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All the benefits in Crossfire/SLI

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baris_

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Hello,

I would like to know what the actual benefits are from having a crossfire/sli setup?

For instance, is it true that if you have multiple GPU's the stress is divided, so less heat will be generated by your primary GPU which makes both of your devices more available to overclocking?

This is just a question which I'm just throwing out there. I want to learn about all of the benefits of having a crossfire/sli setup.

And if you have the time: throw in the cons as well. :)

Thanks in advance.
 

3line

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Weaknesses, I can think of one right now. Dual monitor support is still a bit buggy for Crossfire. You can't turn on ATI overdrive without having the screen flicker and tear. You can live with it, but it is damn annoying.

This is why I reflashed my video cards with the 5870 bios to give them greater volts/stock clocks.
 
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baris_

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Weaknesses, I can think of one right now. Dual monitor support is still a bit buggy for Crossfire. You can't turn on ATI overdrive without having the screen flicker and tear. You can live with it, but it is damn annoying.

This is why I reflashed my video cards with the 5870 bios to give them greater volts/stock clocks.

Thank you for your reply. Hmm, that's not a terrible one.
 
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baris_

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Weaknesses, I can think of one right now. Dual monitor support is still a bit buggy for Crossfire. You can't turn on ATI overdrive without having the screen flicker and tear. You can live with it, but it is damn annoying.

This is why I reflashed my video cards with the 5870 bios to give them greater volts/stock clocks.

Thank you for your reply. Hmm, that's not a terrible one. Nothing more? How about the fact you pay exactly two times the price, but you don't nearly get exactly two times the performance? Or do you?

Edit: Sorry, double post--just wanted to edit.
 

3line

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Thank you for your reply. Hmm, that's not a terrible one. Nothing more? How about the fact you pay exactly two times the price, but you don't nearly get exactly two times the performance? Or do you?

Depends on the game, and Crossfire scales a bit better than SLI
 
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baris_

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Depends on the game, and Crossfire scales a bit better than SLI

Are there games where you actually get two times the performance? So another 100% of your primairy GPU performance?

I always thought it was way less..
 
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baris_

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2010

Obviously, but if everyone got all the information he/she wanted from google, there wouldn't be no questions. I like to hear personal stuff from people out there. I have wasted a lot of money by not talking to the people and just believing what I read on the internet. And then later find out it was a real bad decision. Nevermind.
 

Brutal-Force

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Well, I went and bought a second GTX 260.... and honestly for what I use my computer for, I don't see the value in a second card. I'll keep it in until I can use it and at the very least I have a backup, but in reality not a whole lot of games utilize crossfire/sli very well. There are some benefits, but I think your better off going with 1 very good card and then perhaps (on the cheap) use a smaller/older card for physx support.

Some of my games studder thanks to SLI and there is really no fix for it. At the very best, it gives me bragging rights.
 
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baris_

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Well, I went and bought a second GTX 260.... and honestly for what I use my computer for, I don't see the value in a second card. I'll keep it in until I can use it and at the very least I have a backup, but in reality not a whole lot of games utilize crossfire/sli very well. There are some benefits, but I think your better off going with 1 very good card and then perhaps (on the cheap) use a smaller/older card for physx support.

Some of my games studder thanks to SLI and there is really no fix for it. At the very best, it gives me bragging rights.

Thanks a lot for your reply. I see. Anyone else has problems with SLI? With games studdering instead of extra performance?
 

09CivicSI

Registered
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Location
Fort Rucker, Alabama Area
I use SLI for one BIG reason. I run [email protected] and it helps my Points Per Day.

Gaming wise, it's hit or miss. H.A.W.K. utilizes SLI very well and doesn't stutter at all for me. Neither does COD:MW2. I've also played games that simply will not look for SLI like Microsoft's Combat Flight Sim 3. But Flight Sim X sees a great advantage from using SLI.

