I'm a bit out of sync with current video hardware so I hope this question doesn't put me in the "noob" category.
Okay, so I'm slamming an Alienware box together and I'm trying to figure out whether it would be better to go with a dual NVIDIA GTS 240 SLI or a single 260 GTX video solution. I do some gaming, mostly flight sims, and will be using Windows 7 and Linux (probably Ubuntu or Slack(KDE)) without wanting to recompile kernels, stalk Linus, and sacrifice cattle to the video driver gods.
Any opinions from the crowd?
More aboutdual versus single
A single GTX260 leaves the upgrade possibility for later to another GTX260.
Agree with rolli59, a single powerful card solution is more suitable and it let u to add another GTX260 later for SLI... Make sure u have a good quality PSU.
I completely disregarded the memory. The GTX has 1.8GB where the GTS has 1GB (each). BUT...the GTX memory is faster.
Add what rolli and wa have said and it's pretty clear the GTX is the way to go.
I always, always, have always said, even when Tom's said different, it is better to buy the single fastest card you can afford. Then add another later when you feel performance starting to slip, and the card has gotten a lot cheaper
It's memory bandwidth that matters more than the amount. The GTX 260 has DDR3 but it has a memory bus of 448 bits which is MUCH larger than the 128 bit bus of the GT 240. DDR5 ram can't even come close to making up the difference. The GT 240 is overpriced and shouldn't really be considered until the price comes down. So is the GTX 260 for that matter. Have you considered ATI cards? They are the better choice in terms of price/performance as well as features in most price segments at this point.
Forgot you said you were going to run linux. Anyone know if there are ATI drivers that play well with linux yet?
Thanks for the link rolli. I think I understand what you mean about the memory.
Good point jyjjy. That's why I gave myself the "FAIL" earlier. I should have realized that before posting the question.
As far as Linux and ATI goes, I've had so-so experiences. Sometimes the sun comes out and everyone is happy. Other times it's just awful. I prefer to stick with Nvidia to avoid the headaches.
What resolution do you use
I think jyjjy I'm going to go with the 260 GTX. I think the combination of higher bandwidth with the upgrade path (per rolli and wa's posts) make it the best choice.
Yeah, the GT 240 costs as much or more than a 9800 GT anyway and that's a better card.