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SLI vs a new card

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December 23, 2008 3:05:07 PM

I purchased an EVGA 8800GT with an XFX SLI board back in the day and i was wondering if it would be worth it to get (/find) another 8800GT and SLI them or if I should just buy a whole new graphics card. I am looking for the best performance in gaming and i mainly play Crysis. I have a Q6600 and a beefy enough power supply to support SLI. Any information i could get would be great

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December 23, 2008 3:09:26 PM

Go SLI, you'll beat any single-GPU solution available at a much more reasonable price.
a c 109 U Graphics card
December 23, 2008 3:11:10 PM

I had a gts 640 card and went to a 4870/512 card and then went to a GTX260. The 260 plays Crysis on high without a hiccup. What's your gaming res ?
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December 23, 2008 3:13:57 PM

I currently game on 720p (42" plasma) but i will be moving onto 1080p in the near future. But at 720p i can play on very high settings across the board and the game can be sluggish at times but it is bearable
December 23, 2008 3:15:54 PM

themyrmidon said:
Go SLI, you'll beat any single-GPU solution available at a much more reasonable price.


My only concern is that i have read that SLI will get me anywhere from a 30% increase to a 99% over a single gpu configuration. If it is closer to doubled performance i would go SLI but for a 30% gain it does not seem worth it
December 23, 2008 3:34:56 PM

Its going to vary by game. Look to the GTX280 and 4870 launch reviews as many of them included SLI 8800GT.
December 23, 2008 5:16:11 PM

The mid/late model 8800 GT and the 9800 GT are pretty much the same card. Therefore, there is a chance you could SLI a 9800 GT and a 8800 GT together. (Do so research / someone confirm it before you try it though.)
December 23, 2008 5:36:55 PM

Did some quick research myself, and unless you are experienced with bios flashing video cards...it isn't recommended to try a 9800 GT & 8800 GT SLI.

The steps to do so generally stated:

1. Find a 9800 GT that does NOT have Hybrid Power capability. ("New" 9800 GTs have it, re "bios flashed" 8800 GTs into 9800 GTs do not.)
2. Flash the new 9800 GT into a 8800 GT.
3. SLI SHOULD work.

I know I don't have the experience to try it, but you may. Hope this helps.
a c 191 U Graphics card
December 23, 2008 5:47:04 PM

A word of caution; Bios flashing is extremely dangerous unless you know exactly what to do. Make a mistake and you have an expensive paperweight in your case.
Which 8800GT do you have? There is two types G80 (320 or 640 MB) and G92 (512Mb), as far as I know it`s not possible to SLI them (if I`m wrong someone will correct me) because of their different cores.
That said, SLI is probably the cheapest way to get a little more zip out of your rig without spending too much.
December 23, 2008 5:58:18 PM

coozie7 said:
A word of caution; Bios flashing is extremely dangerous unless you know exactly what to do. Make a mistake and you have an expensive paperweight in your case.
Which 8800GT do you have? There is two types G80 (320 or 640 MB) and G92 (512Mb), as far as I know it`s not possible to SLI them (if I`m wrong someone will correct me) because of their different cores.
That said, SLI is probably the cheapest way to get a little more zip out of your rig without spending too much.


coozie7, the research I found pointed out that you, without the above steps, couldn't even SLI a 8800 GT 512 with a "new" 9800 GT....despite being the same core.

The original 9800 GTs were the exact same (except Bios) as the 8800 GT (512 MB.) However, newer 9800 GTs (those with Hybridpower support) are not made with the same fabrication method. <Therefore, "flashed" 9800 GTs have a 65nm core, while "new" 9800 GTs have a 55nm core.>

The only way to know the difference in the new and old 9800 GTs is to check for Hybridpower capability on the individual card.

If Rock

1. Has a 8800 GT 512
2. Can find a 8800 GT 512 or "old" 9800 GT (again, no Hybridpower)
3. Flash the 9800 GT or 8800 GT into the other one.

Then a SLI SHOULD be possible. As I said, I wouldn't try it myself...just stating what I found. Info came from:

http://www.overclock.net/nvidia/372369-8800gt-9800gt-su...
December 23, 2008 6:13:41 PM

No no no...

8800GTS has G80 and G92 variants, the 8800GT is G92 only.
a c 191 U Graphics card
December 23, 2008 6:25:23 PM

^oops!
December 24, 2008 6:18:10 AM

Ya my card is 512mb and unfortunately flashing a video card does frighten me. It seems that i wood have to find an 8800GT as an open box item or something like that or sell my 8800 and buy two 9800s.

Its really unfortunate that they made the 9800GT incompatible with the 8800GT since they are the same card and on top of that they stopped producing 8800GTs and the only ones i can find are more expensive than the 9800s. Thanks for your help everyone, i guess ill keep looking for a recertified 8800GT
December 24, 2008 1:52:58 PM

If you are going to end up paying a higher premium for a 8800 GT, why not just go with the other option and buy a different model video card? (9800GTX, GTX+, 260, or 280) That way, you could later on (a year or so) buy a second video card and SLI then.

Yes, you will not have the same immediate performance gain, but you will be "future proofing" better. I would just stick to a model that you should be able to find in a year. (9800 GTX+ over a GTX, 260 core 216 over the older ones, or a 280.)

The scrying ball may not be correct when you choose, but at least you will have tried your best. (Unless, of course, you plan on getting a new motherboard <IE: Computer build> in ~ one year.) In that case, I wouldn't buy a new video card at all...and just save the money.
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