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Old 09-16-08, 12:33 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Sin City
Posts: 2,796
Default SLI Performance Throwdown: GTX 280 SLI vs. 9800 GX2 Quad SLI

An interesting find on.

SLI Performance Throwdown: GTX 280 SLI vs. 9800 GX2 Quad SLI
We had two GeForce GTX 280s on hand and a plethora of SLI bridges, so we of course had to run them in SLI. Now remember that a single GTX 280 uses more power than a GeForce 9800 GX2, and thus two of them is going to use a lot of power. It was so much power in fact that our OCZ EliteXStream 1000W power supply wasn't enough. While the SLI system would boot and get into Windows, we couldn't actually complete any benchmarks. All of the power supplies on the GTX 280 SLI certified list are at least 1200W units. We didn't have any on hand so we had to rig up a second system with a separate power supply and used the second PSU to power the extra GTX 280 card. A 3-way SLI setup using GTX 280s may end up requiring a power supply that can draw more power than most household circuits can provide.

Although a single GeForce GTX 280 loses to a GeForce 9800 GX2 in most cases, scaling from two to four GPUs is never as good as scaling from one to two. Thus forcing the question: are a pair of GTX 280s in SLI faster than a 9800 GX2 Quad SLI setup?

Let's look at the performance improvements from one to two cards across our games:
Case: HP Blackbird 002
PSU: Topower 1500W
Mobo: ASUS Striker Extreme II 790i Ultra
CPU: Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 Quad 3.8GHz LCi
RAM: Corsair 4GB DDR3 1800 (PC3 14400)
HDD: 3 X 150GB WD Raptor-X
HDD: 1 - 500GB Seagate Barracuda
HDD: 1 - 640GB WD Caviar SE
DVD: 2 X Ultra Slim 20X IDE DVD/CD Writer
SPU: Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty PCI-Express
LG Super Multi Blu-ray RW/HDDVD: GGW-H20L
Display: Dell UltraSharp 30" LCD
Gateway XHD3000 Black 30" LCD
Windows Vista Ultimate Edition x64 SP1
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