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New Build - $500 to spend on GPU - To SLI or not?

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August 19, 2011 9:04:41 PM

Putting together a new build, standard i7 2600K, etc...

I have allocated around $500 to spend on my GPU.

Currently I am considering 2 x 560Ti cards in SLI, or 1 x 580.

I see most saying always go with the single card, yet when I compare these on the charts, say looking at Gamer Index, I get the SLI approach at 213 and the 580 well below at around 160. In almost all head to head comparisons on the charts the SLI approach beats the 580. Or am I missing something?

It seems like the 580 is still at a premium price where the 560Ti's have come down a fair amount to give more value in an SLI setup.

I realize the SLI system will use more power, make more noise, etc.. but I am not too concerned with that, just really want the best gaming alternative. I do realize down the road if/when the 580 cards are dirt cheap I could also add another one in SLI then, but that is probably 18 months down the road and a lot can happen by then.

I have also seen comments about SLI not scaling well in some games....is this really an issue in new games like BF3, Black Ops, upcoming KOTOR, etc..?

Help me out....hoping to pull the trigger on my parts by this weekend.

Thanks.

My full build is here in the System forums where I was asking for overall input....if you want to reference it.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/318722-31-before-purc...
a c 376 U Graphics card
August 19, 2011 9:12:43 PM

The GTX 580 is a very poor value for the money.
I would spend slightly more for two 2GB HD6950s in crossfire myself. The extra memory will really help take advantage of the processing power of two cards of this caliber, especially if you ever go with a 3 monitor setup or a resolution above 1080p.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
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August 19, 2011 9:18:55 PM

Get a single 570 right now for around 300 and then pick up a second one on Black Friday you'll probly find a good deal and you'll end up spending a total of around 500.
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a c 272 U Graphics card
August 20, 2011 7:53:31 AM

SLi'd 560Ti's are quite a bit faster than a single 580 and if you are only using a single monitor then it may be a good couple of years before you need to upgrade them.
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August 20, 2011 11:24:04 AM

Multi GPU setups are incredibly poor value for money. CustomPC magazine (in the UK) found that in games like arma 2, a 6970 performed better overall than a 6990 in xfire, and almost as good as a pair of gtx 590's. also, in their BC2 test, multi-gpu setups resulted in horrific microstuttering. get the 580 if you are going for nvidia, but my overall suggestion would be a 6950/70 (unlock a 6950 for extra points) and spend the spare change on a watercooling system, so you can overclock that sexy beast of a card (6970) to new extremes, and run stuff on 3 monitors.
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a c 272 U Graphics card
August 20, 2011 11:30:19 AM

carbonstyle72 said:
Multi GPU setups are incredibly poor value for money. CustomPC magazine (in the UK) found that in games like arma 2, a 6970 performed better overall than a 6990 in xfire, and almost as good as a pair of gtx 590's. also, in their BC2 test, multi-gpu setups resulted in horrific microstuttering. get the 580 if you are going for nvidia, but my overall suggestion would be a 6950/70 (unlock a 6950 for extra points) and spend the spare change on a watercooling system, so you can overclock that sexy beast of a card (6970) to new extremes, and run stuff on 3 monitors.

And what others?
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August 20, 2011 3:16:06 PM

carbonstyle72 said:
Multi GPU setups are incredibly poor value for money. CustomPC magazine (in the UK) found that in games like arma 2, a 6970 performed better overall than a 6990 in xfire, and almost as good as a pair of gtx 590's. also, in their BC2 test, multi-gpu setups resulted in horrific microstuttering. get the 580 if you are going for nvidia, but my overall suggestion would be a 6950/70 (unlock a 6950 for extra points) and spend the spare change on a watercooling system, so you can overclock that sexy beast of a card (6970) to new extremes, and run stuff on 3 monitors.


This isn't true for everything. In BC2 I get almost exactly double the framerat with 2 GTX 570's then with 1. I also get no microstuttering.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-570-sli-revie...

Maybe if you cheap out on your PSU/MOTHERBOARD/and RAM you may run into problems but I have not experienced them.
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