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GeForce 7950GT or SLI-8600GT

jsthursday
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Last Modified: 2013-12-26
I was thinking about getting SLI-8600GT because they are really cheap now. I currently have one GeForce 7950GT in my system.  When I run games like Flight Simulator X or Tiger Woods 08, the 7950GT just doesnt seem enough to get the games running in highest quality smoothly.  I can run games like F.E.A.R. and Call of Duty 4 pretty well, but some games have difficulty staying smooth with highest resolutions and settings.  I also do not know anything about Vertical Shaders or Aniscoptic Filtering or anything like that, so any help on those video filterings would help me out also.  I just wanted to know if i got dual 8600GT cards, if it would be worth it for most of the games out now.  The 7950GT I have now has 512 MB ram and the 8600GT has only 256 MB ram.  I have read somewhere else that one 8600GT is better than SLI-7950GT.  So I was thinking if I got SLI-8600GT I would see a massive improvement.  I currently have 2.4 dual AMDx2, 2 gigs sdram ddr2, 120gb hard drive, dvdrw drive, geforce 7950gt.  Do you think I will need to get more memory than the 2 gigs of ddr2 ram? Thank you!
Justin

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i have read up on some of the different options used with anti aliasing and the different filtering and saw that, you should not have them turned on because it will lag the game to unplayable.  This is because the graphics card wants to put out more frames in higher resolution than the monitor will allow.  i currently have my monitor on highest refresh rate which is 75.  I saw that if i enable anti aliasing on my video card and monitor, that it will allow bad gameplay, so i think i will keep those ones off.  I have not heard anything bad about the SLI setup either.  I wanted to get the most out of gaming, and I think SLI would do that for me.  SLI will become big in the upcoming years I think because gaming will be so intense, it will need it, and why not prepare early?  Anyone else help me out further??
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Commented:
Just look up how the SLI combinations fare in this chart and you'll see if it's worth it: http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html  The 8600 series is not that strong.  If you are willing to spend up to $200, the new Radeon 3850 beats out anything in its price class.  The GeForce 8800GT is faster, but it costs more and is very hard to find right now.
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This article should give you some guidance on the most bang for the buck right now in video cards at different price points: http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/12/03/best_graphics_card/
>>i have read up on some of the different options used with anti aliasing and the different filtering and saw that, you should not have them turned on because it will lag the game to unplayable.  This is because the graphics card wants to put out more frames in higher resolution than the monitor will allow.

I believe what you are describing here is vertical sync.  Vertical sync restricts the frame rate to the monitor's refresh rate so that tearing does not occur.  This does severely affect performance, as you describe.  Anti-aliasing is entirely different, however, and if your card can handle it while dropping decent frame rates, it's well worth turning on.

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Commented:
all i saw on that website was for 8600GTS and i want a 8600GT. The GT is better, but that site shows minimal performance gains for the cards as long as it is a 7950GT and up.  I want to stick with nvidia because i have had the most luck with them.  I shy away from Radeon.  Any more help as to if it is worht upgrading to a 8600GT 256 MB DDR3 from a 7950GT 512 MB DDR3? thanks!
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would i need to upgrade my processor or memory at all, or will that be fine enough? my card runs most of the newer games on high quality, but some of the games flight simulator x and tiger woods 08 it has a little trouble. thanks!

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Commented:
i was thinking about getting two of these cards
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150229
that would do the job for me. as for my 2 gigs ddr2 memory, would i need to upgrade that if i got sli cards? thanks!

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Commented:
i thought that would be my best bet getting two of these 8600gt's because it comes with a free game which i can sell each game for around 15-20 dollars and that would be 40 dollars total, and each card comes with a 30.00 mail in rebate which is another 60.00 i saved. so in all i would be paying around 190.00 for SLI-8600GT's. which i think is a good deal. please advise further and i will award points.
justin
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see i was planning on selling my 7950gt i have in now for 140 or so. using that money for the new cards. i didnt want to spend an extra 200 just for the upgrade right now. i went ahead and bought these.--

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814150229 (two of these cards)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811999154 (a PCI cooler, because two cards are going to need some better cooling)
especially if i am overclocking them, which i am thinking about, because i saw somewhere that if i over clock these cards , they could be similar to the 8800GTS Or something. i am not sure about overclocking though, i will see how they work, because i like the warranty. thank you guys!

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hey callandor, what is the point of having SLI setup if it is not going to give you twice the performance? i thought it gives you more memory, so you can put on features like anti aliasing and filtering options. i know it would not be twice the graphic quality but i thought it would help smooth things out a lot better than just one. anyways, ive purchased both of those already. any further help would be appreciative. thanks!

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Commented:
thanks for all of your help. i just went with the SLI-8600GT's because I thought it would be the best deal. i am going to sell my 7950gt and go from there. my computer supports SLI fully so I thought I would give it a try. My PSU is a 580watt SLI and my motherboard is SLI supported also. i will let you know how everything goes! thanks again!
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It wouldn't have been "... an extra 200 just for the upgrade ..."

