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Looking to go SLI


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#1
Albino

Albino

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Hi all,

I built my own rig a few months back with the generous help from members of this board, and in the thread (can be found here for reference)

I briefly mentioned wanting to get a second GPU further down the line, and now I'm ready for it.


I have an EVGA 8800GTX ACS3 KO edition of graphics card. I've been reading up and as I understand it the 8800GTX's are being phased out in favour of the 8800GTS's.

Which means fewer places are selling the 8800GTX, and even less selling the KO edition is.

So I'm just seeking some advice really, some help choosing what to do now. I'll explain a few options I've thought through:

1. But another 8800GTX KO edition - these will be no longer sold soon, so if I want two of these I had best buy now. Problem is, they haven't dropped much in price since I bought the first - still selling for over £400 -> $800. Does anyone believe that these MAY drop in price soon, before they are all gone?

2. Buy another GPU, not the same. I'm a bit hazy here, but as I understand, as with many components in a computer, the slowest speed will automatically be selected on both cards, so if I were to do this, my 8800GTX KO would no longer be running full pelt? This opens a few more questions:
1. Which card do I get? A 8800GTS, or an 8800GTX. Will SLI be effective with either?
2. If I get an 8800GTX, surely I can overclock it to match my original card?

3. Sell my GTX, then buy two 8800GTS's KO.

Obviously the first option would be the most expensive, but I can get a standard 8800GTX for nearly half the price, so the second option would be preferable.

I'd appreciate any advice any advice anyone can give on this :)

Thank you :)

Edited by Albino, 24 March 2008 - 10:15 AM.

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#2
stettybet0

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Your cards must be of the same model to be used in SLI. So you couldn't use an 8800GTS and an 8800GTX in SLI. You could use any two 8800GTXs, but they would run at the speeds of the slowest card. It is not guaranteed that the slower card could overclock to the speeds of your current card, as your current card has a special ASC3 cooler which helps with the overclock.

In any case, I would recommend against SLIing your 8800GTX. It should be able to handle just about any game available on max settings (other than Crysis at high resolutions, but even SLI won't help you there). Why do you need SLI? I would recommend waiting at least until August, when the NVIDIA 10 series is coming out. The flagship 10 series card will be around 3 times more powerful than the 8800GTX. In contrast, an extra 8800GTX will give you maybe a 30% performance increase in some games.

If cash isn't an issue and you just want the highest possible performance as soon as possible, I would get two 9800GTXs (being released April 1st).
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#3
Albino

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lol straight away the people on this board make me see sense...I guess I was just rushing because of the GTX's no longer being sold.

I'll take your advice, gratefully, and hold off.

I'll wait for the 10 series, and hopefully then there'll be a new mobo out there too.

It should be able to handle just about any game available on max settings (other than Crysis at high resolutions, but even SLI won't help you there)


I didn't realise this, and was one of the reasons I was going to go for it.

Maybe I'll just do a bit of overclocking instead.

Talking of which, I was wondering how good the stock heatsink for the Q6600 G0 Stepping CPU is? I'm looking to OC to 3GHz at least, so is the stock cooler ample, or do you recommend me getting another?

Thanks for your help Stettybet :)

Edited by Albino, 24 March 2008 - 03:41 PM.

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#4
stettybet0

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No problem. :)

To clarify, SLI would help some with framerates in Crysis, but not enough to justify the purchase.

As for overclocking your Q6600, you should be able to reach 3ghz on your stock cooler, but every chip is different so this is no guarantee. You'll want to monitor the temps carefully and if you have to raise voltages significantly to get to 3ghz, you'll want to start looking at aftermarket cooling.

However, as Crysis is more of a GPU-dependent game, it might be better to try and overclock your GPU (or, better yet, you could overclock both :)) . I realize that it is already overclocked, but with that ACS3 cooler it may still have some headroom. You'll want to use RivaTuner to overclock and ATITool's artifact scanning feature to test the stability of the overclock.

If you need any more detail or have any more questions, please ask. :)
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