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Old 01-11-09, 10:39 PM   #1
Roliath
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Default Worth it to go Tri-Sli?

So, I got a deal on the table for a Vanilla GTX260 for $145 shipped. Adding this to my main gaming rig would be ideal or I could eventually toss it in my "htpc" machine.

Although, adding this to my main gaming computer I would have to upgrade my power supply as the 1k watt psu's I had were on loan . My current psu is a Corsair CMPSU-750TX. So would it be worth it to add another GTX260 and get another PSU?

I would also have to remove my x-fi since I would not have any open pci slots by adding a new card.
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Old 01-12-09, 01:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Worth it to go Tri-Sli?

X-fi > Tri SLI
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Old 01-12-09, 03:29 AM   #3
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Default Re: Worth it to go Tri-Sli?

Naw I don't think it's worth it.

Check out the article on guru3d about sli xfire on the new core i7
http://www.guru3d.com/article/core-i...rmance-review/
Unless you got one of those then there's not much gain in adding a third card.
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Old 01-12-09, 08:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Worth it to go Tri-Sli?

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Originally Posted by EciDemon View Post
Naw I don't think it's worth it.

Check out the article on guru3d about sli xfire on the new core i7
http://www.guru3d.com/article/core-i...rmance-review/
Unless you got one of those then there's not much gain in adding a third card.
That's a long read, (thanks!) and I don't plan on upgrading to Corei7 anytime soon and if I do it will be late this year. (Q4)
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Old 01-12-09, 02:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Worth it to go Tri-Sli?

Tri SLI is alot like Quad SLI. But a bit more difficult to manage from a thermal/power perspective. There can be alot of gains assuming your GPU limited. But your tempatures and room tempature will go up. If you are running 2 260s or 2 280s. It might be worth taking a look at. With 3 9800GTX cards you'll probably end up vram limited before you can make much use of it. Before going 3 Way SLI I strongly recommend you have some experience with normal SLI. 3 Way SLI much like Quad SLI is for those who are dedicated for the extra performance and are willing to jump through a few extra hoops for it. If you want a hassle free setup then don't bother.

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Old 01-12-09, 03:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Worth it to go Tri-Sli?

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Tri SLI is alot like Quad SLI. But a bit more difficult to manage from a thermal/power perspective. There can be alot of gains assuming your GPU limited. But your tempatures and room tempature will go up. If you are running 2 260s or 2 280s. It might be worth taking a look at. With 3 9800GTX cards you'll probably end up vram limited before you can make much use of it. Before going 3 Way SLI I strongly recommend you have some experience with normal SLI. 3 Way SLI much like Quad SLI is for those who are dedicated for the extra performance and are willing to jump through a few extra hoops for it. If you want a hassle free setup then don't bother.

Chris
I did the Quad Sli for like a week, because I was inbetween video cards and doing testing. Also, back in the 7950GTX days too but it wasn't for long.

I'm very familiar with SLI (2 cards), but not with Three i'm not sure if losing the X-fi would be worth adding the third card. My main computer (gaming) doesn't stay on for more than a few hours while i'm gaming or watching a movie. And my quad is hard to keep stable at 3.6 (plus runs to hot), one of my MAIN concerns is driver stability.

Something in my setup, causes me to experience the dreaded "driver stopped responded" error constantly. At least once a day (even after multiple driver changes, cleaned with DC Pro) and OS re-installs on brand new drives. I'm just wondering if it will equal to more frustration than benefit to my gaming experience.
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Old 01-12-09, 04:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: Worth it to go Tri-Sli?

Driver stability for the most part should be a non issue. Those driver stops responding issues in Quad may have been power issue. But its hard to know for certain without knowing the background of your system and hardware.

As far as driver differences go there isnt any real difference between a 2 way SLI computer and a 3 Way SLI computer. All SLI profiles now are backwards compatible. Worse case scenerio is Nvidia has not enabled the backward compatible profile for newer games. And to do that change the very last digit in your SLI profile from 1 to 5.

But like I said. 3 way is power hungry and produces alot of heat ((more than 4 way believe it or not)) But 260 3 way is quite quick. Just about 15-20% slower than a Quad GTX 295 Setup dependent on ther kind of 260 .
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Old 01-12-09, 04:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Worth it to go Tri-Sli?

