alright i've ran threw the boards looking for answers and i got nothin so heres my dilemma...
I am tring to decide between either getting 2 9800 GTX's and Sli them "http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..." together or just getting a single GTX 260 "http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...". No matter what I get I plan on over clocking but only a little bit due to the fact that i only air cool and have not gotten into liquid cooling (yet). Go into as much detail as you can to help me figure this out because doing either of these will cost me the same amount of money "thats if the mail in rebate works well" so I just want quality and thats it.
The 9800GTX in SLI will easily beat a single 260. You can always add a third later if you need more oomph...that being said, I wonder which would be better long term: 2x 260's, or 3x 9800 GTX's...
Also, the 9800GX2 *might* be worth looking into at that price point. It does have some issues in certain games, but NVIDIA's been good lately keeping its drivers up to date, and it can usually hand alongside of a single 280.
Don't forget another $200 for a power supply that can handle it.
I was seriously shopping for the last two weeks for a 260 vs 260 core 216 vs GX2 vs ATI. I ended up winning a 9800GTX on ebay for $130. Its 80% as fast as a GX2 from what I read. I only got 2fps improvement in 3dMark, and 1500pts gain in 2005, only 800pts in 2006 over the 7950GX2 I retired.
My fav is the BFG 260 maxcore OC. But thats on paper, Im not sure how much better that would be over a 9800GTX with my old AMD.
I currently am running 9800GTX SLI, unfortunately i bought the cards before the price dropped and i paid $300 for the 1st and $200 for the second. I am currently getting ready to upgrade to a Core i7 920 on a MSI Eclipse board with 6 GB OCZ XMP Ready memory. M dilemma is also similar to yours. Do i keep the 9800GTX's or go with a single GTX 285. I was considering a GTX 295, but right after Nvidia released the 9800GX2 the GTX 2XX cards came out. so the question is 9800GTX SLI till the 300 series releases or upgrade the GFX now.
To the OP.....the 9800GTX SLI is very powerful, with one limitation. I have a 1920x1200 monitor and Anti-Aliasing kills the framerate as it needs more framebuffer, 512 just isnt enough.