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Elegy
07-12-07, 08:50 PM
I might be getting a desktop soon and I'm debating whether to get two 8800gts 320mb in SLI or a single 8800gtx since they cost about the same. My thought process so far is this, though any input is very much appreciated:

SLI 8800gts-320 over single 8800gtx
- In SLI enabled games at resolutions of 1600x1200 and under (this is the maximum resolution I play at, with AA and AF), it performs ~20% better than a single gtx.
- In games which do not support SLI, it will perform significantly worse but these games are generally at least a few years old which means a single 8800gts-320 should be able to handle them at maximum quality anyway.

Single 8800gtx over SLI 8800gts-320
- Allows room to upgrade to SLI in the future, though I probably won't be upgrading - I just buy a completely new PC every 4 or 5 years.
- No need to worry about playing with SLI settings.
- More constant power usage (see below) which means a lower PSU can be used.

I believe both choices will consume similar amounts of power on average - although the dual gts' will consume more when both are being used, it will consume less than the gtx when only one is being used and the other idle (I play a couple of older titles which don't support SLI).

Any extra arguments on either side would be appreciated. Which would you go for if you had the choice? How does SLI work in gaming situations anyway? Do you have to manually fiddle with settings or does a game which supports it automatically detect two GPUs and use them?

jAkUp
07-12-07, 09:14 PM
Single GTX. You get the extra texture memory.

SlieTheSecond
07-12-07, 09:16 PM
I would go for the GTX because of the ram.

320 may not hit a limit right now, well actually it does in some games. There are a few games in all its glory that require more than 320 mb of vram right now. I'm sure all the nice titles coming out in the future will take advantage of the extra ram the GTX has. And well at that res, you shouldn't be running into any performance problems with the GTX anyways. And in case you can't get sli working for the games, you got it covered with the GTX :)

Just my thoughts, I personally would go for a GTX.

Ambrose
07-12-07, 09:27 PM
I just ordered a GTX because it's a strong performer in all current games and I didn't want to have to deal with the poor SLI support in Vista.

Elegy
07-12-07, 09:27 PM
So in games where more than 320MB of memory is required, will the dual gts-320s perform worse than a single gtx? Wouldn't the extra processing power of the SLI setup compensate for the lack of memory? I've been looking around at some benchmarks and there are situations where dual gts-320s are 35%+ faster than a single gtx even at maximum settings (this is from Tom's graphics card comparison. The 320-SLI gets 43.9fps in Oblivion whereas the GTX only gets 32.5).

I just ordered a GTX because it's a strong performer in all current games and I didn't want to have to deal with the poor SLI support in Vista.

I didn't even consider the lack of SLI support in Vista. Luckily though, I'm not planning to move to Vista until the first service pack is out anyway.

jAkUp
07-12-07, 10:04 PM
The extra processing power will not make up for the lack of ram, you will be limited on texture sizes. For example, in GRAW, you will be unable to set high texture resolution as that requires a 512MB card.

SlieTheSecond
07-12-07, 10:08 PM
It could also potentially slow down the game in a way also. If the games texture spills over into system memory. You will be using system ram which is slower than the video ram.

Not sure if you know this or not, when you SLI cards, you don't get double the video ram. If you sli two 320 mb cards. You still only have 320 mb of vram to use. Not 640 mb.

What ever is loaded in the 320 mb on the first card, has to be loaded into the the vram on the second card also.

Elegy
07-12-07, 10:18 PM
Okay, thanks for the input everyone. I guess the 8800gtx is the better choice for me. The only real advantage the gts-320s have over the gtx it seems is in games which do not require 320MB+ of memory and are SLI enabled. Now to ask Evesham some questions about the power supply they use...

What ever is loaded in the 320 mb on the first card, has to be loaded into the the vram on the second card also.

