Go Back   Hardware Canucks > HARDWARE > Video Cards

    
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 2, 2012, 10:58 AM
Rookie
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Kelowna, BC
Posts: 11
Default Am I going to be happy with 550Ti SLI?

Hi folks.


First off - some quick background:
  • I'm not a huge gamer, but I do enjoy the odd single player (Fallout series, Borderlands, Mafia 2 as some examples).
  • I had two pc's and a laptop stolen this summer. Insurance took awhile, but a cheque is finally on its way.
  • My budget is practically unlimited as they've approved up to $5k plus taxes to replace. But here's the kicker... anything I don't use, I can have 60% as cash. So I don't want to spend just for the sake of spending.
  • My previous card was a 9800 GX2 and I was happy with that right up until it got taken.
I was at one point (when I thought I had to spend it or lose it) looking at getting two 980's and just rockin the Caspah for the heck of it. Then Boxing Day rolled around and I picked up what appeared to be the "best deal" - a couple of 550TI's. While I know that's a HUGE step down from two 980's (and it should be - $200 total vs $1500 total) that means more $$ in my pocket and I rationalized that it was "good enough".

But is it? I read reviews complaining that the 550 makes games "unplayable". Is that just people needing more frames per second than the human eye can possible perceive and whining because some benchmark told them its not high enough? Or is that really what I'm going to experience?

I ask because, thus far, my cards are unopened and I can send them back.

I picked them up for $170 plus $10 shipping plus taxes for a total of $201.60 on Boxing Day.

Thoughts?

- Steven
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old January 2, 2012, 11:12 AM
Hall Of Fame
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: laval Qc
Posts: 1,072
Default

in your case i'd go with 1 560ti

if you want to sli get 2

insurance payin i'd get a 580 or 2 lol

60% cash
i'd spend the limit n sell the stuff 30% less

a claim is a claim no matter how much it is
__________________
maximus IV extreme @ 5.1 1.41v

evga e760 +920 4.8 water5.0+ on phase linx stable
gtx285 tri-sli
dfi ut-p35 lt
e8600@4.6 1.38v
too much ram
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old January 2, 2012, 11:12 AM
enaberif's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Calgahree, AB
Posts: 10,679
Default

buy either a single 560ti or two 560ti. i wouldn't waste my money on 550s
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old January 2, 2012, 11:29 AM
Top Prospect
F@H
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 164
Default

Yeah, twin 550's is pretty pointless. If you like playing high res I'd get a 560ti or better. 550ti shouldn't even be a GTX card, it's more like a GTS or something. SLI 550's will be better than your 9800gx2 but not by a whole lot. Also, I like the idea of spending to the limit and just reselling... hell you could buy things for people @ 80 cents on the dollar and you both win.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old January 2, 2012, 11:48 AM
Bond007's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 3,124

My System Specs

Default

While you did get a pretty good price on the two 550 I have to agree with everyone else. Always go for a single graphics card if you can. SLI/ Xfire can cause many problems and headaches. For the most part I would always consider SLI a down the road upgrade path and not an initial plan for graphics card. I would have chosen a 560Ti or, if you don't mind spending a few extra dollars, a 570.
__________________
Desktop: Antec Three Hundred, Z77-D3H, 3570K undervolt @4.1ghz with Zalman Optima Cooler, Corsair Vengeance 2x4gb@1866mhz, HD 6950(unlocked shaders and OC'd), Bitfenix Fury 750w, WD Black 1TB, Intel 530 120GB
Away from home light Gamer: Acer Aspire 15.6", A8-3500m undervolt and OC to 2Ghz, 2x4gb Corsair Vengeance, Crucial M500 240gb
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old January 2, 2012, 02:40 PM
Rookie
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Kelowna, BC
Posts: 11
Default

Thanks for the input!

I know in the past, the standard advice of single is better vs SLI... hasn't that changed? I mean, just about ALL the reviews show SLI kickin arse and the multiple is pretty good now. It used to be that SLI would maybe get you 1.2x a single where as now it looks like 1.8x or better. That's the only reason I was considering SLI because it appeared like things have changed. I've never had SLI before now.

Its interesting... just as an example, there's this guy's video review that pretty much states exactly what you guys are. But, ironically, its convinced me to stick with what I have. For now anyway. The reason - cost analysis. Forget the fact the insurance company is paying for it - I shouldn't even have mentioned that for the purpose of this thread (reasons below*). His point is that the 550x2 is inferior because 2 of the 3 games he benches it performs slower than the 560 ti but costs more. But that's not the case right now. The 2 550's were a good $40 less than the best deal I could find on a single 560. Given that price difference... I'd say its more cost effective to do the 2x550.

Of course we'll see!

I actually wasn`t going to get ANY video card but the deal, I thought, was pretty good. The 600 series is going to be coming up sometime soon most likely and I was going to wait for that and just use the onboard graphics provided by the 2600k in the meantime.

So my plan for now... I`ll keep the 2x 550 and give it a shot for a few days. If its sucks ass, then I`ll send it back and bide my time. If I can play current games on high quality with good framerates - and by all reviews I should expect that with this setup - then $200 spent now is fine to get a better card cheaper later when I actually need it.

