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What is the deal with SLI and Crossfire technology

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  • Graphics Cards
  • GPUs
  • Crossfire
  • SLI
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 15, 2006 12:15:39 PM

I am confused about Multi-GPU technology. What is the big deal about it? Is it better than a single GPU? It seems like alot of Smoke and Mirriors to me. Could someone explain this new stuff to me??

More about : deal sli crossfire technology

February 15, 2006 12:43:37 PM

smoke and mirrors about sums it up.....Only real benifit is in super high res gaming and 3dyank05. There are no games that benefit from sli/cf enough to justify dropping 2X the cash for a card. In most cases the performance decreases. Its smarter and more cost effective to just go out and by the latest and greatest card than to jump on the sli bandwagon. Sry if i offended any of you ......but its the truth.
February 15, 2006 12:50:14 PM

Its just like anything in life... 2 is always better then 1 8)
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February 15, 2006 12:52:22 PM

Quote:
smoke and mirrors about sums it up.....Only real benifit is in super high res gaming and 3dyank05. There are no games that benefit from sli/cf enough to justify dropping 2X the cash for a card. In most cases the performance decreases. Its smarter and more cost effective to just go out and by the latest and greatest card than to jump on the sli bandwagon. Sry if i offended any of you ......but its the truth.



No offense taken. It just seems like one of those things that Computer nerds and geeks need to show off. It's like a wang-measuring contest to show who has the baddest mod. But, I just didnt see the need for a Multi-GPU technology.
February 15, 2006 1:00:24 PM

Quote:
smoke and mirrors about sums it up.....than to jump on the sli bandwagon. Sry if i offended any of you ......but its the truth.


Careful... the SLI Fanboys are watching you with a close eyes...
February 15, 2006 1:09:09 PM

The premise of SLI/Crossfire/Dual GPU graphics originally held promise. The thought of doubling your 3D performance now, or latter on when you could afford the second card IS very tempting.

HOWEVER, reality shows that dual card performance is at best 30-40% better then one card, not the imagined 2 Xs. Combine that with the recent hectic release of new generation video cards along with the prior generations quick demise, have made the "upgrade" premise moot also.

Personally, I think multi on-card GPUs makes more since then seperate cards! The board realestate required eliminates any chance of other add ons or upgrades. The other problem with these multi-GPU setups is the huge power requirements they require. Keep things up with inefficient multi-CPU/GPUs will require mini-reactors to power our computers!
February 15, 2006 1:13:47 PM

Nvidia and Ati are cleaning up on this little fad. They could have made dual gpus on one card, but its a hell of a lot more profitable to sell them as two. Then when the do release a dual gpu card they make it a "limited edition" so they can hose the enthusiast even more. I dont mind dropping huge amounts of cash on the latest and greatest stuff, but this sli/cf crap will never be latest and greatest when I see one single card outperforming dual cards at half the cost.
February 15, 2006 1:24:05 PM

Agreed, smoke and mirrors! It's a horrible thing from the price to performance aspect. You spend twice as much for up to 30-40% increase in some games in specific situations.

The problem being I think is that a lot of games are still CPU limited and just can't take advantage of the horsepower. If you look at a lot of the reviews for the dual cards you see no increase and usually a decrease at 1024 or 1280 even with the candy on. You start to see a bump at 12x16 but even then it's not much. Throw in a 19" LCD like mine that maxes at 1280 and it makes no sense.

Now if you have yourself a nice Dell 3007WFP 30" widescreen monitor you're going to need some kick to run that sucker at 2560x1600 native resolution!
February 15, 2006 1:26:01 PM

the Asus Dual card is a perfect example of how they can release multi GPU on one card yes. And it is alot more profitable for them to sell it as 2 cards yes. I must concur. I wish they would make the junk 1 card, bottom half of my MB is all video cards... kinda blows with you think about it.
February 15, 2006 1:42:17 PM

I couldn't figure out how come they didn't just come out with a dual GPU card. Power and space couldn't be a factor because single GPU cards are getting bigger and demand more power anyway.
February 15, 2006 1:45:42 PM

A single card dual GPU even if it is a 2 slot solution would be much better then an SLI'd 4 slot cooling solution. (X1900s & 7800 512s are all 2 slot eatters)
February 15, 2006 1:52:01 PM

I would rather see dual socket motherboards...... 1 cpu 1 gpu. and continue using the same 4 slot memory setup, but have 2 slots dedicated to each chip. Cooling would be more efficient. Upgrading cost would be a hell of a lot cheaper. Unless the keep pulling this socket switcharoo bs.
February 15, 2006 1:55:53 PM

Everyone is right SLI/Crossfire is good :D  and bad. :( 

Pro's = high resolution gaming with good performance

Con's = it cost from $850-$1000 to aquire

So if you don't care spending you savings for college then go for it.