Yes, I know. It reminds me of RAID-1. I've been reading too much on RAID recently.

iwbs
07-13-07, 12:56 AM
imo single card solution is always better than two, so get the GTX

XDanger
07-13-07, 07:24 PM
The extra processing power will not make up for the lack of ram, you will be limited on texture sizes. For example, in GRAW, you will be unable to set high texture resolution as that requires a 512MB card.
Bad choice of example.
TEXTURE_MANAGED!
http://www.tweakguides.com/GRAW_7.html

I hope more games have the option of shifting the textures into ram like GRAW does, soon as ddr3 starts being used more on mobo's there wont really be a need for graphics cards to hold lots of ram.

vert305
07-13-07, 08:43 PM
Get 2 GTS but the 640mb version

Madpistol
07-13-07, 10:54 PM
2x 8800 GTS 640mb is the way to go. SLI 320mb versions is a waste of power.

I still think the single 8800 GTX is the best solution though.

HeavyH20
07-13-07, 11:16 PM
Well, had both, and a single 8800 GTX is almost as good as 8800 GTS 640 MB SLI. 14K 3D06 with a single GTX and 16K with GTS SLI.

ANABOLIX
07-19-07, 09:23 AM
1st post - Just thought i would shine some light on this. I know some of you are saying that the 8800gts 320MB wont be able to handle some games with large textures. I'm pretty sure you are wrong (not sure:rolleyes: ) Dont forget that the 8800gts is a Next Generation card and it has 561MB of texture memory. If you run 3dMark05 it tells you your specs and says "Total Local Texture Memory" and i have 8800gts, it says 561MB. I could be wrong...Wouldnt make since for it not to support large textures, as i run Oblivion, Carbon, Battlefield 2142, Half Life 2, and Counter Strike Maxed out with incredibly high frame rates with one card.

SlieTheSecond
07-19-07, 02:19 PM
1st post - Just thought i would shine some light on this. I know some of you are saying that the 8800gts 320MB wont be able to handle some games with large textures. I'm pretty sure you are wrong (not sure:rolleyes: ) Dont forget that the 8800gts is a Next Generation card and it has 561MB of texture memory. If you run 3dMark05 it tells you your specs and says "Total Local Texture Memory" and i have 8800gts, it says 561MB. I could be wrong...Wouldnt make since for it not to support large textures, as i run Oblivion, Carbon, Battlefield 2142, Half Life 2, and Counter Strike Maxed out with incredibly high frame rates with one card.

3d mark reports it incorrectly. There are two version of the card. One has 320mb video ram, the other has 640mb video ram. There is no 561mb version.

Also, it depends what texture sizes and such you are using, and res. My copy of oblivion with all the texture upgrades uses up close to 600 megs of vram.
And games like q4 and doom III on ultra high use 512 megs of vram.

lips
07-19-07, 05:15 PM
Personnally, I lean towards sli 320 cards. The reason being my current 320 card keeps a constant 60fps on the games I play now, all settings max. Any betas I try leave me ocing my 3700+ to over 2.6ghz to keep over 30fps in direct x 10 games (ie WiC). Ideally, if I ever wish to enter the world of true direct x 10 I am obviously going to have heap this. Until then, SLI has a stunning 32x aa that is not possible without.

ANABOLIX
07-21-07, 05:37 AM
Not to be rude, but i think you may be wrong. I ran 3dMARK05 and it said the 8800gts had 320MB Video Ram and 561MB of Texture Ram. So I took your post into consideration...
3d mark reports it incorrectly. There are two version of the card. One has 320mb video ram, the other has 640mb video ram. There is no 561mb version.

Also, it depends what texture sizes and such you are using, and res. My copy of oblivion with all the texture upgrades uses up close to 600 megs of vram.
And games like q4 and doom III on ultra high use 512 megs of vram.
Never really heard of texture ram, so maybe someone can upload a pic of what 3dMARK has to say to 8800GTS 640MB or a GTX. And i checked what 3dMARK06 Had to say same thing heres a screen shot, i have the EVGA 8800GTS N811 model.
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g157/shadymnms/3dmark.png

Let me know what ya think!

~aNaBoLix~

Redeemed
07-21-07, 05:48 AM
Not to be rude, but i think you may be wrong. I ran 3dMARK05 and it said the 8800gts had 320MB Video Ram and 561MB of Texture Ram. So I took your post into consideration...

Never really heard of texture ram, so maybe someone can upload a pic of what 3dMARK has to say to 8800GTS 640MB or a GTX. And i checked what 3dMARK06 Had to say same thing heres a screen shot, i have the EVGA 8800GTS N811 model.
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g157/shadymnms/3dmark.png

Let me know what ya think!

