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The need for SLI/CFX

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by motasim, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. motasim

    motasim New Member

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    I believe, yet stand corrected if I am wrong; that at least 90% of gamers don't use SLI/CFX in their gaming rigs. What do you think?

    A question for the enthusiasts: at what scaling percentage of games' frame rates does the decision to go with SLI/CFX becomes feasible? is it a heart or mind decision?
     
  2. t77snapshot

    t77snapshot

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    I think multiple card configurations are unnecessary for games nowadays, but I still prefer to use SLI for benchmarks and bragging rights:D
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  3. TIGR

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    There's no simple answer. Sometimes multi-video-card setups are more cost-effective, sometimes they aren't. Sometimes the deciding factor is power consumption or heat output or space. Sometimes it's about availability or about the upgrade path. As for heart vs mind, that varies from person to person too. Some people just think it sounds cool to have a multi-video-card setup. Everyone's needs and perspective are different.

    Even if it were as simple as price to performance ratio, the performance varies from GPU to GPU and game to game. This is one of those things that really needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis in order to make the best decision for the particular situation.
     
  4. t77snapshot

    t77snapshot

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    what he said.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  5. motasim

    motasim New Member

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    You are 100% right saying that there is no simple answer, I am hoping for a complicated one!

    As I've seen multi-GPU setups are seldom cost effective specially if you consider the added power requirement and the additional heat to dissipate/cool since higher capacity PSU's and cooling fans and/or liquid cooling all cost money.

    I personally believe that multi-GPU setups are mostly a decision of the heart and not a decision of the mind.
     
  6. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    I started running Crossfire to get performance that couldn't be had with one card. When that met my needs, I stepped up to a Dell 3007WFP back in 2007, and this is the first gen that just two cards are good for 2560x1600. One card is close...but 4xAA really slows alot of apps to the point of not being a good expereince.

    Of course, lower detail levels would fix that problem with a single card. I'm just an eyecandy chaser.
     
  7. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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    2560x1600 with 4xAA ...

    No offense, but I think you are expecting way too much.

    Sorry for the off-topic. SLI/Xfire has 2 uses one is for extreme setups like cadaveca's the other is for price/performance.
     
  8. neatfeatguy

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    You also have to take into consideration that maybe someone doesn't have the funds for a new, high-end GPU and the GPU they have is a couple years old. It's generally cheaper to find a used 2nd GPU to run in SLI/X-fire (if their MB and PSU allow for such an addition) then it is to drop a chunk of change they either don't have or would put a hurt on them financially.

    Like others have said, it comes down to personal preference. I would love to have a single high-end GPU to run my games, but that $400+ dollar range just isn't in my budget - ever.
     
  9. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Maybe.:D But that's what I'm after with Crossfire at this point...2560x1600, with 4xAA, and a minimum of 60FPS(120 at least for 3D).

    You can only get that from Crossfire.
     
  10. wolf

    wolf Performance Enthusiast

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    some people just do it because they can, some want the best, and some don't even plan on it but it ends up happening.

    for instance you could go out right now and buy GTX460 SLi for less than the price of a GTX480 and get more performance, but need more power connectors and another pci-e slot. but if those aren't an annoyance to you you may well do it anyway.

    some would buy say one card now, and a second in a few months or so because they didn't have the cash to drop on the best single card at the time. this seems to be the way of it for many dual card users. not that many people in total would simply buy two high end cards straight away, unless they are chasing absolute top performance.

    for myself and the dual card setup's I've owned, I can say it was a choice based on ultra high in-game framerates (I love a super-responsive first person shooter), a bit of bragging rights, and the need to always be pushing my benchmark scores that little bit higher.
     
  11. motasim

    motasim New Member

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    Got it, but my concern is feasibility. Just roughly let's assume that a certain person has a two-year old gaming rig built with one mid-range GPU. Now, two years on, the GPU is having difficulty in handling the latest games (i.e. average frame rate of 40 frames/second). If he decides to go for SLI/CFX (given that his motherboard/PSU/Case Cooling can take the extra GPU); the Multi-GPU setup will mostly only yield a scaling of 60% in frame rates, which translates into an average frame rate of 64 frames/second, given that he doesn't experience any micro-stuttering or driver/game compatibility issues. It's just not worth it!
     
  12. motasim

    motasim New Member

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    ... aha, a decision of the heart ...
     
