TechSpot

Sli Technology opinions wanted.

By Shaw23
May 1, 2007
  1. So do you guys think that Sli Technology will always add minimal performance gains, or do you think it will keep improveing more and more to where in the future it may almost double video performance?

    Is this something worth having the capability for as technology evolves, or do you think it is more benificial to have a system without the technology and spend the extra money elsewhere?
     
  2. JimShady23

    JimShady23 TS Maniac Posts: 651

    Lets see...

    For the most part, most people think that 2 cards in SLI will double your FPS or 3Dmark score, that is not the true intention of what SLI is really meant for.

    Yes, having two cards should in theory give you 2x the performance but what it really does is give you the ability to run games at super high detail and super high resolutions. The way that SLI uses the two cards is like this, one for the general GPU usage and one that acts as a physics card so to speak. This enables you to set that AA and AF all the way up to the heavenly 16x

    True, you do not get a huge performance increase with 2 cards in SLI but the resolution and the detail you can enable is downright wonderful.

    The same pretty much goes for ATI crossfire also.....
     
  3. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,265   +41

    Another issue with Sli is that I recommend gets a board that support slix16, some of the first boards only allowed sli to run at 8x for each rail.
     
  4. JimShady23

    JimShady23 TS Maniac Posts: 651

    Hehe

    Not being anal or anything but you did mean SLI-32 boards correct ? :D
     
  5. Shaw23

    Shaw23 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 102

    So SLi is not mean for performance gains, even though when most reviews are posted... that is generally what is compared. So what one would need to determine isnt wether or not the minimal performace gains are worth the price tag, but wether or not the excellent detail and high resolution is worth the money and would be postive toward the system?
     
  6. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    Thats what it seems like we're agreeing on so far.

    However, there's a few things mentioned which is just not true. For example, the second graphics card being used for physics calculations. That is not true as far as I know. It is possible to get a graphics card to do physics calculations, but when hooked up in SLI, it doesn't do so. Maybe a little...

    Also the fact that SLI requires two PCIe x16 slots. This is more or less bull. Graphics cards today, even the top end 8800gtx, do not utilize the full potential of a PCIe x8, much less the x16. In fact, with the dongle, you just need a PCIe x16, and a PCIe x1 (with the size of a x16 slot), and it should perform close to what two true PCIe x16 slots would give you. There are some benchmarks out there showing that it is true x16 will give you higher performance, but you're talking below 5%, typically 1% improvements in benchmark points.

    Also, SLI does give performance gains, but as mentioned, not a double in performance. You'd be lucky with 50% improvement, and I think its normal to get between 25-35% improvement.

    IMO, if you're not getting an SLI system of the top end card in the market at time of purchase, there's no need for it. Some say you might want to add in a second card later, but if its much later, you're better off getting a whole new card to replace the old one (due to advances in technology). Or you're cheap, and just want to spend a few bux for a small improvement in performance, in which case, you'd probably be lacking in some other components in your computer.
     
  7. Shaw23

    Shaw23 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 102

    That all makes sense. Thanks everyone for your input, I have been out of the technology loop for a little while and am currently catching up on all of the new stuff.
     
  8. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    Not a problem.
     
  9. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Yeah CMH is right about the "2x PCi-E x16 slot" crap. Its just a marketing gimmick, mainly by NVIDIA to sell it's 680i chipset. Anyone remember the nForce 4 SLI X16? ;)
     
  10. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    I don't hold back on information, which can be bad sometimes. Not really good to flood people with information. I don't think I've leant much in uni, because we're taught how to keep things short and simple when explaining stuff.....

    And I read alot. I've been keeping up to date with developments, and it helps having a dad who is paranoid about making sure facts are true, and double checking details. Also helps to have learnt statistics in uni (especially what "P" values mean).


    About the X16 slots, its the enthusiast user trap. You've got the common user marketing traps, which just pushes huge numbers (3.8ghz Pentium 4 Dual processors, 7950gx2, 1066mhz FSB.... sounds familliar?), and the enthusiast user marketing traps, which uses theories to sell (stuff like quad core, quad triple phase, dual X16...). Both end up doing the same, making the user pay for stuff they don't need. Most applications today, or in the near future, will not see any need for this stuff. Quad GPU anyone?

    Which is why being well read is important. You might know the numbers, but most of the time, numbers lie. My number one rule when reading statistics: numbers lie.
     
  11. Shaw23

    Shaw23 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 102

    What is uni?

    I have another question that you may want me to make another post for, but I have seen bus capabilities on CPUs at 1066Mhz and on Motherboards at 1066/1333Mhz. I have also seen RAM speeds top out at 800Mhz, 1000Mhz, 1066Mhz. I have only seen Mobo's with RAM slots that accept up to 800Mhz and 1200Mhz. What happens if you put RAM that is 1066Mhz in a Mobo that accepts 800/1200 Memory with FSB of 1066/1333? Does it run at 800 Mhz? Does this speed of RAM just make overclocking easier/safer?

    The reason I ask is because I was looking at this combo and trying to decide what type of RAM should go with it for the best performance.
     
     
  12. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    There is no worries about all those numbers.

    The motherboard will automatically configure everything for you. If your CPU has a higher FSB than your motherboard, then you might be interested in getting a motherboard which supports such high FSB, or you'd be underclocking your CPU (I think... someone can confirm that). For RAM above 800mhz, your motherboard will automatically underclock it to 800mhz, the higher speeds are for overclockers.

    uni=university
     
  13. Shaw23

    Shaw23 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 102

    The numbers didnt scare me, I thought I understood the majority of it but not all of it. So why does the motherboard that I linked to accept 1200Mhz memory? Is this going to be the newest technology in the future that isnt availible yet?
     
  14. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    Hmm.... this is actually the first time I've seen 1200mhz RAM as part of the spec. Usually stops at 800mhz.

    But then again, unless someone points it out, I don't really look at what RAM speeds they support.

    There's only a couple of RAM out there that has reached the 1200mhz mark, so they're not really readily available. It probably is there to show that the motherboard will be able to overclock your RAM to 1200mhz easily.
     
  15. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    1200MHz memory support simply means that if you put in sticks of RAM that are at 1200MHz, it will run them at that speed instead of downclocking them to 800MHz or whatever the default speed is. The only manufacturers I know that have released 1200MHz (PC2-9600) RAM are OCZ, with it's FlexXLC RAM and Kingston with it's HyperX PC2-9600 RAM. Both are aimed at enthusiasts, the OCZ one being specifically aimed at RAM OCers.

    Also, why get a 680i-based mobo when any 650i-based one offers the exact same performance at a cheaper price?
     
  16. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    I really don't suggest the 680i, to me, its an extravagance.

    Its money better spent elsewhere.
     
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