Should i buy sli?

justacow

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Oct 15, 2004
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Right now i have a 64 3400+ Clawhammer 1gig G.E.I.L ram a AsusK8N-E Deluxe and a Gainward 6800GT GLH(400//12000).

5700 3dmarks

Pretty hard to get SLI stuff in germany, but i saw the A8N-SLI Deluxe ready4sale in a german online shop.

So, would it be worth it to change my setup above with a A8N-SLI, AMD winchester 3500+ and 2x 256MB MSI NX6800 Pci-x ?

My Gainward card is pretty unstably and when selling my old stuff the sly rig will only cost 300euros for me, so what should i do :/
 

Brent_Justice

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depends, do you need the performance SLI offers?

only you know how dedicated you are to gaming
 

justacow

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Oct 15, 2004
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I play all kinds of game. Shooters, RTS..all... and i like high-res and full fsaa :))


...well, hl2 and doom3 run smooth with high res and max quality, so there wont be any diferece when havin sli. I just read that sli-aricle at Gamepc and now it seems to me like the cards or boards are aint ready for sli. Or maybe its just the drivers...

Would sli also be worth it without a fx-55?
 

Yassarian

Gawd
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Nov 11, 2001
Messages
841
What do you mainly use your rig for? Personally, I don't think SLI are such a hot deal for a variety of factors:

1) expensive! Mobo is expensive, 2 cards NOW is expensive -- buy 1 card now and one card later makes no sense(more on that later). If you really want the fastest possible speed and $ isn't an issue(don't we all wish!) -- get SLI and get 2 cards right now! Get SLI and only get 1 card right now seems dumb to me for reasons below.

2) Future-limited. Personally, if I get a Nvidia now, I do not want to be limited to have to get yet another Nvidia later on. And lets say half a year down the road, u feel like it's time to get another Nvidia -- would your 2 Nvidias be competitive against a similiarily priced vid card at that time? Probably not. Especially considering the price premium u paid on the first card and the motherboard. I'd just go for a nice fast card that suits your need, then upgrade it to a new new card. You don't have to worry about power supply as much, nor do you have to worry about compatibility.

3) Heat and power. 1 6800GT is HOT, 2 GTs w/ stock coolings are impossibly hot, not to mention power-hungry. After having built several fast and loud systems I personally like to have a pretty powerful, cool and quiet system. I don't think I will be able to stand having 2 jet engines in my case w/o going CRAZY... lol Of course alternative cooling solutions can be divised -- but those aren't exactly pocket change...

this is just my thought on the matter -- SLIs are only good as the ultimate fastest system NOW -- they are doomed as an upgrade path for now -- as the premium for the mobo plus the premium for the cards will not be able to undercut the speed of vid card advances -- by the time you feel like you should get the 2nd sli card -- the NEW video cards at the time will be faster, just as cheap or expensive as the SLI setup, and runs cooler/quieter, requires less power.

cheers,

Scheiss

justacow said:
Right now i have a 64 3400+ Clawhammer 1gig G.E.I.L ram a AsusK8N-E Deluxe and a Gainward 6800GT GLH(400//12000).

5700 3dmarks

Pretty hard to get SLI stuff in germany, but i saw the A8N-SLI Deluxe ready4sale in a german online shop.

So, would it be worth it to change my setup above with a A8N-SLI, AMD winchester 3500+ and 2x 256MB MSI NX6800 Pci-x ?

My Gainward card is pretty unstably and when selling my old stuff the sly rig will only cost 300euros for me, so what should i do :/
 

Jonsey

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 8, 2003
Messages
2,041
If you decide to get SLi it would probably be wise to wait a bit. The forum is full of people who have problems with the early boards. Let the mobo makers and nvidia sort it out on other people before you buy. ;)
 

justacow

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Joined
Oct 15, 2004
Messages
29
The asus seems to run pretty good from what ive read...


Well, i wont see the 30Fps difference in hl2 or doom, but would have spent lots of cash...

