Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

SLi vs Single Card Comparison again

Tags:
  • Graphics Cards
  • SLI
  • Geforce
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
February 1, 2010 4:30:35 PM

Hello people,

Currently using an XFX GeForce 9800 GT that geforce gave me for being a whiney bastard.

I feel the need to upgrade it, since I bought Bioshock 2 on preorder and my pc is crying at me trying to play the original Bioshock :\

I'm sure I have all the other parts i'm upgrading sorted, i'm just torn between a new single card, or an SLi setup.

The single card I was looking at was the geforce 275 GTX by xfx, and the cards I was going to sli were 2 250 GTSs, also by xfx. Price wise they're identical for from where i'm buying. I think the 275 GTX is a little overpriced tbh, but still.

But I hear that SLi is sort of double edged, it works much better with games that support it, but it'll work worse than the single card for games that don't. Either way, even only 1 250 GTS would be an upgrade over my current card, but would I lose out alot overall compared to the 275 GTX?

Any answers about sli vs single card, or recommendations about card choice would be appreciated. My budget for a card is around £200, as much as I'd love to double that for a more future proof card, I'm upgrading too much else to spare all that :) 

More about : sli single card comparison

a b U Graphics card
February 1, 2010 4:40:36 PM

Why not just get a second 9800 GT? You ought to get good results with that, and for half the price.

If you're starting out from scratch, I'd say it's almost always a better option to get the more powerful single card than trying to crossfire or SLI. That way you don't run into possible headaches with games that aren't optimized for multiple cards, and if you do want to upgrade later, you'll have the option of doing it cheaply by just adding a second card in SLI -- which, I might point out, is exactly the situation you're in right now with that 9800.

February 1, 2010 5:33:52 PM

+1 capt_taco

I'm not sure how the 9800GT SLI will perform, but you should investigate that route. Its a bad moment to buy NVidia so you should try to spend as little as possible at this time.

The 9800GT SLI setup should give you enough performance to wait for Fermi, and future lower end launches till the end of the year.
Related resources
a c 126 U Graphics card
February 1, 2010 5:52:19 PM

You can almost get a HD5850 for that price, its on par or slightly better than a GTX285 (Depending on what game you play)

a c 274 U Graphics card
February 1, 2010 5:58:34 PM

envolva said:
I'm not sure how the 9800GT SLI will perform, but you should investigate that route. Its a bad moment to buy NVidia so you should try to spend as little as possible at this time.

The 9800GT SLI setup should give you enough performance to wait for Fermi, and future lower end launches till the end of the year.

Agreed, a pair of 9800GT's will be the same as a pair of 8800GT's which are still running everything I've tried and doing it at 19 x 10 with frame rates in the high double figures sometimes into triple figures.
a c 184 U Graphics card
February 1, 2010 9:33:16 PM

What CPU do you have.

I play Bioshock with an HD3870 which is not quite as fast as the 9800GT (close) and I can play Bioshock in high quality and resolution at 60FPS mostly. I have an AMD X2-4800+ overclocked 15%.

If your CPU can not keep up with the graphics card it is a waste of money to buy a new one. On most games my CPU is at 80% (so my graphics card is at 100%). On some games my CPU is running at 100%. There is a balance gamers like to achieve where a system is CPU-bound on some games and Graphics-bound on some games.

You need a much better CPU to take advantage of faster cards. There is a chart you can Google: CPU comparison.
a b U Graphics card
February 1, 2010 11:53:30 PM

^ this.

you should be able to play comfortably a high settings with a 9800. bioshock is not a demanding game.

if you are CPU bottlenecked, getting as new GPU wont help.

if you do go for a new GPU, an ATI card would be better value. or wait until nvidia releases their own competitors. buying overpriced and old tech right now would just be silly.
February 2, 2010 12:43:17 AM

