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Dual 7800 GT SLi -or- Single 7800 GTX 512  ?

By mnm222876
Dec 15, 2005
  1. Building a new system next month. I've already decided on the following:

    AMD Opteron 180 Denmark
    ASUS A8N32 SLi
    OCZ 2GB PC3200
    WD 74GB Raptor
    SB X-FI FPS
    SeaSonic S12 600w

    All this will be attached to a 37" 1920x1080 LCD HDTV via DVi. I haven't been able to decide on video. I want it fast for gaming, but my concern is blocking PCI slots and upgrade-ability. If I get two single slot cards in SLi I won't block any PCI slots but I have no upgrade path. If I get the 512 I will block one PCI slot and if I upgrade to two 512's in the future I will block my remaining PCI slot. (one being used by the sound card.)

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. spartanslayer

    spartanslayer TS Rookie Posts: 394

    I would go with one 7800 GTX 256MB edition for now. It only takes 1 slot, and you can upgrade it later and lose no slots. No one needs SLI yet, wait until you do to upgrade. The same card will be a lot cheaper then.
     
  3. Arcanum

    Arcanum TS Rookie Posts: 181

    Hey,
    the rig looks great!

    However, there's a win-win solution, if you havent bought the MoBo yet...
    Go for the DFI Nf4 SLI-DR Expert (make sure it's expert).
    That way you can later add the second GTX 512 and the X-Fi wont be blocked.

    SLI-DR Expert is probably the best board for overclocking out there, maybe not cheap, but it'll give you the ability to SLI two GTX 512 later, a great advantage for sure.

    Just check the reviews, a MoBo doesnt get any better than this!

    So, get SLI-DR Expert, and a GTX 512, and... enjoy!
    Later when you get the occasional stutter with 8xAA/16xAF :), get the second GTX 512 and rock on!
     
  4. mnm222876

    mnm222876 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Actually the ASUS has three PCI slots. Two below the top PCIe16 and one below the bottom PCIe16. The mobo will hold both 512's and the sound card in the middle, but I was thinking of other possible PCI upgrades (like TV capture, etc).

    To add some more confusion: how about the dual GPU 7800 GT cards?
     
  5. Arcanum

    Arcanum TS Rookie Posts: 181

    Thanks for the info, from the way you said it, i though that by adding
    the second videocard, you will block the slot where your X-Fi is, and by that you will be unable to have the soundcard.

    So, you were actually wanting to say that by having two GTX 512, the top will block one PCI, and the lower will also block one slot, making only one available, and that being the middle one?

    In that case, you will still be able to use the X-Fi, but it's going to get crowded and HOT in there!

    Thats just all the more reason to get SLI-DR Expert, just take a look at the layout, much better, and more effective for cooling. You wont be having any problems with missing PCI slots (ok, maybe one from three available - so you'll have one blocked by the second GTX 512, one used by X-Fi and one available - i think that should be enough).

    So I'm sticking with one GTX 512, with getting one down the road when the things get more demanding, but also highly recommend the SLI-DR Expert - when you're building such a powerhouse don't save your money on the MoBo, believe me, you'll regret it sooner or later, just go with the best one available, it'll pay off.
     
  6. PUTALE

    PUTALE TS Rookie Posts: 126

    I would suggest go for the 512mb now and leave room for future upgrade to sli.
     
  7. cyrax

    cyrax TS Rookie Posts: 69

    i agree with the others. A single 512 will searve better in the long run because in the future you could pic up another 512 cheaper of ebay r something . remember to upgrade your power supply though
     
  8. Inconel

    Inconel TS Rookie

    Im going to have to say stick with the 256 version of the gtx. The 256 is cheaper and it will allow you to have the room you need. Then later on with the money you saved you can get a second. Because of the money you saved, and because of future price drops (hopefully) you will be able to get another 256 gtx sooner.
    Another idea would be stick with a single card. It sounds like you have the money to get whatever card you want, but you dont want to spend over a grand for 2. If you review benchmarks you will see that a single 7800 gtx is way better than the older 6800 GT SLI. In the future faster cards will be comming out and how easy is it going to be for you to toss 2 cards that were really expensive for 1 card thats better than the two.
     
