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Buy extra 9800 GT as SLI give me performance boost?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 25, 2009 12:11:55 AM

I run fallout 3 pretty well on my system on high. However, it does not run well on ultra high. In game my G15 LCD app tells me I am at a constant 100% CPU load and I get lagging in Fallout 3 and COD4 at max graphics.

My Rig:
Asus p5nd2-sli MoBo
Prescott 650 3.4ghz single core processor
4gb 667 DDR2 memory
600 watt power supply (sli capable)
Windows 7, Ubuntu, and Vista installed on my 4 HDDs

Most importantly, I have two large monitors.

27.5" 1920x1200 and a 22" 1680x1050

I have a thread in the New Build section because I have been seriously considering upgrading my whole system.

What I would like to know is: Will installing another 9800 GT in SLI improve performance significantly or am I being bottlenecked by my processor?

Thanks very much
Joe
July 25, 2009 1:27:44 AM

fallout3 is a poor game to judge videocards on.

they all perform the same.

fallout3 is entirely dependent on cpu.

and even if it werent such a cpu dependent game, you would be bottlenecked by another videocard.. you are bottlenecking your single card with that cpu sadly.
July 25, 2009 1:31:39 AM

Bah...thats what I thought. I have been attempting to talk myself out of upgrading my CPU, MoBo and RAM. I really want to upgrade. but I also really didnt want to spend $650.

I play COD4 and some other games I have that I really haven't gotten into playing yet are Crysis and Bioshock.
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July 25, 2009 1:43:07 AM

you could see a huge improvement for a lot less than 650.
July 25, 2009 2:25:22 AM

in terms of fallout 3, no u would not see huge performance increases. but in most other games, u would and it would DEFINITELY be worth it if u play other games as well, especially on those huge monitors. but really at that res ud be better off getting at least a gtx 275/4890 or higher rather than adding another one. still id reccommend that u do add another one for cod 4 and other games for sure
July 25, 2009 5:11:11 AM

The dilemma I have is...upgrading to a Core 2 Dual or quad will feel like a short term investment. Especially since new processors will have a different socket altogether.

I have an i7 system put together and with the MoBo, CPU, Heatsync, Memory, and Id have to buy a new optical drive because the mobo I want doesn't have IDE. Its about 640.

I'm either going to spend 100 and get a video card to hold me over; or I'm going to upgrade to an i7 system. I don't need top of the line but I really don't know what to do. So confused...it wont take much to make me happy now. But I don't want to be unhappy 6 months down the road.

Wish someone could make the decision for me :p 
July 25, 2009 11:46:21 AM

alberthynek said:
in terms of fallout 3, no u would not see huge performance increases. but in most other games, u would and it would DEFINITELY be worth it if u play other games as well, especially on those huge monitors. but really at that res ud be better off getting at least a gtx 275/4890 or higher rather than adding another one. still id reccommend that u do add another one for cod 4 and other games for sure


you are wrong. that cpu is choking out his current videocard, adding another videocard would do NOTHING.

so, since i cant suggest upgrading the card. i have to suggest upgrading the system.
July 28, 2009 10:58:55 AM

I found a cheap 3.2ghz pentium D (only dualcore my current MoBo supports and can overclock) for about $40-50. This would be the only upgrade solution to my cpu bottleneck without upgrading MoBo. I currently have my 3.4ghz single core OCed to 4.1 and see an improvement.

Option 1: I found a 9800 GT on craigslist brand new for $50. I have an sli board already and plenty of cooling to support sli.

In SLi mode my MoBo makes each PCIe run at 8x. I'm not sure how much this affects overall performance.

For a total of about $90 I can have double my processing power and get a second 9800 GT for SLi.


Option 2: I splurge and get one upgraded gpu instead. I have been checking out a GeForce 250 or 260.


Games I have right now that I want to run on highest: Fallout 3, Crysis, Left 4 Dead, Bioshock, Battlefield 2.

I'm pretty sure I could run these games well whichever route I take now. Removing the CPU bottleneck and considering the games I play, would it be smarter to get a cheap card to SLI with or just upgrade my single card to a better card?

Thanks for your opinions.
July 28, 2009 11:06:11 AM

any pentium 4 is a bottleneck.
a b Î Nvidia
July 28, 2009 12:11:31 PM

@ Analogcolor: Just put in the Pentium D and save up for a nice Christmas build. The faster CPU will unlock a fair bit of performance from the currently restricted 9800 but it will not be fast enough to make a second card a useful addition.

Getting a new, powerful card at this moment seems like a good idea: Put it into the upgraded system and then swap it into the i7 build later and return the 9800 to the upgraded system, then E-bay the resulting box as a going concern.
BUT, the new DX11 cards are due fairly soon and I do not think it wise to 'invest' in a powerful card for a future build, knowing it will be obsolete before years end.
July 28, 2009 1:30:21 PM

Thanks very much for the advice!

Its going to be hard to turn down a second card...if not just to make use of this SLi board I have had for all of this time. it's such a cheap deal for a second one at $50. if i overclock enough, Im sure I could make it worth it.

I'm working on winning a processor on ebay right now...3....2....1....snipe
a c 171 Î Nvidia
July 28, 2009 1:36:15 PM

analogcolor said:
Thanks very much for the advice!

Its going to be hard to turn down a second card...if not just to make use of this SLi board I have had for all of this time. it's such a cheap deal for a second one at $50. if i overclock enough, Im sure I could make it worth it.

I'm working on winning a processor on ebay right now...3....2....1....snipe

If you must splurge get a high res monitor for the upcoming 'new build'.
July 28, 2009 2:12:23 PM

I believe I have that covered!

HannsG 27.5" 1920x1200

Samsung 22"1680x1050
a c 171 Î Nvidia
July 28, 2009 2:46:17 PM

Nuff said. :) 
!