Im using an AMD Athalon 64 X2 5200+

so a 2.61ghz dual core

New upgrade cpu was going to be an AMD Phenom 2 965 Black Edition, which is a 3.4ghz quad core
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 1:22:33 AM

the frequency is less important than the architecture. a phenom II is VASTLY superior to an athlon. that athlon will almost surely bottleneck your system if you go for a high end card.

id upgrade the processor first.
February 2, 2010 5:33:40 AM

Right, intended to do this directly after my last post but I got sidetracked

My current pc is;

Gigabyte M57SLI-S4
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+
XFX Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT
2gb of some generic *** 300mhz ddr2 ram that feels as stable as riding a bucking bronco whilst in a washing machine thats barreling down some white water
and a 650w psu, by ezcool, no model name, hurrah

Been considering upgrading to;
GigaByte MA790XT-UD4P mobo
Kingston HyperX 2Gb DDR3 1600MHz x2
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition
XFX 896Mb nVidia GeForce GTX 275 XXX (dunno what the xxx bit is meant to be:\)

if SLi was worth it, like i said, id go for 2x 250 GTS instead. But i've not done alot of actual research, its all been comparison lists and personal knowledge.
a c 274 U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 5:46:02 AM

Make sure you upgrade that PSU as well.
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 6:11:05 AM

you seem to have missed the statements regarding GPU.

a gtx 275 is a waste of cash. an ATI 5 series card offers better value/performance as well as newer features like DX11. not to mention that the 5 series will improve through driver updates.
a c 274 U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 6:38:04 AM

welshmousepk said:
you seem to have missed the statements regarding GPU.

a gtx 275 is a waste of cash. an ATI 5 series card offers better value/performance as well as newer features like DX11. not to mention that the 5 series will improve through driver updates.

It better do because at the moment that hasn't happened.
February 2, 2010 7:07:17 AM

I switched to prefering nvidia cards over ati a long time ago tbh.

Looking at HD5 670, 750 and 770.

670 looks better than 275 gtx, and is a third of the price... what? Is it the 512mb of gddr5 causing that price thing or what?

regardless im thinking the 770 of the 3, better, saves me £50.

Whats the drawback, seriously.

And more info on PSU upgrade plz, i thought 650w was fine?
a c 274 U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 7:19:54 AM

benser said:
I switched to prefering nvidia cards over ati a long time ago tbh.

Looking at HD5 670, 750 and 770.

670 looks better than 275 gtx, and is a third of the price... what? Is it the 512mb of gddr5 causing that price thing or what?

regardless im thinking the 770 of the 3, better, saves me £50.

Whats the drawback, seriously.

And more info on PSU upgrade plz, i thought 650w was fine?



http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3658&p=5
Is DX11 worth that much to you? and EZCool PSU's are crap, it will go pop.
February 2, 2010 7:28:05 AM

I clearly dont know anything, I cant even see why the 295gtx would perform that well based on its spec unless that extra 800mb is making that much difference :) 
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 7:31:11 AM

Mousemonkey said:
It better do because at the moment that hasn't happened.


What the hell are you doing? This is another thread in which you start flaming with ironic/sarcastic comments. You of all should know that problems appear in every generation of cards no matter what the manufacturer of the GPU is. All this, 'driver didn't improve', bla bla bla. How do you know? Do you own a 5xxx series card? I have seen on so many sites people really happy with their cards and which saw improvements with each driver update.
But no, you come in with your acid comments and try to pretend to be impartial. I understand you don't like ATI, but please refrain from comments that don't help the OP at all. Even with your graphs I have no idea what did you show. The 5850 which was recommended in this thread seems to be the best choice for the OP and what you do:

Quote:
Is DX11 worth that much to you?


Come on. I admit every second that I hate nVidia, but I will recommend cards from them if the OP will be better suited with one. You on the other hand...
a c 274 U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 7:37:29 AM

benser said:
I clearly dont know anything, I cant even see why the 295gtx would perform that well based on its spec unless that extra 800mb is making that much difference :) 

The cards from ATi and Nvidia cannot be compared just by using specs as each have different architecture and due to who pays which developer some games will favour one over the over.

