"SLi stands for silly"....

Discussion in '3D Hardware, Software & Output Devices' started by Ailuros, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. Ailuros

    Ailuros Epsilon plus three
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    ...at least according to editor in chief THG David Storm.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/column/20050622/index.html

    Starting price for the EU or the US? Since he mentions US $, I think the starting price is about $1200 and thus by $200 off for each GPU.

    Hardware in the EU (and other parts of the world) is often way more expensive. The starting price for the Asus X800XT PE was around here >700 euros and thus > US $880. However I'd expect G70 in the =/>800$ range to come from a lot higher clocked BFG GPUs.

    Does an exaggeration on top of an exaggeration get a hypothetical point better across?

    Common knowledge by now for any interested party that considers any multi-board config purchase. Obviously cost isn't a primary consideration in such cases.

    There are DVI to VGA adaptors aren't they?

    I personally wouldn't write an editorial with such an aggressive title, with as limited data in my hands.

    Resolution used depends on the monitor type and it's capabilities. Good luck tuning down the resolution on a LCD monitor with a native 1600*1200 resolution and then we'll see what "crispness" exactly stands for.

    Apart from that today's GPUs are already in way too many cases CPU limited, even more the G70. In order to escape the GPU limitations you would need to go as high as 1600 or even higher if the monitor actually supports higher resolutions.

    I don't see why a consumer concerned for a single G70 or even an SLi config with 2 G70s would use a monitor that's limited to small resolutions. From one side I'd lay hypothetical $2000 on the counter just for 2 GPUs (according to Mr.Storm) but would get too stingy and use a $ 150 monitor with a native resolution of 1024*768?

    Yes there are still large CRTs available, yet most of them go as high as 2048*1536*32.

    http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2451&p=9

    Take a look at the above charts in comparison. While I personally haven't currently the luxury to buy such a system (unless I win the lottery that is), I could with ease go up to 2048*1536*32@75Hz on the 21" CRT at home with a G70@SLi config. Isn't 63 fps good enough?

    There are quite a few other applications tested at Anandtech, that show a similar trend.

    Take HL2; if the monitor doesn't go higher than 1600 (which I consider to be a good resolution for a multi-board system), then I guess users could also enable TSAA, still have playable performance on just a single 7800, but with alpha test aliasing being removed by a very high degree.

    http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2451&p=19

    Could very well be the case yes, but ATI introduced a multi-board config with Crossfire too and I don't expect it to be an exclusive R4xx-venture either. So is this editorial against just SLi or multi-board configs in general?

    Early prices on products are usually always a lot higher than a couple of months later, but it's not that much different with ATI or other markets either.

    I can't really disagree here that a user could wait a bit until prices become more reasonable, and the recommendation makes sense.

    Seen exclusively as a recommendation to THG's user base it does make sense what the early premium prices concerns, the points used though to get the message across (with more than on inaccuracies) and the rather aggressive title is what annoys me.

    I'll probably get flamed up the wazoo for this thread, but mind you I wouldn't react otherwise if the title and content would be "Crossfire stands for silly" or something to that effect either.
     
  2. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    Wouldn't SLI stand for "slilly"? :|
     
  3. fallguy

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    While I dont think its silly. If you can afford it, more power to you.

    But you have to feel a little ill, if you were an early adopter. Had to suffer thru some problems, and pay a hefty sum, of at least $1k to $1200. Now, less than six months later, a card for $600 is faster, or really close to it.

    Who in their right mind would buy 2x6800GT/Ultra's today? So much for that, "buy another card in 6 months" argument.
     
  4. Humus

    Humus Crazy coder
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    Maybe Slimy.
     
  5. KimB

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    You do realize the person "buying another card in 6 months" wouldn't be purchasing two GT's/Ultra's today, right? It'd still be cheaper than the GTX to buy that second card right now (assuming you don't plan to sell).
     
  6. ondaedg

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    Once ATI's cards hit the streets, those SLI prices will come down for both manufacturers. Those articles are nothing but shock and awe statements trying to stir emotion.
     
  7. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    Ah, but that's not the argument. If 6800GT prices take a nose dive in the upcoming 3-4 weeks picking up a second one for your existing 6800GT wouldn't seem all that bad to get up to the latest gens speed.
     
  8. KimB

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    Well, the only thing is that the 7800 GTX is unlikely to cause such drops in price, since it's in its own price bracket.

