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To SLI or not to SLI... *that* is the question

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 4, 2010 7:06:09 PM

I'm looking at possibly upgrading my gaming PC; weighing my options between going SLI now, or waiting for a current-gen card to come down in price.

Current specs:
Core i7 860
4 GB DDR3
Asus P55 SLI-ready Mobo
evga 9800 GT 512 MB
640 Watt PSU
Win7 Ultimate 64-bit

Newegg has a sale right now with an 9800 GT for $50.00, after MRI.

The most graphically-intense games I play are Just Cause 2 and GRID. My single 9800 GT has handled most everything else very well, as I only have a 19" LCD with a native res of 1440x900. In JC2 I need to turn down some of the eye candy, but it runs pretty well. Will I see drastic improvement in JC2 with a 9800GT SLI setup?

My other concern is that the 9800 series doesn't support DirectX 11. Would it be worth waiting to get a DirectX 11 card in a few months? Is DirectX 11 expected to be a big thing in the next year? (I usually upgrade my GPU every 18-24 months, so I like to plan ahead when possible)

Thanks in advance!

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a c 282 U Graphics card
August 4, 2010 8:09:08 PM

Yrahcaz91 said:
I'm looking at possibly upgrading my gaming PC; weighing my options between going SLI now, or waiting for a current-gen card to come down in price.

Current specs:
Core i7 860
4 GB DDR3
Asus P55 SLI-ready Mobo
evga 9800 GT 512 MB
640 Watt PSU
Win7 Ultimate 64-bit

Newegg has a sale right now with an 9800 GT for $50.00, after MRI.

The most graphically-intense games I play are Just Cause 2 and GRID. My single 9800 GT has handled most everything else very well, as I only have a 19" LCD with a native res of 1440x900. In JC2 I need to turn down some of the eye candy, but it runs pretty well. Will I see drastic improvement in JC2 with a 9800GT SLI setup?

My other concern is that the 9800 series doesn't support DirectX 11. Would it be worth waiting to get a DirectX 11 card in a few months? Is DirectX 11 expected to be a big thing in the next year? (I usually upgrade my GPU every 18-24 months, so I like to plan ahead when possible)

Thanks in advance!

1) At your resolution, I would expect that you could use more candy, and get better minimum frame rates. But, not a drastic improvement.
Some games scale very well with SLI, and others not much at all.
2) I would not worry about directx 11. Game developers won't sell many games that depend on it. In time, it will be more commonly used.
3) That said, $50 is a very good price, so it would not hurt to try it. On e-bay, they are currently selling for that or more.
4) I endorse the suggestion from zipzoomflyhigl on gatting a second larger resolution monitor.
a c 273 U Graphics card
August 4, 2010 8:16:29 PM

I don't know what the OP would get fps wise as I haven't tried JC2 at his resolution (I might try it later) but a pair 0f 8800GT's get 35 - 47 fps @ 19 x 10 on default settings.
August 10, 2010 1:32:16 AM

Thank you all for your input! I think I'll hold off on the 2nd card, and wait for a cheap HD 5850, as zipzoomflyhigh suggested. I'll also keep an eye out for a good new monitor, but I'm pretty content with what I've got now; despite its being almost 4 years old. :sarcastic: 

At any rate, college classes start up next week so I suppose unnecessary hardware upgrades shouldn't be a high priority at the moment.
!