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SLi scaling better and better these days?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Its been a while since I kept up with SLi scaling. I think the last time was when the 9800 series was top notch lol. And back then, SLi didn't scale so well. The 9600 series was known to scale the best. I remember part of the reason that it was so hard to run crysis was because it only scaled like 9% or something. Now I know that some people will say its the software, and others will say its the hardware. But has SLi scaling improved with later generations of cards? Does the GTX 200 series scale better than the 9 series? Does the GTX 400 series scale better than the GTX 200 series?

If so, would they actually scale better in games that didn't scale across so well? Would it actually end up being any help? Or is it all dependent on the games?
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post #2 of 24
It depends on both the hardware and software side, you need a game that takes advantage of scaling, which most games have profiles for SLI scaling, although there are still a few games that don't take advantage, though no newer games that I can think of. It is also on the hardware side as well - as each generation has progressed, scaling has gotten better as well. 4XX and 5XX cards you now get between 85 - 100% scaling in a good majority of games.
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post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ok so if I have a 5XX series card, but a game is only known to scale up to 20%, then I'm still only going to get 20% scaling? Or will the card actually boost that somehow?
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post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bennylava View Post
Ok so if I have a 5XX series card, but a game is only known to scale up to 20%, then I'm still only going to get 20% scaling? Or will the card actually boost that somehow?
Unfortunately, good cards are only as good as the software that makes use of them. If a game is known to only scale at 20%, then it is 20%. The only way that gets remedied is either Nvidia creates a better profile for the game, or the game developer implements better multi-GPU scaling.

But all this is really theoretical and hearsay anyway as every game is going to be different in its own unique way. You're better off checking out reviews on the individual games themselves in order to get a better idea of how well scaling works.
     
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post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Sounds like a good idea.
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post #6 of 24
Wow... lot of claptrap on this thread.

99% of games don't know anything about multi-gpu, and they wouldn't do anything differently in response to it's presence even if they did.

Thus, games aren't 'coded for scaling' or anything like that. And there's no set amount of scaling inherently involved with a particular game.

SLI and Crossfire 'happen' at the driver level, not the game level. To answer the specific question, yes, the newer cards (and newer drivers) have tended to get better SLI scaling relative to the older cards. Mostly this is improvements in the technology of the cards and better driver profiles, but there's some other things that've made SLI scaling (appear) better recently as well:

1) The X58/Nehalem architecture, which has resulted in much less bottlenecking vs. Core 2.
2) The more widespread use of higher resolution monitors, as SLI scales better at higher res.
3) More and more games coming out with extensive and reliable (unlike NVCP) in-game high-quality IQ settings options (SSAO, 16xAA, for example), and the higher the IQ, the better SLI tends to scale.

Should also note that the longer a game has been out, the more time nV has to adjust the SLI profiles in the drivers to get better performance on them. So a lot of older games will have better scaling now just because of this ... but you don't see old cards re-benched with newer drivers, so ...
Edited by brettjv - 3/16/11 at 2:33pm
    
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post #7 of 24
So what about the games that do not support SLI/Crossfire or have little to no scaling associated with it? Is it just inherently because of the drivers?
     
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post #8 of 24
about it...

i mean Crysis 2 demo didn't support SLI..

then a SLI profile came out for it..

now it works!

it was the same with 3dmark 11

and some older games don't have SLI support at all

because they are that old that you would never need SLI to run them maxed...

the only way you could force SLI on...

would be to create a game profile and force SLI AA32x or something like that...

but the second card will only help smooth things off..

to my knowledge
post #9 of 24
Below is result of my brief survey of SLI scaling on average fps. These numbers should form a bird-eye view of the big picture and are indicative enough.

For 2-way SLI, theoretical max is 2.0.
For 3-way SLI, theoretical max is 1.5 (as this represents improvement over 2-way SLI, not over single card)
All are at 2560x1600 except 8800GT at 1920x1200.

1) Representing the 8800/9800 era
8800GT
single card = 1.0
dual card = 1.61 (ave of 10 games)

8800GTX

single card = 1.0
dual card = 1.53 (ave of 5 games, probably too few samples)

2) Representing the 2xx series
GTX285
single card = 1.0
dual card = 1.72 (ave of 20+ games)
tri card = 1.24

3) Representing the 4xx and 5xx series
GTX570
single card = 1.0
dual card = 1.82 (ave of 18 games)
tri card = 1.34

Summary: So, 2-way SLI scaling has been improving, moving from ~1.6 to ~1.7 to ~1.8 for the past 3 'generations'. And 3-way SLI scaling sees an improvement from ~1.2 to ~1.3 as well. Perhaps if this trend continues, we might see 1.9/1.4 for Kepler?



Link for 8800GT SLI scaling:
http://firingsquad.com/hardware/nvid...ce/default.asp

Link for 8800GTX SLI scaling:
http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid...e=expert&pid=2

Link for GTX285 SLI scaling:
http://www.benchmarkextreme.com/Arti...lysis/P25.html

Link for GTX570 SLI scaling:
http://benchmarkextreme.com/Articles/GTX%20570/P1.html




Edited by windfire - 3/16/11 at 8:41pm
post #10 of 24
What about Quad SLI scaling ala GTX 295?
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