Sign-in / Sign-up
Your question

THG, When will you be able to test..

Tags:
  • Graphics Cards
  • Chipsets
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics Cards
August 2, 2004 10:56:15 AM

A PC with Intels 925 chipset and Nvidia's SLI card combo?
I assume the appropriate matching memory H/Disk etc.
The results of this should exceed our current expectations significantly. And they are high since the NV9800 and ATIX800 came to our attention.

Geoff.

More about : thg test

August 2, 2004 6:07:35 PM

There'll be more on SLI soon, but it will take some time until we'll see real consumer oriented solutions - I mean, regarding the motherboards. The Tumwater boards are just for demonstration. It's no secret that we'll see consumer solutions based on a future NVIDIA PCIe motherboard chipset ;-) But when?... I really can't tell yet.

Lars
Related resources
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
August 2, 2004 6:15:58 PM

Nice I'D like to see benchmark of D3 with SLI...Since Ultra High doesnt seams to make much of a difference, two 256meg card will probly get you a nicer gaming experience than using one 512meg card.

Asus P4P800DX, P4C 2.6ghz@3.25ghz, 2X512 OCZ PC4000 3-4-4-8, Leadtek FX5900 w/ FX5950U bios@500/1000, 2X30gig Raid0
a b U Graphics card
August 2, 2004 7:06:36 PM

Howdy Lars,

Just curious, Will you run (or more accurately, are you planning to run) the SLI configuration against an Alienware configuration, with both dual nV and dual ATI cards? That would be what I'd be loking for; head to head 2nV vs 2nV (using same cards of course) and then ontop of that versus dual ATI, and maybe throwing in dual XGI as a lark to see the 'power of 4 VPU/GPUs'. :lol: 

Anywhoo, I know you'll bench/review when you can, although it'll probably appear in another version of THG first :wink: (which I check during my 3D-Centre and Dark][Tweaker runs). :evil: 


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
August 2, 2004 10:49:52 PM

Thanks for the response Lars (and all others). I've no doubt most of us are hanging out for more info about the potential of this new gear.
And sorry guys about the 9600/6800 mixup. Yes, I should know better.

Geoff.
August 3, 2004 10:54:22 AM

Uh, grape.. how do u do dual ATI cards? I have not heard about this...

Me: are you saying I can't provide?
Me: cause I know I can provide.
Me: oh and I can provide money too;)
Rachel:) : why do we need money when we can just stay in our room and have sex all day?
August 3, 2004 12:17:07 PM

AlienWare's Dual Card tech (different to Nvidia's SLI) is allegedly independant of which cards you use (provided they're the same card that is, IIRC)

I too would be very interested to see a comparison of Nvidia's SLI Vs. The alienware stuff, using the same cards.

---
Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
XP1700+ @200x10 (~2Ghz), 1.4 Vcore
2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL/1x512Mb Corsair XMS PC4000 2.5-3-3-7
Sapphire 9800Pro @412/740
a b U Graphics card
August 3, 2004 12:34:32 PM

Yeah like Chipdeath said, you can use any card, it doesn't use integrated SLI. In <A HREF="http://www.alienware.com/press_release_pages/press_rele..." target="_new">their 'literature'</A> they even mention, <i>"...Alienware's innovative Video Array Technology using off-the-shelf graphics solutions from manufacturers such as ATI, Nvidia, 3D Labs, <b>Matrox</b>, and others."</i> (my emphasis :wink: ). Also they have <A HREF="http://www.alienware.com/alx_pages/main_content.aspx#nv..." target="_new">a section especially for SLI vs ALX-array differences</A> which is part of <A HREF="http://www.alienware.com/alx_pages/main_content.aspx" target="_new">their overall FAQ</A>.

I'd like to see if the XGI even runs (may still need tricky drivers). And of course compare that todual Parhelias just for the heck of it. Also 2 R9800Pro/XTs against a single X800XT would also be interesting.

I even wonder if Lars can get one to test completely, as being a 'pre-built' Alienware might have some conditions (can't just have lars slapping in two GF4MXs :evil:  ).


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
August 4, 2004 3:13:53 AM

I'm wondering, what would happen if you put two different cards into an SLI or Array setup? Which will work?

--

<font color=red>NNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
<font color=white>XXXXXXX<font color=green>S<font color=white>XXXXXXX
XXXXXX<font color=green>SSS<font color=white>XXXXXX
XXXXX<font color=green>SS<font color=orange>g</font color=orange>SS<font color=white>XXXXX
<font color=red>NNNNNNNNNNNNNNN</font color=green></font color=white>
a b U Graphics card
August 4, 2004 4:04:53 AM

Well you couldn't use two no nV cards in SLI, but it would be interesting to see a GT with an Ultra (the only two I've seen sofar with SLI connectors).

