Dual core or Quad core debate on Triple SLI

Discussion in 'Videocards - NVIDIA GeForce' started by Rjudgey, May 28, 2009.

  1. Rjudgey

    Rjudgey Member

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    Hey guy's new to the forum here although I've been a regular reader for quite some years and a die hard PC enthusiast since the Pentium days of overclocking a Pentium 1 to 100Mhz from 66Mhz!! LOL those were the days with Matrox 2MB 2D card and 3DFX 4MB!! Still have it somewhere!!

    Right what I'm interested in is what peoples real experiences have been with Intel Dual Core and Quad Core as well as I7. Just recently upgraded my GPU's and was a little disspointed in the performance increase over my SLI'd 8800GT's

    Right System is as follows

    Coolermaster Stacker (original one)
    Intel Dual Core E8400 6MB @ 4.19 Ghz
    8GB Ram at 1066MHZ 5-5-5-15 G Skill
    Nvidia Asus Striker 2 Formula 780i triple SLI Motherboard
    Thermalright FX14 with twin 120mm fans
    2X Nvidia 260GTX 216 cores (OC'd at 700 Core 2600 Mem)
    Using Onboard sound at present as had Issues with X-fi on Vista planing on upgrading to Asus Zonar shortly but the small one as the large one will block half the 120mm fan on the CPU cooler!!
    BFG 800-ES and Hiper 580 PSU's (Yep two in there did have just two Hipers but wasn't enough Juice for the 260GTX's!!)

    Main Screen is Panasonic 32" TV 1080P Resolution best PC monitor I've ever seen! Also have Dell 24" too I'm not greedy honest! lol!

    Now Fired up 3D Mark and was very dissapointed that my old system was just as fast! with my two 8800GT's but in the games noticed much quicker with the only exception was Empire at War running in XP was like a dog. Upgraded to Vista 64bit and it improved quite a bit but nothing dramatic over my old 8800GT's and if i max out the settings and have a huge armada or army 2 on 2 for example it nearly grinds to a halt! Hoping that it's just the game being an absolute killer like the others were when they came out!

    3D Mark 06 was still the same in Vista but all the normal games seemed pretty smooth and speedy.
    Got hold of 3D Mark Vantage and low and behold some decent scores from the stories i heard of Vantage being a system killer i was shocked to see silky smooth frame rates with the lowest at like 25fps for a split second but averaging nicely around 35-45 most the time. Score on Vantage set at performance mode was 22500 which i thought was pretty good for what i had.

    Now after reading some articles and such on SLI and Triple SLI and also on Dual cores Quad Dual cores and then I7 dual cores people saying i should have upgraded to I7 i was thinking is this really needed i want more power for empire at war and considering dumping a 3rd 260GTX as the prices are just insane for these cards at the moment!! Never had triple SLI and if it didn't work very well i could sling it in my other PC instead of the 8800GT that i took out from my main rig. Am i going to see a reasonable increase for adding a 3rd 260 or am i wasting my time here? Well I'd like to find out if it will work nicely or if indeed a Quad or an I7 is really needed? So just thought I'd share and see what other experiences anyone else has had?

    I think in reality i was expecting toomuch from what i got and the scores and frame rates I've had have been very favourable if not better than a lot of the big sites like here and Tomshardware. So was just ineterested in seeing other scores from other people running SLI and Triple SLI with 2 or 4 cores and new I7 so don't be shy say hello and lets see what you got! :)
     
  2. UnrealGaming

    UnrealGaming Ancient Guru

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    Didn't read the whole post. But for triple SLI Core i7 will give u 100% increase in performance over any Core series dual or quad .
     
  3. ---TK---

    ---TK--- Ancient Guru

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    your 8400 is fine for sli. many people say go i7 to get the maximum benefits of tri sli
     
  4. DSK

    DSK Banned

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    This !!

