Why get SLI?

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I just got a great explanation from "John" as to which socket,  and he
mentioned about getting a board that supports "SLI".  I have to plead
ignorance,  but can someone give me a brief explanation as to what SLI
is and what is the pros and cons of it?


Re: Why get SLI?

On Mon, 11 Jul 2005 13:46:10 GMT, jmonahan@nospamev1.net wrote:

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Its a board with two graphics card slots - PCI E slots.
You use two graphics cards to boost performance.  

The advantages are theoretically faster performance.
The con is mainly cost. You have to buy usually a more expensive SLI
mb and two graphics cards. Also Ive read it only works on some games
and  I remember seeing a test which I cant find now which they tested
two 6600GTs and its wasnt really faster than a 6800GT I think it was
so it didnt seem worth the hassle.

Here they kind of say the samething but recommend the 6800GT in SLI if
you are a real game freak. I dont think its worth it though and the
7800 is coming out or is out now and as they point ou ATI will
probably counter with new cards.

Ive seen some post some SLI boards can also accept dual core
processors. Can ALL nforce4s do that? I dont know. I havent kept up on
that topic as Ive bought my board so not as interested in all the new
boards coming out since then. But if only a few SLIs are all SLI
boards can do that , then that would a plus for a SLI motherboard. If
all nforce boards can take a dual core than its not of course. And if
only a few super expensive SLI boards can take dual core Im not sure
its worth it either. The dual core processors are still expensive. If
both the MBs and processors are expensive then Im sure theyll both go
way down next year so using a much cheaper nforce Ultra + venice for a
year or two is much more cost effective unless you have money to burn.

http://www.hexus.net/content/reviews/review.php?dXJsX3Jldmlld19JRD05MzAmdXJsX3BhZ2U9OQ ==

Toms Hardware :

The concept of putting several graphics cards in one PC, which
theoretically doubles gaming performance, is both ingenious and
absurd. Ingenious because the graphics card's performance can be
boosted in such a simple and straight forward way; absurd because the
performance increase does not necessarily justify the hefty price of
such a system.


Heres an old article at Toms Hardware

http://www20.graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20040628 /
http://www.tomshardware.com/motherboard/20050531 /
http://www20.tomshardware.com/game/20050411 /

ATIs version
http://graphics.tomshardware.com/graphic/20050602 /

Check this insane blurb :

Gigabyte to support four SLI graphics cards on one motherboard

By Wolfgang Gruener, Senior Editor

May 26, 2005 - 15:58 EST

Chicago (IL) - If even two graphics cards in your PC are not enough,
what about four? SLI typically is limited to two cards within one
system, but sources told Tom's Hardware Guide that Gigabyte will soon
offer a "Quad" motherboard with slots for up to four Nvidia-based SLI


Re: Why get SLI?

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http://www.hexus.net/content/reviews/review.php?dXJsX3Jldmlld19JRD05MzAmdXJsX3BhZ2U9OQ ==
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bear in mind john, SLI is still relatively new, the 7800 series nVidia cards
will allow for SLI, and I am sure that as it has been around for a while
longer that games will begin to support it and utilize it

the thing is though, I checked out the price of one of the new 7800 cads and
it came in at around 399 so thats almost 800 for an SLI system with the
7800 cards, I could build a socket 939 nforce 4 system with a 6600GT that
wouldnt complain playing most of todays games for the cost of 2 7800 cards.

to be honest, i dont know who buys them, these expensive video cards.

The same can be said for dual core, its a fledgling technology and hasnt
been around very long, give it some time to take off, look at PCI-Express, I
haven't seen a large number of cards supporting PCI Express other than
graphics cards, and wasnt PCI express meant to be a big revolution and
replace the old PCI bus, or so i read

i think SLI will come into its own when game programmers decide to use it, I
think however nVidia have been a bit sneaky, i mean it would be more of a
success if they allowed ATI to use it, the question is though would ATI want

Re: Why get SLI?

On Mon, 11 Jul 2005 16:13:48 +0000 (UTC), "Christo"

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Are you saying that the latest iteration of SLI by nVidia and ATI
require API level support for it to work?  If I recall, the earlier
3Dfx era SLI systems that 3Dfx and ATI developed didn't require any
special coding to get them to work.  The task of dividing up the
rendering between the two video cards was done at the driver level and
lower, so it didn't matter how you coded it since you could assume it
was already taken care of.

It seems kind of a HUGE step backwards to put a stumbling block like
that in place now.



Re: Why get SLI?

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Maybe it's because of DirectX ?


Re: Why get SLI?

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SLI is Nvidia's name for 2 video cards running in tandem splitting the
rendering load between them (remember Voodoo?). ATI's name for it is
There are several difference modes for cards running in SLI and I think the
max performance gain is around 75%.
The 'pro' would be the fact that in 1 years when your 7800 GTX is on the
bottom of the VC performance list you could get another 7800 GTX and almost
double the performance.
The 'con' would be the cost, more heat, more noise, and a loss of another
power connector.

Maybe he was just referring to the fact that you'll need a MB that has *2*
PCIe x16 ports on the MB.

Here's a good short explanation.

"I don't cheat to survive. I cheat to LIVE!!"
 - Alceryes

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Re: Why get SLI?

Thanks to all of you.  I see what is happening now.  I have come to
the conclusion that it isn;t all that great.  Maybe for someone with
lots of $$ to spend for the latest and greatest.  I think the specs of
the 6800T equal most of the sli cards available with a small sacrifice
in performance.  It may be just a couplle years ahead of its time  
Thanks again

On Mon, 11 Jul 2005 10:28:47 -0400, "Alceryes"

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