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To SLI or not SLI ... That is my question.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 22, 2010 5:31:55 PM

I am looking into buying a new card:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133246

to be exact.

BUT! Do I want to buy 2 of them for SLI? Please keep in mind that my MB has one 16x slot and one 8x slot. So really my question is should I bother with the second card if it will not be running in 16x mode? If not then should I go for a better single card?

any help would be appreciated.

By the by, here is my MB:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128387


THANKS!

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a c 147 U Graphics card
March 22, 2010 5:44:56 PM

You don't have a choice, actually. That motherboard doesn't support SLI, only Crossfire.

http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Product...

Just get an ATI 5850 and be done with it :p  assuming the rest of your system is up to par.
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a c 180 U Graphics card
March 22, 2010 6:16:30 PM

Really, we need to know the full specs of the current system, including the PSU and monitor resolution before we can make any useful suggestions.
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a b U Graphics card
March 22, 2010 6:26:13 PM

coozie7 said:
Really, we need to know the full specs of the current system, including the PSU and monitor resolution before we can make any useful suggestions.


We don't need that information since Jay2Tall is correct in that motherboard is a Crossfire board, not a SLI board.

I also agree with Jay's advice that the OP should look to get a HD 5850. Something I will do if the price goes down to the original $259-$279 due to fermi competition.
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a c 106 U Graphics card
March 22, 2010 6:37:28 PM

No SLI for you. That's a crossfire board. You can get two 5770s or 5750s though ^_^.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
March 22, 2010 6:50:54 PM

1 card = less hassle.

The 5850 is inflated and hopefully the Fermi brings it down. However, I have a feeling Nvidia is going to try and sell them at top dollar for a while to get all the Nvidia fans onboard before they lower the price.
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March 22, 2010 6:54:03 PM

Holy crap. I feel like such an idiot! It never even dawned on me that this board does not support SLI, it should have ... OMG IT should have! I built this system, I know these things. Excuse me whilst I hang my head in shame ...

Thank you for stopping me from wasting my money.

would 2 5770s or 5750s be comparable to the card I was looking at. Please forgive me, I have never purchased an ATI card before so I do not know how they stack up to an NVidia card.

Should I even worry about crossfire support with the whole one slot 16x and the other 8x thing? In which case would a 5770 be comparable to the 9800GT?
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a c 147 U Graphics card
March 22, 2010 7:07:49 PM

I would put the 5750 in the same ballpark as a GTS 250 (which is just a smaller 9800GTX+)

Crossfire and SLI these days are pretty efficient, especially with modern games and hardware. Once you get to more than 2 cards the efficiency drops off, and your chipset comes into play. Running at 8x on a PCI-E 2.0 bus isn't really an issue with mainstream and below cards.

Honestly, I would just buy a single 5850. ATI is sorta the place to be right now until the Fermi's come out, then we will finally have alot more choices.
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March 22, 2010 7:24:20 PM

Elcrapocrew said:
Holy crap. I feel like such an idiot! It never even dawned on me that this board does not support SLI, it should have ... OMG IT should have! I built this system, I know these things. Excuse me whilst I hang my head in shame ...

Thank you for stopping me from wasting my money.

would 2 5770s or 5750s be comparable to the card I was looking at. Please forgive me, I have never purchased an ATI card before so I do not know how they stack up to an NVidia card.

Should I even worry about crossfire support with the whole one slot 16x and the other 8x thing? In which case would a 5770 be comparable to the 9800GT?


Running at 8x/8x isn't any major loss, robably 1-2 fps or less, probably less, theres comparisons out there but I don't have a link handy, but its been shown its not that much of a factor.

As for comparing a 5770 to a 9800gtx+, this is the current graphics hierarchy chart

This shows the 5770 to be a tier above the 9800gtx+. So if I where you I would either get 2x 5770 for CF, or a single 5850 as was mentioned before. A 5850 will perform slightly slower than dual 5770's. but is also ~310-320 while the dual 5770's will run you ~350.

