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Is SLI & multiple monitors really just for gaming?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Trying to understand the benefits of SLI and plan out my next computer build.

I've ran a dual video card setup for years so I could have 3-4 monitors act as one giant desktop, which I love and want to continue to do.

I usually don't play any games on the computer & reserve that for Playstation.

So is SLI just to run games on multiple monitor setups as one large display and mostly just for simulation games?

Or is there something other added benefit?

If I want to run multiple monitors as one giant desktop, but NOT one large, single display, I have no need for an SLI setup do I?
post #2 of 8
Since you don't need the performance, you can just get a single nvidia card from the 600 series or newer OR a single AMD video card and run your 3-4 monitors from one card.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
I do plan on watercooling, can anyone suggest a single video card that can do at least 3 monitors, (4 would be awesome without having to have a 2nd card) and has a really nice, high quality waterblock available?

Maybe a block that has an LED or can be easily painted since I don't plan on running any dye in my loop, just plain water and UV reactive rigid tube.

A card & block combo that won't break the bank, but still very high quality? I'll spend what I have to though to meet my requirements.

I've been partial to Nvidia in the past, but not opposed to AMD if they have the quality, specs and a Waterblock is available.
Edited by TheGreyWizard - 11/8/15 at 12:40pm
post #4 of 8
I'd get an EVGA GTX 980 TI Hydro Copper. I have two of them, so I'm probably biased. biggrin.gif
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGreyWizard View Post

Trying to understand the benefits of SLI and plan out my next computer build.

I've ran a dual video card setup for years so I could have 3-4 monitors act as one giant desktop, which I love and want to continue to do.

I usually don't play any games on the computer & reserve that for Playstation.

So is SLI just to run games on multiple monitor setups as one large display and mostly just for simulation games?

Or is there something other added benefit?

If I want to run multiple monitors as one giant desktop, but NOT one large, single display, I have no need for an SLI setup do I?

If you do not play any games at all and simply want to have 3 monitors combined into one desktop, any fairly recent graphics card will work. Actually, you don't need a graphics card at all to do this, onboard graphics can do this just as well, provided you have the outputs (may need adapters). Any Nvidia 6xx series or newer can do 4 monitors (provided it has the outputs), or you can use a display port adapter for the fourth.

Given that you can do this with almost any graphics card or with no graphics card at all, making the card aesthetic only, you should probably work backwards. Pick a GPU block you like, then get that card.
Gaming Rig
(16 items)
 
FS
(13 items)
 
Toy
(15 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7 4770K Asus Hero EVGA 780TI EVGA 780TI 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveCooling
16gb G. Skill 2400mhz Samsung 1TB 840 Evo Samsung 256GB 840 pro EK Supremacy Gold 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
2x EK Acetal Full Cover Block 2x Alphacool 480  24x Gentle Typhoon AP-14 Bitspower 400 Multi 
CoolingOSPowerCase
Swiftech MCP35x2 Windows 7 Pro EVGA Super Nova 1300 Caselabs MerlinSM8 w/ Pedestal 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Xeon E3-1271 v3 Supermicro X10SLL Crucial 32GB ECC Mushkin ECO 240GB SSD 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingPower
Western Digital Red 4TB x 24 212 Evo Phanteks PH-F140HP_BK 2 140mm PWM Fan  Seasonic Platinum Fanless 
CaseOtherOtherOther
Caselabs Merlin SM8 with Pedestal LSI 9271-8i Intel RES2SV240 Intel X540T2 10Gbps 
Other
IBM Intel I340 Quad Port Gigabit Ethernet 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
5820k ASUS x99 deluxe gigabyte windforce gtx960 gskill 3000 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 850pro 256GB Samsung 850 evo 1TB LG Black Blu Ray Noctua d15 
CoolingOSKeyboardPower
Phanteks PH-F140HP_WT 2 140mm PWM Fan win 7 pro Corsair K70 Blue seasonic snow silent 1000 
CaseMouseAudio
fractal design r5 White Corsair M65 ASUS Xonar DSX 7.1 
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Gaming Rig
(16 items)
 
FS
(13 items)
 
Toy
(15 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7 4770K Asus Hero EVGA 780TI EVGA 780TI 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveCooling
16gb G. Skill 2400mhz Samsung 1TB 840 Evo Samsung 256GB 840 pro EK Supremacy Gold 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
2x EK Acetal Full Cover Block 2x Alphacool 480  24x Gentle Typhoon AP-14 Bitspower 400 Multi 
CoolingOSPowerCase
Swiftech MCP35x2 Windows 7 Pro EVGA Super Nova 1300 Caselabs MerlinSM8 w/ Pedestal 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Xeon E3-1271 v3 Supermicro X10SLL Crucial 32GB ECC Mushkin ECO 240GB SSD 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingPower
Western Digital Red 4TB x 24 212 Evo Phanteks PH-F140HP_BK 2 140mm PWM Fan  Seasonic Platinum Fanless 
CaseOtherOtherOther
Caselabs Merlin SM8 with Pedestal LSI 9271-8i Intel RES2SV240 Intel X540T2 10Gbps 
Other
IBM Intel I340 Quad Port Gigabit Ethernet 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
5820k ASUS x99 deluxe gigabyte windforce gtx960 gskill 3000 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 850pro 256GB Samsung 850 evo 1TB LG Black Blu Ray Noctua d15 
CoolingOSKeyboardPower
Phanteks PH-F140HP_WT 2 140mm PWM Fan win 7 pro Corsair K70 Blue seasonic snow silent 1000 
CaseMouseAudio
fractal design r5 White Corsair M65 ASUS Xonar DSX 7.1 
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post #6 of 8
Pretty much any $300+ video card that is only 2 years old or newer can easily run 3 monitors, especially water cooled, for non gaming.

Pretty much all my rigs except for my HTPC have at least 2 monitors on them. It makes work so much easier.

I'm a multiple monitor junkie ...

post #7 of 8
Out of idle curiosity, doesn't sli or crossfire only work for full screen?
I was under the impression that anything in a window only uses one card.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfinchina View Post

Out of idle curiosity, doesn't sli or crossfire only work for full screen?
I was under the impression that anything in a window only uses one card.

SLi works in non-full screen, BUT at a greatly reduced capability (about 50%) as it does in full screen.

Crossfire ONLY works in full screen. If you aren't in full screen mode, you may as only have one card.
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