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SLI or buy another video card?

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April 25, 2009 8:08:51 PM

Hello all,

I am looking to build a new computer soon since my current one is very outdated. I will probably salvage whatever I can out of it for the new computer to lower costs, like HDD, DVD drive, and possibly the PSU and video card. I have a 7800 GT in it, and I was wondering: Would adding another 7800 in SLI be remotely comparable to other video cards today? If not, should I pick up 2 cheaper 8800, 9600 or 9800s and put those in SLI, or jump up to a 260? If I should pick up two cards, which is better, a higher model with say 512mb ram, or a lower model with 1gig of ram?

Thanks,
Chris :) 

More about : sli buy video card

a c 130 U Graphics card
April 25, 2009 8:28:07 PM

To be honest the 7800 even in sli just wont cut it in a new computer these days the new cards have features those cards dont so from that point of view its a non starter.

What kind of specs are you looking at for the rest of the system, including PSU and screen size/res please. And we can stear you towards something suitable.
Budget would be good as well.

Mactronix
April 25, 2009 8:29:57 PM

+ 1, its an old card, one newer modern card would be way faster than 2 7800GT
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a b U Graphics card
April 25, 2009 8:32:22 PM

No. One single GTX 260 is about equal to 2 9800 GTs in SLI and is better because of no stuttering or extra heat and even cheaper too.

2 9800GTs cost $200, 1 GTX 260 w/216 core cost $169 with free shipping.



April 25, 2009 10:03:08 PM

Is it possible to SLI OCed GTX 260?
a c 273 U Graphics card
April 25, 2009 10:41:40 PM

robertomad said:
Is it possible to SLI OCed GTX 260?

Sure, why would it not be?
April 25, 2009 11:03:38 PM

I have been looking at this mobo:
http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-de...

This processor (or thereabouts):
http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-de...

I wanna start with 4 gigs of ram. I'm gonna pick up a 23" monitor with 1920x1080, so from what I have read, I was under the impression that doing two lower end SLI would probably be better for the high res. But if a 260 is just as good, then I would just go with one of those, and leave the option to add another in SLI later on. On this issue of PSU, what kind of wattage should I look at to leave the option for SLI open? Ill probably have 2 HDD and 1 DVD drive.
April 25, 2009 11:20:07 PM

Drop the old card... buy the single GTX 260 if not go for 275
a c 130 U Graphics card
April 26, 2009 6:55:38 AM

Ok for that kind of system i would recomend you look at something like a 260 with 1gb onboard Ram.
If you are not overly bothered about image quality and dont mind running games on reduced settings then you could get away with a 512mb card.
The reason i say 1GB is because especially at your resolution there are games that actually need it starting to appear.

Mactronix
a c 376 U Graphics card
April 26, 2009 8:14:04 AM

I'd avoid a motherboard with an nvidia chipset.
A 260 would be alright but I'd probably get a crossfire board and 2 HD4770s when they are available. They should be around soon and look like they will be the best value for the money by a good amount.
a b U Graphics card
April 26, 2009 3:01:01 PM

If you building Intel try to get a board with an intel chipset. they're much more stable then nvidia based boards. If your going core i7 you can get a board that supports both sli and crossfire. I've always been an nvidia fanboy so I'm going to suggest staying with a single nvidia GPU. The gtx 260 core 216 is a good choice but if it's in your budget i'd get the gtx 275.
April 26, 2009 5:57:49 PM

I was hoping to spend around $500-$600 if thats possible. I was thinking of reusing my PSU from my old computer, I believe its 460 watts. Would that be enough?
a b U Graphics card
April 26, 2009 6:17:06 PM

hundredislandsboy said:
No. One single GTX 260 is about equal to 2 9800 GTs in SLI and is better because of no stuttering or extra heat and even cheaper too.
2 9800GTs cost $200, 1 GTX 260 w/216 core cost $169 with free shipping.



