SLI: A tax on the uninformed

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infinitevalence
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SLI: A tax on the uninformed

Post by infinitevalence » Fri Feb 10, 2006 1:54 am

Im sure by now you have thought at some point about buying an SLI board and two nVidia graphics cards. You have gone to lanparties and seen SLI rigs, read reviews going over SLI, and you want it. You want it because its big, its bad, and it sounds cool... o and it also costs a hell of alot of $$ so you can brag about it.

Well guess what, SLI is a waste of $$ and im going to prove it to you. Im not doing this because i cant afford it, belive me, i really thought about running down to compusa and buying two 7800GT's and two 6800GT's just to write this up, I am doing this because I am sick of marketing telling you that you need SLI so your e-penis will be large.

I know this thread is going to tick allot of people off, mostly those who refuse to realize that they got had, but deal with it. It happens to us all, i have some $1200 speakers that are worth only $250, i got had. It happens to us all, and marketing people know this, thats their job.

So now for the crux of the argument.

So its 8mths ago and you want to go SLI rather than buy 6800 Ultras (since they are $450) you get two 6800GT's for around $600. You then get an SLI board which at the time costs around $175 (were getting the cheap on as you just spent $600 on GFX cards) So you go home hook up your system to your 19" CRT and fire up Farcry, Halflife2, CS:S, and Doom3. The graphics are amazing and you feel like god.

So what did this really get you.
MOBO - 175
GFX --- 600
Cost -- 800 (shipping and maybe some tax)

Projected 3D Mark 05 score: 8500 depending on OC (1gb Ram A64 3500+)

Right now your thinking, well its not 8mths ago any longer so i could do it much cheaper now.

MOBO - 100
GFX --- 475
Cost -- 600 (damn that shipping)

no change in 3D Mark....

So not bad right only $600 for the basic set up right. Well guess what you over paid, and here is why. If you were to right now go and buy a decent motherboard and 7800GT you would pay alot less and get the same experience.

MOBO - 75
GFX --- 300
Cost -- 400 (im so killing that fedex guy for taxing my ass)

Projected 3D Mark 05: 8200 (same memory same CPU)

So your paying $200, and thats just an estimate, for maybe 300 3Dmarks... we still have not taken into consideration overclocking of the CPU and graphics. I should mention that if you want to get the most out of your SLI system you need TWO water blocks or heatsinks to cool your cards so thats another $100 just to match the OC from one 7800GT.

Are you starting to see my argument? Well guess what Im not done yet, you still have that pesky 19" CRT to deal with... Guess what its kinda old so it only displays up to 1280x1024. The fact is that almost any decent graphics card can run every game you play (except fear, and i will get into that too) at this resolution with all the eye candy turned up. I used to run HL2, NFS:UG, Farcry and Doom3 at 1920x1200 with most, if not all eye candy at max on a X800XL which can be had for $250. Now i have a X800GTO2 and with OC there is not a single game that i cant max out on my monitor. The point im trying to make here is that unless you have a 20" wide screen monitor or larger SLI WILL HAVE NO EFFECT on in game settings.

I know some of you will bring up Fear... well im sorry but that game is so taxing on GFX cards because of the crappy programing. HL2 had amazing graphics when it came out and it was VERY playable with even a mid to low end graphics card. Fear on the other hand is unplayable with anything less than a X1800/7800 class card. Thats BAD programing, not a reason to pay out your ears for more graphics cards.

Now lets get to the other counter argument... but i want the best now so why not two 7800GT's. Guess what in 6-8mths there is going to be a new card coming out from nVidia that will cost $300 and will preform as well as two 7800GT's. Your asking how do i know this? Well if you look at the graphics market for the last, say, 5 years they have basically doubled performance ever 12mths. So why in gods name would you spend twice as much money now when you could just sell your current graphics card and upgrade in a few mths for 1/2 the cost of going SLI.

