To SLI or not to SLI

@ 2005/03/07
PC gamers looking for a video card that can run all current games well, without costing them a fortune, are well advised to go for a GeForce 6600 GT. The 66GT isn't the One True Chipset that's streets ahead of every other option in bang per buck, but it's not too expensive, and it's a solid performer at the moment, and it won't be excruciatingly out of date in a couple of years........

So. Winchester-core A64s good, SLI 6600s bad, SLI 6800s a better idea, but you'd better bring a fat wallet and be prepared for occasional computer misbehaviour.

Comment from Sidney @ 2005/03/08
We all learn new stuffs daily.:^)
Comment from jmke @ 2005/03/08
Dan updated his write-up, take a look

Comment from jmke @ 2005/03/08
a good read on the SLI story, however I spotted some none-SLI related errors in his write-up

In this case, that premium is around 25%, compared with the price of a perfectly good two-stick 1Gb PC3200 kit from, say, Corsair. But the G.Skill RAM's officially specified, right there on the sticker, to run at "PC4400" speed with 2.5-3-3-7 timings. That's a 37.5% overclock, and you may be able to get even more. The Corsair chips won't do that.
Corsair has plenty of products which can obtain PC4400 speeds 77

the other part which needs some correction is the whole mem speed vs htt speed :

The overclocking-headroom thing matters, because if you're overclocking an Athlon 64, you're overclocking its RAM, too. AMD64 chips like the A64 have onboard memory controllers, which are locked to the FSB (it's a HyperTransport link speed, not a Front Side Bus, but that's what everybody still calls the clock speed that's subjected to a multiplier in order to give the processor core speed). Other CPUs let you uncouple processor speed from memory speed; AMD64 doesn't. You can change the multiplier, but only downward, that's how AMD's "Cool'n'Quiet Technology" works, and it's also useful when you're establishing your RAM's limits, but it's no good for getting the core speed up.
If you buy a decent A64 motherboard you'll have memory divider options in the bios, much like with P4/AXP boards, which allow you run the HTT and MEM async, letting the HTT climb high, while keeping the MEMspeed itself low; and best of all.. there is only a VERY small drop in performance versus running memory in sync; we're talking below <3% difference here. Running 270HTT with mem at 200 (CL2 2-2-5 1T) versus 270HTT with mem at 270 (CL2.5 3-3-7 1T) translates into equal performance.

therefore it is not really needed for your A64 platform to buy more expensive memory just so you can overclock. Get a decent OC motherboard (MSI Neo / DFI Lanparty) and you're set!