    :grad:
     

  5. Rjudgey

    Rjudgey Member

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    I7

    I'm not so sure it will guy's I'm scoring 22500 in Vantage as it is with Dual core E8400 at 4GHZ with 2X 260GTX in guru3d's own tests there I7 Rig with 3X 280GTX was only scoring 25000?? But weirdly there E8400 rig was scoring ridiculously low!! Unlike mine only difference is mine are newer 260GTX and my Mobo is 780i (which BTW is crap I'm never buying NVIDIA Mobos again! lol!)
    Only thing that might have made the difference is if NVIDIA sorted out the drivers for triple SLI on there own Mobos i think a lot of the increase in speed is down to Intel Motherboards and maybe NVIDIA has caught up with driver releases since the Article was done on triple SLI on dual, quad and I7.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2009
  6. ---TK---

    ---TK--- Ancient Guru

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    turn off physics for a true vantage score. you should be getting around 15,000 with your setup. the i7 rig was most likely with physics disabled
     
  7. scoter man1

    scoter man1 Ancient Guru

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    There is no debate. A quad is definatly fast on 3-way sli than a dual is. Just think about it... 2 faster processors vs. 4 slightly slower processors. Just get the quad, or i7 and be happy.
     
  8. Rjudgey

    Rjudgey Member

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    Faster i know

    Yes i know that Dual core is allways going to be slower but by how much of a margin!!
    Does anyone know if the Article on this on guru3D if the benchmarks were done with Physics enabled or disabled? I'll run a test now and see how it does with it off for comparison.
     
  9. ---TK---

    ---TK--- Ancient Guru

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    I would bet my left nut they had it disabled. the cpu physics tests are to be done by the cpu not the gpu. which would give nvidia an unfair advantage over ati
     
  10. UnrealGaming

    UnrealGaming Ancient Guru

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    If your score is that much bigger ( with these new drivers ) on dual core, imagine what will be with i7. But, ofcourse if you are happy with your current performance, then....
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2009

  11. Fri4rTuck

    Fri4rTuck Master Guru

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    Well, for what it is worth, mine is I7 with Tri-Fire. That is ATI 4870X2 + 4870. I know that isn't SLI but my Vantage score is 20,600 without physics (obviously) and the same system on my Q9550 at the same clock speed was 17,600.
     
  12. scoter man1

    scoter man1 Ancient Guru

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    Maybe you should try posting on evga forums. You might not have an evga product... but they know A LOT about their cards (and they should). Maybe they can tell you what to expect.
     
  13. Foes

    Foes Ancient Guru

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    I can tell you from my personal knowledge that I gained no fps after adding my 3rd 260 running at 1920x1200. My results are also supported by test results from the guru3d website. I can not say the following about quad 775 cpus only because I do not know, but with an i7 you will see significant gains between 2-way sli and 3-way sli.

    See link below

    http://www.guru3d.com/article/core-i7-multigpu-sli-crossfire-game-performance-review/1
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2009
  14. Rjudgey

    Rjudgey Member

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    disabled

    Yes it's run disabled and scored a gigantic whopping 13700 marks lol! Right ok looks like I'll be ordering up an I7 and bits to go with it! hehe! Well I think I'd still like to try a 3rd card and see what it does and then by that point maybe I7 mobos and memory might have dropped a little! lol!

    So next time should look closer and make sure benches are down with physics disabled! hehe! I think by adding another card I'll be lucky if i break past 16k! But given that an I7 system benches at 17990 with two 260GTX's in comparison mines not that much massively slower considering I have 2X CPU's at 3.93GHZ and rubbish Nvidia Mobo when i ran the benchmark and 2X 260GTX so i think it may help if the 3rd card doesn't do much then I'll try the Quad and if that doesn't work out then theres the I7 at least i can still make use of the 3 260GTX's i have no matter what I'm running.
     
  15. Rjudgey

    Rjudgey Member

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    no gain

    Thanks Foes for letting me know maybe I'll just not bother then lol! Might try the Quad CPU in the existing setup and see if that helps speed up Empire at war anyone know if it benefits from Quad cores this game?

    Well at least i got quite a jump on the E8400 running 2X 280GTX's that scored 11373
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2009

  16. Rjudgey

    Rjudgey Member

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    Upgrades are in!