The GTX don't look so funky now does it?
February 2, 2010 7:38:07 AM

Okay, I dont want an ati vs nvidia war going on here.

Lets entirely forget about the card im actually after.

Would 1 card be a better choice than SLIing 2 cards of similar power combined?
a c 274 U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 7:38:47 AM

hallowed_dragon said:
What the hell are you doing? This is another thread in which you start flaming with ironic/sarcastic comments. You of all should know that problems appear in every generation of cards no matter what the manufacturer of the GPU is. All this, 'driver didn't improve', bla bla bla. How do you know? Do you own a 5xxx series card? I have seen on so many sites people really happy with their cards and which saw improvements with each driver update.
But no, you come in with your acid comments and try to pretend to be impartial. I understand you don't like ATI, but please refrain from comments that don't help the OP at all. Even with your graphs I have no idea what did you show. The 5850 which was recommended in this thread seems to be the best choice for the OP and what you do:

Quote:
Is DX11 worth that much to you?


Come on. I admit every second that I hate nVidia, but I will recommend cards from them if the OP will be better suited with one. You on the other hand...

Get a grip.
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 7:45:40 AM

Mousemonkey said:
Get a grip.


That is your reply? To get a grip? :pfff:  Ok. Then please answer me one question...why did you make that comment?
Quote:
Is DX11 worth that much to you?
Do you go on recommending a another 9800GT? Knowing SLI/X-fire heat issues? And add that to his old card...hmm...nothing wrong can go there.
a c 274 U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 7:54:09 AM

hallowed_dragon said:
That is your reply? To get a grip? :pfff:  Ok. Then please answer me one question...why did you make that comment?
Quote:
Is DX11 worth that much to you?
Do you go on recommending a another 9800GT? Knowing SLI/X-fire heat issues? And add that to his old card...hmm...nothing wrong can go there.

I said another 9800GT would give a better result than a single one which is not quite recommending he go and buy one and as I've been running SLi rigs for the last six years without heat issues I think you're spouting rubbish and if you are so sure that everyone is enjoying happy times with their 5 series card please tell this poor soul that, I wonder if they will agree with you completely on the whole driver thing.
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 8:03:49 AM

Mousemonkey said:
I said another 9800GT would give a better result than a single one which is not quite recommending he go and buy one and as I've been running SLi rigs for the last six years without heat issues I think you're spouting rubbish and if you are so sure that everyone is enjoying happy times with their 5 series card please tell this poor soul that, I wonder if they will agree with you completely on the whole driver thing.


Wow. You showed me someone with problems. Who would have guessed that there are people like that :pt1cable:  . Where did I say everyone? Please highlight the part. As I said. There will always be problems. 90% user generated and 10% card problems. You just showed me an example of that 10%. Good for you... Have a cookie. Do you want me to go to the nVidia forum and see problems(and those will be for the older generation)? I won't. You know why? Because it is not relevant.
Yes, I agree another 9800GT will bring better result than a single one, but as other posters said, why the hell would you invest in older generations when you will do a full system upgrade in the future? You will end up with current generation CPU, mobo and wait...old generation GPUs. Good plan. :sarcastic: 
a c 274 U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 8:10:11 AM

benser said:
I switched to prefering nvidia cards over ati a long time ago tbh.

Looking at HD5 670, 750 and 770.

670 looks better than 275 gtx, and is a third of the price... what? Is it the 512mb of gddr5 causing that price thing or what?

regardless im thinking the 770 of the 3, better, saves me £50.

Whats the drawback, seriously.

