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Dot50Cal
01-29-07, 03:43 PM
Hi guys, Im in a bit of a pickle here. My current PC specs:

X2 4800+ Socket 939
7800GT

Now obviously the card is the underpowered component here, and im not quite ready to replace my motherboard to go with a Core2. But my motherboard supports SLI (x8 when running SLI, x16 when using a single card). Which leads me to my question.

Will Dual 8800GTS beat a single 8800GTX? Seeing how much SLI has matured to where it actually makes a difference now really has me wanting to try it, but I was curious of some peoples thoughts here on my situation.

Also, will the x8 limitation on my motherboard affect any possible gains? Ive read that they are negligible but Im not so sure.

Ive been out of the scene for around a year now and I cant seem to find any reviews which pit these two options against each other. So if anyone has a link id sure appreciate it!

Thanks for your help!

Redeemed
01-29-07, 03:52 PM
Well yeah, two 8800GTSs would be significantly faster than a single GTX. The crucial issue is the resolution you'll be playing at. If only 1280x1024 then SLi would be a waste. If 1600x1200 or higher, then yeah SLi would be awesome.

To give you an idea- I'm running dual GTSs at 1920x1440, 16xAA, 16xAF, and all in-game options maxed and so far every game I own plays beautifully (FEAR, HL2, HL2:LC, HL2:EP1, GRAW, Quake4, CoD2, etc). I'm using a s754 3400 so my CPU is a huge bottleneck right now- but with the X2 4800 like you have I'm betting your rig would push these two cards no problem.

Again, only if you will be using a high enough resolution. Oh, and you will want to make sure you have a beasty PSU if you plan on running dual GTSs. ;) Think around 700 watts, quad rail, 18A per rail- or atleast something similar to that. You do not want to use a dual rail PSU even if it does have a lot of watts- simply cause it wont have the amps. So, you'd need a decent tri- or quad rail PSU rated at no less than 650 watts I'd say.

Hope that helps.

Cyant
01-29-07, 04:23 PM
For the PSU if yours is not up to the task you can add a 5 1/4 bay PSU made just for video cards. It's a lot less expensive than buying a complete new PSU. It can power a single GTX or 2x GTS. and is less than 55$.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817153037

I also run on the 939 platform but use a Opteron 165 and a single 8800GTX in 1600x1200 and I am quite happy. My mobo doesn't have SLI and a GTX is great, even tho im playing Vanguard Saga of Heroes I get around with evrything maxed 30FPS with my CPU in certain area and my friends with their Core 2 Duo E6600 get 45-50 in average (they are not overclocked) so I am clearly CPU limited and VG DOES support Dual core too eheh. I bought a new heatsink and prepare myself to overclock my Opteron but id need to remove my mobo to install it and I am not quite ready mentally everything is so well set up at the moment ehhehe.

Would SLI be worth it? I doubt it. Just FYI with system my "limited" CPU doesn't get a FPS hit at all when I run Antialiasing because even with my CPU I am not pushing the 8800 near it's max frame per seconds even with it disabled.

Unless you run a Dell 30inch with some crazy resolution I think SLI is not worth it in your case.

fatal1ty
01-29-07, 05:26 PM
I have an EVGA GTS that runs 650/2Ghz - at these speeds it's faster than a single GTX. Why don't you just overclock it?

Monolyth
01-29-07, 05:40 PM
Pickles are good.

Redeemed
01-29-07, 06:43 PM
For the PSU if yours is not up to the task you can add a 5 1/4 bay PSU made just for video cards. It's a lot less expensive than buying a complete new PSU. It can power a single GTX or 2x GTS. and is less than 55$.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817153037

I also run on the 939 platform but use a Opteron 165 and a single 8800GTX in 1600x1200 and I am quite happy. My mobo doesn't have SLI and a GTX is great, even tho im playing Vanguard Saga of Heroes I get around with evrything maxed 30FPS with my CPU in certain area and my friends with their Core 2 Duo E6600 get 45-50 in average (they are not overclocked) so I am clearly CPU limited and VG DOES support Dual core too eheh. I bought a new heatsink and prepare myself to overclock my Opteron but id need to remove my mobo to install it and I am not quite ready mentally everything is so well set up at the moment ehhehe.

