To use SLI or not use SLI?

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Help and Support' started by kemical, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
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    Hi it's coming to the time where I'll be upgrading my machine again. I already have a motherboard in mind (A Gigabyte GA-MA790X-DS4) and once the the quad 45nm AMDs are out, I'll be investing in one of those. (but only when they're releasing 2.8-3.00GHz chips)
    The m/b comes with enough PCIe slots for SLI but when I've read posts in certain forums SLI sounds great 'if' you have a driver which actually works.. Up till now I've always been satisfied with using a single card. Now we have a glut of new members (some with great rigs) and I just wondered on other users takes on this area of pc hardware..
     
  2. superbill

    superbill New Member

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    Hi Kemical

    Picked up this little snippet on a google.

    "In no way whatsoever should you consider SLI as a replacement for a single high end (or faster) graphics card. We believe SLI should be considered as a complementary solution: SLI is only worth it for those looking for better visuals. By this we mean, SLI will only be worth the money if you want to play games with the settings set to full"

    I would not get the benefit of SLI for what I run at present but perhaps I might have a different opinion by the time the quad 45NM is out later this year.

    Anyone else have any thoughts?
     
  3. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
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    Hi superbill, thanks for the reply. This kind bears out my thinking.. What I mean is...That if your running a reasonably high end chip with graphics card, m/b, HDD and memory (as I'm sure your aware all these components add to making a game run well) to suit your not going to see that much of a difference using SLI. I've seen 50% improvement quoted by some manufacturers but have yet to see a user reporting that performance increase..
     
  4. Waxinator

    Waxinator Senior Member

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    Just to give you an idea of SLI performance. (Vista Ultimate x64)

    XFX GeForce Silent 8600GT Fatal1ty 2x SLI (Forceware 169.28)

    3DMARK06 - Graphic test "Return to Proxycon"

    no SLI: 1280x1024 average 23.6
    SLI: 1280x1024 average 40.3

    no SLI: 1280x1024 8xAA average 15.7
    SLI: 1280x1024 8xAA average 27.7

    Result: 70% - 76% performance increase.
     
  5. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
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    Hi waxinator, now that sounds more like it! Perhaps it all depends on the set up, the card used and driver. I'm not sure which card to buy as of yet. I'm not really interested in Nvidias 9series nor ATis 3870.. I'm hoping the GT200 will prove to be one hell of a chip series but we'll see. It's out about the same time as the 45nm AMD quads maybe 3-4Q 08..
     
  6. Rohnishka

    Rohnishka New Member

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    Aye, I'll be waiting to upgrade my current system into something that would be a bit more graceful to the concept of SLI when the quad cores come out as well. But overall, there are a few things to consider here:

    Pros
    • Improved performance for graphic intensive applications (video games, cad, ect.)
    • Multiple methods to choose for rendering (split frame, alternate frame)
    • More than one GPU to help tackle the needs of graphic-intensive programs
    Cons
    • Limited to a single display, no multi-monitor environments
    • takes extra power, be prepared to upgrade your power supply if it is not a strong one (600W+ recommended)
    This is all that I can think about at the moment. If I get any more ideas I'll post with more.
     
  7. 03hdfatboy

    03hdfatboy Banned

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    600W PSU?! LOL 600w psu is is nearly worthless with SLI or Crossfire. :D
     
  8. bios

    bios New Member

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    It will not hurt to do SLI, but it will not be worth it unless you're going to use all of that power. By this I do not mean running Aero, you will have to be using heavy multimedia on this PC. Games, video editing, something :D

    I hope your CPU is quad core and you don't sacrifice it for GPU. I'm not sure there is a game in existance that needs GeForce 9600 SLI :D
     
  9. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
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    Hi, Rohnishka thanks for the tips although I do have to agree with fatboy about the psu.. 600W is a little small even for quad core use, let alone using a SLI set up. The PSU I use at the moment is 530W, which is great for my set up but if I was to get the quad along with SLI, I'd be thinking 750-1000W just to be on the safe side.