It could be interesting, but I don't think you'd get a great experience if they both were allowed to run unchecked because an R9800XT with and R9600 would likely have rendering issues, unless both were somehow throttled to R9600 levels, and likely with all the xorrection work to keep things equal you'd likely get performance issues trying to equalize things. I don't know really, but I have a feeling that even if they could account for differences, likely you'd get better performance out of matched R9600Pros than an R9800XT and an R9600np, despite the theoretical advantage of the latter.

Also it might 'run' but not 'work' giving you artifacts or tearing or something, because with a combo like the R9700pro and the R9600pro it's not like you can simply throttle back an R9700P to equal the R9600P, so I doubt they would play well with mismatched cards. Likely it would look for similar chips (like Futuremark recognizes) and then throttle them equally, what would be interesting would be an R9800SE or R9800LE (my name for the 128bit 'pro') with a full R9800Pro. Both would likely appear as an R9800series, and thus clocking them the same wouldn't achieve anywhere near parity.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
August 5, 2004 6:26:38 AM

@TheGreatGrapeApe
Great ideas! A comparison of NVIDIAs SLI with the Alienware Video Array is the best I could do. But don't expect too much for the first articles... nothing is really released yet and motherboard solutions are just temporary. So it will be kind of previews. It also depends on what Aliennware is going to sell... the first plan was to sell complete systems only! That would still make the comparission interresting - from a technical point of view... but would'nt mean much. The "upgrade later" possibility is what makes SLI so nice. And... there'll be more cards with SLI support ;-)

Lars
a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2004 8:00:06 AM

Thanks, on all counts.

Yeah, I was worried about what AlienWare would allow you to play with (since as you say they prefer to sell complete systems), hopefully this is all gratis of course. :wink:

Either way, it'll be fun to see what these solutions have to offer and also how they play with intense titles like D3 (and potentially HL2). It'd also be interesting to see how SLI handles something like the GT running with an Ultra (does it throttle the Ultra back? I would expect as an upgrade path many might want the benifits of a 'bargain' GT now, and then later wish to add an Ultra when they become 'cheap', it'd be interesting to see if they HAVE to buy another GT or if they would gain anything from the Ultra. Just some things I wonder about since it is very close to my preference of a Parhelia-style array setup (though I do know this isn't the purpose of these setups/solutions).

As for the MOBOs, I'm sure the Prescott/775 hiccups haven't helped much in that respect.

In any case, looking forward to whatever you end up getting your hands on and examining.

Cheers!


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
August 5, 2004 12:36:31 PM

I don't share your interest in the AlienWare version. (Though I’ll be impressed if its faster). I'm guessing that the alienware solution will be notably more expensive, and I am betting that it will not work with just any 2 graphic cards. That the cards will need to be “approved” to be assured full compatibility with their system. This in my view undermines the suggestion that their version will be more flexible that Nvidia.

Though the Nvidia version will obviously work only with a set of two “designed for SLI” Nvida cards, but you can be assured that they will work properly and without compromise.

It seems to me that two video cards designed from the ground up to have the option of “SLI” would more likely be much better that the AlienWare version that will solely use software (or a highly customised motherboard) to achieve the goal of making two cards work together.

Geoff.
August 5, 2004 12:49:59 PM

You are right, in that Nvidia's solution is probably going to be the better performer (<i>how</i> embarrassed would nvidia be otherwise? :eek:  )

Anyway, if I could simply buy a motherboard from alienware (not likely, but bear with me here), and get another 9800Pro (as they are getting pretty cheap now), and just that gave me the same performance as a X800XTPe card but it might cost a little less... maybe.

I'm definitely interested in it, simply because of the implied ability to do it with non-nvidia 6800 cards (which are the only SLI-enabled cards ATM, unless you count those old VooDoo Cards, but I can't see DoomIII running that well on those... :lol:  )

---
Epox 8RDA+ V1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
XP1700+ @200x10 (~2Ghz), 1.4 Vcore
2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL/1x512Mb Corsair XMS PC4000 2.5-3-3-7
Sapphire 9800Pro @412/740
a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2004 1:20:32 PM

How can it not be more flexible than the nV solution. Just in their list of card MAKERS they have more flexibility than nV which 'at the moment' has only two cards that support SLI? Of course this could change by making all their PCX/PCIe cards with an SLI option kinda like a rare Ultra Extreme, it's not the norm, but it is possible. And still on top of that whatever nV has one would think would work in the Alienware rigs too. So I don't think there will be flexibility issue in design but maybe in ordering (get to that in a sec).