==>  The 3850 Callandor suggested is a superb card ... costs essentially the SAME as the two cards you bought (and you don't have to wait for a rebate) and will perform BETTER than the two 8600GT's

==> or the 8800GT would give you slightly more performance for about $80 more (NOT $200)

... I'm sure you'll be happy with your dual 8600GT's => but EVERY contributor to this question told you otherwise !!  The very first comment noted "... one superior card is always better than two lesser cards in SLI ..." ==> and both Callandor and I suggested excellent cards, either of which would outperform the dual SLI 8600GT's.    I'm a bit surprised you bothered to ask the question (and waste our time) if you had already decided that's what you were going to buy.

By the way, the extra slot cooler is not what you need if you're going to "push" the cards by overclocking them ==> you need a better VGA cooler that will provide more heat transfer from the GPU & memory chips.   Something like a pair of these:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118029
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... by the way, if you just ordered those cards from Newegg, it's probably not too late to change your mind and get a 3850 :-)    [Orders can be cancelled until they reach a stage 4 of processing ... for most orders thats several hours]

Callandor:  I certainly didn't mean to sound biased towards nVidia => in fact I'm a big ATI fan ... both my previous and my new primary systems have ATI cards.    I suggested the 8800GT since the questioner seemed to clearly favor nVidia cards.   I agree, however, that the 3850 is a superb card ... and given the price constraints for this upgrade, I definitely think it's the best choice.
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Actually, Gary, my comment was directed at the asker, and you picked up on it too - "the questioner seemed to clearly favor nVidia cards".
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... just dawned on me that neither of us ever gave a link to the Radeon 3850:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102715

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Commented:
i do like that 3850 card, but i just like sticking with Nvidia. i just like their cards a little better because im more familiar with them. the 3850 looks like a great card, but it has stuff like DVI to HDMI convertor? what would that be used for? i still have some time to cancel my order if someone can help me a little further on this. thank you!

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Commented:
what does crossfire thing do on the 3850. a user reviewed the card as being equal to the 8800GT which i think is a great price for this card and deal. please help me out further. thanks!
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A DVI to HDMI converter allows you to hook up an HDTV directly, if it has HDMI ports (most do) and no DVI ports (most don't).

Crossfire is Radeon's answer to SLI; it requires a Crossfire compatible motherboard and one "master", but it allows you to mix different Crossfire cards, if you can't afford or can't get two identical ones.  Here's the full explanation of Crossfire: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATI_CrossFire

I don't think the 3850 is equal to the 8800GT; that was an exaggeration by the user because the benchmarks clearly show that it is not as powerful.

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Commented:
well my mother board supports SLI and is an Nforce motherboard. i think i will be better off going SLI with this setup. i do like the card but i just feel safer with Nvidia. besides, i will get  a pair of component hookups to the hdtv. i guess that it will not be HD then, but i do not care. it is a cool concept, the card is cool and everything. i just feel safer with nvidia. i only asked this question because i wanted to know if i should upgrade from a 7950GT to SLI-8600GT's. I think I will find good amounts of FPS and other things with these two cards rather than just having one lesser card. the only reason i asked this is because one 8600GT is only 100.00 as the 7950GT was 140.00 when i got it. this is a good deal for the 8600GT's and i figured I'd just see your opinions. i know i would get a much better gain with the 8800GT, but i do not feel like spending the 100 or so dollars more. i am already spending 100 right now for this and that card was 299.00 and that would be close to 200 extra for the setup which i did not plan. i was hoping to spend like 80 dollars more for dual cards. i think i will like the setup i am getting. when i get them though, if someone could help me understand SLI more i would appreciate that also. thanks guys and merry christmas!
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You would be better off going SLI if you were going to use 8800GT's ==> but ONE 3850 will perform better than your TWO 8600GT's will.    The only disadvantage would be that the 3850 doesn't support SLI ... so you couldn't add a 2nd one to your motherboard for SLI.   If you bought an 8800GT that would (of course) also perform much better than TWO 8600GT's ... and it would give you the option of someday adding a 2nd 8800GT in SLI mode for even better performance.

The point we were all trying to make you understand is that two 8600GT's in SLI mode aren't as good as one higher-end card ... and both the 3850 and the 8800GT cards will give you better performance for the same (3850) or slightly higher (8800GT) cost.

Nevertheless, you'll like your 8600GT's in SLI => they'll definitely outperform what you have now.

Author

Commented:
okay i am looking at this--

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150264

it'd cost me 215.00 for the 8800gt. that is 215.00-140.00=75.00
it'd cost me 210.00 for dual 8600gt's. that is 240.00-30.00-20.00=190-140=60.00
so basically i could get one 880gt for the same price as my dual 8600gt. i have a few hours to change my order. someone please help me figure out what to do.

Author

Commented:
of course that is the 256mg version and not the 300.00 512 mb version. ive read more views about 8600gt's so i think im just gonna stick with them for the time being. they will do the job i want i believe. thanks guys and merry christmas!

Author

Commented:
geez. i just saw that they have a combo out there for the exact same card i got and id get 2 gigs of memory for 30 dollars more. but i missed it and my order has been processed. what a rip!

Author

Commented:
http://promotions.newegg.com/VGA/113007/index.html

i got the card on the right. what a ripoff.

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