As you can see here, a single 6800GT is able to produce better numbers at these demanding settings. What’s more, these 6800GT scores were generated on a platform running a 3.46GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition – had we been running it on the same Athlon64 FX55 system as the 3D1, the difference would have been even more marked, as the Athlon is a significantly better performer with games than the Intel chip.
This means that I’m left wondering why you’d want the 3D1. As a piece of technology it’s impressive – definitely the most successful dual chip graphics card yet produced – but if you want to get decent performance without the noise, I’d rather go for a single 6800GT. Admittedly an SLi board and a single 6800GT will cost you around £420 – about £60 more than the 3D1 bundle, but you’ll get better numbers at high resolutions with IQ on, and you’ll also have the option to add a second 6800GT when the budget allows, to really push the numbers through the roof .
The 3D1 doesn’t quite match a single 6800GT when the settings are maxed out and doesn’t offer any further upgrade potential. It will also limit you in the future to using Gigabyte motherboards, which could prove to be too restrictive in the future considering the investment. But if you’ve already decided on buying a 6600GT based SLi system, the Gigabyte 3D1 bundle makes a lot of sense. It will save you money on a standard 6600GT set-up, is effective and also will reduce system noise and increased stability over a two card solution.