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Graphics Is it worth going to SLI?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by onarahosting, 31 Aug 2005.

  1. onarahosting

    onarahosting What's a Dremel?

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    I am looking into a 64 board purchase and have a pretty good idea of the model, but i have a choice between one with SLI or without.

    I read somewhere that they thought the without board was better value at $20 less because it wasn't really worth going to SLI.

    Is it better? Is it worth going to SLI if i'm only going to use one graphic card? I probably can't afford to go dual SLI.
     
  2. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    you can use the other X16 slot for anything, even an X1 card - that's the way that PCI-Express works. I guess it is a case of whether you are likely to use those slots for other things or not.
     
  3. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    If you don't have the money for the extra GFX card, then getting an SLI mobo is kinda useless... Unless you plan on updating along the line...

    Like bigz said, the x16 slot can be used for a "lesser" card, but since there aren't that many components on PCI-e yet, I don't see much use for it right now.

    It all depends on if you are planning to expand your system. If you will probably stick with this setup, save the $20 and get a regular board, if you plan on expanding, get the SLI version...
     
  4. onarahosting

    onarahosting What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks,
    I've read some stuff and the dual sli configuration is pretty fast. Is there going to be stuff that takes adavantage of the PCI express. So far I'm not seeing signs of it and it has been out for a while....
     
  5. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    I'd suggest getting an SLI board and a single graphics card to start. Or if you like lots of screen space, you can get one high-end card for the main x16 slot and then something like an x300/6200 for the other just to add two more display heads.

    Things are slowly becoming available in PCIE. I've seen an Intel gigabit lan card on x1, running about $90 (!!! I've bought a $13 gigabit card and it works great, but Intel cards are always much more expensive), and some uber-scsi card on x8, which conveniently enough is what the second x16 physical slot (along with the first) is electrically when the selector card is set to SLI mode. ATi was going to have a PCI-E port of their Theatre 550 based TV tuner, though I haven't seen it at all (still looking as I'd rather like one). Physics Processing Units are supposed to be available, once they are, in both PCI and PCIEx1. More gigabit cards will be on x1, and I'd imagine sound cards may as well. The thing is that so much is built into the mobo that it doesn't make a huge amount of sense to put the R+D into new products with a new interface.

    That said, I wouldn't mind seeing a 4-port USB2.0 card on PCI-E which actually has four different USB controllers, so EACH port would go at a full 480Mbps, same with Firewire.

    But basically, all the chipsets that have PCIE already have decent sound and gigabit lan, plus 8-10 USB ports, and most enthusiast boards have a firewire port built in, so there isn't a whole lot of need. Hard drive controllers, PPUs and TV tuners are really the only things that can make use of the bandwidth of an x1 slot, and I wouldn't be surprised if PPUs are integrated onto GPU boards if they take off, and once optical drives are mostly SATA'd and/or by the time SATA-III (sch'd 2008) is available, you'll probably have 8 ports so the need for a HD controller is fairly nonexistant. And considering how media centers are taking off, I wouldn't be honestly suprised to see the next set of chipsets (NF5 and 965/975 presumably) have a hardware mpeg2 encoder/decoder and TV-in (maybe even HD/digital, not just the standard analog) of some sort being stuck where your parallel port is right now.
     
  6. Techno-Dann

    Techno-Dann Disgruntled kumquat

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    I'd say don't bother with SLI. A single 7800 GT will have plenty of power for three-four years, at which point you can upgrade to a nVidia 9800 GT (or whatever they call it). If you ask me, SLI is really only for people with waaaaay too much money.

    (Even if I was offered SLI 7800s, I'd rather have just one and put the extra money into a nice big TFT and whatnot.)
     
  7. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    Power for three to four years, but while it can run the latest and greatest maxxed out at 1600x1200 now, it'll be strugling to run those games 3-4 years out at 800x600.

    SLI is an ingenious upgrade path. It's only really expensive if you want the latest and greatest, not use it as an upgrade (one card now, one card later when you can afford it and need the extra power)
     
  8. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    Three or four years?? Optomistic aren't we? :hehe: When I bought my 9800pro it was cutting edge... and here I am 2 years later cursing it because the F.E.A.R demo runs like cold treacle. Nope... Go SLI! Even if you can't forsee yourself buying another card now, you have the option. We're only talking a slight price difference... it's not as if you're saving enough to buy a new monitor is it?
     
  9. buzz_lips

    buzz_lips What's a Dremel?

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    I haven't read into SLI too much but it seems a waste of money for me. Although I do see the relevance in buying a lesser card and then saving up and getting another same card to marry up with it hoping for good performance.

    Even then the speed isn't that much of an increase is it? I mean it's not as if you get the double the power or anything is it, far from it from what I believe. As I said I don't know too much about it so feel free to flame me ;).
     
  10. Guest-17499

    Guest-17499 Guest

    yup i would get a nice performing card like a 7800, and save the rest of the money towards the next gen card, youll easily be able to run everything maxed out on one 7800GTX
     
  11. Isotopian

    Isotopian What's a Dremel?

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    Dude, for 20 bucks extra- why not got SLI? That 20 bucks saying that in the future, you can upgrade instead of having to buy a new mobo. I just bought the A8N-Sli Premium (hooray Newegg...) for two reasons. I can't afford a 7800, cuz im a broke college student. So a 6600GT is good enough for me, and then if i need it, i can just stick in another one. Granted it's no powerhouse, but compared to my Radeon 9000 I'm running now... you probably can't even find one of them anymore. :hehe: . Buying an SLi compatible board for 20 bucks more is the best 20 bucks you can spend, IMHO
     
  12. american trash

    american trash What's a Dremel?

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    I agree as I am a college student and just put together my new rig this summer. Spend the extra $20 - you'll be glad you did. My rig is in my sig, i only run a 6600GT on an SLi board right now. I'm planning on getting another 6600GT when i get some money.
     
  13. Shadowed_fury

    Shadowed_fury Minimodder

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    Personally at the moment, I don't see much point in SLI with cards like the 7800GT/GTX.
    1x7800GTX, is gonna have a higher resale value than 2x6800GT's ;)
     
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