I am now officially broke by the way. :twisted:
February 15, 2006 2:07:14 PM

Quote:

No offense taken. It just seems like one of those things that Computer nerds and geeks need to show off. It's like a wang-measuring contest to show who has the baddest mod. But, I just didnt see the need for a Multi-GPU technology.


In resolutions above 1280x1024, especially at 1920x1200 and above, even the top single cards at max details start to show signs of weakness, but with the same top cards in SLI/Crossfire, those 2 cards handle it pretty well.
That is what enthusiasts are after, and admittedly, it is an awesome gaming experience if you also have the monitor.
February 15, 2006 2:11:02 PM

Quote:
smoke and mirrors about sums it up.....Only real benifit is in super high res gaming and 3dyank05. There are no games that benefit from sli/cf enough to justify dropping 2X the cash for a card. In most cases the performance decreases. Its smarter and more cost effective to just go out and by the latest and greatest card than to jump on the sli bandwagon. Sry if i offended any of you ......but its the truth.



No offense taken. It just seems like one of those things that Computer nerds and geeks need to show off. It's like a wang-measuring contest to show who has the baddest mod. But, I just didnt see the need for a Multi-GPU technology. A wang measuring contest could'nt said it better my self :lol:  <nerds argueing> Oh yeah my wang has 24 pipes and shaders oh yeah my wang has 16 pipes and 48 shader!.
February 15, 2006 2:14:29 PM

Quote:
it is an awesome gaming experience if you also have the monitor.

What kind of monitor would that be? I'm interested because I could give my monitor to them and upgrade mine :twisted:
February 15, 2006 2:25:22 PM

agreed, sli and crossfire are for one type of person only: the person with deep pockets who wants more performance than a single badass card can offer...

...oh and i love the wang measuring comment by the way!




Radeon x1900xt FTW!
February 15, 2006 2:35:27 PM

Quote:
it is an awesome gaming experience if you also have the monitor.

What kind of monitor would that be? I'm interested because I could give my monitor to them and upgrade mine :twisted:

There was a debate about this on a thread about 2 weeks ago. The poitn whats trying to determine whether or not SLI was a success. The conclusion drawn was that it was to the extent it can be. It is and will always be a budget limited techonology, thats a given. Add to that the fact nVidia and ATi keep shrinking product life cycles and SLI (not neglecting crossfire, just sli is less to type) is doomed, at least in mainstream.

I game at 1600x1200 on my 20" LCD monitor and I can definately tell a diffrence in frame rates with 4xAA enabled on BF2. It's a situationaly depdent technology, like much of the computer industry. What is good for one, is not for another. I enjoy the high res on my monitor, so it wasn't as unreasonable for me to take the SLi plunge.

However, if you game at 1280x1024, or 1024x768 there is absolutely NO reason for SLi beyond measuring your e-penis or the size of your wallet. No offense meant.

So take SLi as it is, not what some might expect it to be. Its not intended for everyone (though they try), it is intended to cater to the gaming crowd with some extra money to burn, and it does that well.
February 15, 2006 2:44:11 PM

Ah I meant monitor wise, I have one of those dell 20" LCDs also. Is a bigger monitor and higher resolutions what he meant? Or can I achieve the same effect from my current monitor? Is the gaming experience insane playing on 24+" screen?

I'm looking for a reason to justify why droppin a grand or close to it on a monitor is worth it.
February 15, 2006 2:45:20 PM

SLI/Crossfire = e-penis
February 15, 2006 3:10:47 PM

You will probably notice a difference yes....but is 10-20% better performance worth 50-60% more cost..... #*$# no.
February 15, 2006 3:17:51 PM

I have the Dell 2405FPW and gaming is incredible.
I have now ruined myself for it is the new standard for me as far as a display goes, any less won't do!
February 15, 2006 3:28:33 PM

Quote:
SLI/Crossfire = e-penis


stop it
February 15, 2006 4:09:32 PM

Quote:
SLI/Crossfire = e-penis


/sarcasm

THank your for positively contributing to the discussion about SLI

/sarcasm

As the previous poster said, benchies aren't everything. Benchmarks are designed to gauge reletive performance, not absolute. If I can get 10 FPs more with SLI with grenade smoke in my face, planes dropping bombs, tanks rolling by, just to get that sniper before he gets me then its worth it.