~aNaBoLix~
:wtf:

So maybe nVidia does not know what they are talking about in regards to their own cards? :rolleyes:

http://www.nvidia.com/page/geforce_8800.html

Notice under the listing for the 8800GTS it lists 640MB or 320MB, and under the GTX and Ultra it lists 768MB. I suggest you go down to nVidia's headquarters and inform them of their gruesome mistake ASAP. :lol:

Kidding aside- the only memory on the video card (and any video card to date for that matter) utilizes what is called a frame buffer:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Framebuffer

Now that Wiki entry appears to be out of date, but the basic principles there still apply to today's cards. All the texture data is stored in the video card's framebuffer. Now, just to make this clear- the "VRAM" and framebuffer are one in the same- essentially.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_random_access_memory#Video_DRAM_.28VRAM.29

So, without going into further detail, no the 8800s do not have two different forms of memory. They only have what is called a frame buffer- or as you're familiar with "Video RAM". That 516MB you are seeing is more than likely system RAM allocated for texture data simply cause the video card's framebuffer lacks the capacity to have it all stored on the card locally. ;)

SLippe
07-21-07, 06:07 AM
@ Redeemed; Great post! :rofl

For me, the choice would be easy... 8800GTX.

Redeemed
07-21-07, 03:41 PM
@ Redeemed; Great post! :rofl

For me, the choice would be easy... 8800GTX.

:D

I would chose the GTX as well simply due to the increased framebuffer. With future DX10 titles that will come in very handy. Imagine how much memory Crysis will chew up at 1280x1024 with 8xAA and all in-game options maxed. :eek:

Yup, the more framebuffer the better in some cases. Of course, the GPU must have adequate processing power to chew through all the data stored in the framebuffer. That is why these low end cards with 512MB+ framebuffer is rather dumb- that extra framebuffer will not yeild the card better performance, granted it wont hurt performance either.

Elegy
07-21-07, 05:29 PM
I've been talking with Evesham and they're going to get back to me with information on possible discounts I might be eligible for. The Q6600 price drop will help too and there's a chance I'll be able to go for dual 8800gts-640 instead of a single 8800gtx.

If the choice comes to dual gts-320 or gtx, I'll be getting the gtx though.

Redeemed
07-21-07, 07:43 PM
I've been talking with Evesham and they're going to get back to me with information on possible discounts I might be eligible for. The Q6600 price drop will help too and there's a chance I'll be able to go for dual 8800gts-640 instead of a single 8800gtx.

If the choice comes to dual gts-320 or gtx, I'll be getting the gtx though.

Sounds right to me. If I had to chose between a single GTX or dual 640MB GTSs I'd go for dual GTSs (as is obvious by me owning two already :p ). Now, if dual GTXs were possible- I think the choice would be obvious. :p

Elegy
07-21-07, 09:22 PM
Sounds right to me. If I had to chose between a single GTX or dual 640MB GTSs I'd go for dual GTSs (as is obvious by me owning two already :p ). Now, if dual GTXs were possible- I think the choice would be obvious. :p

Well... Maybe Evesham will give me a 400 discount and I can go right ahead and upgrade the motherboard to the 680i chipset and add another GTX :D. Unfortunately, I'd give being struck by lightning greater odds than that ever happening. I might get a 100 discount if I'm lucky and if the July 22nd price cuts come into effect in mid-August, that might save me another 80-100.

Going for dual GTX's isn't all bad, at least I won't have to spend money on any central heating.

john19055
07-24-07, 08:35 PM
the two 8800GTS 320mb might be faster in some games or most games but a single 8800GTX will play anything out now and you do not run into the problems of haveing SLI ,because some game just don't play as smooth.I can run my 8800GTS 640mb in SLI in TDU and get around 120fps but I get pauses which drives me nuts,and I can run a single 8800GTS 640mb and the game is butter smooth at around 65fps.

cefurkan
07-25-07, 05:19 PM
none of them
single overclocked 8800 gts

i have 660/2140 mhz working gts and i can do vs at any game with default gtx of course after slowdown problem solved ^^