should see comparable benchmarks.

For now, tri-sli remains worth it compared to quad.

Although I hate how some sites vary their results lol you can never get a straight answer. My friend uses the same system as me almost, and he has Quad sli running, his benches are higher than with the single card and scale very well. He gets around 80+ frames at 1280x1024 and 1600 he gets around 60 Very high no AA.

So really Untill I see a worth article, which use the same tests and bench the exact same components with updated drivers, I'll always be skeptical.

Either way Whether you have a 8800 GTX or Ultra or 8800 GTS / Gt or 9800 GTX or GX2 your set for current gen games, and what should be out later this year.

I don't think its even worth it for any1 to switch over to the new cards, unless they are into energy saving. From what I've seen benchies I see nothing great.
a b U Graphics card
June 14, 2008 7:29:48 PM

sorry busted it up a bit...i was on a rant when writing i apologize for the "clutter". hope that helped some.

as for your opinion on current graphix market. If you have a 8800gtx/ulta, 8800gts/gt g92, 9800gtx/gx2...there is no reason to get a 200 series. can't say i see a flaw in that argue ment as i share the same sentiment
June 14, 2008 7:32:46 PM

atomicWAR said:
sorry busted it up a bit...i was on a rant when writing i apologize for the "clutter". hope that helped some.

as for your opinion on current graphix market. If you have a 8800gtx/ulta, 8800gts/gt g92, 9800gtx/gx2...there is no reason to get a 200 series. can't say i see a flaw in that argue ment as i share the same senitment

Hmm... I wonder what score a single 200 series would get. The benchmarks out so far looks... kind of fake. :na: 
a b U Graphics card
June 14, 2008 7:55:50 PM

while i agree the benchies look bad and are likely fake, people i spoke to who have seen the card but can't comment on benchies had one nice thing to say about the 200 series.

"it works with folding@home now at least" with a long stare of disappointment.
June 14, 2008 9:32:45 PM

Agreed^.

Weather the benchmarks are real or not, Unless they are almost double the GX2 lol, I don't see myself breaking a swear:D .

They should spend more time on perfecting Quad and tri sli instead of thinking about the money in our wallet. I think they would win more people over by proving reliability than new products...what are they Ford?
a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2008 12:48:29 AM

Fix Or Repair Daily....mmm yeah pretty much. isn't that the point of driver patches and bios flashes?


!