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SLI or not to SLI

Discussion in 'Gamers Hangout' started by Theprof, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Another one of those curiosity threads ;)

    For the gamers out there, do you guys prefer to SLI/Crossfire or do you think its not worth it if you have one good GPU? from reading around, I noticed that a lot of people tend to say its not really that much of a performance increase... Of course that also depends on the type of games you tend to play. For me, for instance, the main games I play is Black Ops 2, BF3 Diablo 3, WoW (occasionally), Saints Row, etc on highest settings and I personally have no issues, I have a GTX 560Ti video card running with Intel i5 3570K @ 4Ghz.

    Other arguments I've heard is that if you have more than one screen, lets say two monitors for gaming (I don't use two monitors for gaming) then it really helps to have the extra GPU. Another argument, is having an extra GPU for PhysX.

    What do you guys think?
     
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  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    There are multi GPU cards anyway so you don't need SLI to have multi GPU. The one advantage is double the memory bandwidth because of two PCI slots and also better cooling because there is more space.

    The advantage to two GPU's to me is that you can use one for your display and one for debugging while writing CUDA/OpenCL thereby having a more stable system.

    I wouldn't spend big money on SLI just to play games.
     
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  3. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    That is true, there are multi-GPU cards out there!
     
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  4. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    I wouldn't bother, it's not like you will have double the performance and if you're not struggling at the moment with a single card then why go down the route of two (and the risk that running two cards brings).

    I used to run SLI rigs, infact I had a GTX8800 rig, 9800GX2 rig and a GTX275 rig and I had no amount of issues with all of them when trying to run SLI.

    I moved from teh GTX275 to a single GTX580 (although it's the 3GB version rather than the 1.5GB version) and I haven't looked back. So far I haven't actually had the need to move to a newer card because my 580 does everything I want it to (at 1920x1200). Now that could change if I ever go for a larger resolution monitor but for the moment having the single 580 has not held me back at all (and like you I also play BF3, Diablo 3 and WoW). Admittedly I do run a 3770K CPU in a Z68 board but that's about the only upgrade I have done in the last year (up from a 2600K).

    If you're going for a GPU for PhysX then I would probably look for a lower spec one as well (see what the bear minimum is for running PhysX and use that).
     
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  5. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    One thing I would like to add is that while Radeon cards support more than 2 monitors per card, NVIDIA card are limited to 2 only (except the newest 600 range).

    So if you're looking at 3 or more screens and NVIDIA cards have to be in SLI.

    Other than that, unless you need CUDA cores (for rending for example), or want a 3D/Surround gaming, I wouldn't bother.

    Screenshot from Adobe Premiere Pro.

    Rendering 8 minute clip with the same quality settings:

    Software only: 1 hour 20 minutes
    GPU Accelerated (1 card - 560 TI): 5 minutes 30 seconds
    GPU Accelerated (2 cards - 2 x 560 TI): 3 minutes 40 seconds.

    Not sure if it means anything but these are my results from last week.

    premiere.png
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
    WIP: Uhmm... not sure
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  6. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Got it! Thanks guys, honestly, I've always had one GPU and since I haven't really been following the PC hardware market lately, I wanted to know if anything really changed... it just confirms what I thought.
     
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