SLI is worthless though, for the gamer, if your screen resolution is below 1920x1200. SLI, and Crossfire as well, really start to shine when you're hitting the higer resolutions. People just love the bragging rights though, so they throw two GPU's at their machine with unrealistic expectations of 200 FPS in a given game. Well, if your screen resolution is only 1440x900 like one of my friends, you're going to be sorely disappointed you spent that money because a single card in the GTX260 or HD5770 range can handle all the games at that resolution.

So two big things to keep in mind. SLI/Crossfire only help you at higher resolutions while wanting to turn on most, if not all, of the eye candy. If you can play a game at 1600x1200 without every single option turned way up and maintain 40+ FPS, there's NO reason to get two cards. Hell, even at my 1920x1200, there are games I play where I just disable SLI because 1. They can't use it, 2. The game plays fine with lots of eye candy with one GTX285 or 3. Some games, like Fallout3, can play fine with SLI one day, then have load/execution problems the next. I've personally not had a stuttering issue with my rig, yet. I say yet because you will at some point. For me, it seems like those games that love high CPU speeds, like Crysis and Farcry2, I tend to get a better FPS with moderate eye candy with one card. I use SLI and yes, it gets better and I can crank the details up higher, but then I'm playing the game, not staring at the damned trees or grass. But a watery vista with everything cranked up on SLI can take your breath away.

It all depends on how you like to play your games eye candy wise, and what resolution you are playing those games.
 
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baris_

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
I use SLI for one BIG reason. I run [email protected] and it helps my Points Per Day.

Gaming wise, it's hit or miss. H.A.W.K. utilizes SLI very well and doesn't stutter at all for me. Neither does COD:MW2. I've also played games that simply will not look for SLI like Microsoft's Combat Flight Sim 3. But Flight Sim X sees a great advantage from using SLI.

SLI is worthless though, for the gamer, if your screen resolution is below 1920x1200. SLI, and Crossfire as well, really start to shine when you're hitting the higer resolutions. People just love the bragging rights though, so they throw two GPU's at their machine with unrealistic expectations of 200 FPS in a given game. Well, if your screen resolution is only 1440x900 like one of my friends, you're going to be sorely disappointed you spent that money because a single card in the GTX260 or HD5770 range can handle all the games at that resolution.

So two big things to keep in mind. SLI/Crossfire only help you at higher resolutions while wanting to turn on most, if not all, of the eye candy. If you can play a game at 1600x1200 without every single option turned way up and maintain 40+ FPS, there's NO reason to get two cards. Hell, even at my 1920x1200, there are games I play where I just disable SLI because 1. They can't use it, 2. The game plays fine with lots of eye candy with one GTX285 or 3. Some games, like Fallout3, can play fine with SLI one day, then have load/execution problems the next. I've personally not had a stuttering issue with my rig, yet. I say yet because you will at some point. For me, it seems like those games that love high CPU speeds, like Crysis and Farcry2, I tend to get a better FPS with moderate eye candy with one card. I use SLI and yes, it gets better and I can crank the details up higher, but then I'm playing the game, not staring at the damned trees or grass. But a watery vista with everything cranked up on SLI can take your breath away.

It all depends on how you like to play your games eye candy wise, and what resolution you are playing those games.

Thanks a lot for your reply. I am gaming on 1440x900 but I also have a 37" full hd tv which is 1920x1080. I would like to play some games on that though. But as you said, that is below 1920x1200 so I will stay with one card.

I guess my opinion on multiple gpu's has reformed. Thanks!
 

3line

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Thanks a lot for your reply. I am gaming on 1440x900 but I also have a 37" full hd tv which is 1920x1080. I would like to play some games on that though. But as you said, that is below 1920x1200 so I will stay with one card.

I guess my opinion on multiple gpu's has reformed. Thanks!

At 1920x1080, it is worth it, imo to do crossfire.
 

09CivicSI

Registered
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Location
Fort Rucker, Alabama Area
At 1920x1080, it is worth it, imo to do crossfire.

