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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    To SLI or not to SLI

    Hello fellow RPSers.

    I've been mulling around the idea for a while now about getting another graphics card for SLI or just getting a single new card. My current card is the Asus GeForce GTX 560 Ti 900MHz 2GB. I've got a compatible MOBO and an 850W PSU. I run two monitors off my card as well, but one thing that drives me up the wall is if I play an older game, say Fallout which is in an old resolution, the second screen gets affected meaning I cant watch a movie or tv show on it.

    I've looked into this before but never asked people about it, only read some tech sites etc. I play absolutely everything from indie games up to AAA releases. Most games auto default to Max settings, bar Borderlands 2 which didn't set Physx to max and everything is running smooth. However if SLI will insure my PC will continue to do this and perhaps give better performance now that'd be great.

    I've seen conflicting views on it from, "its a performance boost" to "devs don't use it properly" to "you'll only end up disabling one card half the time".

    What are the views of people here?

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    not to sli.

    A gtx560ti sli setup produces about 11% more power than a gtx580 in sli. Note the bold part, because if the game/app does not properly support sli guess what? A lot of suck will ensue from an extra card that provides 0% performance. The gtx580 is now pretty cheap, it's even cheaper than a gtx660ti with more power and the same feature set. You can use the existing 560ti as a physx card, this setup will smoke a 560ti sli set up.
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  3. #3
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    Unless you're a triplehead or spent few thousand on a monitor and game in insane resolutions, there's really no point to SLI for a simple reason: you will never need that much power. A single good card can take just about anything you can throw at it that isn't one of the above, so why bother with potential complications od two?

  4. #4
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    Personal opinion, take the money you would have spent on a second GPU, use it to buy every single discounted game in the Christmas Steam sale. Result would be far far more enjoyment than that garnered by a second card.

    I've never got the impression that 2 card setups are either particularly well supported by devs, or that the added oomph is anything like linear.

  5. #5
    Activated Node Item!'s Avatar
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    I SLi'd my GTX570 and have been delighted with the results.

    Fast, stable and gets me locked in 60FPS with all the eye-candy in demanding games.

    That said, I did this when the GTX 570 was still a new card...

    If you can afford it, I believe my performance is akin to a single shiny new GTX680, but if you are gaming on a budget, feel you need more performance and could stretch to a second 560 for a fraction of the cost, I would say you should give it serious thought.
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  6. #6
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    All of the advice above is good. I can't speak to the question about 2 monitors and full screen older programs as I use my setup on a single monitor. Here's my take regarding pure graphics performance for the money on a single screen:

    SLI is ok if you are using multiple, current, high-end graphics cards. You will get more FPS even if not consistently -- You are paying a premium price for the highest performance available right now.

    If you are a generation behind or using a lower-end graphics card, you will typically get the most bang for your buck by stepping up to the newer generation or a high-end model.

    For the $175 it would cost to add another 560, it is hard for me to recommend a single card solution that would offer more performance. Now that said, if you could manage to step up another $50 you could purchase a 660 that would offer similar max FPS performance with less stuttering, worrying about drivers and other SLI issues that can come up.

    Considering the above, if you must upgrade now, selling your current 560 is not an option and $175 is a hard limit, the SLI setup is your best way ahead.

    If you can wait to save another $50, go for a 660.

    If you can sell your current card for $100+ and add it to your current $175.. wow you can really get something good!

    Best of luck, let us know how things go for you.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Item! View Post
    I SLi'd my GTX570 and have been delighted with the results.

    Fast, stable and gets me locked in 60FPS with all the eye-candy in demanding games.

    That said, I did this when the GTX 570 was still a new card...

    If you can afford it, I believe my performance is akin to a single shiny new GTX680, but if you are gaming on a budget, feel you need more performance and could stretch to a second 560 for a fraction of the cost, I would say you should give it serious thought.
    wow, that must have been expensive. I personally wouldn't mind the cost, but sli has no impact on enbseries, mods or emulators so waste of money for me personally.
    It's about thresholds in the end. Is a single card not enough to pass the framerate threshold you prefer in a game? For me that threshold is an average 60fps and to date this has been passed with the exception of the 3dmark 11 benchmark.
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  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    It's also worth considering the electricity bill. Sli might increase your performance for certain games, but it will definitely add to your electricity bill, where as just upgrading to a newer card will likely have less impact (and may even be more efficent).
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    It's also worth considering the electricity bill. Sli might increase your performance for certain games, but it will definitely add to your electricity bill, where as just upgrading to a newer card will likely have less impact (and may even be more efficent).
    Also of note is the added noise of a second video card. Depending on your setup and on the card in question it can really be a nuisance after a while.

  10. #10
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    Friends don't let friends go SLI.

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