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School me on SLI.

BlutrasereiBlutraserei Registered User regular
So I have this new rig. Just got my last 2 gigs of memory today, bringing it to 4 total. I have three SLI slots and an 8800GTS which I bought on the premise that it overclocks and even performs better than the GT or the GTX. So far I have not been dissapointed. This is likely because I have yet to discover any locked pipes or anything.

Anyway.

What I want to know, obviously, is how well SLI scales in today's games. I ask this because I've heard in places that it doesn't do too much/scale to well or whatever. Rather than read what could be numerous reviews; I'd like to also ask those of you who might be experienced in the matter.

>How well does SLI function in 64bit environments?

>Does an SLI config play nice with a quad core?

>How much of a boost will it give?


I have nVidia's shiny new 780i chipset on the XFX brand 3-way SLI board. Obviously I'll be going with a dual config first because, well, two more cards would cost too fucking much.

Edit: Yes I know I have another thread saying I'm in a slump. This doesn't mean I can't fawn over shiny hardware. =P

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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    SLI will give a good boost but two cards will never be twice as fast as one card. The exact amount of speedup varies from game to game.

    The downside of SLI is this: you need the same model of card, and price drops then don't always work in your favor. For example, you have an 8800GTS. When you bought it, the 9800GTX was not out yet, or if it was, it was more expensive, correct? I mean, it must have been, because the 9800GTX is a good deal faster.

    Well, the 9800GTX is about to drop to $200, while the 8800GTS, being old, is likely to get phased out by nVidia rather than get a price drop at all, so remaining cards, if you can find them, will still be at the roughly $270 they're at today. If you could pair up an 8800GTS and a 9800GTX, that'd be great, but you can't.

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    BlutrasereiBlutraserei Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    SLI will give a good boost but two cards will never be twice as fast as one card. The exact amount of speedup varies from game to game.

    The downside of SLI is this: you need the same model of card, and price drops then don't always work in your favor. For example, you have an 8800GTS. When you bought it, the 9800GTX was not out yet, or if it was, it was more expensive, correct? I mean, it must have been, because the 9800GTX is a good deal faster.

    Well, the 9800GTX is about to drop to $200, while the 8800GTS, being old, is likely to get phased out by nVidia rather than get a price drop at all, so remaining cards, if you can find them, will still be at the roughly $270 they're at today. If you could pair up an 8800GTS and a 9800GTX, that'd be great, but you can't.


    It was in the last month. So I'm a-tarded for that I gather, right? Oh well at least those cards are coming down to a good price. The 8800 isn't terrible. Hell I can still get good frames in Crysis in both 32-bit and 64-bit mode.

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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Yeah, might as well just hold out until you can't get good framerate on whatever game you want, and then do a bigger upgrade. That's my philosophy, although sometimes I wait a little too long, like now.

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    bloodrbloodr Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I've had SLI in the past (two 7800 GT) and found the whole thing a lot of hassle and in general a waste of money. It all depends on what you are playing. In my case I was playing BF2 and HL2 tons and SLI made a huge difference but when I used it on other games the performance just wasn't there to justify the cost.

    My take on it is that SLI is good for people who have money to spend and want a little bit of a performance boost in certain games. But it's better to just buy the fastest single card solution you can get at the time of purchase and save the money you would have spent on a 2nd card for whatever comes down the road in a few months.

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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    what im doing is buying the 4870 and then some 5 months later ill buy the 4870X2 for tri crossfire so long as it works.

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    tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Which 8800GTS do you have? 320MB? 640MB? or 512MB?

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    GahziGahzi Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    To push this Thread a bit further,

    I was thinking about buying two 4870's and crossfiring them, but is better to just get a 4870X2?

    I don't know much about SLI or Crossfire to really know if its going to give me as a big performance boost as I expect. Is the technology between them that much different?

    Gahzi on
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    wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    the 4870X2 will essentially be a crossfire 4870 system on one PCB. you will get two 4870 chips on the same card, if you crossfire two of those it will be like having 4 4870 cards in crossfire.

    Now, honestly, the 4870 is $300, and plenty powerful(benchmarks show it performs the same as a GTX 260 for $100 less). a 4870 seems like a pretty good price/performance, where the 4870X2 will likely be about 50% faster for probably $150 more. I plan on buying the 4870 as soon as I can find it available somewhere that ships to me.