I would agree to a point. There are plenty of cards out there, like the 5870 or a GTX285, that will work at that resolution just fine unless you're trying to turn up every piece of eye candy on there.

It's all about how pretty you want it to look. The majority of the time, I will recommend one high performance card over two in SLI/Crossfire. It's simply easier that way. But if you want the pretties, IMO, you need two above that 1920x1xxx number.
 
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baris_

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
I would agree to a point. There are plenty of cards out there, like the 5870 or a GTX285, that will work at that resolution just fine unless you're trying to turn up every piece of eye candy on there.

It's all about how pretty you want it to look. The majority of the time, I will recommend one high performance card over two in SLI/Crossfire. It's simply easier that way. But if you want the pretties, IMO, you need two above that 1920x1xxx number.

Hmm, alright. Btw: If I have one of my dvi's going into my normal monitor 1440x900 19" and I leave the other dvi/hdmi going to my tele. Will that suck power out of it even when I dont have the tv on? Or do I have to leave it out and only plug it in when I use my tele?
 

killem2

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
I would never consider sli or xfire until ati or nvidia can get it to do 100% scaling. If I by a 2nd GPU I want to use all of it. Not 10%, 40% or 75% on this game but not this game, and so forth.

The tech has been around since as early as 2004 and even through these nearly 6 years of use neither company has got it perfect.
 
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baris_

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
I would never consider sli or xfire until ati or nvidia can get it to do 100% scaling. If I by a 2nd GPU I want to use all of it. Not 10%, 40% or 75% on this game but not this game, and so forth.

The tech has been around since as early as 2004 and even through these nearly 6 years of use neither company has got it perfect.

Yeah same, I prefer to just buy a higher card. For instance HD5870 will definitly do 1920x1080 fine.. Let alone 5970.
 

ChaosInMind

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Location
Chicago
Weaknesses, I can think of one right now. Dual monitor support is still a bit buggy for Crossfire. You can't turn on ATI overdrive without having the screen flicker and tear. You can live with it, but it is damn annoying.

This is why I reflashed my video cards with the 5870 bios to give them greater volts/stock clocks.

I heard that this was not a crossfire issue but just an OC issue with the cards. At that rate I am not having this issue with the 10.1 drivers. I have a 19" wide at 1440x900 as my main monitor and a 42" LCD tv at 1920x1080 as my second monitor. I have OC'd my 5850 to 880Mhz core and 1,300Mhz memory and no flickering.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Hello,

I would like to know what the actual benefits are from having a crossfire/sli setup?

For instance, is it true that if you have multiple GPU's the stress is divided, so less heat will be generated by your primary GPU which makes both of your devices more available to overclocking?

This is just a question which I'm just throwing out there. I want to learn about all of the benefits of having a crossfire/sli setup.

And if you have the time: throw in the cons as well. :)

Thanks in advance.
*Faster frame rates at higer resolutions across a lot (not all) games.

*Less heat will NOT be generated with an SLI/Crossfire setup. In fact b/c of the physical location of the cards (next to each other) at least the top, primary card tends to run warmer.

* Overclocking in SLI/Crossfire from what I recall is usually less than with a single card. Reason being the setup is only as fast as your slowest card. So I guess it depends on what one card would do compared to the other.

CONS:

Cost - You are buying two cards and will almost NEVER get 2x scaling. Scaling varies from none to around 80% on average depending on the game.

Power consumption - is obviously almost double as well

Heat - self explanetory

The need for SLI/Crossfire IMHO is mostly for benching or high res gaming with ALL eye candy (AA/AF) cranked. But hell, even the ATI 5870 and 5850 alone can do that job on 95% of games at 1920x1080/1200. Im sure Fermi/GF100 will be able to do the same. Its when you get into the 2560x1600 res that SLI/Crossfire with some nice cards really shine.

Not worth it IMHO in most cases.