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SLI worth the potential issues? scaling? 120hz?

Poll Results: SLI worth the value/potential issues/scaling?

 
  • 72% (35)
    SLI is worth it..never have problems..scaling is always very good (75+)
  • 25% (12)
    SLI is 50/50..its really good sometimes...horrible other times.
  • 2% (1)
    SLI is never worth it...too many issues, scaling not always great...no peace of mind
48 Total Votes  
post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I've heard all kinds of possible issues that come up with SLI/CF for the past few years..it seem like now a days some of those concerns have been silenced. But more importantly scaling seems to have improved..making it more valuable.

That being said how often does SLI work to it's full potential? A lot of these benchmarks are for games that def. work...but what % of games on the market really run SLI/CF smoothly (ie: with at least 75%+ scaling perhaps)?

Here are some concerns with SLI/CF:
  • Increase Heat
  • Lack value for some games
  • Micro-stuttering
  • Driver Issues / Game Not Being Supported
  • Frame Rate Issues
  • Ect.

I always have been against the idea of SLI..mainly because I am a "bang for buck" type of guy..and 1 GFX can normally deliver 60fps on most modern games...however, these new 120hz monitors make me feel like I HAVE to get SLI. This is the first time I am thinking about grabbing another GFX card.

I currently have a GTX 570...it runs everything fine...but I want to get a 120hz monitor..so do you think I should get another GTX 570 for SLI?...I really don't like dealing with hardware if it has a "decent" chance of causing problems or not working to it's full potential.

Essentially, how often and to what degree do games work as intended with SLI/CF? And by intended..I don't be just work..I mean really deliver good scaling w/ no issues. I just want a peace of mind knowing I got my values worth.

Thought/Comments?
Edited by malikq86 - 10/26/11 at 10:39pm
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post #2 of 22
I've had one issue recently with Dues Ex:HR. The game would freeze during cut scenes.

Other then that there hasn't been that much of an issue.

Maybe a 5 degree rise in temperature.

But getting 100-120 fps in BF3 on open areas like operation firestorm is well worth it. Ultra settings of course.
    
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post #3 of 22
Just do it! SLI is awesome. I have never had any problems. The scaling has been good to me.
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post #4 of 22
I have been running multiGPU systems for ~6 years now. I have never had any issues with either SLI or crossfire.

TO answer some of your questions,

1. Heat. Yes two cards make more heat than one, however, if you have a case with decent airflow, and a cooling profile setup in Afterburner or the like, then this is a non-issue. For perspective, my 4870's, even at 100% load, will never go over 74C.

2.Lack of value for some games. I'll go ahead and group "game not being supported" in to this one. OF all the games I have, I can't say that I have ever seen one not improve regardless of whether the game was "offically" supported or not. I have always seen a benefit from multi-gpus'. The level of improvement varies, however, how powerful the GPUs' are and how fast your CPU is plays a huge role. THis is where you have to consider "bottlenecking".

3. Micro-stuttering. I have never experienced microstutter personally. This was common with older single card multiGPU set ups (think 3870x2). This is not really a relevant issue these days.

4. Driver issues. Once again I have never had an issue with this. i.e. cards not working properly because of a driver. Only issue I've ever come across is driver screwing up certain aspects of a game (Nvidia driver). However, there was still a noticeable improvement from 1 gpu to two gpus.

5. Frame rate issues. There really is none.

IMO, you SLI or CF to improve your overall gameplay. SLI and CF offer, typically, a cheaper alternative for improving frame rates and increasing resolution and keeping your costs down.
What SLI and CF do the best, IMO, is raise your minimum FPS and how much time you spend dropping down into what some people would consider, unplayable frame rates.

There used to be this old adage that one more powerful GPU is better than 2 weaker ones. You can often times find 2 GPUs' that when working together can typically equal the performance of the more powerful gpu. Sometimes at considerable savings.

The short of it is, yes, mutli-gpu rigs are worth it and they do offer a real world performance improvement.
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post #5 of 22
if running one monitor, is it worth for sli as well?
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post #6 of 22
Sli/CF is better than buying a dual GPU card anyway.. I never had any issues with mine. They are cool, always work, no micro stuttering (No crashes) Even if games are only utilizing 1 GPU, they game will still work through C/F, it just doesn't use the extra GPU. Most of those games don't need the extra power anyway..
post #7 of 22
I never had any issues with any of my multi GPU setups other than scaling with my 7800GTs and driver issues galore with ATI. My 8800 GTS SLI setup performed great in every game. Can only imagine how well SLI works now.
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post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by pewpewlazer;15470373 
I never had any issues with any of my multi GPU setups other than scaling with my 7800GTs and driver issues galore with ATI. My 8800 GTS SLI setup performed great in every game. Can only imagine how well SLI works now.

Yeah, cards today play well together for the most part. This isn't 2 voodoo cards on a pci bus running scan line interweave, plug and play is pretty much the norm now, and has been for a few years. Heat can be an issue, as well as power. But, I really don't think you'll have any problems if you're considering this approach with modern hardware, and an enjoyment of awsome graphics.biggrin.gif
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post #9 of 22
2nding BlackOmega's post. I've been running dual card setups exclusively since the 8 series and my experience has been overwhelmingly positive. SLI with Fermi scales better than ever.
Quote:
Originally Posted by M.IV.E;15470002 
if running one monitor, is it worth for sli as well?
That depends on your resolution, refresh rate, the game/settings and the card in question.

If you're getting significantly less than 60fps on a 60Hz screen (or 120fps on a 120Hz screen) then you will see a benefit by going SLI.
post #10 of 22
For me not right now but i'll be picking up another 580directCUii next year if the price is right and I spot a large 120Hz monitor I like the look of.
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