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post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by tompsonn View Post

Put simply, in a dual card set up, for example, both cards are given the same scene or frame to render, but the driver sends half of the frame to the master card and the other half to the slave card. The master card renders its share of the frame while the slave or second card renders the other half. When the slave card is done it sends its buffer to the master card and the master card consolidates the two pieces before finally outputting the buffer to the screen.
There is two ways that SLI works.
One is called split frame rendering - this is where the frame it split horizontally in half, which splits the workload 50/50 for each card. It intelligently splits the workload based on the geometry of the frame, for example if there is little to render on the top half (e.g. sky) and a lot on the bottom (smoke, debris, ground textures) the dividing line will move to balance the workload between each card. Split frame rendering is pretty poor at scaling the work when compared against alternate frame rendering (below).
The second is called alternate frame rendering. Each card renders full frames, but in sequential order, for example the master card might process even frames (2,4,6) while the slave card processes odd frames (3,5,7). When the slave card finishes work on a frame the results are sent to the master card, usually via the SLI bride (as described above). Theoretically this should result in the rendering time being cut in half, which should technically linearly scale the performance by double. This is not often the case in practice though, depending on drivers, games, etc.
I'm sure people can add to that smile.gif

Interesting. From what I gathered, it sounds like the master card does slightly more work than the slave card. Correct me if I am wrong.
If so, I have a stupid question. Would it be unusual if the slave card died first?

Also, is this the reason why you never get a full 100% out of the two cards? (I've heard you only get about 80-85%)
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post #22 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbiker033 View Post

I feel the opposite, I would rather have 2 lesser in SLI than a single. I would recommend you get a 2nd 560ti before doing anything. I have been running SLI cards since 8800GT of 2nd tier cards and have had no SLI problems at all.
8800GT SLI
GTX260-216 SLI
GTX295 << SLI on a single card
570SLI

Hm, what DOES happen one a game doesn't support SLI? Does the other card just go idle? Is there an graphic issues? When I hear that sli isn't compatible with some applications, it makes me think that xsplit(the broadcasting program) would have problems running, although I think the quality of how xsplit works might depend on the cpu rather then the gpu.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinton13 View Post

Also, is this the reason why you never get a full 100% out of the two cards? (I've heard you only get about 80-85%)
This is what I started thinking when I read the second post.
post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinton13 View Post

Interesting. From what I gathered, it sounds like the master card does slightly more work than the slave card. Correct me if I am wrong.
If so, I have a stupid question. Would it be unusual if the slave card died first?
Also, is this the reason why you never get a full 100% out of the two cards? (I've heard you only get about 80-85%)

The only additional work the master card should really be doing is consolidating its work with the slave card, this is most likely quite inexpensive, as this would be done inside the driver itself. I'd say the reason for not getting a 100% performance gain from multi-gpu setups is poor support in certain games, driver issues and CPU bottleneck.
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post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbiker033 View Post

I feel the opposite, I would rather have 2 lesser in SLI than a single. I would recommend you get a 2nd 560ti before doing anything. I have been running SLI cards since 8800GT of 2nd tier cards and have had no SLI problems at all.
8800GT SLI
GTX260-216 SLI
GTX295 << SLI on a single card
570SLI
If the performance is equal, the single card solution is preferable. It consumes less power, takes up less space, and won't have SLI issues if a game doesnt support SLI, or if you want to play in windowed mode.
Quote:
Originally Posted by saypeeps View Post

Hm, what DOES happen one a game doesn't support SLI? Does the other card just go idle? Is there an graphic issues? When I hear that sli isn't compatible with some applications, it makes me think that xsplit(the broadcasting program) would have problems running, although I think the quality of how xsplit works might depend on the cpu rather then the gpu.
This is what I started thinking when I read the second post.
You just use one card. Im not sure if the second one idles or stays at the same clocks as the other (thats what Im guessing happens) but you won't get over 50% usage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DzillaXx View Post

Actually with the current nvidia drivers I think you can sli ti with non ti. I know for a fact you can now sli a 8800gt with a 9800gt without any bios mods. really your limited by your slowest card.