Is it the greatest cost/benefit purchase that can be made? No, but then again since when are computer geeks totaly rationale about getting those few extra FPSs. If we were totaly rationale we wouldn't overclock because it voids our warranty.
February 15, 2006 5:30:01 PM

Quote:

/sarcasm

THank your for positively contributing to the discussion about SLI

/sarcasm



Thank you for thanking me for positively contributing to the discussion about SLI!

I will now leave you with the conundrum of trying to figure out if I was trying to be sarcastic or not.
Have I subverted the system by simply omitting the /sarcasm tag? Or do I truly mean what I say? And what exactly did I mean by "e-penis"?

Only the almighty and myself are privy to this sensitive information!
February 15, 2006 7:06:55 PM

If you didnt mean it sarcasticly then I stand corrected, but when most of the post has been a bash on SLI, you take it in context. This is why I like to be explicit in what I say. No offense meant, just dont like it when posts are so insultory with out explaining thier view point.
February 15, 2006 7:57:39 PM

No offense taken. I simply compared SLI/Crossfire to an e-penis.

I thought it was self explanitory, but to clarify I am using the metaphor of male genitalia (the size of which are often bragged about in male circles) to explain the significance of SLI/Crossfire.

Which is to say, in my opinion SLI/Crossfire is similar in that, although it is often bragged about and concentrated on as the most important piece of the performance puzzle (or in the case of the penis, sexual performance), in actuality it contributes a substantially smaller gain than the reputation is possesses would suggest (i.e. size isn't everything).

It certainly isn't completely irrelevant (as size is not completely irrelevant), however, it is not the do-all end-all of videocard performance (as there are many other factors that will determine the success of a given sexual encounter other than the size of the man's member).

Dollar for dollar, a man's money to increase his performance might better be spent on, say, an entirely new videocard (or, furthering the metaphor, buying asome Viagara) instead of a second videocard to run in parralel via SLI/Crossfire (the equivalent of major penis surgery to enhance length).

Summarized thusly: SLI/Crossfire = e-penis
February 15, 2006 7:59:13 PM

Now we are in agreement. It isn't everything but sometimes it doesn't hurt either :) 
February 15, 2006 8:05:18 PM

Quote:
Now we are in agreement. It isn't everything but sometimes it doesn't hurt either :) 


Exactly! There's nothing wrong with being able to afford the medical proceedure to be another John Holmes.

But if you can't afford it, invest a smaller amount of funds in Viagara for 90% of the final result!
February 15, 2006 8:06:58 PM

Quote:
Now we are in agreement. It isn't everything but sometimes it doesn't hurt either :) 


Exactly! There's nothing wrong with being able to afford the medical proceedure to be another John Holmes.

But if you can't afford it, invest a smaller amount of funds in Viagara for 90% of the final result!

LMFAO... wow there's an image
February 15, 2006 8:24:41 PM

sli/crossfire are fine if you have the money, but aren't really neccessary, or cost effective, but if you wanted the best possible performance right now, you'd go and buy 2x x1900xtx at 750cad a piece, but then your cpu would probably bottleneck it and you'd go buy some fx-57 or fx-60, at another 1000-1200cad, but the your RAM...

I think crossfire is better cause it seems to be more efficient in some way, increasing more performance over a single card compard to sli, but openGL games don't support it as well and therefore sli works better. also, there are barly any good crossfire mobo's which is very annoying.

I like what somebody said to me yesterday, about the 6 month rule for buying parts, after 6 months, they've been tested, price dropped, and best of all are still very good.
February 15, 2006 8:35:42 PM

Quote:
Everyone is right SLI/Crossfire is good :D  and bad. :( 

Pro's = high resolution gaming with good performance

Con's = it cost from $850-$1000 to aquire

So if you don't care spending you savings for college then go for it.

I am now officially broke by the way. :twisted:


well, you can SLi with $250...not a smart move, but you can...
February 15, 2006 8:48:21 PM

Quote:
major penis surgery

omg...lol that's funny :p 
a b U Graphics card
February 16, 2006 8:22:05 PM

Xfire and SLi must DIE!

They are the unholy half-dead!