I ve read that most gfx card manufacturers will throw a dual gpu card on the market mid 2005. So SLI is maybe not futureproof...

Think ill wait untill some more reviews on sli and its performance will come out, thanks anyway :)
 

Scali

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Nov 2, 2004
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I don't think it's worth it, personally.
A single 6800GT or Ultra is already extremely fast, should be good enough for any game for a while.
On top of that, two cards with SLI aren't quite twice as fast as one... so it's harder to justify the expense.
Personally I'd save my money... a single card will do great for the next year or so... and by that time there will be new cards that will probably be faster than the old SLI setup anyway, at a lower price.
 

Dan_D

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I don't think there will be huge jumps in performance for the next year or year and a half. So I doubt a 6800Ultra SLi setup is going to get outrun at all by even high end cards in that time. I think the reason why a SLi setup isn't twice as fast or close to it is due to CPU limitation. Not to mention the drivers and game support needs to mature.

I agree on people saying to wait. Card availability is poor right now, as is the selection for motherboards. The cost of those boards is high also. Waiting is a good idea for now.
 

Scali

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Sir-Fragalot said:
I don't think there will be huge jumps in performance for the next year or year and a half. So I doubt a 6800Ultra SLi setup is going to get outrun at all by even high end cards in that time. I think the reason why a SLi setup isn't twice as fast or close to it is due to CPU limitation. Not to mention the drivers and game support needs to mature.

SLI is completely transparent to games, so they don't need to support anything or 'mature'.
There is obviously extra overhead involved in running 2 GPUs... much like multi-CPU systems. Efficiency will never be 100%.

Anyway, how much of a driver problem/CPU limitation there is, would be interesting to find out. I suggest taking an SLI setup and underclocking it to exactly half the speed.
That way the virtual SLI card would be exactly the same theoretical speed as a single card at normal clocks.
This would also mean that you have the same fillrate/geometry limits in theory.
The actual benchmarks between the two systems will tell you how efficient the SLI system is. Trying very low resolutions and low detail may give some insight in how efficient the driver is, but that's hard to determine.
 

Elias

Limp Gawd
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Jun 24, 2004
Messages
458
I wouldn't if I were you. It seems that you'd trade a GT for 2 PCIe 6800 vanilla cards, correct? The processor upgrade would give a negligible performance increase, and IIRC some benchies showed only a decent improvement for SLI 6800 NU versus a single GT. Save the 300 bucks for a few months and see what the future holds. No sense in switching between cards from the same generation...
 

legcramp

[H]F Junkie
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Aug 16, 2004
Messages
11,594
Never buy a new frist release mobo.. or better yet products!!!
(wished i would've known)


(takes a screw driver and stabs nforce150 board)
 

Apple740

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centvalny said:
Wait until mobo makers release nforce4 sli chipset ver.03.

Not only for this. The upcoming Via K8T890Pro chipset looks interesting too. Who knows maybe their Sli variant is better then NForce?
 

Dan_D

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Scali said:
SLI is completely transparent to games, so they don't need to support anything or 'mature'.
There is obviously extra overhead involved in running 2 GPUs... much like multi-CPU systems. Efficiency will never be 100%.

Anyway, how much of a driver problem/CPU limitation there is, would be interesting to find out. I suggest taking an SLI setup and underclocking it to exactly half the speed.
That way the virtual SLI card would be exactly the same theoretical speed as a single card at normal clocks.
This would also mean that you have the same fillrate/geometry limits in theory.
The actual benchmarks between the two systems will tell you how efficient the SLI system is. Trying very low resolutions and low detail may give some insight in how efficient the driver is, but that's hard to determine.

I realize the transparency part. But SLi owners have reported some artifacting, and there are issues with the different rendering methods. There are two AFR and I can't remember the other one. So there is some driver maturing that needs to happen. The hardware is fine.

Of course the secondary card won't give 100% performance increase. I realize that also.
 

