Building A Low Cost SLI Gaming System

@ 2006/05/01
If you are looking for a PC and walk into a company that sells systems, one of the first questions you should ask yourself is "What is the system's primary usage going to be?" If you are searching for a gaming machine, it is usually overpriced or underpowered right out of a box. This is what I have seen through watching others buy pre-built machines. I play games all the time. Just don't tell anyone okay, my boss thinks I'm working here. Therefore, I have developed a genuine feel for how smooth and visually aggressive a system is running games from a user's point of view. Contrary to a sales representative's pitch however, is that a gaming system's components do not have to cost a fortune to function well.
Comment from jmke @ 2006/05/12
prices for new Sempron released!

Comment from jmke @ 2006/05/11
never said it was alive either
Comment from Laagvliegerke @ 2006/05/11
Hmm, yes, but S939 is also a dead platform then
Comment from jmke @ 2006/05/11
Originally posted by Laagvliegerke

I don't know if AMD is going to introduce "new" CPU's for S754. .
no, next budget CPU will be based on AM2

so like I said, it's a dead platform, it's not because there will be more/longer shipments of the product that it's not dead

if there won't be any new products for the platform, if you buy S754, you buy a system that is not upgrade-able; not a great choice to make.
Comment from Laagvliegerke @ 2006/05/11
Actually not

I don't know if AMD is going to introduce "new" CPU's for S754. But even if they do, it will be budget Semprons. So if you buy a new system now, I think it's a better idea to buy a S939 based system. It supports dual channel, has faster CPU's and if AM2 is available, you could buy a nice second-hand X2. Not bad for a budget gaming system.
Comment from jmke @ 2006/05/11
How could they even recommend a S754 system? that's a dead platform...
Comment from Laagvliegerke @ 2006/05/11
The Motherboard: EPoX 8NPA+ SLI Socket 754 AMD: Lowest Available Cost: $110.50
The CPU: AMD Socket 754 Sempron 3100+: Lowest Available Cost: $94.50
The Heatsink: Included In retail Package
The Audio: Onboard Realtek ALC655 5.1
The Hard Drive: Western Digital SATA150 80GB: Lowest Avalable Cost: $50.00
Memory: CORSAIR ValueSelect 1GB (2 x 512MB) Kit: Lowest Available Cost: $65.00
The VGA Cards: Dual EVGA 6600GT 128MB Lowest Available Cost: $80.00 Each (After Rebate)
The Optical: Asus DRW1608P2S 16X DVDRW +/-: Lowest Available Cost: 40.00
Power Supply: Thermaltake ATX 430W Power Supply: Lowest Available Cost: 40.00
Case: Codegen Briza-99-CA Mid-Tower ATX Case: Lowest Available Cost: 60.00
Total System Cost: $620.00

What a waste of money. A budget system doesn't need SLI. Even a gaming system of $1200 doesn't need SLI...
What I think is a good budget gaming system:
NEC 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE/ATAPI ND-3550A $35
Western Digital Caviar SE WD800JD 80GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s $45
ABIT NF-95 S939 nVIDIA GeForce 6100 Micro ATX $61
MSI NX7600GT-T2D256E Geforce 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 (With Full Version Game Prince Of Persia 3) $175
G.SKILL 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) F1-3200PHU2-1GBNT $76
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice S939 $154

Total: $616

Cheaper, smaller, faster and better looking I think it wil perform great for only $616.
Comment from jmke @ 2006/05/11
while the videocards are surely a large part of the SLI equation, you need an SLI capable system to run them AND it's less pratical then a single card, no matter what. can't stand the noise of the default cooler? you'll have the shell out for two 3rd party cooler and HOPE they'll fit

many more arguments available if needed for not advising SLI for a Budget rig, on request.
Comment from RichBa5tard @ 2006/05/11
what about 2 6800XTreme cards? They're beefed up 6800's (500/500 core mem) and they're incredibily cheap (90 euro's in .de).

You could have decent sli action for 180 euro's. Don't know whether it would perform better than a 7600GT though, but it's a whole lot cheaper than a 7900/x1900.
Comment from Rutar @ 2006/05/01
even then, you have a hard time getting the right card to sli and there will be a better card available after you sell your current card

Also, a single 7600GT be better and keep your electricity bill down. And it's cheaper!

"two cards are most assuredly better than one when run in an SLI configuration."

Amateur review of the month? We need to keep a list of the worst reviews
Comment from jmke @ 2006/05/01
SLI and Budget in the same sentence is IMPOSSIBLE unless you already own ONE card before you consider "building" yourself an SLI system.