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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    wunderbar wrote: »
    the 4870X2 will essentially be a crossfire 4870 system on one PCB. you will get two 4870 chips on the same card, if you crossfire two of those it will be like having 4 4870 cards in crossfire.

    Now, honestly, the 4870 is $300, and plenty powerful(benchmarks show it performs the same as a GTX 260 for $100 less). a 4870 seems like a pretty good price/performance, where the 4870X2 will likely be about 50% faster for probably $150 more. I plan on buying the 4870 as soon as I can find it available somewhere that ships to me.

    4870x2 is not out for another month or 2

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    BlutrasereiBlutraserei Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Which 8800GTS do you have? 320MB? 640MB? or 512MB?
    The 512 I believe.

    This is it: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130337

    Blutraserei on
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    adamadam Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    To throw a wierd idea out. I kind of like SLI was wondering about throwing a geforce in one slot and then a radeon in another. It seems with geforce I get power, and I have only had one radeon card and it was different(strange). so any opinions or what radeon is mostly good for or if you want pics if the comp fries.

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    ArrathArrath Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Wouldn't work. Notice how people have already said you need the same model of card. Different brands wouldn't work at all. Hell they even have their own names for paralell card setups (Nvidia calls it SLI and AMD/ATi calls it Crossfire)

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    BlutrasereiBlutraserei Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Arrath wrote: »
    Wouldn't work. Notice how people have already said you need the same model of card. Different brands wouldn't work at all. Hell they even have their own names for paralell card setups (Nvidia calls it SLI and AMD/ATi calls it Crossfire)

    Cards of the same manufacturer don't work under the same driver either. This is why you need the same model card.

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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Arrath wrote: »
    Wouldn't work. Notice how people have already said you need the same model of card. Different brands wouldn't work at all. Hell they even have their own names for paralell card setups (Nvidia calls it SLI and AMD/ATi calls it Crossfire)

    Cards of the same manufacturer don't work under the same driver either. This is why you need the same model card.

    You used to need it from the same board manufacturer, too, i.e. a EVGA nVidia 7800GT wouldn't work with an XFX nVidia 7800GT, but they've since ironed out those issues.

    Oh, and under ATi Crossfire, sometimes some cards that aren't the same model will work with each other. Not always, just sometimes when the models are close. Check first.

    Daedalus on
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    DratatooDratatoo Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    It was in the last month. So I'm a-tarded for that I gather, right? Oh well at least those cards are coming down to a good price. The 8800 isn't terrible. Hell I can still get good frames in Crysis in both 32-bit and 64-bit mode.

    Well, the 8800 hasn't been beaten that much by the following 2 generations of cards regarding performance. (unless you are counting the system raper Crysis which in its current incarnation is a waste of cycles - and its performance is most likely limited by the CPU anyway, so even a new card won't make much difference - unless a new architecture is doing something ultimately different)

    I think the benefit of SLi or Crossfire is that you can run games at a much higher resolution with less performance loss.

    Can a SLi system be used for dual screen setup? (not necessarily for playing games dualscreen)

    Dratatoo on
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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Dratatoo wrote: »
    It was in the last month. So I'm a-tarded for that I gather, right? Oh well at least those cards are coming down to a good price. The 8800 isn't terrible. Hell I can still get good frames in Crysis in both 32-bit and 64-bit mode.

    Well, the 8800 hasn't been beaten that much by the following 2 generations of cards regarding performance. (unless you are counting the system raper Crysis which in its current incarnation is a waste of cycles - and its performance is most likely limited by the CPU anyway, so even a new card won't make much difference - unless a new architecture is doing something ultimately different)

    I think the benefit of SLi or Crossfire is that you can run games at a much higher resolution with less performance loss.

    Can a SLi system be used for dual screen setup? (not necessarily for playing games dualscreen)

    With SLi, all monitors except for the first one show nothing at all whatsoever. If you are not using SLI (there's a driver option) but still have both cards in, you can use two (or, shit, four) monitors just fine.

    ATi Crossfire works with more than one monitor, though.

    Daedalus on
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