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Will AMD drop 3/4-way support like NVIDIA did?

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SuperMiguel

Super User
Joined
Sep 14, 2007
Location
Florida, US
So with all these DirectX12 and Vulkan talk about multi-GPU support, and NVIDIA dropping support for their 3/4 way video cards, do you think AMD will do the same?

As in right now, is there a point for 3/4 way crossfire? even with DirectX12 and Vulkan API?
 

NewbieOneKenobi

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Location
Warsaw/Poland
Europe as a region could have something to do with that, with all the low-voltage stuff. I wouldn't be surprised if someone in the Europeans Commission's countless ranks decided to encourage the PC hardware industry to move away from promoting or encouraging multi-GPU configs and high-power PSUs. PSUs have already been an issue before anyway. Considering that the manufacturers probably already believe a smaller number of newer cards plus cheaper PSU is the more rational solution economically and don't feel like allocating resources to support for the narrow enthusiast subsegment that would buy 4 mid-shelf/mainstream cards (well, buyers of 4-way Fury would be a fatter target, but then how many are those?), I can see it happening, even though AMD would probably be more reluctant than nVidia — if only to mark a difference. On the other hand, AMD unebelievably does have some energy-saving tradition of its own, so why not. If AMD eventually managed to get actual wattage closer to nVidia levels that could be a huge blow to nVidia, so it could be worth pursuing.

What's probably worth considering is that the free market is becoming less and less free and our liberal-democrating governments more and more heavy-handed, whereas energy consumption is a growingly important issue that aligns politically anyway (even if you consider centrists rather than proper left). I wouldn't be surprised to see 2x2000W PSU and four-way Titan sort of configs actually outlawed by governments.
 

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
I can't believe that the decision makers in the EU even heard of any of this, or that they would care even if they did. The power reduction regulations are targeting things that make a big difference overall. They may individually not be as much as a pimped out PC, but there are so many more of them. Standby power for example, applies to most things connected to power. How many of these devices do we each individually have? Even if you're saving a fraction of a watt on each, multiplied by billions* of these devices across Europe, the savings are real and significant. More than 2 way SLI/crossfire PCs? Even if you ran them at full power, it wouldn't make a dent. *estimate based on European population, and that each person would on average have far more than one device.

Nvidia's limitation is probably their own, and not due to an external influence. I think in part of nvidia's problem was that scaling wasn't there beyond 2 cards, and it became more something to do for bragging rights only. The effort it took for them to support that wasn't worth their time. If new APIs or programming methods allow better scaling to be made use of, I can see them reversing that.

AMD, who knows. Do they scale better beyond 2 cards? That's probably still the bigger limitation. It might be interesting to see what happens after Vega drops as indication.
 

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
i would never underestimate the EU's influence in the area of "green" mythology. The 1060 doesn't SLI because nVidia wants to sell 1070/1080 GPUs. Two RX 480 8 GB scales pretty well, relative to past efforts. It's only a guess, but two Vegas may very well trash everything else. The R9 295 is still an awesome amount of graphics horsepower. Two of them is still a beast of a graphics powerhouse.
 

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Another reason the EU likely don't have a finger in this: they can't just go up to nvidia and say, no 3 or 4 way SLI for you. They have to bring in rules in a general sense, which would then also affect AMD. It would make no sense anyway, unless they also banned having multiple GPUs in one system not in SLI, which I'd argue is far more common for compute uses than gaming ever has been. And you could get around that by buying more systems, unless they ban that too. It just wouldn't work and they have much bigger things to do.

The EU are also not alone in power reduction initiatives. Back to the wall wart power supplies, which I've had the misfortune have to test at work for worldwide use. The US Energy Star requirements and most of the world also have their own version of the rules, which are not that different from EU ones. It does make sense to improve efficiency if it doesn't introduce undue cost or other side effects.

Back on topic, I have to wonder, has anyone actually ran a 480 in 3 or 4 way crossfire? To google!
 

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
I did have a look. The only system I saw with such an arrangement was on the Asus ROG UK youtube channel, but they were more interested in showing off the lighting than any performance tests at all. Didn't find anything else other than discussion if it was possible.

I think you'd have to be one serious AMD fanboy or attention seeker to buy 4 of those for one system though... Asus I'll excuse since they make the things so wont be short of them to hand.
 

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
with the power of the new NVidia cards and if the new AMD cards are even close, I don't see a reason for three or four card rigs, other than E-peen.
and I'm one of those that likes multi card rigs.
 

