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3-Way SLI Matchup

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April 1, 2008 4:49:59 PM

Article by Rob Wright

Tom's Games takes a quick look at Puget Systems' Deluge L3 3-way SLI gaming rig and compares the system to Falcon Northwest's Mach V machine. We also examine the two gaming PCs' performances with Crysis.

http://www.tomsgames.com/us/2008/04/01/3waysli_matchup/

More about : sli matchup

April 1, 2008 7:04:55 PM

i just think that tomshardware benchmarks sucks...
April 1, 2008 7:45:22 PM

soeddy said:
i just think that tomshardware benchmarks sucks...


Awesome, thanks.

Care to elaborate?
Related resources
April 2, 2008 5:32:30 AM

I guess we need more meat in the article to feed on - power requirements, heat, noise, energy consumption, just off the top of my head. More benchies, photos, etc..

I'm interested in the performance numbers versus regular SLI, whether adding a 3rd card is really worth it. That for me is the bottom line.

For an idea towards a future article: 9800GTX and 8800 Ultra, get three of each and do a performance comparison between 2 and 3 card setups.
April 2, 2008 1:43:29 PM

When playing Crysis I’m running my system at 1920x1200 very high spec and getting 32.7 FPS using Vista 64 SP1 and Nvidia 174.74 driver. Other games I play such as Bioshock, COD4, F.E.A.R., Quack 4 are all maxed out and run very smoothly at much higher frame rates. I’ve looked at Bioshock in lower setting and can tell you after playing it and other games with the setting above I could never go back.

April 2, 2008 5:29:31 PM

baddad said:
When playing Crysis I’m running my system at 1920x1200 very high spec and getting 32.7 FPS using Vista 64 SP1 and Nvidia 174.74 driver. Other games I play such as Bioshock, COD4, F.E.A.R., Quack 4 are all maxed out and run very smoothly at much higher frame rates. I’ve looked at Bioshock in lower setting and can tell you after playing it and other games with the setting above I could never go back.
http://a529.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/50/l_69b3727e3ac642872333855f04f16f48.jpg
http://a660.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/91/l_f6a3bb047b1deda6c364fa95142b31cb.jpg


Sweet rig, Baddad. Have you had any issues with the 174.74 driver? Just curious, since we'll probably be doing some 64-bit tests with Crysis soon.

Thanks for the article suggestions, Luscious. We'll have a full review of the Puget Deluge L3 soon, with more benchies, pics, etc.
April 2, 2008 8:16:16 PM

Quote:
Sweet rig, Baddad. Have you had any issues with the 174.74 driver? Just curious, since we'll probably be doing some 64-bit tests with Crysis soon.

No, in fact I needed the 174.74 drivers with SP1 in order to get Crysis to run and increase my frame rate from 29.7 to 32.7. The drivers came from Nvidia's site.
April 3, 2008 12:52:00 PM

Last I checked, tomshardware was supposed to be a hardware site. Why, then, are you benchmarking Falcon and Puget systems?

We can all build PCs, so the focus of the site should be on the components, not the system. The idea is that we can build the same thing for a ridiculous amount less than the Puget or Falcon systems. I don't think any of us particularly care if Puget or Falcon is faster, because for the same price, we can build something faster than both. There may be a minority here which has more money than time and is willing to spend the extra whatever money to get something with a complete system warranty. That could be worth it to them, eliminates the headaches of an unknown instability.

I would've liked to seen Crysis benchmarks at a lower, saner, resolution. For example, if I can get x fps at 1440x900 with whatever settings, I could then judge what the performance increase would be. Most people don't have 30" panels than can run 2560x1600 to start with, so its not easy to guess how that scales back to, say, a 19" LCD. 1680x1050 is also a popular resolution, for 22" LCDs. Most people would be interested in this article on the idea that "Look what 3-way SLI can do" and then try to implement it or decide its a waste of money. It's been proven that monitors are the least frequently upgraded component, so it's more likely people with existing 19 or 22" LCDs will want to implement SLI before they buy a 30" or 26" monitor.