  13. crazyeyesreaper

    crazyeyesreaper Chief Broken Rig

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    maybe it is maybe it isnt mid range sure but last i checked the good ol 8800gtx / 8800GTS 512 are still kicking in there reincarnated form today offering still very much playable frame rates and in SLi they still dominate every game out aka 8800gts 9800gtx 9800gtx+ gts 250 in sli there still a very potent combo and upgrade choice at around $115 now and with rebates under $99 they can get the job done and then some as has been mentioned its a case by case basis
     
  14. neatfeatguy

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    All you're doing is crunching numbers. If it's just a numbers game, then yes, a single high-end GPU would be the best option due to not all games making use of SLI/Crossfire very well or at all. If you want the absolute best for bragging rights, then multiple high-end cards are in order.

    It's still personal preference. Not everyone wants to run their games (nor cares to run their games) on all high/ultra settings. Sometimes people just need a little extra umph for as little money as possible....granted that extra umph might not apply to all applications, but it's there for ones that can make use of it.

    Not everyone is a number cruncher. We all have our different opinions and we all have different ideas of what an acceptable end result will be. You may not agree to the ideas or maybe even understand the reasons why people might use multi card setups....but there's nothing wrong with that. So it's kind of a moot point to get into, you'll just end up banging heads with others and it may be more of a headache than it's worth.
     
  15. wolf

    wolf Performance Enthusiast

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    I think you may well find a lot of TPU'ers are number crunchers... and crunchers of other kinds too :toast:
     
  16. motasim

    motasim New Member

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    ... I totally agree, it's a personal preference thing. Although it might not seem as a logical decision in most of the cases; there are some cases where, in fact, it is ... furthermore; it is always nice for the mind to occasionally give room to the heart to make some decisions ...
     
  17. sansoo22 New Member

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    I ended up going SLI for the price/performance appeal of it. I had an HP computer I hated that already had a quad core and a 9800gt in it. I got a deal on a 780i board and was able to pick up another 9800gt for cheap as well.

    I will probably do the same sort of deal when I upgrade cards again. Like someone else mentioned earlier. Grab a gtx460 1gb here in a month or so and another one a couple months after that. And when I'm tired of overclocking my Q9300 I'll upgrade to an i7/X58/DDR3 setup and still be able to use both cards.
     
  18. motasim

    motasim New Member

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    The GTX460 is an excellent GPU and scales beautifully in SLI; overall a good decision. This is the only GPU that I believe justifies going for a Multi-GPU setup :rockout:
     
  19. Animalpak

    Animalpak

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    First of all we must determine on which screen resolution you want to play and use the computer.


    More will be high resolution of the monitor and more 'multi-GPU configuration is justified.


    I believe that multi-GPU configurations are enthusiastic, a true gamer that plays up to 4 5 hours straight online mulitplayer need a good GPU better high end and an equally good processor.

    The games can crash inexplicably becasue they not support the Multi-GPU config.

    My next PC will be just with a powerful processor combined with the fastest single GPU graphics card and a power supply from 850 950 watts.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  20. Tatty_One

    Tatty_One Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Most people don't use dual+ card setups because it's.... erm.... twice as expensive. If you look at the TPU GTX460 SLi review, 2 of these cards only really reap the benefit at 1920 res and upwards, you will see some benefit at 1650 but not below that (If I remember rightly, at 1920 you are seeing 72% of the performance of the 2nd Card, thats 28% of the cost of that 2nd card flushed down the toilet, at 1650 res you may just as well give me yer cash!). The origional concept of SLi/XFire was simply to keep an old gaming rig playing modern games by adding a card rather than paying high prices for system upgrades.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  21. Bo$$

    Bo$$ Lab Extraordinaire

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    well if you are running 2-3 generations behind then SLI or CFX is a MUST! at 1920X1080 i am maxing most things out without any AA (who needs it at 1920x1080)
     
  22. yogurt_21

    yogurt_21

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    cost of mobos are also a factor, there still are plenty of single pcix mobo's out there that offer great performance at a cheaper price than their sli/crossfire counter parts. So if you went more towards butget on the mobo you won't have the option of crossfire or sli later to boost performance.

    then you factor in power, heat, cost of the second card versus performance output and the fact that you could always sell an older card to be used towards an upgrade and sli/crossfire become more for ultimate performance rather than a budget upgrade as they are often marketed.

    personally it will be a while before I'll consider crossfire or sli as a gpu setup, a single 470 does all i need and then some.
     

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