Do I really need this for just games?

By babybluecivic
Jul 6, 2005
  1. I'm about to build a new computer, I've been looking at mobos, cpus, and graphics cards and the only thing i'll be using this particular coputer for is gaming. This is the setup I was thinking of Asus a8n-sli premium mobo, amd athlon64 3400+, and Ati radeon 9800 agp. Now heres the main question I don't understand this whole sli setup that well i think i kinda got the idea its basically 2 video cards on one mobo right? is this really needed for gaming, i mean do they really have games that good? Also is agp that much better than pci when it comes to gaming, I've heard alot of people have been having problems with agp is this true? And the last question is sli only on agp or do they make it for pci too. I'm sorry if any of this sounds stupid but I don't really understand that well, if anybody could please hel pme out with understanding this technology I would greatly appreciate it cuz you know I have to start learning somewhere and this board seems like a good place to me. :grinthumb
  2. babybluecivic

    babybluecivic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I figured it out

    I've been doing a bit of reseach all day and pretty much figured it all out. I answered all my questions and realized that the graphics card I had chosin wont work in sli mode so I've chosen few ideas and need your help deciding. A single geforce 7800 gtx or 2 geforce 6600gt which do you think will be better or maybe a single gforce 6800gt and then add another later. I need your opinions on brand names for the graphics cards too.
  3. JimShady23

    JimShady23 TS Maniac Posts: 373

    Kinda backwards

    In a nut shell your confusing pci with pci-xpress and confusing agp with pci-xpress.

    Make scense ? I dont understand it either but maybe this will help you sort things out.

    AGP was the industry standard interface for graphics cards for about the last 10 or so years and still make up a majority of the industry.

    PCI-Express not to be confused with "standard PCI" is the new industry standard graphics interface and is in the process of phasing out the AGP interface.

    PCI-Express (in theory) runs twice as fast as AGP but personally I cannot tell the differance.

    Now we get even more confusing.

    On a SLI ready motherboard you can run 2 identical PCI-Express video cards in tandom while playing some games. ( Not a whole ton of games that support it yet) But it basically means that in game play the cards work togeather giving you the combined gpu speed and memory of both cards.

    Lets say you have a 2 Nvidia 6800 gt's with a core speed of 350 mhz and 256mb or memory. In SLI mode it will combine the cards giving you in a nut shell a 700 mhz video card with 512 mb or memory

    Having a SLI ready motherboard does not mean that you have to have 2 cards though. Most motherboards that feature SLI will operate fine with only one card installed.

    If you are building a new system I would suggest buying a SLI ready motherboard and the 1-single of the best video cards that you can afford.
    And in the future when that best you can afford card comes down in price a bundle, pick up another one and run it in SLI mode.

    And to answer your question. No SLI is not needed for gaming. You will not see that much more preformance this day and age running a single graphics card. Maybe in the future when SLI is incorperated into games to take full advantage of it but not right now.

    Like I said buy one really good card right now its all you need
  4. babybluecivic

    babybluecivic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks for the breakdown jimshady23 now I have one last question is the pci express slot the same as the agp slot, is it the same as the pci slot or is it a hole new slot I was looking at the asus a8n-sli deluxe mobo and I really didn't know becasue the picture I was looking at had 2 graphics cards installed in sli mode and made it hard to see the board.
  5. compguy

    compguy TS Rookie Posts: 162

    Well for starters blue sli only works for specific video card's like the nvidia 6800's etc. And agp and pci are not much of a difference. But stick with a asus pci motherboard they are the best brand out there.
  6. babybluecivic

    babybluecivic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ya I was just looking at and there was a list of sli compatable cards. The reason I was thinking about sli was for future purposes so I wouldn't have to upgrade as much in the future. another mobo I was thinking of was the asus a8n-e which is not sli ready but is pci express ready the only thing is i'd have to update soon in the future when graphics get better and more complex and with the asus a8n-sli deluxe i'd just have to throw in an extra graphics card and upgrade the cpu to a amd athlon64 fx-57 as soon as the price drops a bit. I was going to start out with the 3700+ or 3500+ till the price drops
  7. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    I have never seen SLI on an AGP motheboard. The motherboard you saw was PCI-E

    I dont think is entirely true. I always under stood that both card ran a 80% (or maybe 70) combing to give you around 160% performance increase but not double the grahpics power.