And more info on PSU upgrade plz, i thought 650w was fine?


hallowed_dragon said:
Wow. You showed me someone with problems. Who would have guessed that there are people like that :pt1cable:  . Where did I say everyone? Please highlight the part. As I said. There will always be problems. 90% user generated and 10% card problems. You just showed me an example of that 10%. Good for you... Have a cookie. Do you want me to go to the nVidia forum and see problems(and those will be for the older generation)? I won't. You know why? Because it is not relevant.
Yes, I agree another 9800GT will bring better result than a single one, but as other posters said, why the hell would you invest in older generations when you will do a full system upgrade in the future? You will end up with current generation CPU, mobo and wait...old generation GPUs. Good plan. :sarcastic: 

You seemed to have missed this post where the 5770 was asked about in relation to the GTX275 and I think you'll find that both of those cards were in the charts that I then posted, and if you are unaware of the article here on THG concerning the 5 series issues then I suggest you do some reading.
February 2, 2010 8:16:36 AM

Guys, cool down.

I'm not going to buy a second 9800gt.

I've no idea wether dx11 is even useful, infact i didn't even know it existed. Guess because i've stuck with XP, which means I dont even get dx10 or something, I dont remember.

I have a current preferance towards nvidia cards. I do not have any reasons other than buying nvidia card after nvidia card. Same as always from XFX. I'm just strange like that.

All i really wanted to know was wether a single card would be a superior setup to an SLI config. The main reason I mentioned the cards names were incase those specific cards would make predicting the difference easier.

a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 8:17:49 AM

Mousemonkey said:
You seemed to have missed this post where the 5770 was asked about in relation to the GTX275 and I think you'll find that both of those cards were in the charts that I then posted, and if you are unaware of the article here on THG concerning the 5 series issues then I suggest you do some reading.


I am perfectly aware of the article on Toms about the 2D performance of the 5xxx series. If you buy a 5xxx series card to play Pacman and stay in Windows all day long on Facebook or whatever, then you are an idiot and frankly I don't give a damn about you.
Yes I missed that suggestion. My bad. Now to make up for it I suggest to go with the 5850 which will blow out of the water whatever other suggestion was given in this thread. :whistle: 
February 2, 2010 8:26:39 AM

hallowed_dragon said:
I am perfectly aware of the article on Toms about the 2D performance of the 5xxx series. If you buy a 5xxx series card to play Pacman and stay in Windows all day long on Facebook or whatever, then you are an idiot and frankly I don't give a damn about you.
Yes I missed that suggestion. My bad. Now to make up for it I suggest to go with the 5850 which will blow out of the water whatever other suggestion was given in this thread. :whistle: 


5850 did look like a cool plan. But over the price range I had originally decided upon.

Im just going to assume sli is a retarded idea and unless I have the money to quad some of those nvidia mofos together i may aswell not bother.
a c 274 U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 8:27:00 AM

benser said:
Guys, cool down.

I'm not going to buy a second 9800gt.

I've no idea wether dx11 is even useful, infact i didn't even know it existed. Guess because i've stuck with XP, which means I dont even get dx10 or something, I dont remember.

I have a current preferance towards nvidia cards. I do not have any reasons other than buying nvidia card after nvidia card. Same as always from XFX. I'm just strange like that.

All i really wanted to know was wether a single card would be a superior setup to an SLI config. The main reason I mentioned the cards names were incase those specific cards would make predicting the difference easier.

S'alright it's what happens if you don't continually blow smoke up appropriate butts :sarcastic:  , as for whether a single card is more favourable over duel cards that's as much down to budget and expectations from the cards of your choice as to whether you are going to be happy with what you end up with, so in that respect a single card is easier to get to grips with.
February 2, 2010 8:28:06 AM

quad them together, wtf am I on about.

Ive been up like 40 hours now, sorry, lol
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 8:33:43 AM

benser said:
quad them together, wtf am I on about.

Ive been up like 40 hours now, sorry, lol


If you have a preference for nVidia cards then go with the highest performer in your budget. There are plenty of benchmarks on the web. In my opinion do not hurry with a decision now, especially when the new Fermi's are close. Wait a little see what they bring to the table and decide then.
February 2, 2010 8:35:56 AM

excuse my niavety... and spelling :\

fermi?
a c 274 U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 8:38:43 AM

benser said:
excuse my niavety... and spelling :\

fermi?

