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Three questions about my first SLI attempt

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 25, 2009 9:06:36 PM

Hello and thank you for reding this!
I'll get straight to the point - I have a MSI n9800GTX+ 512 OC (am very satisfied with it - runs even the newest games at a solid framerate), however, I still have decided to get another one.

1. Seems I won't be able to get a card with the same type of cooler, and, since I want to improve the coolning anyway and it just looks so much better if they're identical, I'm planning to get 2 VGA coolers, I've browsed some reviews and manufacturer sites, but the selection of VGA coolers seems to be quite small, especially for the 9 series - do you know some good coolers you can recommend?

2. I have a Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe motherboard, which supports SLI in 8x mode, not 16x. Do I lose much performance - is it worth buying a new motherboard? (mine is quite old by now...was state of the art back then, ah, the times...)

3. If I get the second card on Ebay and it doesn't come with the SLI bridge, is it worth searching for the second one? (I have one which came with my current card) (The FAQ said it's not a bug difference but some(?) ppl have said it matters)
So is it a proven fact?

Again, thanks!

More about : questions sli attempt

a c 179 U Graphics card
September 25, 2009 9:47:57 PM

If you can get decent frame rates with your current setup why upgrade? Will your monitor support any higher than you are currently getting? You have a good card there and unless you are running at 1920x1200 you should be fine.

Do you have a good power supply that will be capable of running both of those? They arent exactly power efficient.

I havent seen a review of VGA coolers ever so im not sure. 8x mode wont affect those cards too much, it doesnt affect many cards that arent x2's. If you have the bridge already not sure why you need the second card to come with one, whether or not it came with a bridge, or the guy you are getting it from lost it, the card will still be SLI capable.
September 25, 2009 10:23:27 PM

Thank you for your opinion, Hunter!
Glad not to have to buy a new motherboard.
I have a 1080p monitor and I do run games at 1920x1080 (16:9), so the extra performance boost would be wellcome. PS - I've given the PSU matter a thought, yes.

I'll keep looking for VGA coolers, then. When I built this computer I didn't really consider sound much of an issue, but now I'd the coolers to be as quet as possible (but still have a fan, since the cards are OC'd)
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a c 123 U Graphics card
September 26, 2009 1:27:34 AM

Bandwidth:
The HD5870 was just tested in x8 and x16 mode to see if it would be limited by the 1156 platform which can use only two PCIe x8 (2.0) because the PCIe controller's in the CPU.

It showed that this was NOT a limiting factor. If the system had 2x16 instead of 2x8 there would have been no difference.

PCIe bandwidth is not an issue for you.

However...
You have a 512MB card. Typically, for high-end SLI you need more than 512MB for each card (it's not added to give you 1GB).

Also, your CPU may limit how much graphics power you can use but I don't have your specs. Personally, I wouldn't add another card to your system.
a c 271 U Graphics card
September 26, 2009 12:13:37 PM

photonboy said:
However...
You have a 512MB card. Typically, for high-end SLI you need more than 512MB for each card (it's not added to give you 1GB).

Also, your CPU may limit how much graphics power you can use but I don't have your specs. Personally, I wouldn't add another card to your system.

I have a pair of 8800GT's that do just fine at 19 x10.
September 26, 2009 6:51:09 PM

I have a Phenom 9850 currently at stock speeds, but I'll OC it to 3 Ghz after adding the second card.

Other parts:
4 GB 667 RAM
M2N-SLI Deluxe (nForce 570)
September 26, 2009 6:54:03 PM

Oh, and...why would the 512 MB be a limiting factor? I know the cards total memory won't sum up to 1G, but still, a card will do half the processing, the other one the other half, so it does kind of expand the memory...
a c 179 U Graphics card
September 26, 2009 6:55:03 PM

Nope, it acts like a card with twice the processing power but only 512MB of memory shared between the two because all of the output comes from one card so all of the frames need to be stored there too.
September 26, 2009 7:11:29 PM

I see...OK - fck all - I'm pre-odering a XFX Radeon HD 5870. I'll upgrade my CPU, mobo and RAM sometime in the future, to use all the Radeons potencial. Thanks again for the help, Hunter!
!