XFX Triple SLI - 8800 Ultra's in 3 Way SLI

Gaming experience & Issues Encountered

Gaming Experience
The gaming experience with Tri SLI was for the most part enjoyable. Crysis felt "almost there" in that it almost felt like the cards could push the frames but software was drawing the setup back. Now this is just me speculating (albeit with some experience), but I hope future driver revisions cure this.
In addition to this, remember that the next gen Nvidia cards that are Triple SLI enabled have had a lot of R&D gone into them to be able to work better, according to nvidia's partners, so here's to hoping!
However, there are some points I would like to make.
"Multi-card "stutter" is an issue on Tri SLI, as it is on other multi-card setups. Whilst the games bombed along in FRAPS, the actual experience doesn't seem to be such a great experience and looks similar to single card performance, even though the numbers are high. To see what I'm talking about, look here.
Heat is an issue with Triple SLI, the middle card can bug out if the temperatures get too high. I tested this in a fairly warm environment and this certainly causes shutdown during intensive 3D applications. Whilst this isn't a major gripe, I had to stick a fan in the PC, blowing air right in between the cards to fix this (and open the window!!). Obviously, those with water-cooling won't have this issue!
Power is a big issue with Triple SLI. The OCZ Powerstream I have shut itself down when trying to power a Tri SLI system and even another PSU which claimed to be able to handle the load didn't do it. Luckily my trusty 1100w Tagan did the business, but you have to factor this into the buying decision, so don't forget.
Read on to see what I think about Triple SLI overall...
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Most Recent Comments

25-02-2008, 09:48:05

I didn't even expect it to be that good, I am impressed! Crysis still chokes it on V.High too, that game is ruthless.

Maybe with the 9 series soon Ultras/GTX will get cheaper and this might be a viable option before we know it (to those who aren't swimming in money)Quote

25-02-2008, 10:28:16

Yes it was a pleasent surprise tbh, the 9 series should make it even betterQuote

25-02-2008, 10:57:15

Great read. The results do look good, and the comment about how the games `feel` is a better qualifier for me.

I`d not even entertain this, even with planning ahead months in advance to afford it. Does look nice tho hehe

Heat is an issue for me; power is crazy talk - but obviously a requirement, which is where the heat is going; drivers and/or a card being tempremental, I can do without, just don`t need it ontop of other pc dodgyness.

All said and done, I`m banking on the top end single card for the generation to come.

Be nice to see single slotted cards or wc solutions of this being tested.

Some fine benches too.Quote

25-02-2008, 13:27:00

Unless I came into some serious wedge then its not something i'd consider.. I'm with most here and reckon on a single card top end when it finally arrives.

Quick thing Matt.. Did you give overclocking it a go at all or would it have caused a total meltdown?Quote

25-02-2008, 13:34:05

The performance gains does not justify the price at all, i mean seriously why cant they just get standard SLI to just work properly before moving on to tri, quad and so on...

For this cash i would want to see stable FPS, not 40-500fps ranges, you look at any competitive gamer and the key thing for there setup is constant FPS, why else do you think most of them stick to the low 800x600 res?!?Quote

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