View Full Version : Is there really any point?

08-04-06, 03:47 AM
Is there really any point in using two cards(sli)? I mean with my rig ive never installed a game i cant play on max gfx. well ive only really tried bf2 & doom 3 lol, but like i said i can play them on max gfx including the AA and have no problems what so ever, so whats the point in spending 385 on a 7950GX2 when you can spend 250 on a 7800GTX or 300 on a 7900GTX that will play games just as well? could somebody persuade me that a 7950GX2 or that two cards in sli is actually worth it/the price?

08-04-06, 07:30 AM
Well there is a point. What native resolution do you run your games at? I currently am running at 1920x1200 and some of the games with my current set up(below) still stress my shtuff really hard. Although I know my CPU is holding me back. GRAW for instance is very stressfull and befor I had the 7950 it was horrible. So Yes! There is a point in have dual gpu's hands down runs games better at higher rez's.

Xion X2
08-04-06, 07:40 AM
High resolutions, like 1680 and above, kill single-card setups if you turn all graphics up to maximum.

I can play F.E.A.R. at a smooth 60FPS with every single setting maxed on my GTX at 1280 resolution, but when I up the resolution to 1680 my frames drop down around 40-45. That may not mean much to some people, but once you've played games at 60FPS you never want to look back. It's like electronic crack.

Oblivion is even worse.

On my GX2, FEAR would run at 75+FPS all the time on 1680 resolution. Only problem was if I tried to vsync I lost triple-buffering and would get spikes in my framerate from 30-->60 (my refresh rate) constantly. Since I hate screen-tearing, I decided to send my GX2 back and stick with the GTX until the next gen cards come out.

Two-card solutions are a good idea; they just need to optimize them better for gaming in DirectX. Perhaps they can't, and the problem lies solely with Microsoft. If so, I hope Gates and his team finally fixed this stupid issue with DX10.

08-04-06, 08:43 AM
Well i run all games at 1600 x 1200 with the highest settings and full AA, suppose its also down to my 19" monitor, i think my monitors max rez is 1600 x 1200, not sure how well my card would do if my monitor could go higher in the rez department, suppose there is a point lol, you guys know alot more than me i was just wondering thats all, btw ive notcied that the 7950 is two cards already bridged togeather but they only have one pei-e connector between them, would a motherboard with only one pci-e slot still be able to run a 7950 ok? or would the board have to be sli? i always though sli boards where just a board with two pci-e slots! no point in me upgrading to a 7950 if my monitor cant take advantage for its power/rez, ive been thinking in upgrading from my 7800GTX to a 7900GTX do you think there would be any point?

08-04-06, 09:47 AM
No real point as long as you can play everything on high with acceptable levels of AF and AA applied.

Xion X2
08-04-06, 10:15 AM
would a motherboard with only one pci-e slot still be able to run a 7950 ok?

Yes. I would just check the compliance list on Nvidia's website, but by now I think lots of single-card boards support it.

ive been thinking in upgrading from my 7800GTX to a 7900GTX do you think there would be any point?

Well, there's a significant jump in performance if you're going from the 256MB 7800GTX. It really depends on your wants/needs.

A 7900GTX is a significant jump, and the 512MB of memory helps, but you can get a GX2 for a little over 100$ more than a 7900GTX for almost twice the performance. If it's within your price range, and if you don't care about triple-buffering/vsync'ng in DirectX, I'd say go with the GX2. Another reason I suggest this is because the 7900 series cards, especially the GTX, are plagued with problems. I think Nvidia has narrowed it down to bad memory, but I'm still not sure they have all the issues resolved.

The GX2 is the more expensive but safer route to go between the two.

Or, another option would be to wait until G80 comes out (or R600). DX10 is right around the corner and the next-gen cards will have lots of features not available on the current gen cards.

Or, if you can't wait until DX10 but love new tech, yet another option would be to go with the X1950XT from ATi that will be released on the 24th. GDDR4 memory goodness clocked at 2000mhz.

08-04-06, 10:33 AM
Could I run a 7950GX2 on one LCD, and a FX5500 driving a second LCD at the same time?

I want to game with SLI on the larger LCD, but be able to have the second one up with IM and email, things like that.

I cannot easily do that with two 7800GTX cards and the FX5500 PCI card. The NVidia drivers will not let you enable SLI if there are any non-SLI compliant cards installed. So even with a seperate card, so SLI and dual-view together.

But would taking out the GTX's and getting a single GX2 card work?

08-04-06, 10:58 AM

I dont think i would care about that, well to be honest i dont even really know what they are? would they make a big difference?

08-04-06, 11:25 AM
Actually there is a point, you have the ability to add a second card latter when you find that your system cannot perform to your expectations.

The argument in regards to that is that a new single card will likely be released that is more powerful than those two current cards SLI'd together.

Where there's a difference though, is for those budget folks like myself. When the new cards come out, the existing show up on ebay and also at retailers at lower prices.

So I may not be able to afford dishing out another $500.00 for the newest high-end card, but I could buy another used or discounted card thats identical to my own and experience the improvement that is SLI.

Again this is all really of benefit for the forward looking budget minded enthusiast that goes with only one card at a time, buying both at the same time is only really benefical to those that need Extreme HD gaming.

Xion X2
08-04-06, 11:59 AM
I dont think i would care about that, well to be honest i dont even really know what they are? would they make a big difference?

Triple-buffering is a feature that keeps your framerate the same as it would be if you weren't vsync'ng. Whenever you vsync in DirectX, often times your framerate will split in half of your refresh rate on your monitor for seemingly no reason. This is due to double-buffering, instead of triple. The geniuses down at Microsoft didn't allow this most basic feature (triple-buffering) like OpenGL has, so unless you run a 3rd party utility like DXTweaker or ATi Tray Tools, which implement triple-buffering themselves, it's impossible to have triple-buffering in DirectX while vsync is enabled.

However, SLi is incompatible with DXTweaker, and therefore, you cannot triple-buffer/vsync with SLi. This leaves you with the option of either playing games at poor framerates or playing games with lots of screen-tearing.

Quite a choice for that hunk of cash one spends on an SLi rig, eh? Either one of them leave you without the benefit of the image quality that you were paying for.

08-04-06, 12:06 PM
There's that word extreme again. :D