The only reason you would EVER go SLI is if your a hardcore bench marker. Thats it SLI offers NO improvement for gaming except in the extreme cases and trust me YOUR NOT ONE OF THEM. SLI is a marketing gimmick that is designed to get as much money out of you as it can. Their weapon in this is information. The dont want you to know that SLI offers nothing, thats why when they send out GFX cards to review sites they always send two... what review site is going to get two cards and not show the best, their life blood is based on readers and readers want to read about the best.

Please dont fall for the marketing hype, dont waste your $$ on SLI or crossfire. If you want to prove me wrong or argue go for it, im always open to new evidence. Better yet, send me two 6800GT's and two 7800GT's i will bench and test return my results along with the cards.

ok, flame on :)
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Post by kenc51 » Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:56 am

I used to agree with this......

I still do......kinda....I think SLI/Xfire is a waste as you say....How many people buy it when using a 19" TFT......It's just sad and big waste of money.....

Although, Personally I've noticed that I'm loosing interest in gaming every day.....I still want to be able to play the likes of Fear etc.

For me, I may get another GTX for SLI.....Simply for one reason....My current rig is the last gaming rig I'm gonna build for myself.....
Instead of waisting money on a new rig just so I can play ~1-2Hrs a week, I can buy another GTX in a few months for half the current cost...
My current rig is futureproof (@ least for a while), dual core is only taking off, 2GB ram is only now being required in some games etc. I can buy a second GTX which will keep me gaming for the next 12mths

My case is an exception to the rule, I've always said SLI/Xfire is a waste b4 this.....
There is a market but it's a very niche market!!!

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Post by DMB2000uk » Fri Feb 10, 2006 7:59 am

So what would you say to someone who wanted to buy the Dell renegade XPS600, Quad SLI :P

SLI is a hell alot of money, but thats what people have to pay to keep up with bleeding edge tech, especially if you keep upgrading.

But one posibility for SLI is like kenc, buy half now, and the other half later, at alot lower cost.

At the end of the day buying SLI is upto the individual, if they've got that much money to 'throw away', then I dont see why they cant get it, but just like 3DMark scores, its only about bragging rights!

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Post by Dragon_Cooler » Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:12 am

yeah i am going to have to see SLI as a waste in most all aspects. My friends just spent 4000$ in grant money mind you, for college on the top of the line everything. 7800gtx sli, fx57 4 gigs of ram I MEAN THE WORKS!!!! Oh and not to mention the DELL 24'' wide monitor. They brought it to a lan and we compared my system and thiers. Sure on the bench marks my computer peed its sweet little silicon behind, but when it came to quake 4 and call of duty.......

My system ran better than thiers. They turned everything up to the fullest max and were getting about 30-40fps in Q4. I had mine at max AA/AF medium @1280x1024 and could not 100% see a differance in "eye candy" and i was maxing at 60fps. I turned it to highest detail at the lan and was still getting 60fps most times. ( i would take thier monitor though, hands down)

However i do like the future proof aspect of it, get one card now and oh say when its semi obsolete you just go out and spend 200-300 on a new card and you are staying in thier with the game of fast computers instead of pretty much buying a whole new computer.

Not to mention your electric bill running SLI. :|


EXCELLENT ARGUMENT YEVES(sp?) THANK YOU!!! Certainly reassured my thoughts on SLI. But i mean if you have the money to waste from the government by all means waste it for them!! LOL :drinkers:
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Post by pointreyes » Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:24 am

Some of us don't game but we do demand bleedin' edge technology. It seems as if gaming is the only arena considered bleedin' edge technology. Well, here I am with an expensive motherboard and thanks to the gaming market I have all my PCI slots used up, in fact only one slot in the system is not being used and I'm talking PCIe and PCI slots. My main complaint is that due to SLI and Crossfire I have to deal with boards that have only one or less PCI slots that can hold a big PCI card. SLI/Crossfire has messed up the layout of motherboard design for people like me that uses their computers for multi-media, database work, programming, cyber security, and huge amounts of virtualization. Any why the heck do all these stupid SLI/Crossfire boards have lame sound? Geez, remove the crap and give me an extra PCI slot for a real sound card. Last year was one of the most frustrating years for me to build a system because I had to spend much more time looking at each board's layout and then it's features instead of the other way around and that includes the non-SLI/Crossfire boards which I sometimes feel are built like a afterthought to the SLI/Crossfire boards because the layouts are similiar, you just get a big praire between the PCIe 16x slot and the next PCI slot. A praire of fertile ground for people like me that prefers to use less of the onboard components and use PCI.