I agree that the nV solution is more elegant and simple for nV users/fans; but those who are staunchly opposed to nV (which is not my position, but I understand it) will want the option of similar gains from their own rigs.

If Alienware were smart, they would open up the card side of things to BYOB / Bring Your Own Board crowd, because that would then allow them to sell their killer main system, at their typical premium to more people, and not limit their market. Granted this is not what we have seen from them in the past, but it is a case where there seem to be far more drawbacks (and lost sales/revenue) to not being flexible, than to selling them the system and the technology. I would've said they never would allow you to add your own cards back when this technology was announced, but that was before SLI made it's presence known (or at least guessed at by some of us here). Now it would be strategically stupid to impose more restrictions on their systems, unless they think in the 'long term' they can keep people buying 'Alienware approved cards', and really the people naive enough to be forced into such a commitment would buy 'Alienware approved' anyways IMO.

Well it's all speculation for now on my and many others parts, don't know nV's restrictions. Lars seems to have an idea, which isn't surprising, and that's why it'll be great to see what his and other reviews have to say about both technologies. I still think it would be funny to see the 4 chip solution using XGI, heck it would almost be a third Canadian contingent with a true 'Double-Double'. :lol: 

As always, that's just my two frames' worth.

- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
August 5, 2004 7:36:42 PM

Quote:
I don't share your interest in the AlienWare version. (Though I’ll be impressed if its faster). I'm guessing that the alienware solution will be notably more expensive, and I am betting that it will not work with just any 2 graphic cards. That the cards will need to be “approved” to be assured full compatibility with their system. This in my view undermines the suggestion that their version will be more flexible that Nvidia.

Though the Nvidia version will obviously work only with a set of two “designed for SLI” Nvida cards, but you can be assured that they will work properly and without compromise.

It seems to me that two video cards designed from the ground up to have the option of “SLI” would more likely be much better that the AlienWare version that will solely use software (or a highly customised motherboard) to achieve the goal of making two cards work together.

I'm picking up an assumption by you that we know for a fact we can use two different card models and pair them up. We don't and therefore if that's what you were implying by using 2 nVidia SLI cards in SLI, then you're wrong for now.

Also, like Grape said, the Array is much more flexible. Both so far seem to work only with 2 exact cards, yet the Array works with supposedly any card out there. One would be smart to realize they should buy modern cards to double them, since they're what's out there anyways. That means from around the 9000 or Ti4200.

I will agree the Array will likely provide less performance than SLI, because one is designed with it in mind, but we will have to wait and see.

--

<font color=red>NNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
<font color=white>XXXXXXX<font color=green>S<font color=white>XXXXXXX
XXXXXX<font color=green>SSS<font color=white>XXXXXX
XXXXX<font color=green>SS<font color=orange>g</font color=orange>SS<font color=white>XXXXX
<font color=red>NNNNNNNNNNNNNNN</font color=green></font color=white>
August 6, 2004 1:44:56 AM

Hi Eden,

You have misunderstood me to a degree. See you final sentence below..
---------------------------------------------------------
Quote:
Also, like Grape said, the Array is much more flexible. Both so far seem to work only with 2 exact cards, yet the Array works with supposedly any card out there.
---------------------------------------------------------
AlienWare have suggested (as you point out above) that it could work with any card. And I'm presuming for both solutions, that two of the same model card would be used.
And my main point is that I don't think it will end up working with any set of same cards. I believe they will end up having to Approve selected card models for use in dual mode. And (going out on a limb here) I predict only a few top end cards will work well.

Its seems to me a big ask to actually have any pair of (same model) cards to work in an SLI type mode. If I'm right about this, then we are not really in a significantly better position by using AlienWare. It's going to be interesting the next couple of months to see what happens.

Geoff.
August 6, 2004 3:30:18 AM

I see what you mean now. But I don't think that's the case though. Besides, wouldn't top end cards be harder to control? I'd imagine so, with the higher clocks, numerous extra resources included, etc.

--

<font color=red>NNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
<font color=white>XXXXXXX<font color=green>S<font color=white>XXXXXXX
XXXXXX<font color=green>SSS<font color=white>XXXXXX
XXXXX<font color=green>SS<font color=orange>g</font color=orange>SS<font color=white>XXXXX
<font color=red>NNNNNNNNNNNNNNN</font color=green></font color=white>