Would SLI be worth it? I doubt it. Just FYI with system my "limited" CPU doesn't get a FPS hit at all when I run Antialiasing because even with my CPU I am not pushing the 8800 near it's max frame per seconds even with it disabled.

Unless you run a Dell 30inch with some crazy resolution I think SLI is not worth it in your case.

Those 5 1/2" bay PSUs are crap- do not get one. It will NOT power your GTX or GTS. What the issue is I'm not sure but several of the members here tried that route- and it did not work to say the least.

Just go with a decent PSU. It is by far the best and safest route.

And for SLi- yes I agree that you only need it for higher resolutions. Then again, when DX10 games are released these cards will be stressed like never before. So we might wind up seeing a performance penalty with AA once the new DX10 titles are released. So SLi just might wind up being worth it. Just cause these cards are near invincible now, does not mean they will like this with DX10.

Regardless- I would still choose dual GTSs over a single GTX any day. Then again, if you could, I'd got dualt GTXs. Why not? :p

jAkUp
01-29-07, 07:52 PM
GTS's :)

vandalous
01-29-07, 08:12 PM
GTX so that you can run dual 20" monitors. :D

I prefer the simplicity and dual-head capability of a single-card setup over the raw horsepower of an SLI beast but that's just me.

3DBrad
01-29-07, 08:25 PM
If you work in any 3d apps (Maya, Max, Zbrush, Mudbox, etc.) hardly any (maybe even NO) 3d apps support SLI, so my 7950gx2 is basically as fast as my old 7800gtx in 3d apps, but not in games. ;)

Also, every Unreal Engine 3 game has ran horribly on my 7950gx2 due to SLI issues.

Also, Vista doesn't yet support SLI.

So I'm sorta sick of SLI, and am just not sure I'll ever go the SLI route again.

tacos4me
01-29-07, 08:36 PM
Two GTS's would be much faster than a single GTX. But it really does depend on what resolution you'd be playing at. I'd probably go with a single card, rather than the SLI setup. I'll give you my reasoning:

1.) It saves you money for that Core 2 rig. Your 4800+ would probably still be quite a bottle neck with two GTS's. You could always crank the AA/AF, but an overclocked Core 2 would give them a much better run for their money.

2.) Power. You'd most likely need a new PSU, especially with two cards. A decent PSU. Expect to spend at least $100 there.

3.) A single card would save you from the headache that is SLI. Sure, it's great when it actually works, but there's nothing but problems with 8 series SLI.. performance issues with specific games, and especially with Vista right now. And who knows what will happen in the future. With a single card at least you know it will run 100%.

4.) You could always grab another GTX later on. That's probably the best bit. Instead of being stuck with two GTS's and no upgrade path, you would have the option of throwing in another GTX when things start getting too sluggish for you. Sure, two GTS's would last you a lot longer than a single GTX, but two GTX's would be faster than the GTS's, and you'd notice it. Not to mention cheaper. By the time you would need another GTX, you'll probably be paying close to the current GTS price. Or you could always get that next card that blows SLI'ed GTS's out of the water. :p

Anyway, I have a single GTX, and I play at 1680x1050 8xAA 16xAF with all options maxed in every game, and I get good frame rates. Who knows what will happen with DX10 and Vista, but for right now I'm content. But it really does depend on what resolution you run at. 1600x1200? 1680x1050? A single GTX would do. Less than 1600x1200? A single GTS would do. Anything greater than 1680x1050? Go SLI, I would say. That's what it's really meant for. High resolutions I mean.

nopp0x00
01-29-07, 08:46 PM
Hi guys, Im in a bit of a pickle here. My current PC specs:

X2 4800+ Socket 939
7800GT

Now obviously the card is the underpowered component here, and im not quite ready to replace my motherboard to go with a Core2. But my motherboard supports SLI (x8 when running SLI, x16 when using a single card). Which leads me to my question.