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Re: SLI: A tax on the uninformed

Post by bigblockmatt » Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:35 am

infinitevalence wrote: so your e-penis will be large.
)
First off - That was great.

Second - semi off topic, do you have to have the same series card in for SLI to work? Reason i am asking, looking to buy about 20 comps. want to get good video. I dont really see a need for sli right now, but would like to have the option some time down the road to keep up with tech. I wouldnt want to buy the same card that I buy now, i would want to get a more current card.
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Post by infinitevalence » Fri Feb 10, 2006 3:19 pm

DMB2000uk wrote:So what would you say to someone who wanted to buy the Dell renegade XPS600, Quad SLI :P

SLI is a hell alot of money, but thats what people have to pay to keep up with bleeding edge tech, especially if you keep upgrading.

But one posibility for SLI is like kenc, buy half now, and the other half later, at alot lower cost.

At the end of the day buying SLI is upto the individual, if they've got that much money to 'throw away', then I dont see why they cant get it, but just like 3DMark scores, its only about bragging rights!

Dan
If you look at the prices you cannot buy half later at alot lower cost, a 6800GT cost about $240. thats not much less than you might have paid when it first came out.
bigblockmatt wrote:
infinitevalence wrote: so your e-penis will be large.
)
First off - That was great.

Second - semi off topic, do you have to have the same series card in for SLI to work? Reason i am asking, looking to buy about 20 comps. want to get good video. I dont really see a need for sli right now, but would like to have the option some time down the road to keep up with tech. I wouldnt want to buy the same card that I buy now, i would want to get a more current card.
Yes you have to have the same series of card, if you by XFX now then you need XFX later on. there are hacks that will alow you to mix and match but they tend to be unstable.
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Post by hainer36 » Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:31 pm

so wait a minute, what your telling me is that my buddy who has:

A8N32-SLI Deluxe
San Diego 3700+
2xAsus Extreme 7800GTX's
2x512mb GSkill TCCD
17" BenQ LCD

doesnt really need all that?

now thats gotta be a joke right? :mrgreen:


oh ya, i do hate him with a passion, he lets me overclock it, but not take it home :finga:

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Post by infinitevalence » Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:35 pm

nope that second GTX is a total waste of $$ becaues he only has a 17" screen. the most it will do is 1280x1024 and a single GTX can run FEAR at max settings at that res.
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Post by hainer36 » Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:14 pm

oh, so that means he should give it to me :mrgreen:

and he doesnt even play fear......i think the newest game he plays is AOE3

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Post by KnightRid » Sat Feb 11, 2006 7:10 am

Oh yes, SLI is a marketing scheme to get more people to buy video cards ;) Everyone should know this by now.

Kenc has a Legit ( no copyright infringing tried :p ) reason for sli...upgrade down the road. Only problem is - they have to be the SAME card, so you might wanna buy another one REAL soon before they are gone from the market :(

Mike

OH - and of course MS will include Quad-SLI in the Vista specs along with the 80gb memory and 573TB hard drive space requirements :finga:
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Post by kenc51 » Sat Feb 11, 2006 8:27 am

KnightRid wrote:Oh yes, SLI is a marketing scheme to get more people to buy video cards ;) Everyone should know this by now.

