You are right on many levels. SLI and PCIe have for the most part, been blown way out of proportion. You do not need a two 16x SLI cards to run any games right now, I have a 9800 Pro and it runs HL2 like a champ with most settings maxed out. And this is a card that is over two years old.
SLI and PCIe won't be taken advantage of for at least another year, at the very least. The x850XT is the first card to fully utilize PCIe bandwidth, most previous PCIe cards literally didn't use the full 16x capability.
SLI is just plain ridiculous to invest in right now in my opinion, one 6800GT Ultra will be more than enough graphics power for quite some time, I would love to find anyone who complains about this cards performance in any game right now.
Until SLI becomes an applicable factor, there's no point in getting it. By the time SLI becomes a demand for games, I gurantee that if you have decided to invest in two SLI cards now, they will struggle to provide you the performance you desire.
Also, you can't compare two SLI cards to one of ATi's cards, that's like trying to compare dual core CPUs to single core, of course it's going to outperform the other, that's just plain biased.
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