The new spangly, shiny card(s) coming from Nvidia sometime in the not too far distant future.
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 8:39:48 AM

benser said:
excuse my niavety... and spelling :\

fermi?


Fermi is a new generation of cards from nVIdia. The release is going to be around March-April. This new generation is highly anticipated because it might bring some new performance improvements to the GPU area. If you want more details google Fermi and do some reading.
a c 274 U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 8:41:21 AM

And your spelling was mostly correct except that it starts with a capitol F as they have named it after someone not something.
February 2, 2010 8:41:39 AM

jfgi... i shoulda, sorry, alt tabbing between this thread and WoW :)  doing *** with gf, lol.

Am I right then in thinking a single card would be my best bet over sli? Drawback of sli i hear is that unsupported whatevers only use the 1 card, so while it may be better when active, its inferior when its not.
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 8:45:48 AM

benser said:
jfgi... i shoulda, sorry, alt tabbing between this thread and WoW :)  doing *** with gf, lol.

Am I right then in thinking a single card would be my best bet over sli? Drawback of sli i hear is that unsupported whatevers only use the 1 card, so while it may be better when active, its inferior when its not.


You can't simplify all like that. SLI/X-fire depends a lot on which games you play, which PSU you have, which resolution you have and so on. SLI/X-fire are considered to be enthusiast configurations that should be used by the gamers which want to squeeze every FPS from their systems. These configurations are a bit difficult to set up and maintain in good working stable conditions. For the average consumer SLI/X-fire configs are over the top and should not be considered. A single card is preferable and a lot more trouble-free.
February 2, 2010 8:58:02 AM

uh, well, id consider myself a gamer who really wants alot more fps.
i feel like im running ~7fps in bioshock half the time :\

and fallout 3, with graphics so low it feels a total waste, blows me to -5 in almost every firefight

mod war 2 set itself iirc, it ran perfect, and looked great.

assassins creed runs perfect, fps drops during loading screens.

dirt 2 sometimes drops to what feelslike 5fps, but then it sticks there, through all menus and everything, i think thats a dirt2 problem tbh

dragon age origins can struggle sometimes. especially with alot ofmagic going off.

currently sitting in dalaran on wow with 70fps, ive seen 120 in older, quieter areas.

I run at 1680x1050

i always run gamebooster, tho im sceptical it even does anything, since i recommends i turn off my razer mouses drivers to save cpu time...

excuse spelling and missing spaces, my spacebar doesnt work too good and im knackered atm :)  but you guys at right there, so, im replying
February 2, 2010 9:00:36 AM

my main concern was how my pc doesnt rly meet all theminimum requirements for bioshock 2... which i checked since i was struggling with the original

i just wondered if sli had a large range of pro to con ratio if you get what i mean.

really great and really bad at the same time sort of thing
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 9:02:21 AM

benser said:
uh, well, id consider myself a gamer who really wants alot more fps.
i feel like im running ~7fps in bioshock half the time :\

and fallout 3, with graphics so low it feels a total waste, blows me to -5 in almost every firefight

mod war 2 set itself iirc, it ran perfect, and looked great.

assassins creed runs perfect, fps drops during loading screens.

dirt 2 sometimes drops to what feelslike 5fps, but then it sticks there, through all menus and everything, i think thats a dirt2 problem tbh

dragon age origins can struggle sometimes. especially with alot ofmagic going off.

currently sitting in dalaran on wow with 70fps, ive seen 120 in older, quieter areas.