Those are the same card. Only difference is the fab, everything else is the same.
A 560 is closer to a 460 than a 560Ti. The 560 and 560Ti have a different number of unit shaders and texture mapping units:
http://www.hwcompare.com/10981/geforce-gtx-560-vs-geforce-gtx-560-ti/
They are the same core, but if the same core with other differences works now thats news to me.
    
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post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by tompsonn View Post

Put simply, in a dual card set up, for example, both cards are given the same scene or frame to render, but the driver sends half of the frame to the master card and the other half to the slave card. The master card renders its share of the frame while the slave or second card renders the other half. When the slave card is done it sends its buffer to the master card and the master card consolidates the two pieces before finally outputting the buffer to the screen.
There is two ways that SLI works.
One is called split frame rendering - this is where the frame it split horizontally in half, which splits the workload 50/50 for each card. It intelligently splits the workload based on the geometry of the frame, for example if there is little to render on the top half (e.g. sky) and a lot on the bottom (smoke, debris, ground textures) the dividing line will move to balance the workload between each card. Split frame rendering is pretty poor at scaling the work when compared against alternate frame rendering (below).
The second is called alternate frame rendering. Each card renders full frames, but in sequential order, for example the master card might process even frames (2,4,6) while the slave card processes odd frames (3,5,7). When the slave card finishes work on a frame the results are sent to the master card, usually via the SLI bride (as described above). Theoretically this should result in the rendering time being cut in half, which should technically linearly scale the performance by double. This is not often the case in practice though, depending on drivers, games, etc.
I'm sure people can add to that smile.gif

Actually TTBOMK only Crossfire will ever do split-frame rendering (and even that is very rare as the performance/scaling isn't nearly as high).

SLI is strictly AFR.

But otherwise ... good explanation thumb.gif

I'll just add, as is often mentioned around here, the reason that memory capacity doesn't increase in SLI is because in order to do AFR quickly, both cards must have copies of all the needed data in their onboard memory (vram). So basically when you have two cards, you double the amount of data that must be stored ... thus leaving your overall 'capacity' ... the same as one card. It's a lot like RAID-1 (mirrored) array on HD's.
    
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post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mad0314 View Post

If the performance is equal, the single card solution is preferable. It consumes less power, takes up less space, and won't have SLI issues if a game doesnt support SLI, or if you want to play in windowed mode.
You just use one card. Im not sure if the second one idles or stays at the same clocks as the other (thats what Im guessing happens) but you won't get over 50% usage.
Those are the same card. Only difference is the fab, everything else is the same.
A 560 is closer to a 460 than a 560Ti. The 560 and 560Ti have a different number of unit shaders and texture mapping units:
http://www.hwcompare.com/10981/geforce-gtx-560-vs-geforce-gtx-560-ti/
They are the same core, but if the same core with other differences works now thats news to me.

Exactly, GTX 560 is basically an overclocked GTX 460... The actual perfomance difference between the 560 Ti and 560 non-Ti is around 10-15% at most, there was a review about this here as well.
Quote:
if your gtx460's are 768mb versions then your sli is weeker then a gtx580.

My 768s get much higher GPU score in 3DMARK 11 than a GTX 580. It depends on what application / benchmark you run really.
Edited by -X3- - 2/5/12 at 9:13am
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post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by saypeeps View Post