Will Dual 8800GTS beat a single 8800GTX? Seeing how much SLI has matured to where it actually makes a difference now really has me wanting to try it, but I was curious of some peoples thoughts here on my situation.

Also, will the x8 limitation on my motherboard affect any possible gains? Ive read that they are negligible but Im not so sure.

Ive been out of the scene for around a year now and I cant seem to find any reviews which pit these two options against each other. So if anyone has a link id sure appreciate it!

Thanks for your help!


Why bother with an 8800SLI setup when R600 is around the corner? Get a GTX and OC it, it will do well in the majority of games at high settings-it eats high resolutions at high settings for breakfast. And if R600 turns out to be better just sell the card and pay the difference for the R600.

nopp0x00
01-29-07, 08:50 PM
I have an EVGA GTS that runs 650/2Ghz - at these speeds it's faster than a single GTX.

Hardly faster. And you can OC a GTX to eliminate whatever gains the OCed GTS made on the GTX. Even when compared against a stock clocked GTX, the GTS is significantly slower. Not to mention the GTS has lower clocked shaders and less shader processors. So the GTS is not only neutered in clock and memory speed but physically. And as for monetary issues: I sold my previous card and only paid 189 for my current GTX.

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_8800_gtx_gts_overclocking/default.asp

Xion X2
01-29-07, 09:00 PM
I have an EVGA GTS that runs 650/2Ghz - at these speeds it's faster than a single GTX. Why don't you just overclock it?

Whoa there buddy, no it's not. At least not an overclocked GTX. A GTX OC'd to the same speeds your GTS is--which is pretty easy to do--would beat it hands down in performance.

128 shaders > 96 shaders
768MB > 640MB

SlieTheSecond
01-29-07, 09:07 PM
Well maby an Overclocked GTS vs a Standard Clocked GTX.

Depends how you look at it.
Some people call it rationalizing because the GTX can also be overclocked and become way faster.
Or you can pay for a GTS and get the standard performance of a GTX :)

(Again, if an overclocked GTS is >= to a GTX. I dunno if it is)

But I do know. With my GTS running 1280x1024 Resolution. No game can stand in its way. Most games I can run 16xAA fine. Couple games I can get away with 16QxAA and MSAA too.
The only game I overclock my card to play is Oblivion because I like the eye candy.

Xion X2
01-29-07, 09:09 PM
3.) A single card would save you from the headache that is SLI. Sure, it's great when it actually works, but there's nothing but problems with 8 series SLI.. performance issues with specific games, and especially with Vista right now. And who knows what will happen in the future. With a single card at least you know it will run 100%.

"The headache that is SLI..." :wtf:

Every game I have tried so far on my 8800's has ran perfect in SLI mode except for Rainbow Six Vegas. This includes plenty of new games like Tomb Raider Legend, Oblivion, Fear, Fear Extraction, Call of Duty 2, etc.

Heck, in Oblivion my framerate doubles what it does on a single card. Ever seen Oblivion pinned at 60fps in thick forests? It's a thing of beauty, let me tell you. It makes for a much smoother gameplay experience, and you can also crank the AA up to 16x without a hiccup.

Anyway, I have a single GTX, and I play at 1680x1050 8xAA 16xAF with all options maxed in every game, and I get good frame rates.

You must not be a big Oblivion fan, because at that res on a single GTX I was getting framerate drops below 30 in thick forests at times. And Extraction Point would often drop down to 30fps or less on a single card whereas it never came close to that on SLI.

