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Graphics Software Hardware

Are nVidia's SLI Cards Worth the Investment? 98

aendeuryu asks: "So there's a lot of buzz right now about nVidia's SLI architecture, which allows for two video cards to be placed in tandem PCI-express sockets on the same motherboard to share processing. Based on the relatively low price of a PCIx 6600GT, and the promise of it dipping further, it would seem like a good idea to invest in one and an appropriate motherboard, so that one can upgrade later, right? So, for anybody who's actually got the setup at home, have SLI cards shown themselves to be worth the investment?"
"There are two problems with the current state of SLI:
  • It's hard to tell what software companies plan to take advantage of the SLI architecture when coding their games -- Doom3 and Several Benchmark software tests show a significant improvement over non-SLI setups, whereas some games like Far Cry actually show a performance hit over single video-card setups.

  • At the moment, the upgrade path actually requires two identical cards, so you'd have to choose your initial purchase extra carefully to make sure your model is still around when it's time to upgrade.
What does the future hold for SLI, or, for that matter, the ATI counterpart, AMR?"
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Are nVidia's SLI Cards Worth the Investment?

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  • by Dr.Opveter (806649) on Wednesday February 16, 2005 @10:39AM (#11688419)
    I just recently replaced my (3-year) old Geforce 2 MX for a Geforce 6800LE. I got to unlock the pipelines and an extra vertex shader and i run it at stock speeds. Most recent games work pretty well on high detail setting and resolution up to 1280x1024.

    I'm sure a SLI setup would give me even more frames per second, but i doubt i would have use for it. If you like to show off your 3DMark scores though, go ahead, you're gonna score better. In a couple of years my card will be 'old' of course, and i will have to put detail on 'low' again for the latest and greatest FPS, but i will probably upgrade the whole machine by that time anyway, over time you get more performance for your money usually so i'll be getting a better thing than SLI by then.
  • by generalleoff (760847) on Wednesday February 16, 2005 @10:43AM (#11688459)
    I havent yet bought in yet but I very much like the idea of being able to have 2 high end graphics cards working together sharing the load.

    I'm planing on building a high end HTPC setup using two 4:3 projectors capable of 1920x1440 each in parralel for a spaned screen size of 2.667:1 or 3840x1440.

    This setup will allow me to show a movie on one projector while playing a game or looking at a website on the other projector or using the combined size of both for watching movies/playing games.

    I think PCIe and SLI will allow this to be done without taking a heavy hit on the system or being a pain in the ass to deal with like it is right now with using AGP and PCI in combo.

  • Re:No (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 16, 2005 @11:24AM (#11688804)
    I have a Matrox Millenium II in my server. And it's awesome. God how old is that card?

    But the only computer games I play are Master of Magic and Bandit Kings of Ancient China (Wu Song).
  • DFI (Score:3, Interesting)

    by E_elven (600520) on Thursday February 17, 2005 @12:52AM (#11696833) Journal
    You could get DFI's LanParty Ultra (A64-939); it doesn't support SLI--unless you own a pencil and feel like enabling that support yourself :) Anandtech has details on the mod. The board sells in the $150-$160 range.

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