I run at 1680x1050

i always run gamebooster, tho im sceptical it even does anything, since i recommends i turn off my razer mouses drivers to save cpu time...

excuse spelling and missing spaces, my spacebar doesnt work too good and im knackered atm :)  but you guys at right there, so, im replying



If you really want to see how many FPS you have in each game download and run Fraps.
BTW, nice FPS in Dalaran(are you running WOW at all high+8AA settings? Did you change the configs to run on more threads?)
As I said, I will still recommend you a single card. At the moment I don't see how I can recommend you an nVidia card. That is why I say for you to wait till March-April.
February 2, 2010 9:03:05 AM

actually, im gonna sleep, any more useful info or recommendations wouldbe brilliant, ill pick this up in the morning, or afternoon, lol :) 

im not a total pc idiot, my pcs been put together by me for years now, i jsust dont keep up to date on this sort of thing is all, i just forget stuff like wtf an l3 cache is supposed to do
February 2, 2010 9:03:30 AM

oh ill reply to this then, 1 sec
a c 274 U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 9:05:55 AM

benser said:
uh, well, id consider myself a gamer who really wants alot more fps.
i feel like im running ~7fps in bioshock half the time :\

and fallout 3, with graphics so low it feels a total waste, blows me to -5 in almost every firefight

mod war 2 set itself iirc, it ran perfect, and looked great.

assassins creed runs perfect, fps drops during loading screens.

dirt 2 sometimes drops to what feelslike 5fps, but then it sticks there, through all menus and everything, i think thats a dirt2 problem tbh

dragon age origins can struggle sometimes. especially with alot ofmagic going off.

currently sitting in dalaran on wow with 70fps, ive seen 120 in older, quieter areas.

I run at 1680x1050

i always run gamebooster, tho im sceptical it even does anything, since i recommends i turn off my razer mouses drivers to save cpu time...

excuse spelling and missing spaces, my spacebar doesnt work too good and im knackered atm :)  but you guys at right there, so, im replying

With dual 8800GT's @ 19 x10 Fallout 3 never drops below 60 fps and MW2 sits between 75 and 90+ the other games I don't play and all I have running in the background is Rivatuner's OSD showing framerates and temps.
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 9:06:00 AM

benser said:
my main concern was how my pc doesnt rly meet all theminimum requirements for bioshock 2... which i checked since i was struggling with the original

i just wondered if sli had a large range of pro to con ratio if you get what i mean.

really great and really bad at the same time sort of thing


Pros for SLI/X-fire:
- Usually greater performance depending on the game(+50% more usually, even 90%+ on certain games)
- Bigger e-peen.

Cons:
- Depending on the game played you can actually get worse performance than using a single card.
- Runs hot, if you don't have good airflow in your case you can have problems with overheating.
- Possible driver problems (more than just using a single card)
February 2, 2010 9:07:04 AM

march or april? bioshock 2 unlocks of steam tomorrow :) 

+8AA? are you nuts? did you read my spec? or is there something seriously wrong with my PC

slammed everything on high, 8aa and not even all settings took place, would have to relog. dal population is probably moderate-high atm. Im at 14 fps avg :|
February 2, 2010 9:10:51 AM

I turn AA OFF if possible on everything :)  i never notice a differance other than framerate :)  since i first noticed it playing oblivion i think
February 2, 2010 9:12:33 AM

Im a blind shite, AA makes loads of difference ><
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 9:17:05 AM

benser said:
Im a blind shite, AA makes loads of difference ><


The reason why I asked is because I saw 70FPS and I was like WTF.
I run with 30+FPS in Dalaran, but I have all on HIGH + 8AA :D  with my 4870.
February 2, 2010 9:18:27 AM

my standard settings are all high except view distance, which is about 25%, and shadows which are all off

wow AA is nice, im keeping this on.

Currently sitting at 50fps
a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2010 9:19:48 AM

benser said:
my standard settings are all high except view distance, which is about 25%, and shadows which are all off

wow AA is nice, im keeping this on.

Currently sitting at 50fps


Good. I am keeping all on HIGH and most importantly View Distance to hunt down the opposite faction in Sholazar :D 
      • 1 / 2
      • 2
      • Newest
!