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Any significant difference between using dual video card gaming or single video card gaming?

post #1 of 4
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I've bought two new motherboards online recently. One of them has only one pci express x16 slot. (Single card gaming) and the other mobo has support for two pci express x16 slots. (Dual card gaming) I've heard that with multi video card gaming, both video cards run at slower speeds, but if I were to use just one high end video card, can I still have a capable gaming rig with stunning graphics?
    
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post #2 of 4
There is absolutely no intrinsic benefit to multi-gpu. The only reason to use multi-gpu is for cost reasons or for pushing beyond the limits of a single gpu.

If if you can find a single gpu that performs as well as you want for a price you want, it will always be better than a sli/cfx setup that achieves the same theoretical performance because of the numerous downsides to multi-gpu setups such as microstutter, incompatibilities, scaling inefficiencies, energy use, and so on ans so forth.
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post #3 of 4
Not quite true. Both cards (which have to be compatible with each other in that mode) run at the same speed. Only the dual GPU on one card run slower than the single chip cards.
One high end is often the best option. But dual cards are the only way on from that without moving to a new generation. And use the board capable of dual GPUs, it's going to have the better chipset anyway.
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post #4 of 4
Both cards would run at the same speed, it's just that they don't scale 100%. This varies from game to game based on how optimized the game is for multi-gpu.
Perhaps you meant that the bandwidth is less, as in you have 2 16x slots if only one card is used, but when running SLI/Xfire it runs as 2 8x slots.

Check out this article. Not sure if the playing field has changed since the GTX 680 arrived though.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pcie-geforce-gtx-480-x16-x8-x4,2696.html

To answer your question though, one high end card is very capable of handling whatever gaming you do on a single monitor.
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