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What is SLI and crossfire?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 22, 2011 4:29:55 PM

So like I said here > http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/318992-31-mobo

I'm looking to upgrade my Mobo and CPU. And willing to get a 2nd gpu.

Before I start making purchases, however, I'd like to further my knowledge pool regarding this subject.

How does a double gpu work? What is actually going on? What's the difference between sli and crossfiring? Is one better then the other? Are they essentially the same?

How does a CPU tie into the mix of performance in games? Will two gtx465 greatly increase performance for me? I'd like ultra settings on things like dota2, wow, and at least "good" settings on bf3.

I currently have:
CPU: Q6600
GPU: gtx465
MOBO: asus p5qc
RAM: 8gigs ddr3 1333mhz
PSU: 500w antec
HDD: 1tb 7200rpm

More about : sli crossfire

a c 158 U Graphics card
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August 22, 2011 4:41:22 PM

First, your power supply will not handle a second 465, you need about a 700 watter for that. SLI and crossfire do the same thing, with different methods. One better than the other depends on the game and motherboard you plan on getting.

SLI http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scalable_Link_Interface

If you have a fast CPU, SLI can help if the games you play are held back by the video card. With a 465, it may not be worth an upgrade though unless you are seeing slow-downs already.
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August 22, 2011 4:47:15 PM

Thanks for the reply!

Also for reference purposes, i'm currently reading the sticky on SLI and CrossFire.

Anyways, what do you mean by
Quote:
With a 465, it may not be worth an upgrade though unless you are seeing slow-downs already.


Are you saying the card is already a good one, and having double is overkill perhaps?
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a c 158 U Graphics card
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August 22, 2011 5:11:52 PM

circulate said:
Thanks for the reply!

Also for reference purposes, i'm currently reading the sticky on SLI and CrossFire.

Anyways, what do you mean by
Quote:
With a 465, it may not be worth an upgrade though unless you are seeing slow-downs already.


Are you saying the card is already a good one, and having double is overkill perhaps?


Yes that's what I'm saying.

A 465 is ranked 25th overall on this list http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu_list.php, and is also a pretty high value for the speed it offers. That benchmark site is not the end all of all tests, but it has a large card database list, and is good for a quick overall standing.

Don't bother upgrading unless you run your games, and find things lacking. Running something at 50or 60fps vs 100fps is really only good for bragging rights. If you hit 40 or lower, that can affect your experience and you may want to look at upgrading.
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August 22, 2011 5:15:54 PM

SLI is for Nvidia cards and Crossfire is for AMD/ATI cards, they are both just names for a dual-card setup (you can also get quad SLI/Crossfire).
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August 22, 2011 5:25:00 PM

Well that's the thing, I had a 2.2 dual core now i have 2.4 quad, 4 gigs of ddr2 now 8gigs of ddr3. from 9800gtx to gtx465. I was getting 30-40 fps then, and only 35-40 now.
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August 22, 2011 5:48:42 PM

circulate said:
Well that's the thing, I had a 2.2 dual core now i have 2.4 quad, 4 gigs of ddr2 now 8gigs of ddr3. from 9800gtx to gtx465. I was getting 30-40 fps then, and only 35-40 now.


are you sure that wasnt the upgrade from Direct X 10 to direct X 11?
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August 22, 2011 5:52:50 PM

I'm not sure what you mean by that, my knowledge base doesn't cover what Direct X 10/11 actually is or how it affects things. So what do you mean?
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a c 158 U Graphics card
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August 22, 2011 6:25:35 PM

circulate said:
Well that's the thing, I had a 2.2 dual core now i have 2.4 quad, 4 gigs of ddr2 now 8gigs of ddr3. from 9800gtx to gtx465. I was getting 30-40 fps then, and only 35-40 now.


Getting more details now, you should have listed all of this in the original post, what you had, what you upgraded to, etc...

You should have seen quite a bit of a performace jump with the new CPU and video card, are you testing the same game on the same settings? What are you testing with? Are you running benchmarks or just playing a game with the FPS counter on.

