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SLI vs non SLI in hardware chart

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
September 24, 2008 12:30:46 PM

I was poking through the hardware chart to get an idea about what to upgrade to since my 8800GTX just isn't cutting it anymore (which is sad) I was looking mainly at SLI260s but according to the chart, the SLI often, if not most of the time is out performed or performs the same as a single 260. Is this correct?? Very few of the games listed seem to take advantage of 2 cards by looking at the chart.

is SLI still worth it or should I take the chart with a grain of salt?

More about : sli sli hardware chart

September 24, 2008 12:37:42 PM

Grain of Salt if they look wrong.

What is yoru current system?
September 24, 2008 12:40:58 PM

c2d 2.4@3.2
4gig ram
Related resources
September 24, 2008 12:50:58 PM

a 260 GTX would do you good, but adding in a second 8800 GTX would prob give you more performance than swapping it completely for another 260 GTX.

Ofc that means that you have to find a cheap 8800 GTX because if your spending about the same amount of cash or more on the 8800 GTX then teh 260 GTX would be your best bet.

to answer your question, sli is worth it, but like all users a person will prefer a Video card with 1 GPu (single card) the performs on par or just under the sli cards, since single cards don't need heavy driver support to make them functional 100%.

I would recommend the 1 gig 4870 more than I would the 260 GTX, the 4870 outperforms the 260 GTX in most of the benchmarks (not all) and the 1 gig version has about 128 megs more ram :) .

Plus if your going to do a motherboard change, you'll notice that crossfire systems are much more stable than nforce and Crossfire scales better than sli :) 
September 24, 2008 12:55:24 PM

I have no other plans to upgrade unless it's a CPU or more ram, the motherboard won't be changed so Nvidia stuff is where I'm looking because I can do SLI if needed.

My major plan was SLI 260s, I looked over the idea of gettinga second 8800GTX but for some reason I don't feel it would be worth it.

My other option was a 4780X2 because it's a single slot solution and costs about the same as 2 260s.

September 24, 2008 1:04:20 PM

please don't reference Tom's charts they are completely mixed up and inaccurate.

here are Guru3D VGA charts

1 4870 X2 would be the better choice in this situation if costs are the same.

A. more room in your case
B. 1 gig RAm and also 4870 X2 outperforms 2 260 GTXs slightly.
C. DX 10.1 and SM 4.1
D. If you ever change your mind about upgrading, a second 4870 X2 is possible in the future.
E. Reliable drivers.


The second 8800 GTX would give your performance around the 9800 GX2 while the 4870 X2 would give you a 20-30% higher performance than the 9800 GX2.
September 24, 2008 1:48:11 PM

wish the guru3d has 260 SLI on the chart. I've had no issue with nvidia drivers and nother reason I like 260s is I don't need to worry about getting nvidia drivers 100% unistalled and cleared out of the system so I can get ATI drivers on there. I also somewhat dislike the CCC (actually, really dislike)

Guru3d charts arn't even consistant in the cards they test...

Guru also needs to get with the times and use widescreen resolutions.
September 24, 2008 2:02:28 PM

how are they not consistant? Just becuase a card is good @ 1 game doesn't make em good at all games. Thats why you buy a card that plays the game you like better.

If nvidia drives are all that your worrying about it, thats a pretty bad way of choosing your hardware.

Plus to make a call on the 260 GTX Sli just look at the 280 GTX sli and just subtract 10-20 fps (give or take) to have a good estimation.

If the prices are the same you'd be crowding your case for no reason with 2 260 GTXs. Thats my opinion.

Either way both options are great, but you do get your money's worth more from the 4870 X2. Just because your saving room, getting new technology and have an overall lower consuming card.

But if your going to go with the 260 GTX just because you like Nvidia or just because the drivers are already installed on the I have nothing to say, its not rocket science:p 
September 24, 2008 2:06:10 PM

bigbacon said:
wish the guru3d has 260 SLI on the chart. I've had no issue with nvidia drivers and nother reason I like 260s is I don't need to worry about getting nvidia drivers 100% unistalled and cleared out of the system so I can get ATI drivers on there. I also somewhat dislike the CCC (actually, really dislike)

Guru3d charts arn't even consistant in the cards they test...

Guru also needs to get with the times and use widescreen resolutions.

They are using 30" monitors what are you talking about? They tested every monitor size till 2560x1600 which cripples almost any card in some games.

PLus game consistency can be dependent on drivers.

Point out a flaw other than the 2 gig 4850 :)  (which can be possible as we've seen it in the past)
September 24, 2008 2:12:16 PM

Sorry, I swore on certain tests that they left out certain cards but they are all there I just need to weed through them all again. (they need sorting options on these things...)

For example, I thought the stalker/quakr wars was missing the 4870X2 and one other card but they are there now that I look over it in fine detail again.