Brent_Justice

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Sir-Fragalot said:
I realize the transparency part. But SLi owners have reported some artifacting, and there are issues with the different rendering methods. There are two AFR and I can't remember the other one. So there is some driver maturing that needs to happen. The hardware is fine.

Of course the secondary card won't give 100% performance increase. I realize that also.

certain SLI modes only work with certain games

this is why NVIDIA sets it up as the default option in the profiles

changing it can cause artifacts, it isn't a driver issue, its an issue with that method of SLI on that game for whatever reason
 

tranCendenZ

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Ask yourself the questons...

Do you want to play Doom3 at 1600x1200 4xAA/8xAF at a constant 60+fps? Do you want to do the same with FarCry? Do you want to play EQ2 with all details maxed smoothly? Do you want the fastest gaming rig you could possibly assemble? :)
 
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tranCendenZ said:
Ask yourself the questons...

Do you want to play Doom3 at 1600x1200 4xAA/8xAF at a constant 60+fps? Do you want to do the same with FarCry? Do you want to play EQ2 with all details maxed smoothly? Do you want the fastest gaming rig you could possibly assemble? :)


Yes, Yes, Yes, and Yes! :D
 

Yassarian

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tranCendenZ said:
Ask yourself the questons...

Do you want to play Doom3 at 1600x1200 4xAA/8xAF at a constant 60+fps? Do you want to do the same with FarCry? Do you want to play EQ2 with all details maxed smoothly? Do you want the fastest gaming rig you could possibly assemble? :)

YES! But I'll wait a few months and buy the fastest gaming rig you could possibly assemble TODAY for half the price. :)

No it's what you NEED for your computer to do. IMHO, graphics tech has far out-paced game development. I'm frankly very disappointed in all the new games -- no matter how good the graphics looks, it's still the same old shit. I can't remember a better time I had while playing Super Mario Bros, or Doom 2, or even as recent as starcraft. THOSE were the good'ol days.

cheers,

Yass
 

acascianelli

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if you think your e-penis is too smal buy an sli setup...

seriously, you have a very capable system i personally couldnt justify building a new system just for extra performance in games. and i say building a new system because you said youd be buying a new cpu, motherboard, ram, and video cards. also for a high end sli gaming rig you should be getting 1gb of ram. if you need to cut back on ram to afford the sli board and video cards then that should be an indicator that its too expensive. i dont mean to sound like a parent but id hate to see you put yourself in a tough spot.
 

centvalny

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Everybody talks about SLI rig as the fastest gaming machine which is true if all the components can work together at maximum performance effectively. 2x 6800Us and A8N mobo combo not gonna cut it. You need Nforce4 SLI chipset revision A3 mobo, FX55, 2x512 TCCD431/440 memory, Zippy700W psu and xtreme cooling set up. Thats the perfect gaming machine.......Oh, also you need to tweak it to the max for the fastest stable configuration :D
Edit: That means you gotta go all out on building "The fastest gaming machine". So, is not that simple :)
 

Apple740

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tranCendenZ said:
Ask yourself the questons...

Do you want to play Doom3 at 1600x1200 4xAA/8xAF at a constant 60+fps? Do you want to do the same with FarCry?

Where are you getting your numbers from :confused:
Imo you can turn up your FSAA one notch @1600x1200, that's all. :rolleyes:

1101166418UKq6GDeX4c_3_5_l.gif


1101166418UKq6GDeX4c_4_6_l.gif
 

Brent_Justice

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In-Game quality up from HQ to UG and AA up one level in Doom 3

AA level up two levels in FarCry

1600x1200 4XAA/8XAF is very pretty in DOOM 3 and FarCry
 

jacuzz1

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thats very interesting, of course once the sli drivers have matured, or is it the CPU is the bottleneck? or the line would be staight under that circumstance?
 

Brent_Justice

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jacuzz1 said:
thats very interesting, of course once the sli drivers have matured, or is it the CPU is the bottleneck?

DOOM 3 was using AFR

FarCry SFR, there were some instances where SFR wasn't working correctly in FarCry, so, driver maturity may speed up SFR
 
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