    Now, when nVidia releases the rest of the 7x00 line, then we may see some dramatic price drops.
     
  9. Ailuros

    Ailuros Epsilon plus three
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    By the way I just saw a XFX 7800GTX at a local online retailer for 572 euros (taxes included). Prolink 6800U and MSI 6800U still cost 503 and 517 euros accordingly.

    ***edit:

    numbers are universal:
    http://www.computer4u.gr/c4u/default.aspx?code=VGA(CATALOG)
    521 euros = $ 656.
    ***

    If a user is to upgrade to a high end GPU now and has a former generation GPU (R3xx/NV3x), it's a no brainer which one to pick of the above.


    Yep.
     
  10. Simon F

    Simon F Tea maker
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    "Sly"?
     
  11. Jawed

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    Hey it seems the 6800Ultra buy one now, buy another later for SLI guys are out of luck as 7800GTX replaces 6800U. I wonder how long the 6800U will be in stock...

    Jawed
     
  12. Rys

    Rys PowerVR
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    I'm fairly sure, although don't quote me on it, that NVIDIA, in conjunction with their AIB partners, have agreements in place to order in more NV45 et al if the need arises.

    So if card demand is there, card demand will, hopefully, be met. Hopefully.
     
  13. martrox

    martrox Old Fart
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    This brings up the whole question of wether SLI/Crossfire is of ANY value whatsoever. At least as an upgrade path. Most know that you'd be far better off with a single 6800GT rather than SLI'd 6600GTs from both a cost and a performance position...It's always been a no brainer. Now just look at what the 7800GTX does to the idea. In most cases it's either equal to or better than SLI'd 6800GT/U's.....and since you don't need to spend the premium for a SLI MB, will get the added features of the 7800 I also qualify it as a no brainer.

    So here's my scorecard:

    SLI'd 6600GT's or 6800GT.......no brainer
    SLI'd 6800GT/U's or 7800GTX...... another no brainer

    The only value to SLI - and in all probability Crossfire - is if you have the money to invest in it from the getgo. As an upgrade path it's a total waste.

    This was my fear from the beginning.
     
  14. HaLDoL

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    Must resist to open a topic with "ATi changes name in LATi"
    As in: Lati with crossfire, lati with the R520, lati with X800XTPE, ... ;)
     
  15. fallguy

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    A 6800U isnt that much less than a 7800. It would be silly to me, to spend money on one, when you could get a 7800 for not much more. Yes it would be cheaper, but why would you even consider it? As I said, a 7800 isnt much more than an Ultra. Why in the world would anyone buy a second one, instead of using that money, with the money from selling their current card, to buy a 7800?

    Sure it is. You know there is someone right now, thinking of getting SLI'd 6800's. "If" you say? I dont like betting on "if's". Even if they were $300, would you really buy one, instead of using that $300, plus money from selling your other? You could get a 7800 for about the same money, perhaps a little more. I dont see any logic in that. The 7800 has more features, less heat and less noise than SLI'd GT's.

    There is zero reasons to upgrade your existing 6800 to SLI, unless you get a very, very good deal on the second card. Which may happen with people trying to sell them off, to get a 7800.

    Has there been an official release date for Crossfire and the R520?
     
  16. WaltC

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    Exactly, and ironically enough it was that very same argument nVidia sought to use against 3dfx in the general PR forum when 3dfx was pushing V2 SLI...;) Indeed, the counter arguments against dual-card SLI make as much good sense now as they did then, imo.

    The money is just part of it, too. You not only spend 2x as much, of course (and that just for the two cards required), but the fact is that you are comparing 2x the hardware to a single card in this kind of frame-rate & bar-chart benchmarking environment.

    In that vein I have a very serious suggestion for Dave and the other B3d staff when it comes to reviewing things like SLI or X-Fire...why not include a statistical table and chart showing "Expense per frame rendered" with percentages drawn against a single card of the same kind? If people could see that most of the time the frame rate gain does not equal as much "bang for buck" in SLI as it does for a single card of the same type, and that some of the time the SLI bang-for-buck can be as low as 1/2 the bang-for-buck provided by a single card of the same type (because some games get zero benefit from the second card) it might serve to make the situation just that much clearer--which it seems to me can only benefit the B3d readership.

