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Benefit of SLI'ing video cards?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 7, 2013 1:54:22 PM

So I've been thinking of SLI'ing my GTX560 which everyone's been telling me would be a good idea to hold me off for a good long while instead of getting a brand new card when my single 560 can't hold up any longer and since I found one for ~$130 but I was wondering what the real benefit is of having dual GPU's with a single monitor. If anyone can offer advice, please post it. Thanks in advance :) 
October 7, 2013 2:05:25 PM

Well for most modern Nvidia cards SLI will roughly double your frames per second output (actual increases vary per game and are usually in the order of 170-190%). So if you find that your current GTX 560 is not giving you the graphics performance you want the cheapest/easiet (assuming your PSU/MOBO can handle them) is to add a second card in SLI.

I said "modern" because I only started getting interested in SLI with the 600 series, I assume the benefits are the same for the 500 series although apparently much older cards do not scale quite as well.

Hope this helps.
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October 7, 2013 2:05:52 PM

SLI will almost double your frames per second in some games, in certain settings (low, med, high) but not all. The 560 had 1GB of memory so I really would not recommend SLI to give it legs as you will likely have to reduce settings to keep the texture sizes low enough to prevent eating up the memory. Simply spend a tad more and replace it with with a GTX 760 or the likes(The 760 is about dead on the same power consumption as the 560).
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October 7, 2013 4:23:35 PM

JamesSneed said:
SLI will almost double your frames per second in some games, in certain settings (low, med, high) but not all. The 560 had 1GB of memory so I really would not recommend SLI to give it legs as you will likely have to reduce settings to keep the texture sizes low enough to prevent eating up the memory. Simply spend a tad more and replace it with with a GTX 760 or the likes(The 760 is about dead on the same power consumption as the 560).


Yeah, I was told just to alter the AA and AF if I hit the memory capacity but wasn't sure if that was safe.
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October 8, 2013 4:54:58 PM

Perfectly safe to alter AA or turn it off completely. Just these days its easy to go over 1GB with the large textures etc even at 1080P.

Since your two gens out I would upgrade or just hang on until Nvidia releases the next gen if things are running well enough for you. When your planning its always smarter to go SLI up front or to buy the single fastest card you can afford. The reason is about every other gen, 2-3 years, performance doubles. So adding a second card 2-3 years later isn't buying you much since adding a slightly more expensive current card will yield the same FPS. Going SLI up front will buy you an extra year or two if you go high end enough think GTX 770 4GB if your buying today.

If your playing at 1080p I would recommend you buy the highest end card you can afford then when it no longer suits your needs replace it with the highest end card you can affod. Might even think of saving up for whatever the highest end card will be for Nvidia next year.
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October 8, 2013 5:39:19 PM

JamesSneed said:
Perfectly safe to alter AA or turn it off completely. Just these days its easy to go over 1GB with the large textures etc even at 1080P.

Since your two gens out I would upgrade or just hang on until Nvidia releases the next gen if things are running well enough for you. When your planning its always smarter to go SLI up front or to buy the single fastest card you can afford. The reason is about every other gen, 2-3 years, performance doubles. So adding a second card 2-3 years later isn't buying you much since adding a slightly more expensive current card will yield the same FPS. Going SLI up front will buy you an extra year or two if you go high end enough think GTX 770 4GB if your buying today.

If your playing at 1080p I would recommend you buy the highest end card you can afford then when it no longer suits your needs replace it with the highest end card you can affod. Might even think of saving up for whatever the highest end card will be for Nvidia next year.


That makes sense. I've been focusing a lot on school so I don't have as much time to play games as I used to so I'll just hold off until I really do need a new one. Thanks :) 
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