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View Full Version : Is SLI a waste of money since newer video cards are getting better in performance?


Digital_Trans
10-14-07, 01:22 AM
Is SLI a waste of money when you consider that newer and better video cards are coming out soon.

$n][pErMan
10-14-07, 02:07 AM
It's a waste of money period. Hell, by the time SLi is needed on a particular card a new card comes out that beats the old card in SLi. Its a neat idea, but the drivers are still very immature as far as SLi goes and the cards worth puting in SLi are so powerfull spending the extra money on another is a waste for what unnoticable difference you might see in real gaming situations (not just synthetic benchmarks). Im sure osmeone with SLi will jump in and complain on that one... :p

Absolution
10-14-07, 02:20 AM
its like going from 100 to 160 fps ... noticible, but not worth the 2x markup that comes with buying two cards

edit: assuming your on a budget that is

Vasot02
10-14-07, 05:42 AM
I do not bother with SLI

Single Card solutions are the way to go for me

XxDeadlyxX
10-14-07, 06:05 AM
If you run higher resolutions (especially 2560x1600 as slaWter said) and have cash to burn then by all means get 8800GTX or Ultra SLI... but for a majority of us SLI isn't worth it - especially due to only getting ~50% fps increase (if that) for a 100% increase in GFX spending.

I'm upgrading to Q6600 + 4GB ram and a non-SLI mobo (GA-965P-DS3), instead of getting another 8800GTS even tho I bought an SLI motherboard (bought A8N-SLI more for its overclock potential than having SLI).

The whole thing of having to have SLI profiles for every game kinda put me off too... eg. having to wait for profiles to come out for new games... may not be much of an issue though not sure.

Fingers crossed 8800GTS will run Crysis DX10 decent at 1920x1200.

MUYA
10-14-07, 06:08 AM
SLI will come in handy when you have situations in new games when wanting the use of high res and IQ factors combined (AA/AF and in game detail settings). If you want max IQ at 1680 by 1050 and above....SLI is probably the way to obtain FPS above noticeable slowdowns ie above 30, 40-60 for non noticeable lag etc

CaptNKILL
10-14-07, 07:18 AM
"waste of money" is a very loose term in a place like this. :p

Lots of people consider anything better than integrated video to be a waste of money.

It just depends how much you require from your games. I personally, am not a big fan of SLI because the 7950GX2 really gave me a terrible opinion of it. SLI was nothing but trouble and was more headache than it was worth. If I had a lot of money to blow on SLI with 8800GTXs or 8800Ultras, of course I'd do it for the extra performance (when it works), but relying on it to get playable performance in games (like I did with thw 7950) is out of the question.

Anyways, its only a waste of money if you refuse to sell your stuff and upgrade as soon as new hardware comes out. Buy two 8800 Ultras right now, and sell them as soon as the 8900 comes out, and then buy 2 8900s. Sell those when the next line comes out... rinse repeat.

Otherwise, you'll still be fighting with SLI just to get less performance than someone running the next line of cards (in some cases, just ONE new card will beat 2 previous cards in SLI).

If you have the money to go SLI, upgrade every time something new comes out. You really won't be spending that much money in the end, and it'll be spread out over time. Rather than dumping $1200 on two new cards every few years and not getting crap for your old ones, you'll be spending maybe $100-200 (if you play your cards right) once or twice a year to get the best performance possible (rather than sitting on hardware thats losing value and performing worse and worse as each new game comes out).

JaxMacFL
10-14-07, 08:22 AM
It was fun and exciting at first for me, but got real expensive real fast trying to stay on top of it, (sli 7800gtx and 7900gtx). Both sli and crossfire are now out of my range for monies I'm willing to spend. If you are planning to game higher than 1920 X 1200 than obviously money is not to much of a problem and sli or crossfire would be a viable option. Heck, if I could I'd be there.

Dr.Nick
10-14-07, 08:32 AM
Is SLI a waste of money when you consider that newer and better video cards are coming out soon.

At this point in time it probably is. I say wait a few months and grab the new high end part which will probably smoke two GTX's and add new features

Dazz
10-14-07, 09:56 AM
I used to use SLi but a single 8800GTX is far better then the 2x 7800GTX cards i had before it. I don't have to rely on updated drivers to have the SLi tweaks. It works out of the box, so i upgrade after every 2 generations but no longer bother with SLi i may go back to it but it's not really a vaiable option anymore.

Digital_Trans
10-14-07, 11:09 AM
Those are excellent!!! replies!!! So I think I'll stick it out with 1 NVIDIA 9800 GTX when the card comes out. Also, I have a couple of more questions relating to this topic, Will the NVIDIA 9800 GTX be released come this November 2007 and do those specs hold true?

Slammin
10-14-07, 12:39 PM
Depends on how you look at it. When I ran Sli 7800GTX's, it was almost a year before a single-card solution bested it. Same with my current rig. Been running it for almost a year now and there still is no single card solution faster, yet.

Of course there will be soon, but even then, will that single card solution be able to keep up at 1900x1200? Probably, but even still, I would be at worst, getting the same performance as the next-gen card, and it would be even one more year before something trumps that next-gen card, so for me, Sli has always been worth it.

Two cards last me two+ years, and at the beginning of that cycle, I enjoy superior gfx performance at the resolutions and settings I like.

stncttr908
10-14-07, 12:43 PM
It's not worth it to me, but if you have a capable PSU and SLI motherboard it might be worth it when you can get another 8800GTX for < $300. Since you're running an X38 you'd have to "downgrade" (or rather side-grade) your motherboard as well, so I wouldn't bother.

