Okay I asked this in the ATI area now lets see what Nvidia People say
I have NO DX11 or even DX10 Games I play with a MAX $300 (not one penny more) budget for video cards in a new system I am building
Wanted to know if you think dual 8800 GTX or 3 9800GT would be worth the cost so her are my plans..
3 9800 GT Q6600 (3)16X PCI-E
2 8800 GTX Q6600
First of all, 2 x 460GTX is going to break your $300 budget. So that's out.
A single GTX 470 compares to 2 x GTX 260 Core 216's. So that would beat out the 8800GTX's.
Whether you play DX10/11 or not, I can't see spending $300 on 8xxx or 9xxx series video cards. You're already starting behind the curve (lesser driver support, back dated DirectX support, etc).
Assuming your 22 to 23" display is 1920x1080 or 1920x1200, the GTX 470 will play just about anything you want with max settings and retain very good FPS all by itself. With mail in rebates (and some instant sales) you can get a GTX 470 for less than $300.
If the budget would go for it, SLI 460's would destroy a 470. But you're talking $450 to SLI 460 1GB cards.
If you want the best performance right now for 300, i think you would have a hard time beating Cross-fired 5770s but buying something like a 5850 or a 470 would perform well and still leave you with a PCE express slot open if u want to crossfire or SLI them later. Without knowing what resolution you plan on playing at a 5850 could be more power than you need.
Regardless of whether they can Tri-SLI or not, what's the point? Why spend up to $300 on video cards that are 2-3 generations old? LOL
With a $300 max budget, the OP really needs to get a good single GPU solution (GTX 470 or ATI 5850) in my opinion. Sure they don't play DX10/11 games right now, but some day they'll ultimately end up doing so. Not to mention, a 470/5850 would scream with DX9 games.
I just can't see spending even $200 on GPUs that have been replaced twice already (2 generations).
You listed an Intel Q6600 in your first post. Later you mentioned you didn't have any equipment/parts yet. Do you already have a Q6600? If so that's fine. If you don't have one, don't buy one. It's a good CPU no doubt, but it's aging a bit. Better off buying a newer CPU generation like an Intel Core i5-760 or AMD Phenom II X4 of some type.
Asus made a few tri sli models but they are collectibles thus a hint at their rarity. What I don't get is that they made a 9600gso using a similar pcb that allowed for tri sli. Neweeg had them up for a few weeks in late 2008 but that is it while eBay very very rarely turned up one. EVGA also made a 9800gtx that was visible to the driver as a 9800gt with full 128 shader that can be sli ed with a normal 9800gt with out issue but clocks weren't that great. Which reminds me of a even older card by EVGA that was more or less a limited edition 8800gtx 640 that had 112 shaders enabled, needless to say it didn't perform much better than the normal 96. Then there was the ultra rare 2900xtx that only a few prototypes were ever made for testing purposes, it was a worse failure than any of the other R600 cards.