Another matchup I'm interested in is Quad SLI with a pair of 9800 GX2s versus 3-SLI with 8800GTX/Ultra (or as I call it, an OC'd GTX).

And why the hell does the Puget only have 2GB? I just upgraded to 6GB @ 980MHz (OC'd my E4300 to 366x8 = 2.93GHz on a 965), to go along with 64 bit Vista.

With a 64 bit OS, all the programs use more RAM due to the increased address size. That 2GB is worth more in Vista 32bit. I think the figure I heard was that 4GB in 64 bit is the same as 3.5GB in 32 bit. So 2GB in 64 bit is like 1.75GB in 32 bit. Who would do that to such a monster rig?
April 3, 2008 5:43:25 PM

joex444 said:
Last I checked, tomshardware was supposed to be a hardware site. Why, then, are you benchmarking Falcon and Puget systems?

Many of these prebuilt systems are using the same parts that we put into our system so the results are helpful and after all it does save Tom’s Hardware time and money to test prebuilt systems. So it’s good for the person who doesn’t want to build and the ones that do. Plus it seems to me they just built three systems with varying performance just recently that would give you what you want test wise.
April 4, 2008 10:44:08 AM

joex444 said:
I would've liked to seen Crysis benchmarks at a lower, saner, resolution. For example, if I can get x fps at 1440x900 with whatever settings, I could then judge what the performance increase would be. Most people don't have 30" panels than can run 2560x1600 to start with, so its not easy to guess how that scales back to, say, a 19" LCD. 1680x1050 is also a popular resolution, for 22" LCDs. Most people would be interested in this article on the idea that "Look what 3-way SLI can do" and then try to implement it or decide its a waste of money. It's been proven that monitors are the least frequently upgraded component, so it's more likely people with existing 19 or 22" LCDs will want to implement SLI before they buy a 30" or 26" monitor.

Kind of agree with the argument there. My current monitor runs on 1680x1050 and I've already got a pair of 8800 cards. Weighing the price of a third 8800 and newer 1kW PSU (around $700 for both) versus a new 30" monitor purchase ($1200 and up), I would be more inclined to get a third video card, assuming 3-way SLI will give me better performance than 2-card SLI.

For those already owning a 30", it would be no argument.

Oh, and before anybody thinks I'm shooting myself in the foot for wanting to run 3-way SLI on "only" 1680x1050, getting a game to run at 60FPS with AA and AF does look cool, even at that resolution. Results are also very game (and driver) dependent - so forget Crysis, I'm already looking at how FarCry2 will run.
April 4, 2008 12:43:43 PM

I wont buy a 30" for the price they want now but you can get a good 24" for around 350 now and that will give you 1920x1200. If you get a third 8800GTX you want sorry and in my opinion should be good for the next five years or so.
April 5, 2008 2:24:40 AM

Yeah. I guess it depends on personal preference. $350 is a reasonable price for your average monitor, and WUXGA will also give you HD movie playback.

I know this is off the topic now, but if I were buying new today and deciding on a monitor, I would probably get two monitors - 17" 1440x900 for the "regular" stuff ($200) and go for some big-screen gaming at 42" 1080p ($1000). Both would be cheaper than one 30". I would then be able to enjoy those Blu-ray movies I've had on my list (thanks Toshiba!) and since I need a new TV for next year anyway (thanks to our FCC folks!), well it solves those problems as well...
April 5, 2008 2:25:04 AM

dbl post :fou: 
April 8, 2008 3:55:51 PM

Luscious said:
and since I need a new TV for next year anyway (thanks to our FCC folks!), well it solves those problems as well...


Off topic, but you dont really need a new TV to watch the digital broadcast, you just need a digital tuner. I think they can be had for ~$50. And I also know the Federal government in subsidizing ~$40-50 for people to tranfer over to the digital tuner. You tax dollars at work! :pt1cable: 

Then again, if you are looking for a reason to justify to your spouse why you need a new LCD or Plasma, I won't tell her! :kaola: 
!