    And totally dissapointed although Empire at War is playing smooth i must admit so not been a total waste of time! lol!

    Got Q9550S E0 stepping nicely clocked at 3.83GHZ can't seem to go higher seems to be a Motherboard FSB issue making it underclock the memory! which is damn annoying cause if i set the FSB to 2000Mhz i can get it to turn on at 4.25ghz but it sticks the memory to 800MHZ and fails to post sometimes. I know it's not the CPU as it does it at lower clock speeds with the multiplier turned down. Shame cause it hit that with just 1.35v!! Temps are really cool as well using Thermalright IF14 with two 120mm fans and OCZ grease idles around 40ish and doesn't go above 50 gaming just insane!

    So anyways got the CPU running stable at 3.83 which is still an extra Ghz over stock and not much slower than my E8400 Dual.

    Now was expecting some good results because of this so slung in the 3rd GTX260 and it was barely faster running Vantage.
    To rub salt into the wounds heres some of the scores so far, I'm still mucking around and testing this so I'll add more as i go on so for anyone interested keep your eyes on this over the next week or so.

    Vantage at Performance mode

    Dual E8400 @ 3.93 GHZ with 2X 260's v216 OC'd@700Mhz (13700 no physx)
    Dual E8400 @ 3.93 GHZ with 2X 260's v216 OC'd@700Mhz (21907 physx on)

    Q9550 @ 3.83 GHZ with 2X 260's v216 OC'd @700Mhz (16707 no physx)
    Q9550 @ 3.83 GHZ with 2X 260's v216 OC'd @700Mhz (19841 physx on)

    Q9550 @ 3.83 GHZ with 3X 260's v216 OC'd @700Mhz (20951 no physx)
    Q9550 @ 3.83 GHZ with 3X 260's v216 OC'd @700Mhz (27621 physx on)

    So how the hell is my dual scoring 2000 more than the Quad with the Physx on?? Just a little stumped? The gains with off seem to add up and scale correctly but on is just weird?? Anyone got any ideas?
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2009
  17. Fri4rTuck

    Fri4rTuck Master Guru

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    How many runs did you do? It may just be fluctuation in the run - although 2000 points is significant.
     
  18. Rjudgey

    Rjudgey Member

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    weird scores

    Well i thought that as well and have done a few runs and tried a few different settings.

    The wolfdale was running a slightly higher clock and the FSB was 66MHZ quicker and the memory slightly faster at 66MHZ as well. But i wouldn't have thought that would have gained 2000 points on Vantage normally takes quite a huge mod to do gain that much!

    So looks like if you have a Wolfdale E8400 OC'd to 4GHZ or higher could work out better for people sticking to SLI than upgrading to a equivalent Quad. Excluding the I7 obviously thats just the Daddy! lol!

    So even running 260GTX with a good OC can cause a bit of a CPU bottleneck maybe with a DDR3 board might be a bit better but with the low latencies of my DDR2 and reasonable clock speeds i highly doubt it.

    Right I've just bunged in the 3rd 260GTX and about to give it a spin again and i've eeked out a bit more speed from the CPU upto 3.93GHZ same as the Wolfdale. Looks like the E0 stepping CPU's have a FSB issue on Nvidia systemboards so people watch out on this stick to Intel or just go I7 i wouldn't waste time or money on anything else I really wish i wasn't bored and just bit the bullet but hopefully this will help people in similar situation as to what i was in! :O)
     
  19. Fri4rTuck

    Fri4rTuck Master Guru

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    Let us know, I would be interested to see what you get with 3 260's.
     
  20. Rjudgey

    Rjudgey Member

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    Well just done some testing on the 3X SLI 260's check the post above for the scores. Things seem to be running much smoother now, had to increase Vcore a little as it was cashing on the Physx's tests with the CPU running them instead of the GPU's, frame rates definately up quite a bit on Vantage lets hope the same goes for most of my games! lol! Might be actually heading in the right direction!
     

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