  9. blue_dragon

    blue_dragon TS Rookie Posts: 190

    i think it is better to go with a single gtx...i dont know why someone would need an sli solution of 512mb's
    the only one who would need that be steven spillberg's son :)
     
  10. mnm222876

    mnm222876 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Weird responses....

    Inconel, I'm not even looking at 6800's. I don't know where you got that idea.

    blue_dragon, I don't want two 512's, yet. It's an upgrade path. One now, one down the road when I need it. With a single 7800 GTX on a 1920x1080 resolution with 4xAA 16xAF and HDR on HL2 Source engine, that will only amout to about 35fps or less. That's horrible. I definately need two cards or one monster card.

    Two 7800 GT's are cheaper and a little faster than one 512. Scroll to the bottom: http://www.k-hardware.de/artikel.php?s=&artikel_id=4542&seite=11 You can see the effect of higher resolutions on these cards. Compare the 1600x1200 to the 1280x1024 and then imagine 1920x1080. A single 7800 GTX 256 wouldn't even cut it.

    But by going SLi right away I have no upgrade path.
     
  11. mnm222876

    mnm222876 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    I think Arcanum is right. The DFI "Expert" has a better expansion slot layout. I will probably get the DFI and the 7800 GTX 512. That way I will still be able to get a capture card in there without sacrificing my upgrade path.

    Or maybe I'll get two of these... LOL!

    Thanks for your input everyone.
     
  12. Arcanum

    Arcanum TS Rookie Posts: 181

    Glad you made the right choice!

    My friend has the 'old' SLI-DR, and let me tell you, it's the best board you are ever going to find - the new revised SLI-DR (Expert) takes it almost to a level of perfection!

    That board way made for enthusiasts and overclockers, the amount of options you can choose to tweak your rig is INSANE - if you want to tweak that is. Its automatic settings are very good if you dont want to touch anything!

    And as I said, with DFI, the layout will give you no problems, or blocked slots.


    Get the DFI SLi-DR Expert and one GTX 512, and never look back :)

    Maybe not the cheapest combo, but certainly the most future proof, as you can still get the second GTX 512 after some time and not have any problems.

    I hope you enjoy the power of that rig, I know I would :)
     
  13. Griffon327

    Griffon327 TS Rookie Posts: 27

    I currently run 2 7800GTX cards (256mb) and 1 single card clocked runs everything and anything on full max settings with the sole exception of FEAR

    Fear uses a lot to run full tilt. which is why I got the second card. Fear now runs great and looks awesome however noticed no improvement in any other games at all over single card clocked.

    I have the big cards from Dell which are made by MSI and they run cool and quiet when single. when running SLI second card runs 20 degrees hotter.

    From someone who knows take my advice and buy a single 256mb 7800GTX as when tweaked they spec out equal to if not better then a 7900GTX out of the box and they are the same card in all other respects. Spend money on a card with the the Big cooler like mine

    Not saying do not run SLI just saying wait until later to buy another card when prices go down. My first card was $600 when new (long ago) second card was $250 e-bay BIG DIFFERENCE in $$$

    RAPTORS RULE spend extra money saved on video card on another RAPTOR to go RAID 0 you will be amazed how fast them puppies are.
     
  14. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    This is a really old thread... try to avoid resurrecting old threads.
     
  15. Griffon327

    Griffon327 TS Rookie Posts: 27

    Old thread??? it is less then 30 days old.

    Moderator edit: do not use personal insults to make your point.
     
  16. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    It is over a year old actually. And please avoid insults in this forum. We are here for tech discussions.

    Thank you.
     
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