Kenc has a Legit ( no copyright infringing tried :p ) reason for sli...upgrade down the road. Only problem is - they have to be the SAME card, so you might wanna buy another one REAL soon before they are gone from the market :(

Mike

OH - and of course MS will include Quad-SLI in the Vista specs along with the 80gb memory and 573TB hard drive space requirements :finga:
I may buy the card for sli, but it won't be for months......the gforce 6 ultra is still avalable now, that card won't be when the new gforce "8" series is out......I should be able to get another GTX in 6mths or so. nVidia will be making the GTX for some time....look @ how many 7800GS's are on the market! They have ooddles of gforce 7 chips!!! NV's yeilds are amazing with the current generation cards! ......It may not be half the cost, but it will be cheaper than a new generation card....I won't be looking to play in some uber hi-res.....just to be able to play 1280x1024 with most settings up......

Heck, I got 2GB of ram last Thursday, I've played ~10mins of FEAR, ~5 mins of BF2 (against the pc) and 1 round of pebble beach in tiger woods 06 since I got this ram.......I've prolly only put in 30hrs of gaming with the GTX and I have that since late Nov.... :shock: :-({|=

I do agree with Infinite's points......I've said it was a waste to other members B4....Especially for anyone who uses a TFT display....unless they have a 30" monitor they won't make use of SLI
There's also the added cost of a PSU.......the noise caused by 2x cards, or if you watercool them that will cost ~100$ for 2 waterblocks, you also need a bigger radiator and more powerfull pump........
SLI is more than just the initial cost of a mobo, and GFX cards.......It all adds up and by the time you've paid for it all, a newer and better card will be out

very very niche market or should I say marketing gimmick

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Post by Thor » Mon Feb 13, 2006 2:28 pm

I'm pretty sure that a recent driver release allows for mix and match vendor/bios/etc. Just has to be the same chipset, i.e. 2x7800GT or 2x7800GTX

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Post by kenc51 » Mon Feb 13, 2006 3:34 pm

yep, you can use any 2x GT's or 2x GTX's
Card maker doesn't matter anymore.......

Even then, it's very easy to mod the bios so they both are read by the driver as the same card ;P

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Post by bigblockmatt » Mon Feb 13, 2006 6:43 pm

so the ending lettering needs to match but the number dont?
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Post by kenc51 » Mon Feb 13, 2006 6:47 pm

bigblockmatt wrote:so the ending lettering needs to match but the number dont?
Yep just get 2x GT's or GTX's......they must have the same amount of memory....Their clock speeds don't matter either....

I think [H] done a article on this B4.... ?

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Post by pmanipole » Thu Feb 16, 2006 2:30 pm

sounds like some one is having some SLI envy.

if you got the money you can spend it anyway you want.

i cant wait to get another card.

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Post by R3N3G4D3 » Sat Feb 25, 2006 5:08 pm

And what's even worse than that, is that mailman screwed you for $75 throughout the thread...

Anyway, another disadvantage of SLi is that your PC splits the graphics load on two cards and one draws part of the screen while the other draws the other part. As a result, if the graphics load is split unevenly (which is often the case), you're still waiting for the card with more load to finish drawing its half of the screen. With 1 higher end card, there is no that slack happening since it draws everything itself.

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Post by grunt » Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:40 am

infinitevalence wrote:nope that second GTX is a total waste of $$ becaues he only has a 17" screen. the most it will do is 1280x1024 and a single GTX can run FEAR at max settings at that res.

Thats exactly right (one thing I did actually research). Now I have a 20" Widescreen where it may take a little more vga power to get it all the way up on high settings and keep frame rates up. Most of the gfx settings nowadays to SEE the difference in the newer games are advertised in AT LEAST 1900x1200 if Im not mistaken. My friend who has a 17 lcd cant do higher then 1280x1024 yest he tries to justify wanting another card. So I just simply told him I wouldnt install it :lol:

Infinite, I love you man!

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Post by grunt » Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:46 am

pmanipole wrote:sounds like some one is having some SLI envy.

if you got the money you can spend it anyway you want.

i cant wait to get another card.
He never said anything about you not being able to spend your money on anything.

He's doing what the site is intended for, discussion of topics (mostly pc stuff) that help educate all of us on the different ideas and experiences we all encounter with the numerous setups we all have or had.

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