Is an SLI set-up worth it?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Marix, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. Marix

    Marix OT Supporter

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Messages:
    28,024
    Likes Received:
    0
    I recently ordered a new custom-build PC:
    Q6600
    2Gb Geil DDR800
    2x250gb hard drives in RAID 0
    Asus Striker Extreme motherboard
    Asus GeForce 8800GTS 320mb

    I also have ordered a 22 inch monitor


    I've been thinking about SLI and how I could add another identical graphics card. It seems to be the most cost-effective upgrade I could do, especially if I want to game at high res on the 22 inch monitor, right?

    I've been looking at a few benchmarks on Toms Hardware and it seems that at lower res it makes almost no difference, but cranking it up to 1920x1200 you're looking at almost double the frame rates.

    Pairing 2x 8800GTS 320mb is faster than an Ultra, which is WAY outside of what I am willing to pay. They can also be overclocked, as can the CPU.

    Any thoughts/suggestions? I was thinking of waiting until I get my system, seeing how it goes and then waiting until the new cards in November. Hopefully the 8800gts price will fall a little, and I will invest in another one.
     
  2. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2004
    Messages:
    28,491
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Southern Oregon
    sli == worthless
    faid0 == worthless

    btw, dont run faid0.
     
  3. Kelex

    Kelex New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0
    it never fails. upgrading to a next gen card has always been the better option.

    sli or xfire is worthless
     
  4. Killbane

    Killbane Ahhh Indianna...

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,604
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    CapeMay,NJ\PennHills,PA\Motown,WV
    You may want to rethink the Striker board, hell the whole build itself,because all new shit is coming out in NOV-JAN. To answer the question, no go with a single bad ass card.
     
  5. Marix

    Marix OT Supporter

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Messages:
    28,024
    Likes Received:
    0
    Huh?

    What's wrong with RAID 0?

    I heard that failure rates are 2-5x higher (which is still a very small probability) and I don't keep any important stuff on my PC anyway. At the worst I'd have to re-install windows, some games and MS office.



    Worthless how?

    Not to sound like an ass, but if you're going to say that, at least explain why. Like I said, everything I've seen shows that performance doubles at high resolutions. If there's some huge drawback that I don't know about, I'd be happy to know about it.



    What's wrong with the Striker board? Again, every review I have read has been excellent - 90% and above.

    Also, I wanted a new PC now, not in Nov-Jan. I've actually been wanting to get one for a while but it's always a case of "new stuff coming soon." I'd probably still be waiting if I kept that mentality, lol.
     
  6. Kelex

    Kelex New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0
    Two 8800GTS 320MB in SLI is still limited to 320MB total video memory. That is still small for high resolutions with all the eye candy.

    Plus the fact that the SLI config will consume more power, space, and generate more heat than a single 8800GTX.

    Compared to a next gen card, the 9800 series will have more stream processors, faster and bigger memory, and a wider bus than the two old cards in SLI combined.
     
  7. Marix

    Marix OT Supporter

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Messages:
    28,024
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok, thanks for your thoughts.

    I guess I'll wait until I get it and if I do find that this system isn't coping, i'll wait a while and upgrade. Like I said before though, someone better is always just round the corner and I'd end up waiting forever unless I actually buy something!
     
  8. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2004
    Messages:
    28,491
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Southern Oregon
    You're a fucking moron that fails at math. Failure rates increase EXPONENTIALLY with FAID0. That means minimum 10x more likely to fail. And that's not only counting for hardware failure of the drives. Add the controller, software error, most onboard controllers use system memory so RAM can make things worse, and in the event of a power failure or blue-screen, you could lose EVERYTHING.

    And what do you get in return? Nothing. There is no real-world performance gain to be had.
     
  9. thebox

    thebox New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    45,695
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle
    none? :hsugh:

    i don't see a problem doing raid0 as long as you are fully aware of what the fuck you are actually doing.
     
  10. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Okay, here's the deal with RAID0, minus the profanity.

    You might think that the risk of RAID degradation = the risk of a single disk failure * the number of disks. It's not. The risk of RAID degradation = the risk that the controller will think a disk has failed * the number of disks. Therein lay the problem.

    All RAIDs degrade on a regular basis, even ones run with $1000 controller cards. I have some RAIDs at work that degrade almost as often as once a week, because the disks are getting old and sluggish and the RAID controller panics when it doesn't get the data it requested fast enough.

    With anything besides a RAID0, when the controller thinks a disk has failed, it reverses the mathematical formula it used to calculate the parity data, to figure out what the data on the failed disk used to be, and then it restores the data on the failed disk.

    But with a RAID0, there is no parity data. So if the RAID controller thinks a disk has failed, you might be able to recover the data by telling the controller to use the failed disk anyway, but only if the computer has been idle for the entire time between the failure and you noticing the failure. Otherwise, the data that got written after the disk failed is gone, along with a chunk of the RAID's table of contents. Poof, gone. Go get your backup disk, and if you don't have one, cry.

