Hello, here's my dilemma. My old computer died couple of days ago. (after a lot of testing it turns out it was a problem with the mobo and PSU, but I digress). What happened was initially I thought it was my video card, so without investigating first I went out and bought a rather noisy evga 9800GT.
So my old computer is not really worth salvaging. I'm now looking at building a new system (for about $800 Canadian). But I'm still stuck with the 9800GT. I can return it and get a newer card, but If I return it, the company will charge me 15% fee and I will lose about $20 to $25 dollars including RMA shipping cost.
Alternatively, I can buy another 9800Gt and SLI the new machine. But I nor any of my friends have ever used SLI before so I'm rather uncertain about it. Also, if I go this route I will need to mod the card so it is less noisy.
Any recommendations? Should I return the 9800GT, pay the $20 dollars fee, and buy a new video card, or get another 9800GT and SLI.
It all depends what another one is going to cost you. If you return it and get HD5770 instead might be less out of pocket than getting another one for SLI. It is though more or less what you want to do!
SLI 9800GT will perform less than an HD5850. It's old-tech and honestly you could save money by going with a non-sli motherboard. Not to mention that so few AMD chipsets support SLI, you won't be going AMD, which offer cheaper processors. Ultimately going the nVidia/intel route will cost you more.
Given that the 9800GTs are near the end of their life cycle, I would not suggest investing further in them. If you can return the one you have and invest in a faster card, that would be the better route. Hopefully it will also provide an easy route to upgrade later by pairing it with another of the same faster card.
If you want to stick with nVidia and can affort the GTX 260 that would be great, if not the GTS 250 is still an able card. Just 3 weeks ago Frys Online was offering an EVGA GTS 250 card on sale for just $80. But alas now it is $120. And off course ATI has alternatives.