They jsut don't know it yet.

PS, we need to make a good post we can link to about SLi/Xfire (maybe in mpjesse's poll).

HEhe, I said POLL! :twisted:

Pretty much SLi and Xfire IMO are for those with unlimited budgets or limited upgrade paths. And as Crshman showed there is some workstation benifit to SLi that went beyond just a jump to the next level card.

.
February 16, 2006 8:49:51 PM

Quote:
smoke and mirrors about sums it up.....Only real benifit is in super high res gaming and 3dyank05. There are no games that benefit from sli/cf enough to justify dropping 2X the cash for a card. In most cases the performance decreases. Its smarter and more cost effective to just go out and by the latest and greatest card than to jump on the sli bandwagon. Sry if i offended any of you ......but its the truth.

Show me these cases where the performance decreases with SLI, vs a single card.
No one every takes into consideration, your processor has an effect on your framerate too.
a b U Graphics card
February 16, 2006 8:53:02 PM

Quote:

Show me these cases where the performance decreases with SLI, vs a single card.
No one every takes into consideration, your processor has an effect on your framerate too.


Well to be even-handed I'll show you the situation where it affects both SLi and Xfire negatively, but needless to say this isn't the only example;

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/ati-crossfire-x1000_14.html


.
February 16, 2006 9:23:14 PM

However it's one of few.
a b U Graphics card
February 16, 2006 9:39:46 PM

I agree the situation is better, but for people who just play those games that have a negative impact, that's a huge chunk of money for nothing.

I'm just supporting the fact that the benifit isn't global, despite what ATi and nV say.

Even for those who talk about ATi Xfire's greater overall compatibility and benifit, their solution has major holes to.

My main point, research before you buy or you may be waisting alot of time and money.
February 16, 2006 9:44:10 PM

Quote:
I agree the situation is better, but for people who just play those games that have a negative impact, that's a huge chunk of money for nothing.

I'm just supporting the fact that the benifit isn't global, despite what ATi and nV say.

Even for those who talk about ATi Xfire's greater overall compatibility and benifit, their solution has major holes to.

My main point, research before you buy or you may be waisting alot of time and money.


/agreed

I still haven't figured out why my SLI drivers dont have application specific profiles in them when they should though, any thoughts?
a b U Graphics card
February 17, 2006 5:45:11 AM

Dunno.

You can make them yourself, but it's nicer to have nV test the SFR /AFR modes on each game first.
February 17, 2006 3:11:20 PM

Quote:
Dunno.

You can make them yourself, but it's nicer to have nV test the SFR /AFR modes on each game first.


I was hoping to avoid doing that because then I have to test each of the rendering modes and specify AA/ AF settings lol
March 31, 2006 1:33:30 AM

Quote:

Now if you have yourself a nice Dell 3007WFP 30" widescreen monitor you're going to need some kick to run that sucker at 2560x1600 native resolution!

I just ordered one of these monitors. I am building a new rig with an FX-60 and 2 7900's. I want SLI simply so I can be sure it will run well at 2560x1600. When new video cards come out I will just replace the 7900's probably with new DirectX 10 hardware.
I also own the Dell 20 inch and a 24 inch Dell2405FPW which I am currently gaming on. I expect the 3007WFP to be awesome for gaming...

:tongue: :tongue: :tongue:
March 31, 2006 2:11:15 AM

Quote:
SLI/Crossfire = e-penis


stop it

i thought it was funny. but sli/x-fire does just seem to be like an argument between kindergarteners.

Kid 1: "I have two crayons, and you only have one."

Kid 2: "But you only have two green crayons, but I have a gold crayon."

Kid 1: "That's not fair!"

it's just so that you can say "mine's better than yours."
March 31, 2006 2:28:18 AM

Quote:
smoke and mirrors about sums it up.....Only real benifit is in super high res gaming and 3dyank05. There are no games that benefit from sli/cf enough to justify dropping 2X the cash for a card. In most cases the performance decreases. Its smarter and more cost effective to just go out and by the latest and greatest card than to jump on the sli bandwagon. Sry if i offended any of you ......but its the truth.
Prove that SLI and Crossfire ususally decrease performance. Everyone always says "It's 2X as much but doesn't give 2x the performance" They always forget you're not doubling your PC; your CPU also has an impact on your game performance.
March 31, 2006 2:50:10 AM

What about the Crossfire fanboys, were rare, but were feirce :lol: 
!