The Bottom Line
We experienced great gameplay improvements with GeForce 9800 GTX SLI over a single GeForce 9800 GTX. We are happy to see such improvements in Crysis and Assassinâ€™s Creed. GeForce 9800 GTX 3-way SLI will provide only limited improvements, completely depending on the game being played. 3-way provided a decent advantage in Crysis but had absolutely none in Assassinâ€™s Creed and COD 4. GeForce 9800 GX2 Quad SLI is simply a complete waste of money. There are limitations with the GeForce 9800 GTX that are keeping it from achieving its full potential in 3-way SLI. In games where you do not use antialiasing 3-way SLI may provide an advantage. If your goal is to raise AA as high as you can at high resolutions 3-way SLI will not allow you to do this.
At this time there just arenâ€™t enough advantages past GeForce 9800 GTX SLI to recommend 9800 GTX 3-way SLI. If you are looking for the absolute highest framerates, 3-way SLI will provide this, but it will not allow you to improve your gameplay experience in some games, so you are paying extra money for nothing unless you want the performance for canned benchmarks. GeForce 9800 GTX SLI seems to be rather efficient for high-end gaming at this time, with Crysis being the exception. While Assassinâ€™s Creed was just released, and is a beautiful game, it ended up playing very well even on a single GeForce 9800 GTX with the highest in-game settings. GeForce 9800 GTX SLI will allow you to run it at 2560x1600, but 3-way SLI will not improve upon this.
We are caught once again in a cat and mouse game, waiting for games to challenge our video cards and prove why 3-way SLI or Quad SLI is needed. Until that time, enjoy two-GPU SLI as Iâ€™m sure everyone is really waiting to see what the next generation brings anyway instead of plopping down near $1000 right now on 3-way SLI or Quad SLI.