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Help Choose SLI Compatible Card(s)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 27, 2010 5:39:02 PM

Please recommend card(s) for a budget of $200-300 that are SLI compatible whether or not you believe I should buy two lesser cards or one stronger card right now. Go outside the price range if you really think it is necessary.

I may have kind of an odd system. I wanted a test server running Windows 2003 x64 (self-built) to setup a home lab for learning networking. I was in a hurry to get started, so I bought all components off the shelf at COMPUSA. I also wanted this PC to be usable as a gaming server. I did not notice when I chose the motherboard that no on-board graphics card was included otherwise I would have picked a decent card from the beginning. I live two hours from COMPUSA and so when I realized I needed a graphics card, I had to settle for a piece of crap Diamond Stealth S60 ($50 at OfficeDepot).

Motherboard: XFX 750i SLI (can support two graphics cards and 8GB RAM, max FSB 1333MHz)

RAM: 8GB of OCZ NVIDIA SLI-Ready Dual Channel DDR2 800MHz

CPU: Intel Dual Core x64, 2.6GHz, FSB 800MHz, L2 Cache 2MB

Hard Drives: (4) SATA 160GB drives configured in RAID 5

Video Card: Diamond Stealth S60 [:mousemonkey:5]

OS: Windows Server 2003 R2 x64

February 27, 2010 8:42:19 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
Twin GTS 250's

$200 (512 MB) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$230 (1 GB) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Both have $20 MIR's which are limited to "one per customer" .... so you'll have to have "a friend" order 2nd on if you wanna cash in on both


Thank you! Just for my future use, how were you able to narrow down all the choices to those two cards? I am new to choosing video cards and was lost when I tried to make a choice.
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February 28, 2010 1:31:51 AM

Basically you want to go with the latest generation of card, in your case that would be Nvidia's 200 series. Then choose a model(s) of cards that fit within your price range (gts 250). After that look at the different kinds of 250s, ranging from different manufacturers, amounts of video RAM, heat sinks, maybe some low profile versions, and some factory overclocked versions. All of the stock clocked versions will perform the same so going with the cheapest is not a bad idea. Manufactures are all the same mostly some stand out like XFX that have the best warranty for their cards(choose whatever unless you are already partial to a certain brand). And factory overclocked versions are typically overpriced for what performance gain you get out of them.
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February 28, 2010 3:17:09 AM

paperfox said:
Basically you want to go with the latest generation of card, in your case that would be Nvidia's 200 series. Then choose a model(s) of cards that fit within your price range (gts 250). After that look at the different kinds of 250s, ranging from different manufacturers, amounts of video RAM, heat sinks, maybe some low profile versions, and some factory overclocked versions. All of the stock clocked versions will perform the same so going with the cheapest is not a bad idea. Manufactures are all the same mostly some stand out like XFX that have the best warranty for their cards(choose whatever unless you are already partial to a certain brand). And factory overclocked versions are typically overpriced for what performance gain you get out of them.



So basically with all specs being equal a stock GTS 250 from Biostar, XFX, and EVGA will all perform the same?
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February 28, 2010 5:09:53 AM

They should perform the same at stock speeds, Its just the warranty and customer support that is different with manufacturers.
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February 28, 2010 5:32:39 AM

yes if at stock speeds all 3 should perform identically, some of the companies may include software, or a game to bundle with the card. I know newegg usually shows if it's got a game bundled, but you should also check the website. When i bought an evga 275 besides the game that was mentioned on newegg, evga also gave me a free copy of cryostasis, Also these companies may offer software, for overclocking and the like
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March 1, 2010 1:23:38 AM

jdrogers73 said:
Thank you! Just for my future use, how were you able to narrow down all the choices to those two cards? I am new to choosing video cards and was lost when I tried to make a choice.


Well what I generally do is narrow down my choices by looking at the monthly THG GFX Card Roundup. Then I go to newegg.com, search on that card, sort by lowest price and pick the 1st one that is from a company I don't mind dealing with .... Asis, XFX, EVGA, Saphire fpor example
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