Thinking of upgrading to an SLI setup, would like some thoughts please...

Associate
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12 Feb 2003
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962
Hi,

I'm thinking of upgrading my current setup (p4 3.2, 2gb ram, ati x800xt (agp))

I'm interested in SLi but I'd like to know from people who have an SLi setup, what it's like, which games have problems with it and also what the recommended specs would be for a good SLi rig. I'm expecting a budget of around £1500, I already have a case, hdd's so the bits I'm looking to replace are:

CPU
Motherboard
Graphics
PSU

This needs to last me a good few more years so I'm quite happy to invest where needed now.

the games I typically play?
Vanguard,
BF2142
Supreme commander...

In general, I'm an RTS/RPS/RPG freak :)

Cheers.
 
Associate
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No point on SLi, IMHO. I use an 8800 GTS and everything flies on that. I would recommend:-

CPU - E4300, E6600 or E6300. With that budget get a e6600 and a tuniq tower or scythe ninja to cool it.
Mobo - Asus P5N 650 SLi, P5B, or GB DS3
Graphics - 8800 GTS or GTX, depending on how much you want to spend.
PSU - Corsair 520W/620W, Seasonic 600W or Enermax

You could get all that for about half you budget though - for £1500 you could easily get a complete new system with SATA 2 drives, the works.
 
Man of Honour
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Completely agree with Melbourne720. Sli is just not worth it now. A single 8800 series is a much better route to go down. More powerful and a lot less hassle than Sli. On top of that all games will support it unlike Sli. I have Sli at the moment using a pair of BFG 7800GT's.

I just got a new C2d setup consisting of:-
Asus P5N-E Sli 650i motherboard,
E4300 C2D,
2GB Geil Ultra PC2 6400 CL4

All for just under £295 (not from here). This setup is going to whoop my current rig and will have a 8800 added at the end of the month. That will play any games maxxed out at my res (1280x1024) and with a total cost of under £500 is a bargain. :D
 
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Associate
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Cheers,
As far as PSu goes, what wattage am I looking at if I want to go Sli in the future and add another GTX?

Here's what the system currently runs:

Intel P4 3.2
1 CDR/RW
1 DVD/R/RW
Ati X800XT
1xWD Raptor
2x250gb PATA Drives
2x1gb RAM

This is currently running off a 550w PSU, with this in mind, do I need to upgrade the PSU?

Also,
Would I see much difference in swapping out the raptor (sata1) with a normal sata2 hdd or should i stick with it as is or maybe add another raptor and raid it?

The thing about c2d's as well, this is effectively two cpu's? So I'm assuming an app needs to be coded to take advantage, if it isn't and it's a C2D 2.4gHz is the app running at 2.4 in single core mode? (In which case a single core P4 3.2 is better?)

:)
 
Man of Honour
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Location
Aberlour, NE Scotland
If you are talking about another 8800gtx (complete overkill unless you are running a massive monitor) then you need at least a 750w sli certified one, preferably more. For the list of certified psus see here .

For a single 8800gtx you may be ok with your 550w one depending on what make it is.

A C2D will always be better than a P4 even in single threaded apps.

Raptors are a overpriced waste of money IMHO. Better to just get a decent sata2 hdd or even a pair and raid 0 them.
 
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Associate
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- Intel Core 2 DUO E6600 "LGA775 Conroe" 2.40GHz (1066FSB)

- BFG nForce 680 (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard

- BFG GeForce 8800 GTX OC 768MB GDDR3 HDTV/Dual DVI (PCI-Express)

- Enermax Galaxy 850W EGA850EWL ATX2.2 Modular PSU

- CellShock 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 PC2-6400C4 800MHz Dual Channel Kit

What case are you using?
 
Associate
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Lolcb:I've got the Jeantech Butterfly v3 case.

Pastymuncher:
I'm using a 22" lcd (1680x1050 max.res)

I'll quite happily go for just 1 gtx for now, but I want to make sure I don't run into problems when I do decide to add another card
 
Associate
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With your screen, 1 8800GTX is enough but have to watch for the details you set on games.

I am not sure if your case can fit the GTX. Might need to see if someone has the same case can verify this.
 
Man of Honour
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A single GTX is more than enough. Even a GTS is probably enough.

What make is your current psu?

To check if it will fit just remove the side panel and measure the space. If it's more than 275mm then you should be ok.
 
Associate
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hmmm, if it's 275mm long, it'll fit but I'll have to move a HDD out of the way, here's what it looks like!

pc.jpg


It's 275mm from where the card is flush to the back of the case to where the HDD frame is.
 
Associate
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According to the other thread, a Corsair 620W should have more than enough for 2 x 8800GTX boards and even a quad core CPU since it was demo'ed running such a system...
 
Associate
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I've been loooking at some of the motherboards available, they all seem to be SATAII, SATA Raid, so with my Sata hdd (WD Raptor), does that mean I'd need another & raid it in order to use or I'd need to use a SataII hdd? Or is it ok as is?
 
Associate
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Ok, I've come up with the following:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6700, Socket 775, 2.67 GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 4MB Cache, Retail
Asus P5N32-E SLI NF680i SLI, S 775, PCI-E (x16), DDR2 533/667/800, SATA II, SATA RAID, ATX
2GB (2x1GB) CorsairTwinX XMS2 Dominator,DDR2 PC2-6400,240 Pins, NonECC Unbuffered, CAS 4-4-4-12, EPP
768Mb Asus 8800GTX PCI-E (x16), Mem 1800 MHz, GPU 575 MHz, 128 Streams, 2 x Dual Link DVI-I HDTV
Akasa Ultra Quiet 650W Power+ iQ Active PFC ATX2.01 PSU - Black Nickel
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music Sound Card OEM
Scythe Infinity Quiet CPU Cooler Quiet - Socket 478, LGA775

2x200 Gb Seagate ST3200820AS Barracuda 7200.10, SATA300, 7200 rpm, 8MB Cache, NCQ (will raid0 these)

Can someone recommend a good cooling setup for this lot please?
Quiet & Efficient are the words of the day :) I'll allow upto a £200 budget


Thanks!
 
Associate
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CPU: No point getting a 6700, the 6600 I'm using right now is running at over 3GHz, why spend more?

Mobo: Drop down to the Asus P5N 650 SLi, all the same good features of the 680i, none of the carp ones.

RAM: I'd go for cheaper 6400 if your not going to overclock, or go for some with micron memory (Crucial 10th Anniversary, Team, Cellshock) if you are.

GFX - Perfect

PSU - Corsair, Seasonic, Enermax

CPU HSF - perfect

Sound card - the onboard is fine

As you're spending so much anyway, and with the savings above, you could get a Raptor X for booting.

Cooling, put all that in an akasa eclipse and add 3 nexus or s-flex fans.
 
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