So single cards that are of higher models are preferable over duel cards due to being efficient and cause less problems, right? I kinda need an answer soon since I'm about to travel a couple miles by foot and subway to get either a sli bridge(that is, if sli can give me the boost i need) or get a 560 ti(after returning a gtx 460). It seems that our best buy stopped selling sli bridges and I found myself with two cards without sli and one idle. rolleyes.gif
The reason I need a boost in performance is because I plan on broadcasting some battlefield 3 on justin.tv. Although on a single gtx 460, it hasn't given me the smooth performance i'm looking for. Sure the game runs pretty well with the one gtx 460 but when I turn on that broadcasting equipment, often times i'm unable to run a smooth stream. I see some people broadcast battlefield with pretty smooth frames on a gtx 560ti but I seen some amazingly smooth frames when a certain someone used a gtx 580 when broadcasting. Which is the performance i'm looking for but its too expensive along with the fact that new cards might be coming in soon.
Thanks for the info, I sorta have a good idea on how sli works and I also don't mind the hijack since I was asleep smile.gif

Good god no. Don't go from a potentially SLi-able 460 to one 560. They both have the same amount of vram and the 560 isn't that much faster than a 460.
If you can't afford a 580, SLI your 460. BF3 will love it.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/314?vs=330 460 SLI vs one 560TI
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/314?vs=305 460 SLI vs one 580, trading wins
Edited by pengs - 2/5/12 at 9:21am
post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by brettjv View Post

Actually TTBOMK only Crossfire will ever do split-frame rendering (and even that is very rare as the performance/scaling isn't nearly as high).
SLI is strictly AFR.
But otherwise ... good explanation thumb.gif
I'll just add, as is often mentioned around here, the reason that memory capacity doesn't increase in SLI is because in order to do AFR quickly, both cards must have copies of all the needed data in their onboard memory (vram). So basically when you have two cards, you double the amount of data that must be stored ... thus leaving your overall 'capacity' ... the same as one card. It's a lot like RAID-1 (mirrored) array on HD's.

Ah crap, I could have sworn I saw split-frame rendering option in the NVIDIA control panel! tongue.gif

1aae89d8_vbattach85287.jpeg

I liked that RAID 1 analogy though smile.gif
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post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by saypeeps View Post

Hm, what DOES happen one a game doesn't support SLI? Does the other card just go idle? Is there an graphic issues? When I hear that sli isn't compatible with some applications, it makes me think that xsplit(the broadcasting program) would have problems running, although I think the quality of how xsplit works might depend on the cpu rather then the gpu.
This is what I started thinking when I read the second post.

The card not being used will downclock and idle.
The games that SLI doesn't use usually doesn't really need it in my experience. You can rest assured a A title like Skyrim or BF3 is going to use it.

I don't think XSplit will cause any problems with SLI. If the program isn't trying to use SLI, the GPU's just ignore it. Yeah, XSplit and anything that encodes Flash is CPU exclusive - believe me, I've looked far and near.
Edited by pengs - 2/5/12 at 9:36am
post #30 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pengs View Post

Good god no. Don't go from a potentially SLi-able 460 to one 560. They both have the same amount of vram and the 560 isn't that much faster than a 460.
If you can't afford a 580, SLI your 460. BF3 will love it.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/314?vs=330 460 SLI vs one 560TI
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/314?vs=305 460 SLI vs one 580, trading wins

Thank you for this! biggrin.gif I always wanted to see how sli cards compared to high end cards, and now I can do it whenever. smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by pengs View Post

The card not being used will downclock and idle.
The games that SLI doesn't use usually doesn't really need it in my experience. You can rest assured a A title like Skyrim or BF3 is going to use it.
I don't think XSplit will cause any problems with SLI. If the program isn't trying to use SLI, the GPU's just ignore it.
Right! I started thinking "Well, I think games that are hard on the GPU will most likely use SLI and games that don't use SLI will probably not need SLI to work as smooth as it can be." Thank you for confirming my thoughts and for that website! smile.gif

Thanks for the input all! heart.gif I'm off to go buy an SLI bridge! biggrin.gif
Other note: WHY DID BEST BUY STOP SELLING SLI BRIDGES! doh.gif
Edited by saypeeps - 2/5/12 at 9:42am
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