Originally Posted by almmohd
thx for the replies. iv'e seen 2 reviews though that says the sli doesn't really improve the m9700's performance over other laptops. one review did say a dual core chip might help the sli. i would love to see what happens to the m9700's performance if a dual core chip was used, in that case, would that make the new area-51's better than the aurora(even though they don't have SLI)? i must say that i like that the m9700 has a num pad and it's appearance though the dell seems to have performed better than the m9700 in a couple tests.
I don't believe dual core will help SLI with current games anyway. Games are "single thread" now which means they'd all run on one core anyway. With dual core processors they tend to be clocked lower due to the extra heat of the second core, so you might actually see better performance with a higher clocked single core with SLI. Also, all SLI functions have to be coordinated before sending the signal to the screen, so as I understand it all the duties of SLI will still also go through one core.
The only way dual core will help current games is by offloading any background processes to the second core, like virus protection, windows, or firewalls. Games will be multi-thread capable soon though, but from everything I've read it won't affect games much. Due to the graphics and sound needing to be syncrhonized, most of the game content will still be on a single thread, so peripherals will be handled by the second core so the gains will be there, but they'll be minimal.
Now with the SLI issues, SLI works great for programs that are optimized for it. If the game isn't coded to allow SLI it won't give you any advantage at all, it'll be like or slower even than playing on a single card. In that regard, the gs single card is about 70% of the performance of the gtx card, but at less than half the power. The single gs is more powerful than my desktop 6800 Ultra OC, so it's no slouch on it's own...
Games like the last splinter cell game are seeing up to 80% gains with SLI over a single card, but games with older coding like Counter Strike: Source can perform better on a single card depending on the rendering settings. That usually doesn't matter though as these games tend to run fine on a single card as they're usually older. SLI is fairly new and game manufacturers are now incorporating it into their coding.
Quake 4 is another game that doesn't do well with SLI. If you have a game that's limited by the processor, SLI will slow it down due to the extra work on the processor supporting the SLI chipset.
I think SLI will become more and more affective with future games as they improve the drivers, and manufacturers work with coding. I don't think Nvidia would introduce cards like the 7950 if SLI were a fad.
I don't think you'll go wrong with either a powerful single card, or SLI, but I'm betting SLI will get better and seems to be the direction of the future. Multiple core gpu's and cpu's seem to be the way things are moving now as you can clock everything lower and get more performance that way.