    I mean, I believe the ideal would be to exclude SLI or X-Fire benchmarks (should X-Fire results appear someday) from single-card-of-the-same-type frame-rate benchmarking. But as people naturally want to contrast dual-card performance to single-card performance to see if the SLI expenditure is worth it, it seems to me that some kind of "bang-for-buck" percentages chart and table would be a much-needed addition to the standard fare and status quo as it exists. The way things are when reading through these charts and tables a novice might be tempted to conclude that SLI/X-Fire is actually nothing but a faster single 3d card itself.

    OTOH, it would be also interesting to directly note that the SLI bang-for-buck, when it is superior to that of a single card of the same type, generally increases as resolution and IQ settings go up--so that people with smallish monitors might be reminded in yet another way that going SLI/X-Fire might also involve buying a bigger monitor to better display the higher resolutions SLI most benefits from, and so on (not to forget motherboards, PSU's, etc.) It's just my thought here that the economic ramifications of going SLI or X-Fire are not treated by most hardware sites with the gravity these ramifications deserve.

    "Bang-for-buck," however, is generally a widely used measurement tool when comparing competing products of every description imaginable. Why it is considered irrelevant to SLI vs. single-card hardware comparisons has always puzzled me. Sometimes reviews will talk about the bang for buck differentials, but I'd prefer to see them quantified graphically in charts and tables since obviously bang-for-buck is no less important than maximum frame rates, it seems to me, so why chart & table one aspect and not the other?
     
  17. KimB

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    Except why should cost be linear with framerate?

    Anyway, I still contend that the primary appeal of SLI is to have the option. SLI boards aren't much more expensive than non-SLI boards (good non-SLI boards, at least). So it's still nice to have the option.

    As for me, I'm currently sitting on a single 6600 GT on an SLI motherboard. I currently see no reason to upgrade to an SLI system (and probably won't...I think my next upgrade will be to a dual-core CPU). But it's nice to have the option, even if I'll probably never make use of it. Even if I don't get the second card, I'll not regret getting this motherboard, since it was nearly the cheapest PCIe motherboard with a good layout I could find.
     
  18. _xxx_

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    The cost has a much higher slope compared to framerate right now. Would be nice if it would be linear, but I also think it's not really possible.
     
  19. WaltC

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    It isn't linear, which would be the value of charting and tabling the information in terms of percentages.

    IE, regardless of where you buy a single card of a specific type, buying a pair of them from the same source will result in 2x the expenditure of the single card (which equates to either "200% of the cost of a single card," or "100% more than a single card costs," depending on your choice of syntax.)

    The idea would be to stay away from $ and stick with percentages. I think we can all agree on the fact that in no case will 2 cards ever cost the same as one, or cost less than one, etc.
     
  20. WaltC

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    That's understandable and I somewhat agree, with the exception that I would not lay out funds for an option I have no intention of exercising. In any event, planning to exercise an option and exercising it are two different things I don't think should be confused. You have simply paid a tad more for the "SLI option" but do not yet actually have SLI. If you never go SLI, then the expenditure is a waste, right?

    With the V2 the situation was different because of the fact that V2 SLI did not require the purchase of a "V2-SLI motherboard," since any motherboard with an open PCI slot would suffice, and at the time such mboards were commonly available in the mass market and most people already owned such a board when 3dfx shipped V2 SLI. Although I could have gone SLI with the V2 I never did, but had I opted to do so I could have used the same motherboard. So the current situation is certainly different.

    As well, 3dfx actually abandoned dual-card SLI later on. Although the V2 SLI gave 3dfx a big shot in the arm at the time in the general retail consumer markets, it was anathema to the large OEM buyers like Dell--who did not want it for the obvious reasons. I can think of no clearer example of how success in the retail markets cannot offset failure in the OEM markets than this. Indeed, with the V3 3dfx left dual-card SLI behind and the single-card SLI V5 5.5K was far better than V2 SLI ever was in every respect, as I recall.

    Which leads us right back into what Fallguy was saying about something much better always being 6-9 months out, these days. In the current environment dual-card SLI/X-Fire really doesn't make a lot of sense. I'll conclude by mentioning the fact that the *pace* of development and bringing products to market today is *much* more rapid than was the case when 3dfx introduced V2 SLI. This has been the case for a number of years now, and as such the case for dual-card deployment is made all that much weaker, imo.
     
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