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Should my next motherbord have SLI?

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September 5, 2008 6:23:59 PM

Hello

This is my current set up

CPU: Intel E6600
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L (was hooked up to an broken PSU for a while)
Ram: 2 Gig Corsair 800Mhz 5-5-5-18
Video: Nividia 8800GT
PSU: Tagan TG700-U88 BZ 700W


It appears that my Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L might be damaged. Possibly by a discounted Ultra 500 power supply that I got for $30. My computer keeps on crashing and freezing on a daily basis. I'd say 1-3 times a day.

So I'm deciding on getting a new motherbord, and I think it might be efficient to get one with SLI capabilities and 45nm support. If my graphics card gets out of date, I can just buy a second one. Since you can now find a 8800 GT for $100-$130.

I'm thinking about getting a 750i chipset from EVGA or Asus, but I hear thoes bords are full of problems. But if I dont get an SLI motherbord I'll probably get a P45 chipset from Gigabyte.

I'm curious to know other peoples advice.

Relevent links

Nividia 8800 GT comparison chart
(Notice how 8800 GT sometimes beats the GTX280 and 9800)

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3334&p=11

EVGA 750i I'm looking at for $166

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11610BD8938&v...

Asus 750i sold at a local store
http://www.laurier.com/laurier/index.php/Products/view_...

Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3L sold at a local store
http://www.laurier.com/laurier/index.php/Products/view_...

More about : motherbord sli

a b V Motherboard
September 5, 2008 6:46:15 PM

I would guess that your GPU might be upgraded before your entire system/motherboard. I would say if you plan on getting another 8800 GT, then it's not a bad choice, but if you don't plan on it, get a P45 or X48.

I have a 780i and have never had a problem. I hope to get another 8800 GTS 512 soon to SLI.
Related resources
a b V Motherboard
September 5, 2008 7:36:49 PM

The 8800GT SLI is the one that some times beats the GTX 280, not the 8800GT. That is, if you want that sort of performance you should go with 750i and a second card, you can't get the GA-EP45-DS3L. I'd get the eVGA 750i. BTW, that's a very good price for it.

Does your case have good cooling? Those 8800GT cards are hot, especially the single-slot versions.


a b V Motherboard
September 5, 2008 7:46:32 PM

loafing_smurf said:
Hello

This is my current set up

CPU: Intel E6600
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L (was hooked up to an broken PSU for a while)
Ram: 2 Gig Corsair 800Mhz 5-5-5-18
Video: Nividia 8800GT
PSU: Tagan TG700-U88 BZ 700W


It appears that my Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L might be damaged. Possibly by a discounted Ultra 500 power supply that I got for $30. My computer keeps on crashing and freezing on a daily basis. I'd say 1-3 times a day.


More likely to be damaged RAM than a damaged motherboard, try running Memtest86+
a b V Motherboard
September 5, 2008 7:56:09 PM

Thinking out loud....

Nvidia is or has discontinued manufacturing MotherBoard chip sets.
Nvidia has come into an agreement with Intel to allow SLI with the up comming X58 Chipsets.
Is the SLI enabling criteria capable on other chips like the P45 or does it require structural specifics on the chip its self?
If P45 chips could be flashed to enable SLI will we ever see it?

Edit:
Ouch! Just back from Google....Sorry for thinking out loud.
Requires the nForce 200 MCP.
a b V Motherboard
September 5, 2008 8:46:57 PM

knotknut said:
Thinking out loud....

Nvidia is or has discontinued manufacturing MotherBoard chip sets.
Nvidia has come into an agreement with Intel to allow SLI with the up comming X58 Chipsets.
Is the SLI enabling criteria capable on other chips like the P45 or does it require structural specifics on the chip its self?
If P45 chips could be flashed to enable SLI will we ever see it?

Edit:
Ouch! Just back from Google....Sorry for thinking out loud.
Requires the nForce 200 MCP.


There's nothing structural about the compatibility. Intel's 975X was SLI compatible until NVIDIA blocked out non-NVIDIA chipsets in the graphics driver. NVIDIA later bought ULI and released a graphics driver patch that allowed SLI on ULI chipsets, which some enterprising enthusiast modified to allow SLI on Intel chipsets. That's when NVIDIA threw a tantrum and made it impossible to modify its drivers in such a manner.

"Requires nForce 200" is again just another driver trick. NVIDIA wants to sell something to make up for the loss of a chipset sale, so they added the nForce 200 bridge to "SLI Compatible" graphics drivers. In other words, the nForce 200 is only "required" because NVIDIA says it's required.

Motherboard manufacturers didn't want to add the nForce 200 to their X58 products. Fearing the loss of its dear SLI market, NVIDIA decided to license out "BIOS Keys" for their new graphics driver to detect. If you have the BIOS key your motherboard will be "SLI compatible". If you don't have the BIOS key on an otherwise identical motherboard, it won't be.

In other words, it's all software.
September 6, 2008 1:21:21 PM

I'm in the process of seeing if my motherbord or ram is at fault for crashing my computer. If its the ram, it will be the cheapest fix as I can find OCZ Platnum 2 GB 800Mhz ram for $30.

The whole idea of buying an SLI motherbord is so that I can make good use of my money and parts that I alredy have.

The only reason I would go for the P45 chipset is because it is more stable, and my next graphics upgrade would occur next summer. Which would be a single card solution less than $300. (Keeping in mind I currently own a 8800 GT)

In opposed to needing an graphics sooner than next summer. Which in that case I might want the SLI motherbord.
a b V Motherboard
September 7, 2008 5:06:45 AM

Well I'm guessing there is a small performance hit associated with using drivers for SLi rather than the nforce 200 chip. I doubt it justifies the cost though. Anyway I think the main reason nvidia couldn't put pressure on Intel for a chipset license is because AMD hasn't been able to put out better CPUs, or at least competitive CPUs on schedule!! Otherwise NV just could have said "Hey, fine then, your new high end CPU just won't be able to use SLi", and considering they have a bigger market share in high end GPUs, for now at least, that would have put a serious damper on Intels parade when they tried to release their new CPUs. Well that would have worked better before the 4850 and 4870 anyway ^_^.
a b V Motherboard
September 7, 2008 6:00:05 AM

megamanx00 said:
Well I'm guessing there is a small performance hit associated with using drivers for SLi rather than the nforce 200 chip. I doubt it justifies the cost though.


No, you always have to use drivers for SLI. You also use the SLI bridge and the PCI-Express links. That has nothing to do with whether or not the nForce 200 is present.

The NFORCE 200 acts as a parasite to high-end Intel chipsets, it sits there doing absolutely nothing. The driver sees it's there, and the driver enables SLI. With the BIOS key, the driver will see it's there, and the driver will enable SLI.

But, because the nForce 200 sits between the slots and the Northbridge, it does add latency to the system. In other words, your performance IMPROVES without it.
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