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Graphics 3D1, 2x6600(SLI) or just a single....

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Hepath, 24 Feb 2005.

  1. Hepath

    Hepath Minimodder

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    I had been intending to go x850, but am not so sure now... considering that I am leaning to a DFI NF4 mobo as there's no discernable performance differences in the SLI or ULTRA versions. The fact that effectively an ULTRA board can (currently) be converted to SLI started me digging and wondering just how good SLI was over dream of an x850... As I was searching I found the Nvida 3D1 card. (multi GPU) which seems to imply that it gives SLI capabilities on a single gfx board...

    So knowing that I had to start somewhere I started pricing things out:

    • This is the card I was leaning towards: Connect3D ATI Radeon X850 XT PE £340

    • However, a single GeForce 6800 Ultra are £375.
      The rub is that in about 6 months I could get another and SLI it.....

    • The 3d1 has 2x6600GT on a single board: £365
      (but comes with a K8NXP-SLI nForce4 SLi mobo.)

    • Trying to replicate the 3D1 in SLI format
      2xPCX6600GT-TDH Extreme Edition = £280

    Used the following 2 refs:
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/X850_Series.html
    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acata...800_Series.html

    The rest of the system...
    AMD4000 Clawhammer
    NF4 Lan Party (so basic overclocking is a given)
    Corsair 1Gb XMS3200XL Plat

    So my questions are:
    1. Whats the point of the 3D1 having already introduced SLI - reviews seem to imply mobo's have to be SLI compatible anyway!

    2. Assuming the answer above is "no point getting it really." Is there an advantage in saying goodby to the x850 and going for the dual 6600GT SLI technology,

    3. If the SLI option doesn't match up would a 6800 Ultra match up to x850 performance. I have to admit that in 6 months the purchase of another 6800 and SLI them is an option; (though not strictly necessarily!)

    Recommendations; thoughts espcially with regard to:
    Overclocking
    Cooling
    Noise

    Man.. I got so many thoughts!
     
  2. scotty6435

    scotty6435 What's a Dremel?

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    6600GTs in SLI is a waste of money. Bother the X800 and the 6800 ultra would spank it's little ass. If you can shell out the cash go for a dual 6800GT setup. If you can't then buy one and get another when you can. I'm not sure if ultras can be SLI'd but if they can then get a single and then pair it up in say 6 months when funds are available.

    Hope this helps :D
     
  3. Awoken

    Awoken Gazing at the stars

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    1. SLI is only supported by a handfull of games at the moment, most games will see no improvement from SLI over using a single card. Until nVidia sort this out theres little point in going SLI.

    2. In the few games that SLI does work in 2*6600GTs rarely see an advantage ove a single 6800U.

    3. The 6800U doesn't overclock by much. An overclocked 6800GT can usually reach 6800U speeds thus offering equal performance for a much smaller cost.

    4. All high end gfx performance is processor limited, Ultra and SLI so you would be better off saving a little bit of money on your gfx card by getting a 6800GT and putting the rest towards a processor upgrade in the future. You then get the choice about whether to get another 6800GT and go SLI in the future should nVidia improve their support.

    My 2 cents :thumb:
     
  4. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    I'd totally agree. Although all the games I play are SLI-compatible at the moment :)

    I'd suggest one of the NF4-SLI boards (DFI as you mentioned is good for overclocking, A8N-SLI isn't as good of an overclocker but still good IMO, and has the bonus of MUCH better cooling for the cards since they have two spaces between them) and a single 6800GT for now. Overclock it of course, and when you can pick up a second. There's NO point in getting dual ultras since almost all GTs hit ultra speed for a considerable amount less money, and possibly even less power consumption (just a guess, no idea if that's true or not but going by the AGP cards as the GTs have one molex and the ultra's have two)

    Yeah 6600GTs are fairly silly for SLI if you were to get both at once. The only reason to do it is if you have the mobo and a single card, then get another one considerably later so it's acutally more of an upgrade path rather than a marketing tool. The performace is similar to a signle 6800GT but since it has less memory bandwidth and half the pipelines and ram it just can't keep up as well with the really high AA/AF.
     
  5. webbyman

    webbyman Hax.

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    if i was you i would go with the 6800GT and if you feel like wasting money get another one...

    or go for the x850 xt pe :D

    who realy cares about sli?

    *i know i dont ;)
     
  6. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    I don't think SLI is a waste of money, it's quite fascinating, but it does still need a lot of work.

    I'm not too sure about the 3D1, it's great technology, but I think 2 cards side by side looks a little bit more kickass. ;)
     
  7. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    And mostly just driver support for that matter.

    Basically I see SLI as this:
    With midrange cards, it's an excellent upgrade path, not something to start with since you can get a highend card for the same price as two midrange cards.
    With highend cards, it's both an excellent upgrade path and a way to stay on the bleeding edge of technology.
     
  8. Awoken

    Awoken Gazing at the stars

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    Cheers Z, I really hope they sort their support out as it was a great idea but the custom profiles fix seems like a real botch job and often produces artifacts, definately not an nVidia standard.

    I am really hoping that the gfx card industry gets their act sorted out, with the unavailability of high end ATI cards and the driver problems of nVidia (One of my friends has to use three sets of drivers to get his 6800u to work with all his games) I have decided to put off my summer upgrade for another few months and save for something stable.
     
  9. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    That's pretty much how I see SLI at the moment.

    There are some new drivers out in the next couple of weeks, which should mean that things finally start to get moving on SLI game profiles.
     
  10. unrealhippie

    unrealhippie What's a Dremel?

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    You guys do know that the Ultra-D cannot be used in SLI right?

    Have a look here

    Because the Ultra-D could be modded to SLI, Nvidia made DFI take the bridge out so you have to buy the more expensive 'SLI' boards (which are exactly the same :eyebrow:)

    Personally im getting an Ultra-D with an X850...
     
  11. Hepath

    Hepath Minimodder

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    Thanks :)

    Yup - as of now really, unless you can source one of the old ones; If you read AnandTech's Morph review they do state this quite clearly. It was reading this review that got me started on this thread to begin with :)

    Thank guys you've been a great help ... depending on finances I'll proabably now go the dual 6800GT. Anyone know what the noise is like; compared to the single x850?

    BTW:
    Out of pure interest --- has anyone seen a watercooled SLI setup? I wouldn;t have thought there was much space!
     
  12. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    The Ultra-D will no longer be able to be used, because it will be disabled at the driver level. :)
     
  13. uwannabigmak

    uwannabigmak What's a Dremel?

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    there have been a few... look around in project logs. they make special waterblocks with the barbs coming out of the side for sli.
     
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