For me, Tri-SLi is about the min frames in demanding games @ 1920x, not the average. I don't like going below 30FPS. Examples-

FC2 DX 10 1920x Ultra settings with 8xAA enhanced to 16xQ AA from the nVidia CP:

Min FPS 46.13 Avg FPS 80.76 Max FPS 120.28
http://img78.imageshack.us/my.php?im...16qnohtif8.jpg

Crysis
1920x DX10 x64 All Very High, Default install, Default config file,
Regular GPU Bench
Min FPS 39.28 Avg FPS 48.70 Max FPS 66.99
http://img252.imageshack.us/my.php?image=cr4tl6.jpg

Crysis
1920x DX10 x64 All Very High, Default install, Default config file,
Assault Harbor
Min FPS 32.84 Avg FPS 47.64 Max FPS 78.33
http://img252.imageshack.us/my.php?image=cr4ars0.jpg
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Old 01-13-09, 07:57 AM   #9
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Default Re: Worth it to go Tri-Sli?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacklash View Post
For me, Tri-SLi is about the min frames in demanding games @ 1920x, not the average. I don't like going below 30FPS. Examples-

FC2 DX 10 1920x Ultra settings with 8xAA enhanced to 16xQ AA from the nVidia CP:

Min FPS 46.13 Avg FPS 80.76 Max FPS 120.28
http://img78.imageshack.us/my.php?im...16qnohtif8.jpg

Crysis
1920x DX10 x64 All Very High, Default install, Default config file,
Regular GPU Bench
Min FPS 39.28 Avg FPS 48.70 Max FPS 66.99
http://img252.imageshack.us/my.php?image=cr4tl6.jpg

Crysis
1920x DX10 x64 All Very High, Default install, Default config file,
Assault Harbor
Min FPS 32.84 Avg FPS 47.64 Max FPS 78.33
http://img252.imageshack.us/my.php?image=cr4ars0.jpg
Do you have any Fallout 3 benches or possibly GTA (even though it doesn't appear to be making much use of multiple cards atm). However thanks for your benches, I ordered the card so it should be here by friday. Now I have to get a PSU.

Worse comes to worse, I can sell it on Craigslist or put it in my dad's rig.
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Old 01-14-09, 09:31 AM   #10
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Default Re: Worth it to go Tri-Sli?

Unfortunately, I don't own those games. Firingsquad does have Fallout 3 numbers-

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/...ance/page4.asp

Doesn't seem to be a very demanding title overall as a single GXT 280 will push it well up to 2560x with 8xAA.

I remember the days when it cost 500-600usd a video card to do Tri-SLi, aka up to 1800usd for cards alone. No, I didn't bother with it then.

I already had a GTX 260 192SP since their release, and ordering two Evga GTX 260s off of Newegg to go Tri cost me 440usd total. I planned on going X58 and I7 920 regardless. It just so happened I really liked the Evga X58 mobo so I went with it and eventually Tri-SLi.

Another thing that pushed me that way was when I ordered my first vanilla Evga GTX 260 I received one with a core 216 GPU. I promptly ordered another for Tri-SLi @ 220usd when I noticed this.

If you play 1920x and like to run the highest level of AA and detail possible Tri-SLi is solid. It also does very well on the X58 platform due to its insane bandwidth. It's also good for people sensitive to FPS dips below 30.

I play a lot of AoC @ 1920x with SM3, bloom, full shadows, 16x CSAA|16xAF, full quality ground radius, and the rest set to high. I hit 46FPS worst case scenario.

As far as PSUs go if you have limited space in your case and want a solid PSU try the below one-

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817256043

If space isn't a concern-

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817139007

Those should last you a while.

BTW I haven't felt or seen what some call microstutter with GTX 260 Tri-SLi and an overclocked I7 920 on the X58 platform using triple channel DDR3.

If a person plays below 1920x, doesn't use 4xAA or better, and mostly plays titles where SLi doesn't work or scale well, they should probably skip both SLi and Tri-SLi. Also if mins below 30 don't bother you should probably just go SLi instead.
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Old 01-14-09, 02:44 PM   #11
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Default Re: Worth it to go Tri-Sli?

Fallout 3 is incredibly demanding if you use transparency supersampling.
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Old 01-14-09, 03:28 PM   #12
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Default Re: Worth it to go Tri-Sli?

I still have to order the PSU, my third card should be here on Saturday. I wonder if i'm gonna miss the x-fi?
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