NVIDIA 3-Way SLI With GeForce 9800 GTX Graphics CardsTue, Apr 15, 2008 - 12:00 AM
3-Way SLI With GeForce 9800 GTX Video Cards
Today is April 15th, 2008 and that means that it is the day taxes are due in the United States. While this is a time of stress for many Americans it shouldn’t be as you might be one of the many that is expecting a substantial income tax refund this year. It turns out that over 70 percent of Americans get money back at the end of the tax year, with the average refund being close to $2,000! Rather than having those precious dollars being absorbed into your normal spending routine or being used wisely to pay off bills you could do something crazy with your refund, get three GeForce 9800 GTX graphics cards for triple SLI! Actually, with a street price of $289 plus shipping buying the graphics cards will only set you back $867. This sounds like a large amount, but keep in mind a single GeForce 8800 Ultra cost $829 when it launched back in early 2007. If you consider this, three GeForce 9800 GTX graphics cards at $867 seems to be a bargain!
Since we have already covered the GeForce 9800 GTX in our launch article we will not be going into any of the features today and focus just on SLI and Triple SLI performance. One important thing to point out before we move on is that an nForce 680i SLI, 780i SLI or 790i SLI motherboard must be used to enable Triple-SLI. Only the 780i and 790i SLI motherboards come with the 3-way SLI bridge though, so if you have a 680i SLI motherboard you’ll need to make your own with flexible SLI bridges or purchase a new one. On top of mothebroard chipset requirements each GeForce 9800 GTX requires two 6-pin PCIe power connectors for proper usage. If power is not properly hooked up to the GeForce 9800 GTX the video card will sound an alarm and you will definitely hear it. When it comes to power supplies a single GeForce 9800 GTX, needs at least a 450-watt power supply unit for proper operation. For each additional GeForce 9800 GTX added to the system, 156 watts more power is recommended as that is the maximum board power that each card can consume. This means those that want to run triple SLI with three of these cards will need at least a 762W power supply according to NVIDIA.
What kind of performance increase can we expect? NVIDIA claims that with SLI, the GeForce 9800 GTX GPU offers increased performance up to 2x in a dual SLI configuration and up to 2.8x in 3-way SLI mode. With all that said let’s take a look at the test system and then run some performance tests and see if we can confirm this!