My choice would be the 5850. That way you have a single card to deal with and the chance to crossfire it later when you have more money to spend.
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a b U Graphics card
March 22, 2010 8:22:33 PM

An HD5770 would top a 9800GT/GTX/GTX+/GTS250 (or whatever reincarnation of the G92 GPU you might care to throw in there) in just about every game there is.

Also, to clear any possible confusion, when you Crossfire, the x16 slot defaults to x8 speed. This gives you 8 x 8 Crossfire because the PCIe BUS only has 16 lanes available in the first place.

I side with those who recommend a single HD5850. But, with the GTX470/480 launch right around the corner, you may want to hold off and see if 5850 pricing settles back down anywhere near the original MSRP levels... Then again, they may have no measurable impact on ATI prices for quite some time. It's risky, but honestly, their prices really can't get all that much worse. They're already $50-$100 above the original MSRP.
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March 22, 2010 8:30:14 PM

Thank you all for the info, I think I have decided to go with a single 5770 right now with the intention of grabbing a second one in the future some time.

I found this one on newegg, it looks good.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I haven't heard of the manufacturer before, any one have any reason NOT to purchase?
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a c 106 U Graphics card
March 22, 2010 8:40:56 PM

That board operates in 8x/8x if there are two cards. Anyway, two 5770s in crossfire are actually a little faster than a 5870, at least in games that work with crossfire though there are a few exceptions. Of course, if you go with a single 5850 now you can ad another one latter for even more GPU power.
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March 22, 2010 8:44:38 PM

Yes, wait untill Fermi luanches, I smell a 260$ 5850.
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March 22, 2010 8:57:26 PM

I wonder what 5770 prices will drop to.... **hopes they drop**
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a b U Graphics card
March 22, 2010 9:17:37 PM

I doubt 5770's will drop. They're already very competitively priced against "older" generation cards in their performance range.

Let's hope builderbob's sense of smell for 5850's is as good as it sounded to read. :) 
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March 23, 2010 12:30:29 PM

Best answer selected by Elcrapocrew.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
March 23, 2010 12:51:36 PM

Elcrapocrew said:
Thank you all for the info, I think I have decided to go with a single 5770 right now with the intention of grabbing a second one in the future some time.

I found this one on newegg, it looks good.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I haven't heard of the manufacturer before, any one have any reason NOT to purchase?

PowerColor has been around for a while and sells world wide. If you are getting a good deal, I don't see my not. It isn't my preferred choice, but for a good deal why not. For $5 more I personally might opt for the Sapphire, just because I've owned several in the past, but that is just me. I tried to go to the Powercolor website by searching on google. The site gives me an error page in asian language. I just feel more comfortable with a manufacture that has a working site at the least. http://www.powercolor.com/eng/

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The 5770 is a good mainstream card. You can always chuck in a 2nd if you are feeling sporty down the road. Or sell it and get the next best single gpu card you can afford. That is what I do rather than going dual cards.
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March 23, 2010 2:54:21 PM

@ Jay2Tall:

I agree with what you are saying. ATI is a new world for me having built with NVidia exclusively for the past 12 years. I have been on a hiatus for the last few years so I have lost touch a bit with the latest tech (hence the amazingly obvious blunder with the SLI / Crossfire).

The card I purchased was the XFX HD5770 because the PowerColor only had a 2 year warranty on parts and labor but the XFX had lifetime on both, the price difference was negligible.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This should be a good replacement for my Plait 768MB 9600GSO, any body want to by a video card : )

jay2tall, I voted your answer to be the best because you quickly spotted my error and saved me a lot of time and money ... and because Mike Rowe is amazing! (have you heard him sing?!)

To the rest of you who chimed in, thank you all as well.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
March 23, 2010 3:08:58 PM

XFX is actually one of the best manufactures to deal with. They tend to be a little more expensive, but their support is good if you have issues. You don't always find a DEAL with them, but they are good. They just started making selling ATI cards a little over a year ago, but have been in the Nvidia market for a LONG time.

Enjoy.
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