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SLI on Current Mobo's = Waste of Money?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 23, 2011 6:24:12 PM

I will be the first to say that my knowledge on these subjects is limited however, from what I've read SLI on the current chipsets appears to be largely wasted?

Gigabyte uses the NF200 chip to control all of the CPU PCIE lanes, while other vendors are only using it for the augmented lanes.

For example, ASUS Maximus IV runs 8/8 or 8/16/16. They do not use the NF200 in a dual card config, while Gigabyte does.

It's worth noting though, that even though the NF200 may give you 16/16 physical lanes, it is still running off of the CPU, and the CPU only has 16 total physical lanes for current 2000 series CPUs. The remaining true lanes run off the P67 or Z68 PCH.

So say you were running 16/16 SLI is thats possible. Those 32 lanes are still only communicating to the CPU via a 16 lane connection.

Basically what that means is that you aren't necessarily going to see an improvement running 16/16 vs 8/8 on the sandybridge platform. So the benifit of the second GPU is diminished.

Is my reasoning sound here?
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June 23, 2011 6:49:23 PM

Your reasoning is somewhat sound but the actual loss of 16 X 16 Vs 8 X 8 is about 5%

Mactronix :) 
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June 23, 2011 10:59:56 PM

Obsessing over 16x/16x vs. 8x/8x is about like worrying if 6gb/sec SATA 7200 rpm drives are twice as fast as 3 gb/sec drives...

One could only say SLI is wasted if it got little or no performance increase, which is hardly the case. The P67/Z68 mainboards with 'mere' 8x/8x are the fastest around...

The differences I saw between 8x vs. 16x were ~1.5%....; normally a fraction of one frame/sec....
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June 23, 2011 11:39:26 PM

You might say that you don't reach full utilization, but certainly not a waste of money. If we look at your alternative, LGA 1366, we find...what's this? A waste of money!
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June 24, 2011 12:16:53 AM

cuecuemore said:
You might say that you don't reach full utilization, but certainly not a waste of money. If we look at your alternative, LGA 1366, we find...what's this? A waste of money!


Why is 1366 socket a waste of money? I have two gtx 480's on a 1366 socket and upgrading to SLI damn near doubled my FPS in almost every game. I have no problem with my FPS running crysis 2 or any other game on max settings in full 1080p 3D and all my games run fluidly.
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June 24, 2011 1:37:26 AM

Quote:
Why is 1366 socket a waste of money? I have two gtx 480's on a 1366 socket and upgrading to SLI damn near doubled my FPS in almost every game. I have no problem with my FPS running crysis 2 or any other game on max settings in full 1080p 3D and all my games run fluidly.


You missed what I was saying. I didn't say that LGA 1366 was a bad performer, far from. I simply pointed out that, at this moment, the only competition for LGA 1155 is LGA 1366, but that Sandy Bridge is a better value.
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