    That's why you should only use a RAID0 for data you don't care about losing.
     
  11. bowrofl

    bowrofl New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2005
    Messages:
    6,555
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto, Canadia
    what monitor did you get?
     
  12. Marix

    Marix OT Supporter

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Messages:
    28,024
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok, thanks for the explanation which uses logic instead of stupidity to make a point. I was aware that the failure rate does not directly scale (which the fucktard above would have known if he could read) and I already said that I won't store anything on the PC that I don't mind losing.

     
  13. Marix

    Marix OT Supporter

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Messages:
    28,024
    Likes Received:
    0
    Samsung 226BW

    22 inch widescreen
    3000:1 contrast ratio
    2ms response time


    I've already got one, so I ordered another
     
  14. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Messages:
    14,017
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you don't mind losing your shit and want your game load times to improve or you do video editing or something then go for it.
     
  15. Marix

    Marix OT Supporter

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Messages:
    28,024
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you.

    It's not like failure is imminent. Even though I accept it does increase the probability, HD failure rates are still pretty low.

    Plus, as I'm saying for the 3rd time, I don't keep important stuff on my PC anyway.
     
  16. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Messages:
    14,017
    Likes Received:
    0
    I ran a RAID 0 gaming machine for like 3 years. It kept chugging.
     
  17. bowrofl

    bowrofl New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2005
    Messages:
    6,555
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto, Canadia
    i was looking at that exact monitor to buy... how is it?
     
  18. Marix

    Marix OT Supporter

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Messages:
    28,024
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I owned one already and bought another so I'm obviously happy with it!

    Yeah, it's nice. It's large and bright and the contrast is excellent. I also run my Xbox360 through this monitor and I can see people hiding in dark corners no problem! Text is clear... visibly a LOT brighter and clearer than my laptop screen (which is to be expected I guess.) No dead pixels at all on mine and no problems setting it up, installing it or configuring it. It also has a very good viewing angle.

    The UI has a lot of options too including different profiles - game, sports, movie etc.

    Only negative things I can think of are:
    The power button has a blue LED behind it which is actually quite bright. If you're watching a movie in the dark you may find it a tiny bit distracting.

    It also does not pivot or swivel on its base. It's not a problem for me but it might be awkward if you want to angle it upwards or downwards depending on your desk/seat etc. That said, the base is surprisingly heavy and the monitor itself is very sturdy and won't wobble at all.

    The final thing is that the black rim around the side of the screen has things written on it - "3000:1", "2ms" and "Syncmaster 226BW." It's a tiny thing but I'd prefer nothing was written there - I don't think it needs to advertise since I have already bought it. However the writing isn't too distracting.
     
  19. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Be that as it may, it'll only have to fail once for you to realize that it's worth the expense of the extra drive so you don't have to fuck around with restoring backups.

    If you do get a RAID0, make damn sure you get drives designed to be used in time-sensitive applications -- that will minimize the frequency of failures. WD Raptors are the only ones I know of, but there are probably others.
     
  20. Marix

    Marix OT Supporter

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Messages:
    28,024
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry, can you clarify that a bit please?

    "Time-sensitive applications"?
     
  21. Shorty

    Shorty New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Messages:
    20,571
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Southern CA

    Thats the same mentality i had for my raid, and after about 2 months of my computer being built it failed.

    once i was sure what the problem was i just used seagate tools to erase the drives and reinstall OS.

    what i did was made a dvd with all the iso's of the programs i use/want so i just pop that disk in and re-install any programs i want.

    its not that bad, but can or will get annoying if it keeps happening.

    currently im only running a single drive due to me being to lazy to redownload the raid drivers
     
  22. Marix

    Marix OT Supporter

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Messages:
    28,024
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hmm, ok thanks.

    Like I said - nothing important on the PC but if it does crash or get annoying I could just use the 2x250gb HDs separately. I assume that disabling the RAID is simply a matter of altering a setting in the BIOS, right? Or do you have to change jumpers on the HDs too?
     
  23. XR250rdr

    XR250rdr OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    24,470
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Ca
    Basically if there is an error the drive stops trying to recover after a set period so the RAID controller doesnt think its offline and freak out. The error recovery is left up to the controller.

    WD RE series for sure. Baracuda 10 and 11 series are recommended for desktop RAID by Seagate, but I'm not sure of the exact spec on error recovery. Seagate doesn't list it.

    Obviously anything SCSI or SAS is included, but those are usually cost prohibitive.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2007
  24. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, SAS is crazy expensive compared to SATA.
     
  25. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Messages:
    14,017
    Likes Received:
    0
    Run RAID 0 and don't worry about it. It probably won't fail for a year or more. Then be prepared to re-install. You don't have to do anything special if you accept that your data is disposable.

    I ran my RAID 0 shit on a promise card (horrible RAID!) for several years with the processor and video card over-clocked and 6 fans in the case trying to keep the thing from frying. It was the most unstable computer I've ever had, but was good enough for gaming a few hours at a time... for years.
     

Share This Page