Who knows what will happen with DX10 and Vista, but for right now I'm content. But it really does depend on what resolution you run at. 1600x1200? 1680x1050? A single GTX would do. Less than 1600x1200? A single GTS would do. Anything greater than 1680x1050? Go SLI, I would say. That's what it's really meant for. High resolutions I mean.

I also disagree with this. I don't think you need to have a monitor that goes higher than 1600 or 1680 to go SLI. That's the resolution I run at, and as I already said I see significant gains with an SLI setup over a single card.

I guess people's idea of "good performance" differs, because to me there's a significant difference in smoothness between 30-35fps and 60. Give me 60 any day of the week. SLI is definitely worth it.

Greasy
01-29-07, 09:19 PM
Dude, you've got all that hardware and are only running a 20"?

I think it's time for a new monitor. :p

Xion X2
01-29-07, 09:25 PM
Dude, you've got all that hardware and are only running a 20"?

I think it's time for a new monitor. :p


Framerates are more important to me than monitor size. My 20" w/ 1680x1050 res is a nice compromise between size and performance. Once you go up to 1920x1200 games start to struggle with framerates--even w/ SLI.

Eventually I'll go larger, but not until videocards run higher res's better than they do now. ~ 60fps in my games is a must for me.

Slammin
01-29-07, 09:58 PM
Sli=Definitely worth it for me too, but only because I try to run everything at 1920x1200.

As far as the Plug-n-Play factor of Sli vs Single card, well, of course Sli adds a couple of extra steps usually, mostly involving tweaking your game profile, but that's really a non-issue since you should be doing that anyway even with a single card.

As far as games that do not really benefit from Sli, I can only think of two; LockON and Falcon4, but they are both very playable on a single card, so no biggie.

To the OP, everyone in this thread mostly alludes to the fact that the resolution you need to run at is the biggest determinator, and I agree with that as well. I sometimes have the urge to trade monitors with my kids 20" Dell WS just to get better frame rates, but then I come to my senses.

From what I hear though, I think I'll be more than happy with a single GTX to start out with this time around.

tacos4me
01-29-07, 10:25 PM
"The headache that is SLI..." :wtf:

Every game I have tried so far on my 8800's has ran perfect in SLI mode except for Rainbow Six Vegas. This includes plenty of new games like Tomb Raider Legend, Oblivion, Fear, Fear Extraction, Call of Duty 2, etc.

My 7800GT SLI experience was nothing but a headache for me. Messing with stupid profiles, renaming executables to get acceptable SLI performance, installing different sets of drivers because SLI gets deactivated every boot.. whatever. Maybe not 8 series specific, mind you, but SLI in general. Anyway, it's still easier, more straight forward, and less problematic, in general, to have a single card.


You must not be a big Oblivion fan, because at that res on a single GTX I was getting framerate drops below 30 in thick forests at times. And Extraction Point would often drop down to 30fps or less on a single card whereas it never came close to that on SLI.

Nope, I'm not actually. I think it's awful, quite frankly. Got really boring to me. Didn't bother trying it with the GTX. Everything else I usually play runs fine for me, 60+FPS. That's what matters most to me. I'm not watching my FPS counter as I'm playing, that's for sure. That's what costs you more money. :p


I also disagree with this. I don't think you need to have a monitor that goes higher than 1600 or 1680 to go SLI. That's the resolution I run at, and as I already said I see significant gains with an SLI setup over a single card.

I guess people's idea of "good performance" differs, because to me there's a significant difference in smoothness between 30-35fps and 60. Give me 60 any day of the week. SLI is definitely worth it.

Of course you don't need a monitor with a resolution greater than that. But you won't see as many of the benefits. Especially if you have an outdated CPU, which YOU don't. That was merely a suggestion from my experience with the GTX. There comes a point, for me, where I can't justify spending ~$600 more for that extra, what, 20-30FPS (or whatever the numbers actually are) you usually won't notice unless you have FRAPS running? To each his own. Maybe you need that 30FPS boosts while you're frolicking through thick forests, but I don't. :) Not yet anyway, Crysis may change things.