Quick420
10-14-07, 12:52 PM
My 7900gt's work well with a few of my games ET:QW for example,nice boost
they also make Bioshock runs nice and smooth at 1280x1024 where either game in single gpu mode takes a nosedive.Fear,Quake4,HL2 and mods also benefit hugely when sli is enabled.

It's really a mixed bag but it does work well in some games:afro2:

MUFC4EVER
10-14-07, 02:57 PM
I noticed a big gain going from 1 x 8800GTS 640 to 2x.

ATM I don't think we will see a really big difference in new cards coming out esp in VIsta as all gfx drivers still suck.

The next refresh is slated to only be a mid card config from both DAMATI and NV.

That speaks volumes for me. No use releasing new cards if the drivers don't work.

I think my SLI rig will last at least another 12 months if not longer. IMHO a worthwhile investment. It currently eats anything DX9 and as Vista & DX 10 is crap atm it does better than a single card.

Just my 2c's worth
(nana2)

Nkd
10-14-07, 03:13 PM
well, I wouldn't say sli is a waste of money either. It all depends on resolution you are playing at. as someone said it right if you are willing to sell both of your cards and buy new ones and repeat the cycle than its not a waste. and you have to playing at a higher resolution like 1920x1200 or even higher, there is still a few months before you get a real highend single chip card from either nvidia or ati.

I am not using sli only because of the terrible experience I have had with 680i not sli, lol.

I have another ultra, I do believe if you 8800 series SLI than you will be good for another year or so, because most games coming out are this year and we wont see demanding games until a year or two, so if your cards are good enough for this year they are most likely good enough for the next year.

MUFC4EVER
10-14-07, 03:55 PM
What do u mean bad experience with 680I?

My ASUS board is gret and over clocks my C2D great.

Not tried O/Cing my GFX.

Bman212121
10-14-07, 04:15 PM
I think it is a nice option if you need to have a really high end setup, or if you are using it to boost performance on an older rig. I don't sell my old cards but rather downgrade them to my 2nd pc. Being able to use one card that I've already got a ton of usage out of, then buy another one for less than half the price of a new one is a very good option for a second rig. It can still perform almost as good as a single new card in my new rig, but it didn't cost nearly as much to get a 2nd pc that is still capable of running current games.

Slammin
10-14-07, 04:17 PM
Yeah, lots of complaints with 680i but some are very valid too.

Could point out inconsistencies regarding FSB overclock, but I could also add that overclocking the fsb is not the greatest way to get stable OC's in the first place, but when dealing with a cpu with a locked multi, the only way to OC it is to OC the fsb. Hence the inconsistency. Some 680i mobo's OC fsb much higher than others. Not sure how we can blame the chipset in this case since it does run fine when you don't OC the fsb.

On the other hand, I purchased a mobo renowed for overclocking, yet attains the lowest fsb OC out of any other 680i mobo from what I can tell. So, toss that one in as a 680i complaint? Yes/maybe.

No matter since I bought an upwards uplocked CPU; so I can OC my CPU w/o the limit of fsb, but folks with my mobo with Q6600's are pretty screwed if they have this particular mobo. The EVGA mobo does allow much higher fsb clocks with quads.

Chipset issue? Nope.

The 680i is a solid, full-featured chipset. I won't 'upgrade' to an EVGA mobo over this abit one, only because the only thing that would really benefit from higher fsb in my case is synthetic ram benchmarks, but this one already has sufficient ram bandwidth for my cpu, so I won't waste my money. Not to mention the other functionality I get with this mobo/chipset.

So, no. 680i is an awesome chipset IMHO, and Sli works with it as best it can. Drivers are catching up too, so it's all good.

gstanford
10-16-07, 04:12 AM
It just depends how much you require from your games. I personally, am not a big fan of SLI because the 7950GX2 really gave me a terrible opinion of it. SLI was nothing but trouble and was more headache than it was worth. If I had a lot of money to blow on SLI with 8800GTXs or 8800Ultras, of course I'd do it for the extra performance (when it works), but relying on it to get playable performance in games (like I did with thw 7950) is out of the question..

SLI for the sake of performance is always a losing proposition IMHO. The real reason to use SLI is because you can squeeze more IQ out of each rendered frame (by upping convential seetings, or by utilizing a SLI AA mode so long as the title supports AA), not because you can render frames faster (though its a nice side-effect when it happens).

Xion X2
10-16-07, 06:28 AM
Not sure how we can blame the chipset in this case since it does run fine when you don't OC the fsb.

Sorry, but no it doesn't. The chipset craps out at very low FSB frequencies in many instances. I had a BFG motherboard for two weeks on a minimal overclock that died. My first 680i, an eVGA, overheated on the southbridge up to 85C while playing games with my E6600 at stock speeds. And that's just nuts. Besides that, 680i is advertised as an enthusiast motherboard. And what enthusiast doesn't overclock? The concept of having to run an enthusiast motherboard at stock FSB just to keep it stable is just astronomically stupid. Nvidia well knows that not all of us have the money to spend on an Xtreme edition Intel Core 2 Duo/Quad chip with an unlocked multiplier.

The chipset has been prone with problems since its release. It's been flawless for some individuals who have dared to hold an overclock on it over an extended period of time, and all I have to say on that is "Lucky You." Because I have been building systems for years and have not seen another chipset with so many problems. SATA issues causing loss of hard data/corrupted hard disks, overvolting RAM, unstable FSB, overheating southbridge, DOA rate, etc etc--it just goes on and on. I had 4 650/680i boards die on me during a period of 3 months, and I maintained them well. Since going back to Intel with a 975X and a P35, I haven't had a single issue. Not one. Solid as a rock.