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Thread: Sli

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    Regular Coder Exis's Avatar
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    Sli

    So they have finally figured out a way to hook 2 Video Cards together at NVidia with the new(ish) SLI technology. I would love to get my hands on 2 high end PCI Express 16x cards, but while it doubles your power, it doubles the cost.

    What do you guys think about SLI. Is it worth it to get 2 high-end cards and slap them together in this method, or is it simply not worth the cost of 2 cards?

    I really don't know a ton about the technology itself...anyone out there an SLI guru? I still have some questions like: are there any bottlenecks in data transfer? Does it truly double your power, or is it more like 1.5x or even smaller gains than that? Also, if you just bought 1 top of the line gaming card, would it be a better/worse outcome if you bought 2 almost top of the line cards and SLI'd them together?

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    From what I know/heard, there is little point putting say one of the best graphics cards, such as the Geforce 7800 in SLI mode, simply because no applications/games demand that amount of power yet so it wouldn't be used to its potential.

    And for the price of buying say - I'm not really up to scratch on graphic cards, but two mid-high range cards in SLI mode would cost more than buying a better single card, and the single card would be the equivilent, if not better, in power - for now anyway.

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    Also remember you need a motherboard that supports SLI since it needs to have two x16 slots.
    OracleGuy

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    Senior Coder gsnedders's Avatar
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    and a PSU that supports SLI, because you need two PCIe power connectors.

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    And I'd look into how the cards connect to the monitor, because I know originally I heard that you'd need a monitor that took two DVI inputs, one from each card but that might not be the case now.
    OracleGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by oracleguy
    And I'd look into how the cards connect to the monitor, because I know originally I heard that you'd need a monitor that took two DVI inputs, one from each card but that might not be the case now.
    Hm...didn't know about that one, but I guess it would make sense. I have decided that when I build my next system, I will probably not be using it. I might get an SLI-enabled board, just to leave some room for upgrading if someone out there comes up with a rad game that is above and beyond anything that 1 card can handle...but I doubt that will happen.

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    Senior Coder gsnedders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oracleguy
    And I'd look into how the cards connect to the monitor, because I know originally I heard that you'd need a monitor that took two DVI inputs, one from each card but that might not be the case now.
    From what I read a couple of months ago, you don't. There's just a connector inside the computer between the two cards.

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    It would be cool to run 6 monitors at a time though if you had the resources like that. But you are right error, the SLI peice is actually a small hardware bridge between the two cards. Does anyone know if there is a bottle-neck that can happen at this bridge?

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    SLI isnt anything new, i had it once with my 2 Voodoo 16mb graphics cards running quake 2. the frame rate went up about 50-60% so not double. i had a mobo with 2 agp slots to do it and connected each card together with a cable from a mate. it wasnt particularly hard, but that was years ago. it might have all changed now.
    i dont know why SLI disappeared for so long, it seemed like a decent way to increase perfomance, but the same as dual processors, u dont seem to hear much about that now. imo its the cost to performance ratio isnt as great as just buying a decent card/processor in the first place.


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