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3-Way SLI + PhysX GPU worth it?

post #1 of 16
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Sup, guys. I'll be upgrading to GTX 670s in 3-Way SLI for my Nvidia Surround setup soon. I'm pondering just how much more hardware I can fit into my build, lol. No, no, in all honesty, how much would an up-to-date, up-to-speed dedicated PhysX card really help out a 3-Way SLI setup such as mine? Thanks.
   
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post #2 of 16
Physx cards are never worth it cost wise.
I would try out your 3x 670's before jumping to the conclusion on needing a extra physx card.
Also you will also use up even more PCIE lanes!
When it comes to physx it always requires much, so it may help a little for you in physx intense games, but really try out your tri-sli before jumping on it! As it may be that you will have enough power anyways.
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post #3 of 16
Your physx GPU I think has to be at least half as powerful as your overall GPU configuration.

Unless your trying to bench or play super large resolutions to try and up your minimum frame rate then usually no.

For instance, when I had the 460 2WIN, an Overclocked 8800gt would hold them back and I actually lost about 8-10FPS

Its too bad you cant SLI cards to run physx hehe, one can dream I guess



EDIT: If you still have your 480's try running one of them and see for yourself tongue.gif
Edited by TheReciever - 3/28/13 at 11:31pm
    
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post #4 of 16
IMO, tri SLI will handle physX just fine if you were talking about helping a single card that would be a horse of another color.
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post #5 of 16
Yep like everyone's saying... Your planned cards will do the job just fine. I'm trying to look for benchmarks i saw some time back... it showed an increase of FPS in SOME games (Batman Arkham City, Borderlands etc) with a dedicated card, but it was a negligible amount. And your choice of Physx enabled games is a short list. (LINK)

edit: Here's one (LINK)
edit2: Here's another (LINK) 10-15fps increase with dedicated card it seems
Edited by rjmana - 3/28/13 at 11:48pm
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjmana View Post

Yep like everyone's saying... Your planned cards will do the job just fine. I'm trying to look for benchmarks i saw some time back... it showed an increase of FPS in SOME games (Batman Arkham City, Borderlands etc) with a dedicated card, but it was a negligible amount. And your choice of Physx enabled games is a short list. (LINK)

edit: Here's one (LINK)
edit2: Here's another (LINK) 10-15fps increase with dedicated card it seems

That's fine and all, however, you have to remember that I'm using three GPUs to power three monitors. And that's why I've asked this question. I've actually seen a lot of data on a single GPU + deciated PhysX card. I was wondering about 3 GPUs powering 3 screens. But, thanks!
   
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post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSurroundGamr View Post

That's fine and all, however, you have to remember that I'm using three GPUs to power three monitors. And that's why I've asked this question. I've actually seen a lot of data on a single GPU + deciated PhysX card. I was wondering about 3 GPUs powering 3 screens. But, thanks!

this help?
http://www.nvidia.com/object/physx_faq.html
Quote:
How does PhysX work with SLI and multi-GPU configurations?
When two, three, or four matched GPUs are working in SLI, PhysX runs on one GPU, while graphics rendering runs on all GPUs. The NVIDIA drivers optimize the available resources across all GPUs to balance PhysX computation and graphics rendering. Therefore users can expect much higher frame rates and a better overall experience with SLI.
(italicized for emphasis)
so that tells me though one card on the SLI configuration is selected for physX the driver distributes the load among all the gpus. btw, through researching for this but never using SLI it was highly recommended to NOT select either card as "dedicated" for physX in the NV control panel.

through some googling there are many threads discussing a single card with a dedicated physX card and a few SLI w/physX card. i'll reference a few threads and sorry my citations are not organized:
680 + physx bench (also benches 680 sli with gt450 physX)
GTX 680 dedicated PhysX or SLI?
but specifically this post
http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1038756026&postcount=30
Quote:
I use a 216sp gtx 260 for physx with 2 680's... granted, 90% of my games are non-physx titles, the ones that do use physx, like Batman: AC actually does benefit from using the dedicated phsyx card. Running Batman: AC's built-in benchmark tool, I saw higher min framerate and about 10 fps more average frames. For me I opted to have cool physx effects + a dedicated physx because with the settings including AA and AF maxed out @ 2560 x 1440, the difference between 60 and 70 fps with a higher minimum framerate drop is crucial.

there was also a thread on the nvidia forums but sorry, ATM my eyes are pretty tired and my browser history is rather full to find it. but i will tell you what i will infer with the info i gleaned from reading:

the requirements of using a physX card or not with a/any SLI setup is similar to a single card setup though a bit more complicated:

since the nvidia driver distributes the physX load among the SLI configuration then you need to consider the total core count of all cards and also physX games vary in the amount of cuda cores used for physX . so to break it down in your case; you will have (1344*3) 4032 cuda core with a gtx 670tri SLI and assuming you will be using one of you old gtx 480s for physX that would be 480 cores or just under 12% of your SLI setup. so if you are playing metro 2033 which will use 10% of the available cuda cores for physX then you will have a slight benefit. but if you are playing batman AC which can use up to ~20% of the available cuda cores then you will see a decrease in performance. i'll have to admit i did pull those physX usage %s out of the air but i think i am close.

make sense?

edit: ah, and also considering you are looking to run a 2D surround setup - it may even have more of an impact because that would need for physX calculations for the higher resolution. (wow i am tired, i have been staring at your avatar and trancing out for a minute . . weirdsmiley.gif )
Edited by looniam - 3/29/13 at 4:49am
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post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by looniam View Post

(wow i am tired, i have been staring at your avatar and trancing out for a minute . . weirdsmiley.gif )

LOL, thanks for all of your input. It looks like there's really not a whole lot of data on three GPUs + a dedicated PhysX card to go off of, I'll do more research, thank you.
   
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post #9 of 16
The 650Ti is ideal for PhysX, even when running 3x GTX680 Classified 4GB cards. The new Boost version shouldbe even bbetter.

The thing to look for is having around 1/3rd the CUDA cores of your primary GPU.
Next is the clock speed, which is because the shader speed is tied to it. Overclocking the core will yield better performance.

What does not matter is the amount of VRAM or the speed, so don't bother with the 2GB cards or overclocking the memory.

The benefit is that in games with PhysX, you will see much more consistent framerates. I am upgrading to tri-670FTW in SLI and as I still have an extra x8 line's worth of bandwidth, and no room for hard drives beyond the 5 I already have (was going to get an LSI PCI-E3.0 Hardware RAID card but will wait until I move to a CaseLabs TH10 with all the goodies including the XL Pedestal), I figure $90 for the 650Ti on sale is worth it as I'll just use it for F@H whenever it's not actively involved in PhysX games.
   
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post #10 of 16
HM, there is only like 2 games on the whole list that I would play with Physx. Hawken and Last Light. Not really worth dedicating a GPU for IMO.
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Zybane
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Overclock.net › Forums › Graphics Cards › NVIDIA › 3-Way SLI + PhysX GPU worth it?