9800 GX2's or 9800GTX's?

So my computer has been together for a few months now:

XFX 780i Motherboard
Intel E2180 @ 3.2 GHz (4x400FSB)
Patriot 8 GB DDR2-800 CL4 RAM

Which runs games like CoD4 incredibly at the highest settings. Unfortunately I'm still on a 17" CRT. However now that I have paid some of this off and I'm getting a hefty promotion at work I'm going to be putting some higher end parts in like a Q9450 CPU, an X-Fi card, etc. The biggest upgrade I'm doing however is in the graphics area. I'll be buying a 24" Gateway widescreen, the FHD2400 (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8550588&st=FHD2400&lp=1&type=product&cp=1&id=1188560797577) within the next two weeks. However this monitor has a high resolution of 1920x1200 which is going to mean a graphics card upgrade to maintain the same kind of settings at that resolution. I had been waiting for the 9900 GTX or now we know it as the GTX 280 and 260 but the performance of those cards are just stupid compared to the price. So I was wondering what the best option is:

1) Step up to the 9800GX2 and get another for SLI
2) Buy two more 9800GTX's for Tri SLI

From the reviews I've read I can't get a straight answer over whether one or two is the best idea. Some say Quad SLI beats Tri while some say the opposite. I just know that after reading SLI reviews of the GTX280 to SLI of the 9800GX2's the 9800GX2's reign supreme and can be found for about 430 to 500 now (plus they have HDMI, most of them at least). So what do I do? I'm leaning towards the 9800GX2 upgrade. I'm just wondering about Tri SLI because I bought the board for it but it doesn't necessarily mean its the best route.

EDIT: I just read a review of GTX280 in 3 Way SLI and comparing it to the 9800 GX2's....its ridiculous. The only thing I can see from buying the GTX280's is more stablility in SLI (9800GX2 Quad SLI has troubles in Oblivion) and slightly better performance in ultra quality Crysis. But its $800 vs $1300 just for Dual SLI and then 1950 for Tri SLI....which is twice the cost of what I just built my entire computer for. I mean it would be nice if I was Bill Gates but for a working guy like me with bills....I don't think so. But still, 9800GX2's in SLI or 3 9800 GTX's?
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  1. just keep ur current card and buy 2 more 9800gtx so u save more money rather then buying 2 9800gx2 when u already have 1 9800gtx. i just bought a 9800gx2 for 495$ with 45$ rebate so its 450$ after mail and rebate plus newegg gave me a 25$ discount since the last time they sent me a faulty card so i got my card for 425$ oh ya plus shipping.
  2. Plus 3x 9800GTX beat 2x GX2 most of the time lol.
  3. Hrmm its looking good too for the three way SLI after a few more reviews but then I stumbled across a review mentioning that at resolutions above 1600x1200 (eg, 1920x1200 I'll be using soon), the small memory bus of the G92 cards don't allow for anything above 2X AA because the bandwidth isn't large enough. I think this is what NVIDIA was trying to fix in the GT200 with its 512-bit bus (although I do have to say its still overpriced anyways). In all of the reviews the GTX280 performs slightly better than two 9800GTX's in SLI and two GTX280's in SLI deliver incredible performance (screw 3 of them for now). Since I need at least two 9800 GTX's in SLI to get the same performance I am getting now on 1280x1024 on 1920x1200 I think I'm going to step up to the GTX 280 since I still have until the first week of August to do so and it would cost me about the same as another 9800GTX, and I can also get another GTX 280 later. I do say the 280 is overpriced but seeing as it costs the same for me now as another 9800GTX would I'm going to step up. Smart? What do you guys think? (BTW its only 50 bucks more for me to step up to the 280 instead of the 9800GX2).
  4. Ok so I've been doing more research on the GTX280's because frankly, despite the bad press because it's so similar in performance to the 9800GX2, the increased memory bandwidth really propels it, especially as a single card solution, and the scaling when they are in SLI is incredible! All the reviews I've read shows a very nice SLI scalability around 2x. They are expensive but when price drops occur and I pick up another one of these things, it will be delicious on 24 inches of 1920x1200. However I have an odd question. I am quite frustrated with the GTX 280 and 260 being a step backwards in terms of connection....the 9800GX2's had and HDMI out for the first time, and now the 280 and 260 are back to S-Video....WTF? Anyways in one review it said the cards had the HDMI adapter (DVI-HDMI) and that SPDIF audio from the MB can be routed to the card and then ported through the HDMI adapter to the HDMI cable.....and I understand that the adapted converts to HDMI....but DVI doesn't carry sound information....it has to output through DVI first before it becomes HDMI, so how in the world can you port your sound through???
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