If you saw last week’s post on triple SLI and were considering buying a motherboard with an nForce 780i chipset, I have one word for you.
Scalable Link Interface (SLI) technology is aimed at two markets – enthusiasts and pro overclockers. I know for a fact that a lot of enthusiasts can’t make extensive use of SLI because it’s just too damn expensive. Pro overclockers don’t really care about price, and most of the time the hardware is being provided free by the likes of Gigabyte and ASUS.
If you think you need more performance, a better idea is to sell your old graphics card and use the proceeds to buy something better. There’s always an 8800 GT in every generation, so you’ll definitely find a good compromise between price and grunt.
Keep in mind not all games support SLI and some, like BioShock, can even run slower.
If you buy a 780i-based motherboard, you’ll be paying a premium for a feature you’ll never use. Sure, it’s nice to have the option, but it’s like the self-destruct on the USS Enterprise – only Kirk had the balls to flick the switch. It came in handy but, dear God, Starfleet Command would have been chasing Kirk up until he died to collect payment for that boo-boo.
Having three PCIe slots running at the advertised 16x speed is nice. Finally. But not enough to sway me. Especially when you consider the beefy and expensive PSU you’ll need to power the things, and the additional cooling so they don’t explode.
As an aside, PCGH broke an NDA to get its triple SLI article up first. I don’t know how big the site is over in German, but pulling this sort of crap is just, well, juvenile. I hope the couple of extra thousand hits it got makes up for being in NVIDIA’s bad books for the rest of eternity. Arsehats.