9800 GTX SLI or Step-up to gtx 260


I recently build a new PC and I was wondering if I should buy a second 9800GTX (199$) or step up to a gtx 260 (would cost me 200 + shipping).

I play at 1280x1024 and I was wondering if at that resolution SLI would even help me (and by how much) in games like crysis since I saw that the biggest performance increase of SLI is at very high resolutions.

Thank you

p.s My MoBO has SLI
20 answers Last reply
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  1. I don't usually advocate SLI or Crossfire except at the very high end, but in your case I think you'd be better off with a second 9800GTX. The GTX 260 is massively overpriced.
  2. I'd keep the money. A single 9800GTX should be enough for that resolution. Are you already playing Crysis and not getting decent fps?

    What kind of PSU do you have? I'm asking just in case you do go ahead with the SLI or the step-up - you need to make sure the PSU is up to it.

    Edit: homerdog is right. The 9800GTX SLI beats the GTX 260, at high resolutions in Crysis. Look at these benchmarks:
  3. PSU:

    I know the PSU is kinda low and will most likely not be enough, even though i only have 1 HDD. I got it since i found a really good deal on it and need one for an older rig anyway so upgrading to a 700W or so shouldn't be a problem.

    My main problem is if SLI increases performance at lower resolutions or just at 1680 +
  4. aevm said:
    I'd keep the money. A single 9800GTX should be enough for that resolution. Are you already playing Crysis and not getting decent fps?

    Heh. If he doesn't have a GTX 280 or HD4870 I can answer that question for him.
  5. Yeah... I've found some benchmarks showing 18 or 32 fps in Crysis with a single 9800FTX at 1280x1024, depending on AA/AF settings. OK, I guess that's not good enough. :(

    Edit: adding a second 9800GTX would bring that to 44..53 fps:

    Keep in mind the benchmarks for one and two cards are from different places, with different CPUs and other settings. No guarantees you'll see an improvement like 18 to 44. You might get less. Still, I think the SLI would help at your resolution too.
  6. I agree. I'd hang on to the 9800gtx, atleast for now. The gtx 260 doesn't yet look like it's worth 200$ more than the 9800gtx. Especially with drivers that aren't yet mature.

    I would also argue that the best performance increase at high resolutions comes from the availability of more vram in your system, not sli. Sli should make it easier for you to use things like AA and AF though (Crysis is an exception, cause it's a beast)! I wouldn't consider 1280x1024 to be a high resolution though, and the 512mb of vram you currently have should be able to swing any game at that resolution. Crysis is an exception, no matter what kind of setup you have right now.

    I'm currently running a water-cooled 8800gts 512mb @ 750mhz and getting a 15,000 3dmark06 score. Everything runs great, but at higher resolutions (1680 x 1050 and above) things can still stutter a bit when high resolution textures come into play. So i guess my advice to you is to stick with your current card for a while, especially since you're not gaming at ultra-high resolutions.

    You could also spend that 200$ (plus 30$ more, give or take) and get a waterblock for your 9800gtx:


    and a watercooling kit:


    So for roughly the same amount of money, you could overclock your card, your cpu, and have a more silent system. I guess another option would be to sell your card on ebay, and spend an extra 150$ on an hd 3870 ;) But is sounds like you've got an sli board, and want to remain open to the idea of using it.
  7. :D:D:D thx so much thats exactly what i was looking for. Right now with my E8400 and 4 gigs ram @ 1066 i get around 36 fps on high. If as looking at the benchmark i get even only close to 50 thats still a very nice increase in fps.

    thx again
  8. Many people say that gtx 260 isnt worth the money. Another option would be to step up to a 9800 gx2. problem with that is that gx2 quad SLI sucks so 9800 gtx SLI would still be the way to go I think.

    Or i might just wait 2 month ( I have 2 more month to step up or not) see what games come out and how they scale with SLI.

    Thanks for all the replies!
  9. Id wait abit ,save some cash ,let the prices come down and get a GTX 280
  10. 9800GX2 quad SLI??? Including the step-up, the second card, and a 1kW PSU, that would cost you $1000. That's a bit excessive IMO just to play Crysis.

    A step-up to GTX 260 now and SLI later would be around $800, I think (that is, step-up, second GTX 260, HX1000 PSU). Still ridiculous. It would beat the 9800GTX SLI, but it would cost you a lot more.

    A single GTX 280 at your resolution does 36 to 45 fps in Crysis depending on AA/AF. I'm guessing a GTX 260 will do 80% of that (192 stream processors vs 240 in the GTX 280). So, expect 28 to 36 fps on a single GTX 260. With 9800 GTX SLI you'd have more (44 to 53).

    You know, maybe your best option is to just dump Crysis and play something else :)
  11. You know, maybe your best option is to just dump Crysis and play something else

    Why? I can play Crysis with high setting on myE8400 and 8800gt
    or with my P4 2.6 and 7800gs with mixed settings its an all around great game.
  12. Wait for the 260 to come down in price. Itll have to, especially once the 4870x2 comes out, and theres the 4870oceed cards. Then youll get bang for buck and sli them in the future as well
  13. shening said:

    I know the PSU is kinda low and will most likely not be enough

    You know that sound that people make when they are kicked really hard in the nutz?? I just made that when I saw your PSU. A tier 5 do not recommended in a high(er) end gaming machine :pfff:
    What ever you decide to do you should really get a beefier PSU.

    If you really need more power, SLI with your current card will give you much more power than even the GTX 280. Seeing as SLIed 8800GT's can beat it in most situations and the GX2 is basically 2 of your cards with the clocks turned down you should have a very powerful system.

    That being said...
    There is only one game that should be giving you trouble at your resolution. Crysis. Unless you upgrade your monitor stick with what you have for now. Not really worth dumping $200 into your rig for a few extra FPS in one game.
  14. Outlw you have 11x120 case fans can you post a pic of that ?
  15. houstonserenity said:
    Outlw you have 11x120 case fans can you post a pic of that ?

    I had someone else ask me to do that a while back.
    Give me a min while I find the post....
  16. Crap, I can't seem to find it.
    On vacation now so all I can't get any current pix of it either.

    Here are a few of how it stands now.
    By next week it will have changed quite a bit as I am bringing upgrades from newegg home with me :D

    Not the best pics but they get the point across.

    There is also one in the front providing fresh air for the Hd's
    Those S-Flex fans are amazing!
    With 11 of them and a Swiftech MCB 655B pump it is still totally silent.
  17. OMG! That is a freaking wind tunnel

    Do you get tornadoes in your house?
  18. houstonserenity said:
    Do you tornadoes in your house?

    I wish. It would make up for the lack of A/C in my flat...

    What ever it dose I have never had any issues with my temps yet. It is going to be put to the test pretty soon with a pair of 4850's dumping heat in there so I guess I will see then.
  19. 11 120's?? That's insane, I have 2 Scyther Ultra Kaze 3k and I run them at 2200rpm exhaust and 1100rpm intake. It makes a quiet hum but on 3k rpm the neighbors would complain. 11 fans would be insane. :pt1cable:
  20. As my flat is only 4 meters square I really like a quiet machine. I also want to keep top notch cooling in my system. Enter massive overkill of low speed fans! Well it gives me no direct performance gains, it is the single best upgrade I have ever done. You don't know what you are missing until you can't tell if your system is on or off when it is just a meter or so from your head :)
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