You could be CPU limited, can you overclock the CPU and run the tests again?
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August 22, 2011 6:29:43 PM

hang-the-9 said:
Getting more details now, you should have listed all of this in the original post, what you had, what you upgraded to, etc...

You should have seen quite a bit of a performace jump with the new CPU and video card, are you testing the same game on the same settings? What are you testing with? Are you running benchmarks or just playing a game with the FPS counter on.

You could be CPU limited, can you overclock the CPU and run the tests again?


Thanks for your continued help Hang,

I am simply playing with the FPS counter on, no programs to record benchmarks or stats. I don't really see much of an increase. maybe a bit more pretty after the new graphics card, but no higher FPS.

I've read some guides on my mobo/cpu setup on how to OC, but I can't figure it out..
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a c 158 U Graphics card
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August 22, 2011 6:39:03 PM

If you have the other card, run a real benchmark. It's very hard to just do a FPS ingame counter unless you have the exact same settings, and are in the exact same area with the same amount of objects redered.

Download 3DMark, run it. If you have the old 9800 card around, run it with both cards, see what you get. If the results are within 10% or so of each-other, you are CPU limited. A 465 should be at least 30% faster than a 9800, so if you are not seeing that increase it's due to the CPU.
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August 22, 2011 6:43:12 PM

Is a Q6600 a pretty old cpu? My understandings were that wow takes next to nothing to run ultra.

I don't have the 9800gtx anymore, but I'd be very interested in learning how to OC my cpu, if only I could find a guide I can understand.
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a c 158 U Graphics card
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August 22, 2011 7:36:42 PM

WoW at Ultra does take a bit of power although not as much as some other games. I see now where you are coming from, the FPS in WoW are also limited by your lag in the game. You may not see a ton of change from one setup to the other. I can play on Ultra with a 9800GT and a 3 gig Intel Core 2 Duo, and get 60fps in many areas, but it does go down to 30-40 in some areas, especially with battles.
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August 22, 2011 7:38:32 PM

Best answer selected by circulate.
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August 22, 2011 7:39:54 PM

Okay so, what exactly do you suggest? In one hand I wanna save money and OC my q6600 and call it a day. But in the other hand, I'd like to get a i5 2500k with a sli ready mobo and another gtx465.

Whattt tooo dooo?
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a c 158 U Graphics card
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August 22, 2011 7:53:07 PM

circulate said:
Okay so, what exactly do you suggest? In one hand I wanna save money and OC my q6600 and call it a day. But in the other hand, I'd like to get a i5 2500k with a sli ready mobo and another gtx465.

Whattt tooo dooo?


I'd start with the overclock, if you are lucky, you'll break it, and then have to upgrade anyway hehe. At least then you won't feel guilty upgrading as the CPU will be fried already. Since you already know that your game does not improve with just a faster video card, need to look at other areas, CPU, internet lag, maybe tweak a few settings off Ultra. I usually run at Ultra, but turn down shadows, AA and AF settings to mid or mid-low. AA and AF you can run at 4x and get very good results. And I find that full shadows are a bit distracting, I run them at low or medium in WoW.
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August 22, 2011 7:55:47 PM

If I upgrade Ill be putting the parts I take out into a new case for the girlfriend :p  don't wanna fry anything. Can you suggest a good i5 2500k/mobo combo?

I'd like to have sli capability just for the future.

I have 1333mhz ddr3 ram in which i forget the PCxxxx number. if that matters.

I wanna spend as little as possible too..
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a c 158 U Graphics card
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August 22, 2011 8:04:03 PM

circulate said:
If I upgrade Ill be putting the parts I take out into a new case for the girlfriend :p  don't wanna fry anything. Can you suggest a good i5 2500k/mobo combo?

I'd like to have sli capability just for the future.

I have 1333mhz ddr3 ram in which i forget the PCxxxx number. if that matters.

I wanna spend as little as possible too..

You may want to check the Systems area on the forums, I have not built a full computer for quite a few years so have no idea what the CPU and Motherboard models are like now. There is a full system builder article that gets updated where they build different gaming systems under several budget targets, they may help you get a good parts mix.
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August 22, 2011 9:18:42 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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