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Why would a single card be better than SLI 450's?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 3, 2010 4:04:27 AM

I'm looking at prices on cards, PSU, MB's, etc. And for my price range, at all levels, dual GTS 450's come out on top everytime. I found a couple of them together on newegg for ~$180, the same price as a 6850, and $40 cheaper than a 460. Only requires a 600W PSU, and the cost to get an nforce 980a isn't too much more than what I was looking at with a 790.

All that taken together, is there any particular reason that I would want a single card over dual cards? The SLI 450's are looking like they are outperforming everything in the price range by a longshot.

More about : single card sli 450

a c 271 U Graphics card
November 3, 2010 4:22:52 AM

A dual card rig is not for everyone but I been running SLi rigs for quite a few years now without any undue issues and the game support has just got better as times gone on.
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a c 216 U Graphics card
November 3, 2010 4:25:34 AM

For starters, what system do you have and what resolution do you game at? Even if 450's outperform a 6850, if you already get 60+ fps, you gain nothing.

Also, if you do have a 1920x1200 monitor or higher resolution, if the cards you are looking at have less than 1GB, you will occationally run into issues with not being able to max out AA and AF levels due to lack of vram.

For the sake of informing you of possible pitfalls of your plan, here is a list of reasons why a single card may be better than a SLI setup:
1) Not all games support SLI/CF
2) Somes games are glitchy with SLI/CF (I disable it 2 games I play due to this).
3) If you play any games in windowed mode, SLI/CF doesn't work in windowed mode.
4) SLI/CF generally created more heat and noise.

I actually have four games I can think of off the top of my head that I do not play with SLI/CF, in those situations, a single more powerful card would be better, especially if it takes two of them to be powerful enough for the games you play.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
November 3, 2010 4:33:20 AM

bystander said:
For starters, what system do you have and what resolution do you game at? Even if 450's outperform a 6850, if you already get 60+ fps, you gain nothing.

Also, if you do have a 1920x1200 monitor or higher resolution, if the cards you are looking at have less than 1GB, you will occationally run into issues with not being able to max out AA and AF levels due to lack of vram.

For the sake of informing you of possible pitfalls of your plan, here is a list of reasons why a single card may be better than a SLI setup:
1) Not all games support SLI/CF
2) Somes games are glitchy with SLI/CF (I disable it 2 games I play due to this).
3) If you play any games in windowed mode, SLI/CF doesn't work in windowed mode.
4) SLI/CF generally created more heat and noise.

I actually have four games I can think of off the top of my head that I do not play with SLI/CF, in those situations, a single more powerful card would be better, especially if it takes two of them to be powerful enough for the games you play.

What games are those?
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November 3, 2010 4:37:39 AM

I've been looking at a lot of different games on a lot of benchmarks, I'm not seeing any that I play that will not work, I'm curious which games as well.

I play on my TV generally, so I use 1920x1080.

My current setup isn't great, I'm looking to upgrading to a Phenom ii x4 955 setup. I just want to get the most bang for my buck. Now I find these 450's for $89 each, it seems I've found what I'm looking for...
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a c 216 U Graphics card
November 3, 2010 4:52:48 AM

Mousemonkey said:
What games are those?


Dawn of War 2 - does not support SLI/CF
AncarniA: Gothic 4 - Glitchy (I get ghost shadowing)
Elven Legacy - Glitchy (water flickers)
WoW - I play in windowed mode which isn't supported by SLI/CF
Gothic 3 - requires me to use pre 260 drivers in order to use nhancer, which is the only way to get AA to work. With the 260 drivers, SLI barely working in game, so I use 2nd card for AA. This game is just a poorly coded game.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
November 3, 2010 5:06:23 AM

bystander said:
Dawn of War 2 - does not support SLI/CF
AncarniA: Gothic 4 - Glitchy (I get ghost shadowing)
Elven Legacy - Glitchy (water flickers)
WoW - I play in windowed mode which isn't supported by SLI/CF
Gothic 3 - requires me to use pre 260 drivers in order to use nhancer, which is the only way to get AA to work. With the 260 drivers, SLI barely working in game, so I use 2nd card for AA. This game is just a poorly coded game.

I can't say that I've seen those games turn up in too many reviews myself, I've never played any of those games and I don't think I ever will which is why I can say that I don't have to turn off SLi because it works with every game I currently play and most if not of the games that I have played.
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a b U Graphics card
November 3, 2010 5:08:37 AM

To which list I'd add an older game, Everquest II. Actually get lower FPS with SLI than with a single card (2x8800GTX at the time - haven't tried with more modern cards).
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a c 216 U Graphics card
November 3, 2010 5:11:20 AM

Mousemonkey said:
I can't say that I've seen those games turn up in too many reviews myself, I've never played any of those games and I don't think I ever will which is why I can say that I don't have to turn off SLi because it works with every game I currently play and most if not of the games that I have played.


Benchmarks tend to only select a few games which are usually popular and stress the system. There are loads of games that people play, that are not used in benchmarks. Since they aren't used in benchmarks, it's not uncommon for SLI/CF to not work perfectly.

I would not doubt there are a few games, which you play with SLI enabled, that either don't actually benefit from SLI, or have some small glitches you just ignore. When I get a glitch, however minor it is, the first thing I try is to disable SLI and see if it makes a difference. If it does, I disable SLI or check online for a fix.
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November 3, 2010 5:18:02 AM

bystander said:
Benchmarks tend to only select a few games which are usually popular and stress the system. There are loads of games that people play, that are not used in benchmarks. Since they aren't used in benchmarks, it's not uncommon for SLI/CF to not work perfectly.

I would not doubt there are a few games, which you play with SLI enabled, that either don't actually benefit from SLI, or have some small glitches you just ignore. When I get a glitch, however minor it is, the first thing I try is to disable SLI and see if it makes a difference. If it does, I disable SLI or check online for a fix.



Understood, and most of those games I'm not going to need SLI for anyways.

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To which list I'd add an older game, Everquest II. Actually get lower FPS with SLI than with a single card (2x8800GTX at the time - haven't tried with more modern cards).


i don't think i'd have a problem maxing graphics in older games like these without SLI.

I'm still looking for that serious pitfall to my plan, so far this just seems like I can't play some old games. If I can't find a serious pitfall, I'm going to get the two cards and try to save myself some money instead of dropping $ on a high end single card.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
November 3, 2010 5:18:52 AM

No, all is well with my SLi rig. When I've seen glitches I don't ignore them I check with SLi disabled and the glitches remain and I also always have Rivatuners OSD running when gaming which is why I can see that games do benefit from dual cards.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
November 3, 2010 5:21:34 AM

chumly said:
I'm still looking for that serious pitfall to my plan, so far this just seems like I can't play some old games. If I can't find a serious pitfall, I'm going to get the two cards and try to save myself some money instead of dropping $ on a high end single card.

I don't know if you've seen this review but it might help you make up your mind.
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a b U Graphics card
November 3, 2010 5:23:44 AM

Beyond games that don't xfire well (particularly MMOs), besides new releases where you have to wait for the drivers to run well, the biggest flaw with using SLI/Crossfire in a new build is this:

When that new game comes out and you need more FPS, you've got nowhere to go.

But its your call.
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November 3, 2010 5:36:45 AM

Mousemonkey said:
I don't know if you've seen this review but it might help you make up your mind.


Ya, from what I can see, it kills on everything. I think my mind is made up, thanks monkey.
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November 3, 2010 5:37:38 AM

Best answer selected by chumly.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
November 3, 2010 5:38:27 AM

You're welcome.
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