Basically, which one is better (please do poll too)? I am basic my comparisons of the FPS difference in Lord of the Rings Online. With my old single 512MB Go 7950 GTX I was getting about 120 to 130FPS. Now with Dual 512MB SLi 8700M GT I am getting about 60-80FPS with and without SLi enabled. In fact, the frame rate seems to be better without SLi, that and the fact that SLi causes the screen to tear. Any idea how to make these two card play nice together so they can out perform my old one?
On another note, does Dell ever draw a line to how many times they will replace your computer. For example, I got an XPS m1730 as a replacement to my m1710 because my 1710 had overheating issues that could not be fixed. Now I had a cooling tray then and now, and this new one still gets extremely hot. Interestingly, it gets hotter when NOT RUNNING graphic intense applications than when playing high end games. Hypothetically, let's say this one overheats (even though I am taking every precaution to ensure that never happens), would Dell replace it or just say I am SOL?
I have exactly the same issue. My M1710 has the upgraded Geforce Go 7950 GTX 512 Meg (256-bit) video card and I have to get it replaced because the GPU is overheating as well. I am currently in the process, and after doing some extensive research I have found that SLi can produce 40-70% better frame rates on average than with a single of the same card (with as much as 100% in some games). This is of course only in games that support SLi. Crysis, for example, and newer games will benefit from having 2 video cards but older games (probably like LotR Online) will not.
In that case you are actually comparing 1 512 Meg, 256-bit memory bus, DX9 video card (7950 GTX) to 1 256 Meg, 128-bit memory bus, DX10 video card (8700M GT). In a 1:1 comparison the 7950 GTX is the clear winner in all categories by a large margin from my research (except the ability to play a game in DirectX 10) so the question then becomes... Can 2, 256 Meg 8700M GTs in SLi outperform 1 512 Meg 7950 GTX?
The answer is it has the 'potential' to perform just as well in certain games (only newer games, and a small number of them), but for the vast majority of games on the market today it will not.
I do not claim to be a guru of the subject and invite you to do some of your own research on the web. Look up about what SLi actually does as well, because the common misconception is that it effectively doubles all of your cards stats (2x256 Meg = 512, 2x128-bit memory bus = 256-bit - so a game would have access to 512 Megs video memory and an effective memory data path 256 bits long in total), which, because there are 2 separate cards, is true, but does not translate to a games framerate like you may think it would; a single of the same card with 512 Megs and 256-bit memory bus would though. Also keep in mind that benchmarks are not always the best way to compare either; for most of us gamers, its all about FPS. Having 2x the score in 3DMark06 does not always mean you will get twice the framerate in your game.
So to recap, I believe you get no performance increase in LotR Online because the game was not coded to support SLi, and in that case you see the performance difference in a 1:1 comparison between a single 7950 GTX and a single 8700M GT. As for your question about another replacement if this one overheats, I dont know. I am making sure I do this right the first (and hopfully last) time.