Umm, incorrect.

Two 9800GTs are equal to a GTX280/GTX285, and would absolutely dominate a GTX260.
a c 376 U Graphics card
April 26, 2009 6:33:43 PM

csuich2 said:
I was hoping to spend around $500-$600 if thats possible. I was thinking of reusing my PSU from my old computer, I believe its 460 watts. Would that be enough?

Probably not. What brand is it and how many +12v amps does it claim to have?
April 26, 2009 6:37:42 PM

Bluescreendeath said:
Umm, incorrect.

Two 9800GTs are equal to a GTX280/GTX285, and would absolutely dominate a GTX260.


Im glad you beat me too it, I wasn't going to be nearly as kind...


@ OP: Will you be overclocking? If so, you certainly want to steer clear of nVidia chipset, as it will limit you.

With the resolution you will be playing at, you certainly want a 1GB card, however, dont be fooled by gimmicks. Only the GTX 260 and up and the HD48xx cards can take advantage of 1GB of RAM. Any less powerful card will not see any improvement.

EDIT: It is worth noting that the 4850 and 4830 may not be able to make full use of 1GB either.

I would watch for falling 4870 1GB prices and try and snag one of those. If your heartset on SLi, a pair 9800GTX (AKA GTS250) is a good option and will still provide a good gaming experiance.
April 26, 2009 6:53:16 PM

My PSU is by FSP. It is 500W, 2 12V rails, one at 15A the other is 16A. It only has 1 PCIe connector though, so I definitely have to replace it if I go SLI.

I would most likely consider OC'ing, so I will look into a different mobo. I have been an nVidia fanboy, but if ATI is the better way to go, I could do that. I don't really care if I go SLI or not, I'm just looking for good performance for price which is why one 260 sounded like a good plan, but if two 9800s in SLI will be substantially more powerfull, then its not too much more expensive.
a b U Graphics card
April 26, 2009 6:55:58 PM

On your budget ditch multi gpu, I single 9800gt/gts250 or the ATI equvilant is still plenty good for most games and would work well with your psu. You could build the system for under 600 if you went core 2. Mybe someone could suggest a good AMD build.
a b U Graphics card
April 26, 2009 6:57:00 PM

B-Unit said:
Im glad you beat me too it, I wasn't going to be nearly as kind...

:D 

csuich2 said:
I don't really care if I go SLI or not, I'm just looking for good performance for price which is why one 260 sounded like a good plan, but if two 9800s in SLI will be substantially more powerfull, then its not too much more expensive.


If you have an SLi motherboard, get 2 9800GTs in SLi.

If you don't have a SLi motherboard, go with a GTX260 216 core or a GTX275

Or if you want something cheaper, then get a 9800GTX/GTX+/GTX250, which performs
between a 9800GT and a GTX260
April 26, 2009 6:58:19 PM

I was planning on going with a Core 2, and my original thinking was that if a 260 something was about as powerful as 2 9800s, then I could get an SLI mobo, and leave the option for SLI open for expansion later on.
a b U Graphics card
April 26, 2009 7:04:50 PM

A GTX260 is nowhere near as powerful as 2 9800GTs.

And Core2Duos are great for gaming. Quads are good too, but they're more for heavy CPU-processing and you'll need to OC their core clock speeds for gaming.

9800GT < 9800GTX/GTX+/GTS250 < GTX260 < GTX275 < GTX280/285 ~ 2x9800GTs < 2x9800GTXs < 2xGTX260s < 2xGTX275 < 2xGTX280/285
a c 376 U Graphics card
April 26, 2009 8:42:07 PM

I'll say it again, wait a tiny bit and get 2 HD4770s.
a c 130 U Graphics card
April 27, 2009 5:44:07 AM

jyjjy said:
I'll say it again, wait a tiny bit and get 2 HD4770s.



Yes but the OP seems quite set on a SLI board.

Mactronix
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