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2GB GTX560 SLI for Tri-Monitor Gaming?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

Just wanted to get some opinions on a current build sitting in my closet coming together piece by piece. Now I am at the point where I keep debating over and over on what path to take in terms of GPU.

I have readily available to me these three cards shared between those in my household...
  • MSI 560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II 2GB
  • MSI 560GTX-Ti Hawk
  • ASUS 560GTX-TI DCII

I'm obviously not in the position for dropping $500 dollars on one single 580, so my question is if I put the 2GB in SLI would it have a big significant difference over the other two 1GB cards in SLI?

I'm usually a sim guy (DCS:A-10C, iRacing, Arma, etc) but I do occasionally play the big ones like Battlefield 3. And I'll most likely be on three 22'' or 23'' monitors.

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 11
Well one limitation of SLI is that it only utilizes a single cards VRAM, so running three monitors you will want the higher VRAM, generally speaking.

http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_ask_mmm013.html
Edited by shadman - 11/7/11 at 1:30am
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post #3 of 11
When two GPUs are in SLI, the amount of VRAM used by each GPU is the same. In other words, when you put a 2GB card with a 1GB card, the 1GB card will use all of its 1GB memory while the 2GB card will only use half of its 2GB in order to match the amount of the 1st card. For this reason, half of the 2GB memory amount sits idle and is wasted.

Secondly, the MSI TFII 2GB has 822 MHz core clock while the MSI Hawk has 950 MHz core clock. This means, the TFII card has to be overclocked well in order to match that 950 speed of the Hawk. This should not be a big problem but it still involves overclocking.

For the above 2 reasons, I do not suggest you to put a 2GB card with a 1GB card together in SLI.

Instead, put the MSI Hawk 1GB card with the Asus DCII 1GB together in order not to waste any memory. Additionally, the DCII has stock clock of 900MHz and can be easily overclocked to match the 950MHz speed of the Hawk.

As the SLI pair has only 1GB per GPU, you will likely to run into VRAM limitation often in a triple monitor setup. However, this does not mean that the games are unplayable. Rather, this means you have to spend some time to fiddle around/lower the game settings to find the optimal balance point.

Here is a good study of the 1GB vs 2GB issue for modern games:-
http://www.overclock.net/nvidia/8016...ream-card.html
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Oh sorry, I forgot to clarify that I was trying to research which card would be best for me to purchase a second to SLI with. All three cards listed are sitting on my desk, but I was trying to figure out what would be the best to work with if I wanted to go SLI with any of them.

Right now it still looks like I might just have to bite the bullet and go with a 580 which I don't really want to do because of the super high price point.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryyy View Post
which card would be best for me to purchase a second to SLI with
The 2GB. Triple monitor setup with 1GB cards will be hell.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hirolla888 View Post
The 2GB. Triple monitor setup with 1GB cards will be hell.
I figured that'd be the case.

But I'm more now curious on how performance would be using 560's to do nvidia surround. I hear that 560's in SLI can run BF3 in ultra settings, but I highly doubt that I'd be able to reach that quality running three screens correct?
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryyy View Post
I figured that'd be the case.

But I'm more now curious on how performance would be using 560's to do nvidia surround. I hear that 560's in SLI can run BF3 in ultra settings, but I highly doubt that I'd be able to reach that quality running three screens correct?
Depends on resolution of screens. If you mean 3 1080p screens, then no, you're not gonna be running ultra BF3. Not even SLI 580's can do that, not to mention BF3 is VRAM heavy so you'll hit a brick wall VERY quickly.

In general 560's may not be good enough for 3 monitor surround in all games at max settings. I've got 2 2gb 6950's OC'd to 6970 levels and that's basically just enough to run most games at max with good FPS (>40 avg).
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post #8 of 11
IF you already have 1 GTX 569 Ti 1GB it is pointless to pick up a second card that is 2GB, as you'll be limited to the 1GB of your original card.

IF you are thinking of setting up from scratch, I'd recommend going with the 2GB cards over the 1GB, as that was the bottleneck I found when I had the 1GB versions when gaming in surround.

With respect to BF3, the 560 Tis even in the 2GB flavour would not be able to play this game in ultra.
Edited by Arinoth - 11/7/11 at 7:26am
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryyy View Post
Right now it still looks like I might just have to bite the bullet and go with a 580 which I don't really want to do because of the super high price point.
Why? Going with two 560 Ti 2GB's is a much better option for you and since you already have one, you'd safe a significant amount of money too by purchasing a second one instead of a GTX 580.

You'll have the benefit of 512 MB more VRAM which is an important factor at Tri-Monitor gaming and in fact, two 560 Ti's in SLI outperform a single GTX 580 by a fair bit.
They're around 35-40% faster on average and sometimes manage to equal a GTX 590.
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post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryyy View Post
I figured that'd be the case.

But I'm more now curious on how performance would be using 560's to do nvidia surround. I hear that 560's in SLI can run BF3 in ultra settings, but I highly doubt that I'd be able to reach that quality running three screens correct?
Correct, you will still be able to play it at decent FPS on high settings though. banthracis answered this nicely.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Arinoth View Post
IF you already have 1 GTX 569 Ti 1GB it is pointless to pick up a second card that is 2GB, as you'll be limited to the 1GB of your original card.

IF you are thinking of setting up from scratch, I'd recommend going with the 2GB cards over the 1GB, as that was the bottleneck I found when I had the 1GB versions when gaming in surround.
OP already has a 2GB 560 Ti and 2 x 1GB 560 Ti
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