    Bios have you tried Crysis? This game brings even the most powerfull rig to it's knees! To answer your question though, I will be using the pc mainly for gaming although I do other multimedia stuff too. I'm still not sure I will go down this route as I've always been very pleased with the results using a single, yet powerful, card. At the moment I'm using a 8800 320 GTS, which apart from it's lack of Vram has been (and in most cases still is as long as it's used in a lower resolution) one of the best cards I've ever used especially when I consider how much I paid for it.
    Even today it's not that far behind the 9600GT although as I said the lack of Vram is at times very evident..
    So I'm really trying to way up costs, graphical improvement and ease of use as to if I'll really entertain using an SLI set up....
     
  10. superbill

    superbill New Member

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    Hi All

    I spoke to one of my buddies who is using SLI and he found that the performance gain depended on the graphics card(s) and what game or software he was running. For instance the lower the card is in the power stakes (8600gt) the higher the performance gain using SLI (up to 60%) while using a more powerful card (8800gt) the performance gain using SLI with the same game or software was only above 30%.

    Seems to me that waiting a little longer might be the smart move!
     
  11. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
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    My thoughts entirely superbill! Plus I think your right about the increase versus card power, what you wrote reminded me of a article I'd read a while ago, which said stuff along the same lines.
    I wish there was a bit more info about concerning this GT200 release, at present it's very thin on the ground has anyone got any info on this future chip?
     
  12. 03hdfatboy

    03hdfatboy Banned

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    I Broke down last Feb-March and bought the 2 fastest cards ATI made @ the time plus a MoBo that could handle it and I can say I like it but I probably wont do it again. I haven't seen a game yet that it can't handle but who's to say that one card couldn't have done just as well?

    FATBOY
     
  13. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
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    Any thoughts on future upgrades fatboy?
     
  14. 03hdfatboy

    03hdfatboy Banned

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    Oh yeah!
    My PC is NEVER FINSHED!! If you've noticed my sig I upgraded 1 of my DVD drives to SATA and my HD tuner card from ATI to Hauppauge 1800 just this past thursday.
    I'm thinking about switching over to Nvida this next go'round and not to sure on runnin' two cards or not, don't see that it's that much of an improvement in the real world...Benchmark test yes but not real world. And no I havent run crisis but I have run dirt and N4S Pro Street with setting as high as it'll go with no problems.
    Just have to 2C what the two VC makers do and make my mind up then. :D
     
  15. 03hdfatboy

    03hdfatboy Banned

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    Oh and one more thing My old PC (2 years old) get all the hand-me-downs so my son and I can play Halo together. It needs a VC BAD. :eek:
     
  16. superbill

    superbill New Member

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    Hi Kemical

    I noticed on the TechConnect Magazine site that they were hoping to get a couple of GT200's for testing soon.
    Website is: [SIZE=-1]tcmagazine.com

    Might be worth looking out for!! [/SIZE]
     
  17. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
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    Thanks for the heads up.. I've already added the site to my favourites.. Looks like a good site anyway, I think I've checked it out before but will certainly look out for the tests you mention.. :D
     
  18. 03hdfatboy

    03hdfatboy Banned

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    I finally broke down and got Crysis and installed it last night, let me tell ya It looks fantastic!!! I've hear everyone talk about how much of a strain it puts on a PC but from what I've seen, N4S prostreet is harder on a PC than it is. BUT it does take about 75% of my 4Gb of ram and about 48% of my CPU to run it. I'm addicted to it already. I played it for about 7 hours last night, took a 3 hour nap, played it another 3.5 hours and got up and came to work... I'm sleepy but I can't wait till 11:00pm so I can go home and play some more :D
     
  19. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
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    AWESOME! For me it's just the best game out there at the moment. I've just started playing again but this time running a 'natural mod' by pydon (if you want to use let me know), as it says it makes the game look more natural and photorealistic. Mind you, you do need the horse power but you've got that a plenty! Anyway, enjoy the game...:cool:
     
  20. 03hdfatboy

    03hdfatboy Banned

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    I'm at the part where I gotta get the black guy out (can't think of his name) b-4 his suit gives out on him. Yeah I'd like to try the pydon mod.

    Thanks
     

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