This is what I meant by inconsistant. I know the scores themselves won't be across everything :) 
September 24, 2008 2:15:44 PM

well as you can see from the charts the 8800 GTX still pulls some good weight, but in all honesty now that I think about and you have an sli board 1 9800 GX2 would save you more money. If paired up with another 9800 GX2 it is still a faster option than both the 260 GTX sli and the 1 4870 X2.
September 24, 2008 2:48:13 PM

never considered these, wont this possibly run into some kind of issue because of the limited 256bit path and only 512megs per core??

crazy price spread on these btw, newegg jumps from 279 to 389....

also don't the X2 type cards use thier own special drivers where as regualr SLI doesnt?
September 24, 2008 3:04:40 PM

I am running 2 260's in SLI and I will say without hesitation they are very fast. I will also say I am able to get a significant amount more FPS than stated on most review sites that are using a much more expensive CPU than I am. I am running an e8400 with a very mild overclock and doing better than they are. Take it for what its worth but I actually already have the config you are asking about. ;) 
September 24, 2008 3:09:55 PM

260s are also the cheapest option and I could technically 3 way them if I ever wanted to go that far (doubt it though)
September 24, 2008 3:13:34 PM

hardocp just posted an article about 4000s vs the 200s in single.SLI,X2,quad etc.
September 24, 2008 4:29:48 PM

bigbacon just keep in mind that adding additional cards do not double, then triple your performance. i gained about 30% adding a second card and that isnt across the board. some things you are not going to see any benefit. you may add a third card and squeeze another 15% or even less. additional cards can also bring to light bottlenecks you didn't even know you had.
September 24, 2008 4:50:47 PM

I understand that, I was just saying it as an open option to add more performance later on. I just looking for a $500 or less option that is faster than my current 8800 and will continue to work well for at least another year.

September 24, 2008 5:06:14 PM

Like I said if it were me, I'd go with the X2 cuz its faster than 2 260s or with the 9800 GX2 quad which is faster than the X2 faster than the 260s sli.

9800 Gx2 quad sli> 4870 X2 > 260 GTX sli

No X2 cards don't need their own drivers, its just the regular driver just like sli and everything.
If the quesiton is do they need to be optimized for sli use ? yes, but that goes with any dual GPU system
September 24, 2008 5:39:09 PM

what is power requirement for 9800gx2?

My current PSU is/was SLI ready for 8800ultras.
September 24, 2008 7:08:17 PM

what board do you have bigbacon?
for the guys recommending the ATI cards, i totally understand the x2 is a beast but also understand some Nvidia boards puke all over themselves when you put an ATI card in them.
September 24, 2008 9:04:56 PM

I have an EVGA 680i motherboard (don't remember the exact model number.)
September 24, 2008 10:08:14 PM

the 9800 GX2 drains less power than 2 8800 GTXs and its a little more powerful lol

600 Watt minimum for 1 9800 GX2 and 850 should be enough for 2:) 
September 24, 2008 10:26:48 PM

it is hard to ignore the 9800GX2. I almost went with those myself. You can find those under 300 bucks at times which is a steal considering the power they have.
September 24, 2008 10:35:43 PM

I also have an eVGA 680i board, mine is the "lt" a few less gadgets and OC options, but it has been bullet proof. As stated, I recently added another 8800 GTX in SLI, as roofus states, I noticed an increase in the range of 25% in 3Dmark06. However the real noticeable difference is in gaming, more consistent FPS, no stuttering, and detail never noticed prior to the addition of the second card. I have a 22" Samsung monitor at 1680 x 1050. Regardless of what direction you choose to take, the second GPU is the ticket, IMHO, and that is all it is, MHO.
September 24, 2008 11:46:27 PM

for all the current games, I'd have to say that 2 8800 GTX is still enough. If 8800 GTs hold their own, 8800 GTXs in SLi should have absolutely no problem:) 
a b U Graphics card
September 24, 2008 11:46:38 PM

the gtx260 in sli scales very well. im pleased with the performance gains. usually games like crysis, cod4, ut3 scale well around 45-65% depending on the game.
(crysis scales 50% in sli not to bad)
if u plan to do sli u will need a fast cpu to fully utilize the cards 3.0ghz+
September 24, 2008 11:52:49 PM

Yes the 260 GTX is a very good but the 9800 GX2 is 10-30% faster than the 260 GTX for 40$ more lol:p , and when SLied (sometimes), even though it might not scale as well as th 260 GTX (very rare these days) it has a high enough gap to keep it in front :p 

Like invisik said the CPU can be ur bottleneck, you need at least3.0ghz to show the true potential of the card, and not say that the CPU is holding u back (ofcourse higher CPu is it can help more an dmore:)  )
a b U Graphics card
September 25, 2008 12:19:45 AM

well the gtx260 can be found as low as 215$ these days so doing sli will cost under 450$. the 9800gx2 is a powerful card but it will cost around 550$ for 2. if u have the money go for the 9800gx2 but if ur on a budget the gtx260 would be the way to go.

liquid for 2 9800gx2 (4gpu) i think u would need at least 4.0+ghz to run it effectively lol.
September 25, 2008 12:34:33 AM

naw I think 3.2 is enough for quad, if the 260 GTX can be found for 215 I'd take it over any card:)  but if it can't I'd go with the GX2:p