SlieTheSecond
01-29-07, 10:57 PM
My 7800GT SLI experience was nothing but a headache for me. Messing with stupid profiles, renaming executables to get acceptable SLI performance, installing different sets of drivers because SLI gets deactivated every boot.. whatever. Maybe not 8 series specific, mind you, but SLI in general. Anyway, it's still easier, more straight forward, and less problematic, in general, to have a single card.

Well of course. We are not talking about 7 series here. We are talking about 8 series. I have heard hardly any complaints about 8 series being in SLI. It's apples and oranges.

Some people can't play below 60fps. I know people who hate to go below 80 fps in games. Regardless of FRAPS. I can tell the difference between running at 30 and 60 and even higher fps. Fraps has no relevance here. Just because you or I don't care (30+ fps is about my limit), doesn't mean other people do. It all boils down to personal preference.

tacos4me
01-29-07, 11:45 PM
Well of course. We are not talking about 7 series here. We are talking about 8 series. I have heard hardly any complaints about 8 series being in SLI. It's apples and oranges.

It's still SLI. It's still prone to way more problems than a single card ever would be. That's all that really matters.

Yes, it's great, and it does work great most of the time, but I've had problems, and probably won't ever go that route again.

Slammin
01-29-07, 11:58 PM
I don't agree with that because I don't have problems with Sli and never ran into that issue of losing Sli upon reboot or any other craziness that I can think of. I do see where a couple of games I play don't benefit from Sli, but for the ones that do, I get anywhere from 20 extra fps to some cases more than double what I get on a single card. Typically I do get enough boost with Sli, w/o any extraordinary tweaking that it is totally worth it for me.

The main reason, well there are several for me, but one reason I'm not going Sli 8800GTX right off the bat is because I want to go C2D next month too, and if the single card is satisfactory for me, I may just hold off on Sli for several months this time.

fatal1ty
01-30-07, 01:22 AM
Hardly faster. And you can OC a GTX to eliminate whatever gains the OCed GTS made on the GTX. Even when compared against a stock clocked GTX, the GTS is significantly slower. Not to mention the GTS has lower clocked shaders and less shader processors. So the GTS is not only neutered in clock and memory speed but physically. And as for monetary issues: I sold my previous card and only paid 189 for my current GTX.

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_8800_gtx_gts_overclocking/default.asp


You guys obviously aren't running overclocked GTSs. Granted a GTX can be OC'd further - but an overclocked GTS can beat a stock GTX. I can just about break 11,000 in 3dmark 06. Other benchmarks I've compared to 8800GTX reviews confirm the same. Yes, an overclocked GTS can beat a stock GTX.

buffbiff21
01-30-07, 01:25 AM
Yes, an overclocked GTS can beat a stock GTX.

I am gonna hold you to those words. :D

I will run my 3.6 conroe with my GTX stock and see what my epenis is. If your 11K is shattered, you owe me 5 bucks. :D

Xion X2
01-30-07, 01:36 AM
You guys obviously aren't running overclocked GTSs. Granted a GTX can be OC'd further - but an overclocked GTS can beat a stock GTX. I can just about break 11,000 in 3dmark 06. Other benchmarks I've compared to 8800GTX reviews confirm the same. Yes, an overclocked GTS can beat a stock GTX.

Obviously you didn't click on the guy's link that he provided you with for proof:

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_8800_gtx_gts_overclocking/images/dm1600.gif

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_8800_gtx_gts_overclocking/images/fear1600.gif

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_8800_gtx_gts_overclocking/images/mts1280.gif

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_8800_gtx_gts_overclocking/images/fol1280.gif

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/nvidia_geforce_8800_gtx_gts_overclocking/images/cod21600.gif

Those are some of the most demanding games graphically to date, and not a single one confirm your supposition in this case. So until you start to provide some proof to back up your statements, I'm inclined to holler "BS".