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Old August 23, 2009, 11:46 AM
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Linus Linus is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fletchoid View Post
When I was building my computer a few years back, I only considered motherboards, power supplies, and cases that were “SLI ready”. I couldn't afford the top of the line graphics cards, so I thought that a reasonable tactic was to buy a mid range graphics card (then $500 was considered mid-range), get the computer built, and then in a year or so when I had more money, I could buy another graphics card and use SLI to boost my graphics performance. Then I discovered that you needed to have EXACTLY the same graphics card, right down to the same firmware version, or SLI would not work properly. So, by the time I could afford another identical graphics card, they were either no longer available, or so out of date I would be better off to buy a single new graphics card. However, even when you could find the exact same card to run in SLI, the performance boost was minimal. When ATI crossfire cards and motherboards came out, they had the slight advantage in that the second card could be a different model than the first card you had. Once again, the performance boost is nothing to get excited about. Now, many newer motherboards have on board graphics that are reasonably good, and can run in Hybrid SLI or Crossfire mode. This allows you to use the on board graphics for things like surfing, email, and other simple applications, and then utilize both the onboard graphics and the addon graphics card together when running games or other graphics intensive applications. So, I propose that classic SLI is obsolete. The future belongs to Hybrid graphics, using onboard, and addon cards together. What do you think?
There's a fair bit of misinformation in here that I think needs to be addressed.

- $500 is not a mid-range graphics card. It never has been.
- You do not need the same graphics card. You can use one from a different manufacturer, one with a different clock speed, one with a different firmware, etc, etc, etc
- The performance boost is not minimal. The general rule that I've observed is that 2x prev. generation cards at price point X is approximately equal to 1x current generation card at price point X. Basically you're able to get next gen performance out of old gen cards.
- Onboard graphics are not reasonably good, and hybrid SLI/Crossfire are utterly useless. They are not even supported by Windows 7.
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