Thank you for your advice. It may look like I`m ignoring it... but it was all considered carefully. So thanks.

- Steven

* OK, about insurance. I get what you guys are saying, that I could sell stuff at $0.80 on the dollar... but I think if the insurance co caught wind of that, I`d be seeing jail time. Maybe not, but I`m not chancing that. Regardless, I don`t think I could get that kind of ratio. People are greedy. For example, I`ve got a kickass Noctua NH-D14 brand new in a box that I`ve been trying to sell locally for $70 and I keep getting offers of $50, $60. This thing retails for well over $100... $80 on a great sale and then you have to pay taxes. So really, fifty cents on the dollar is more likely. Finally... 60% cash vs value is still cash I didn`t have.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old January 2, 2012, 02:50 PM
sswilson's Avatar
Moderator
F@H
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Moncton NB
Posts: 14,780

My System Specs

Default

SLI/Crossfire seems to be hit and miss for some applications, especially if you're not gaming on high res monitor(s). I haven't revisited it for a while with my pair of 560ti's, but when I first started testing them on DAO there was absolutely no benefit to SLI vrs a single card.... hopefully that's improved with drivers and game patches, but please keep in mind that SLI is not always the answer.
__________________
MSI Z87I Gaming AC / i7 4770K / 2X 8G Gskill 1866 Sniper / XFX XTR 750 / EVGA GTX 680 SC+ 2GB / Intel DC S3700 200G / Seagate Barracuda 1TB
Inwin 904 / Swiftech MCP655-b / Alphacool NexXxos XT45 120 Rad / 2X Scythe GT AP-15 / EK Supreme HF / Dell UltraSharp U2412M

Asrock AM1H-ITX / AM1 Athlon 5350 / 2X4G Gskill PC3-14900 / Intel 6235 Wi-Fi / 90W Targus Power Brick / 250G Samsung 840 Series SSD / Mini-Box M350 / 1X 22" Dell IPS / 1X 22" HP
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old January 2, 2012, 03:00 PM
Kommie986's Avatar
Allstar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Waterloo, Ontario
Posts: 601

My System Specs

Default

I think you can pick up a single 580. Also, why don't you spend the limit, and sell the rest of the stuff as BNIB? I think it would get you more cash.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old January 2, 2012, 04:24 PM
Bond007's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 3,124

My System Specs

Default

At the price you got the 550Ti are good cards, its just that it would not have been my choice. For the most part SLI does get good scaling now. There just may be some games where you get poor scaling, and there may be some issues with SLI at times.
__________________
Desktop: Antec Three Hundred, Z77-D3H, 3570K undervolt @4.1ghz with Zalman Optima Cooler, Corsair Vengeance 2x4gb@1866mhz, HD 6950(unlocked shaders and OC'd), Bitfenix Fury 750w, WD Black 1TB, Intel 530 120GB
Away from home light Gamer: Acer Aspire 15.6", A8-3500m undervolt and OC to 2Ghz, 2x4gb Corsair Vengeance, Crucial M500 240gb
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old January 10, 2012, 12:29 PM
Rookie
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Kelowna, BC
Posts: 11
Default

So... a week later report:

Overall, I'm pleased. Not thrilled... but pleased. Let's be real, there's not a game out there that I can't play on moderately high settings with no issues. I tried all the big guns - Crysis 1 and 2, Metro 2033, Skyrim... no issues at all. Arkham Asylum is a fail if I crank EVERYTHING up all the way - that means with vsync on, which of course tries to hold a steady framerate so it plays at 15fps. I (begrudgingly) played the game a little bit at that framerate and paid particular attention to the details and I can't say there's that great of an increase in scene quality, so really... a $750 card could do it but for what? Just to say you can do it? Lower the AA just a little (or forgo vsync) and it plays between 30 and 60, which is "good enough". I know everyone wants to see 60fps or higher, but if the film industry is satisfied showing us full featured action packed thrill rides on the big screen in 24fps, well...

I've not had any "glitch" type problems, sort of to my surprise really. I figured there'd be plenty of issues being my first foray into SLI - but nada. I'm also impressed with power consumption. My old system idled at 160W with one graphics card. This system - much MUCH more powerful - with SLI idles at 130W. With the game going full bore, it only barely tops 300W (why do people need 1200W PSUs again?).

For my purposes - casual gaming - I think I did well for myself. Not blow-you-away-with-awesome-performance fantastic... but that's not what I was going for and not what I expected.

- Steven
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nvidia 550Ti SLI VS 560 Fermi SLI Cadence Video Cards 6 December 27, 2011 12:14 AM
coolermaster elite 460w enough for nvidia gtx 550ti? simer1 Power Supplies 15 April 24, 2011 11:02 PM
Happy wife... Happy life... Skyllz Off Topic 22 August 5, 2010 02:16 PM
I am a very happy person muse108dc Off Topic 23 March 16, 2010 07:59 PM
Not happy with NF-P12's biff Water Cooling 22 November 11, 2008 08:23 AM