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Is SLI/Crossfire really worth it

post #1 of 11
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Ok so I've been doing alot of reading about the whole SLI and Crossfire vs just a single Nvidia or AMD card. After doing reading I wanted to know what your thoughts are on it, is Crossfire or SLI really worth it? From what I read it sounds like it causes alot of problems with micro stuttering and actually decreases performance instead of increasing. Sure you get great FPS in games but at the cost of really bad stuttering and lag. So like I said is it worth it?
     
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post #2 of 11
It really depends on the rest of your machine, and the games you play. Some games can have trouble dealing with the sheer power of a multi-GPU setup, others thrive.

The rest of your machine impacts on that too, if your CPU is already limiting the game's speed, adding more GPU won't help.
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post #3 of 11
Generally multi-gpu setups are for extreme resolutions (2560x1600 or triple monitors) or for 3d gaming. If your not doing one of those things then its almost pointless.
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post #4 of 11
I run dual 460s on a 1280*1024 monitor.... is it worth it? totally
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post #5 of 11
I think its worth it, cant power Eyefinity well with just one!
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by icehotshot View Post
Generally multi-gpu setups are for extreme resolutions (2560x1600 or triple monitors) or for 3d gaming. If your not doing one of those things then its almost pointless.
yeah, I'm running dual 460s and only game at 1920x1080, and SLI makes a HUGE difference in visual gameplay for me. Not sure where you're getting this "sli/cf is for extreme res", 'cause it makes a significant impact even on normal gaming resolutions. sli/cf is totally worth it, if you don't have a ton of money to drop on the greatest and latest video cards, imo. you might have stuttering i guess, but it's never been an issue for me and my cards, either my 275s or my 460s.
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post #7 of 11
Yes, on a 2560 x 1600 monitor, there isn't a single GPU that can max out every / most games at the FPS that I want, so CF / SLI is essential
Edited by appleg33k85 - 11/4/11 at 12:48pm
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post #8 of 11
Depends on the games you are trying to run. Some games are more SLI/XF friendly than others. I have a couple of games I run with SLI disabled on a single card, but by far most of the games I play benefit from SLI use. Most benchmarks will confirm.

Occasionally people have issues with SLI/XF, but I think it has more to do with faulty hardware or bad drivers. I mean, you could have one card that isn't functioning up to par, but LOOKS good in windows. Doesn't mean it IS good. I can see how a lot of people may just assume it's the SLI/XF that's the problem. Most people that have SLI/XF, stay with SLI/XF. I've thought about going back to single card, mainly because it's less hassle sometimes, but in the end I end up abandoning the idea because I really know it's worth it.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by RDS1220 View Post
Ok so I've been doing alot of reading about the whole SLI and Crossfire vs just a single Nvidia or AMD card. After doing reading I wanted to know what your thoughts are on it, is Crossfire or SLI really worth it? From what I read it sounds like it causes alot of problems with micro stuttering and actually decreases performance instead of increasing. Sure you get great FPS in games but at the cost of really bad stuttering and lag. So like I said is it worth it?
Yes!
post #10 of 11
Yes and no. Yes because the performance increase you get is worth it if the rest of your system knows no bounds. However, make sure you're crossfiring cards that are worth it in the long run, not old generation cards.

No because it does come with issues, and when a game is released sometimes you won't be able to successfully use your second card to its full potential until a profile is released for that game, so you have to disable crossfire. It's not hard to do that or anything, it's just a little disappointing because you put however much money into that second card and you can't use it for a short time period. Heat is also an issue, especially if your case has poor air flow, and you're just using stock air cooling and not water cooling the cards. Also, if your motherboard does not allow some breathing room between each card, that's bad news bears.

It's also somewhat not worth it because if you did what I did (which I honestly should have sold my 5850 and bought a 6xxx generation card), the vRAM does not add up and you're stuck with however much one card has. So for example the 5850 I have has 1GB of vRAM, the second card does not add 1GB to that to make it 2, it remains 1GB.

I'm going Eyefinity in December which works very well with 2GB, but struggles a bit with 1GB on fairly high settings. Needless to say I'll have to disable AA and such in just about every game for a comfortable play through.

I don't know, it's up to whether or not you think it's worth it. Just choose carefully. You can always sell the card, and or cards, and buy a single greater card (which is what I plan on eventually doing). Overall, just do your research and ask around here before you make the investment.
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