9800 GX2 Quad SLI vs. 8800 GTX SLI
We included the GeForce 8800 GTX SLI in this evaluation because of our readers asking for it, but also because two GeForce 8800 GTX video cards will cost you close to the same as one GeForce 9800 GX2. In this evaluation we have used two 9800 GX2s which cost an incredibly high $1200. As you can see from our evaluation of the gamers’ actual experience, 8800 GTX SLI can match and best experience provided by GeForce 9800 GX2 Quad SLI, with the exception of Crysis.
The GeForce 9800 GX2 GPUs have a higher core frequency, shader frequency, and memory frequency than a GeForce 8800 GTX. However, the GeForce 8800 GTX has more RAM (768MB) and a wider memory bus (384-bit.) Those are the only two major performance differences between the GPUs. This evaluation has proven that those GTX memory features will equate to a better gaming experience in Call of Duty 4 and Jericho by allowing smoother and more consistent framerates at high resolutions. The GX2’s GPUs have more shader horsepower, but in these newer games like Jericho and COD 4, that doesn’t matter when you start bringing up the resolution and factor in AA.
Crysis was the only game where Quad SLI showed a gameplay advantage thanks to its tremendous amount of shader horsepower. However, even with that, Quad SLI downright choked in Crysis when we tried to apply even 2X AA. Quite simply, 512MB of RAM and the narrowed memory bus are prime suspects for bottlenecking the GeForce 9800 GX2 Quad SLI.