NewbieOneKenobi

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Location
Warsaw/Poland
i would never underestimate the EU's influence in the area of "green" mythology. The 1060 doesn't SLI because nVidia wants to sell 1070/1080 GPUs. Two RX 480 8 GB scales pretty well, relative to past efforts. It's only a guess, but two Vegas may very well trash everything else. The R9 295 is still an awesome amount of graphics horsepower. Two of them is still a beast of a graphics powerhouse.

Speculation only, but it might also involve the costs of providing multi-GPU support in the mainstream market or some other form of having become a little SLI-weary, so to say. For example people who go for multiple GPUs because of a calculation that doesn't work out for them in the end and they blame nVidia or otherwise end up disappointed. That would still be wanting to sell 70/80s, but in a different way than only wanting to protect those sales (vs more 60 sales, which is much better than vs ATI, which in turn becomes a more likely outcome in the no-SLI scenario).
 

rescuetoaster

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
I can't believe that the decision makers in the EU even heard of any of this, or that they would care even if they did. The power reduction regulations are targeting things that make a big difference overall. They may individually not be as much as a pimped out PC, but there are so many more of them. Standby power for example, applies to most things connected to power. How many of these devices do we each individually have? Even if you're saving a fraction of a watt on each, multiplied by billions* of these devices across Europe, the savings are real and significant. More than 2 way SLI/crossfire PCs? Even if you ran them at full power, it wouldn't make a dent. *estimate based on European population, and that each person would on average have far more than one device.

Nvidia's limitation is probably their own, and not due to an external influence. I think in part of nvidia's problem was that scaling wasn't there beyond 2 cards, and it became more something to do for bragging rights only. The effort it took for them to support that wasn't worth their time. If new APIs or programming methods allow better scaling to be made use of, I can see them reversing that.

AMD, who knows. Do they scale better beyond 2 cards? That's probably still the bigger limitation. It might be interesting to see what happens after Vega drops as indication.

Totally agree. I am really struggling to believe that ANYONE in that level of administration gives a crap/knows about the 6 or 7 people in the EU that use 3-4 way SLI. The more likely answer? There are so few people running that many cards that supporting it is not profitable.
 

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Remember they had said they were going to allow >2x SLI but you had to register for it, but then killed that off. I wonder... if they were still going for a halo effect. They never expect anyone to use it in anger, but it gets attention in benchmarks. If I understand correctly, you can still 4x SLI but only in certain benchmarks. They can optimise heavily for the chosen benchmarks, and not have to worry about every game getting released. Maybe that killed off the need for it to be enabled in games with all the problems that brings.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Another reason the EU likely don't have a finger in this: they can't just go up to nvidia and say, no 3 or 4 way SLI for you. They have to bring in rules in a general sense, which would then also affect AMD. It would make no sense anyway, unless they also banned having multiple GPUs in one system not in SLI, which I'd argue is far more common for compute uses than gaming ever has been. And you could get around that by buying more systems, unless they ban that too. It just wouldn't work and they have much bigger things to do.

The EU are also not alone in power reduction initiatives. Back to the wall wart power supplies, which I've had the misfortune have to test at work for worldwide use. The US Energy Star requirements and most of the world also have their own version of the rules, which are not that different from EU ones. It does make sense to improve efficiency if it doesn't introduce undue cost or other side effects.

Back on topic, I have to wonder, has anyone actually ran a 480 in 3 or 4 way crossfire? To google!

I agree with this. For instance, in the US the government mandates that auto makers conform to total fleet production mpg standards, not individual models. So the automakers can still make a few hot rods as long as the average mpg of their total fleet production meets standards. The feds don't tell them how to do it at the component level either. They don't care as long as the automakers come up with ways to comply with the overall goal of the standard.

I also think there is a significant element of "political correctness" in the green tech emphasis we see which may be align with the world view of some tech industry moguls or just motivated by profit for some others who realize many people will buy things based on politically correct advertising information.
 
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SF101

The Printer Guru
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
quite a few games still mess up on me when i crossfire as it is.

i expect eventually it will go way of the dodo bird if games dont adopt it better.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
quite a few games still mess up on me when i crossfire as it is.

i expect eventually it will go way of the dodo bird if games dont adopt it better.

That's why we always advise people to buy one more powerful video card instead of trying to SLI or Crossfire two less powerful ones.
 

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
The current batch of GPUs, and probably Vega, are making that a lot easier now, too. That pesky 4k thing is really the only fly in that ointment and I expect the 1090 Ti and Vega to deal with that shortcoming.