  8. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    A 9800pro will not work on that sli board, a comparable sli capable card would be the nvidia 6600gt(pci-e version).

    A pci-e slot is longer than agp or pci slots, neither pci or agp work with pci-e.
  9. babybluecivic

    babybluecivic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Check this out!! I think I'm going to spend the extra money and get a 7800gtx. It will be better in the long run and its about the same price as 2 lower cards. Plus a single 7800gtx out performs the dual cards easy! Later on in the future when I need to upgrade again I'll just buy a second card and the price will have gone down alot.
  10. YellowC4S

    YellowC4S TS Rookie Posts: 107

    12-16 pixel pipelines with the PCI-e vs 4-8 pipelines for agp.
  11. JimShady23

    JimShady23 TS Maniac Posts: 373

    Thats the spirit

    Good choice and a wise one at that. Personally I think that SLI is going 2 do one of 2 things. 1.) Its going to be a fad and part way to newer single card technology. Dual core gpu's perhaps ? Remember about 2 years ago when everyone went out and baught a dual CPU systems ? and were promoting them to no ends and then after about 4-5 months when the very first Athlon 64's were released its like dual CPU system's never existed.

    2.) SLI cards will significantly drop in price or there is no way that at the currant video card prices people will continue paying 4, 5, 6, $700 x 2 to be able to game.

    Game makers are constantly trying to create higher detail, more realistic games that demand higher power at the GPU and yes SLI opens the door for game makers to produce games of the next level but in reality game manufactures are going to be catering to the SLI market making game play with a single video card of high or moderate caliber unplayable in the long run and almost forcing you to go out and buy 8-9-1000-$1500 worth of video cards.

    Dont make scence that the video cards in your system have to be worth more that all the other componants in your system combined.
    I cant afford a 7800 GTX let alone 2 of them or even 2 6800GT's

    If this trend keeps up Im selling my system, buying a old K6-2 500 to surf the net and an X-Box .
  12. babybluecivic

    babybluecivic TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I think I like your idea jimshady23 I'm going to stop upgrading my pc and start saving my money for the xbox 360. I also hear they are going to release halo 3 but it won't make the 360's debute so they will drop it the same day as the ps3 to try and bring down sony's sales and bring theres up. I think halo is my favorite game. I got to play the new map pack for halo 2 today its like a hole new game again with all the new maps.
  13. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    I'll have to agree. I don't think the general public is willing to pay double for parts. I think SLi will also be a fad. Now duel-core CPUs will stick because esentially all you're buying is one chip.

    The general public is not that stupid.
  14. JimShady23

    JimShady23 TS Maniac Posts: 373

    Uh Huh

    Yeah, I agree Dual core cpu's are a true inovation, not a way to make a quick buck while them people over at nvidia are racking in the cash because teenie bopers get to use daddy's credit card when ever they want just so they can have the best that week.

    After this SLI crap I am loosing faith in Nvidia products, they need to innovate not moderate. Seems them folks over at ATI need to get moving and design somthing that can compete with SLI on a single card level and end this double the money SLI sh--. And I dont mean it should have a price tag of $1200 either when it does come out.
  15. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    I've had more success with NVIDIA in terms of getting items to work than ATI.

    I don't know too many kids whose parents are willing to shell out $1000 on a comouter gaming card.... maybe a computer.... but not that....
  16. JimShady23

    JimShady23 TS Maniac Posts: 373

    I dont know who is willing to shell out $800-$1400 for a SLI set of cards.

    In all honosty if I had that much laying around and had to spend it on a computer part id for sure be going with a X2 or FX-57. But thats the problem
    a lot of people are buying x2's fx's along with the dual video.

    I guess there must be some special feeling about spending your wad and having the best of the best for a month.

    I on the other hand get better gratification on spending $100's or now a days over a $1000's less on componants that are not brand spankin new. And do you know what ? My componants are all not that much of a night and day difference with the new big boys.
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