Have 570 SLI: to get 3rd 570 (tri-SLI) or 460 on the side/physX?

Currently have two EVGA 570 SCs in 2-SLI. The problem is I hate switching from SLI to non-SLI to activate my 3rd monitor (as SLI is limited to 2 monitors only). Note that I do not have Surround-capable set of monitors, so that's not an option for me at this time.

So I kinda want a 3rd card like GTX 460 to support the additional monitor(s) as well as dedicated PhysX. However, if I am looking at $100-110 for a decent 460, I start to wonder if it might be worth it to get the 3rd 570 for tri-SLI if i can steal it for $250-270 (there are some such options I can find). But then again, with tri-SLI, I will be limited to 2 monitors, I am just wondering if the performance gain might be worth it and 570 should be easier to sell later on whenever i may wish to upgrade. Thoughts? Any other cards that might be good as a 3rd card? I read 460 was good for PhysX (aside from the older 8800/9800's).
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  1. What game do you play that actually use a dedicated PhysX card, and do you play them enough and do they use enough Physx to justify spending over 100 bucks on a physx card. If it were me I would buy this:

    http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?InvtId=320-P2-N811-RX-CO-R
  2. In the few cases that PhysX would be useful, you probably wouldn't noticed much if any difference with a dedicated card. At least the 3rd 570 would be used most the time you game. A dedicated physX would be rarely useful.

    The biggest question is, do you play any games that you are getting sub par performance? Which games are those? And what is your CPU/system setup?
  3. I have heard 3 way SLI doesn't scale that well and it wouldn't solve your main issue, which is having a 3rd screen work with SLI enabled. Too much $$ for not enough benefit IMO.
  4. IIRC can't you use Nvidia Surround to get 3 monitors in Sli?
  5. Nope. Doesn't matter how many cards you have in SLI, only the outputs on the primary card work unless you are running surround mode.

    http://www.slizone.com/object/sli_multi_monitor.html
  6. Also if you get another 570 you wont be able to run 2 way SLI and then use the 3rd card for a seperate screen, it has to be a different GPU.
  7. After rereading what he wants and doesn't want to do, perhaps a GTX240 or 250 would be best. It'll drive a 3rd monitor for an extended desktop and have a small purpose if you happen to play a PhysX game.
  8. Sorry guys, i was going to give more details but forgot. Thanks for your feedback so far.

    DETAILS: i play games like L4D2, SC2, Dead Island, etc. The main point I need to make is i like to play in WINDOWED (i.e., not full-screen) mode so i can do stuff on the 2nd monitor. From what I read, SLI does work in windowed mode, so a 3rd 570 could potentially help regain the lost performance from the windowed mode (it's quite a bit worse performance than full-screen). But I dont know if anyone has actually tried it. I've seen benchmarks showing 2.99 scaling with 3 570s, so seemed efficient! But in windowed mode, that might not be the case, so I am not sure.

    From what you guys have said, it sounds like if i choose the non-3sli route, then a 460 is overkill because physX wont matter much (maybe in Metro, but that's about it), so any cheap card to handle non-gaming monitor use should be ok.

    Anyone happen to have insight on Windowed mode performance boost from SLI? I will probably go ahead and run my own benchmarks for single 570 vs 2sli 570 to see what i'm getting out of 2 cards right now and guess how much benefit a 3rd one might be. Currently, i have to turn settings down quite a bit to have good framerates in windowed mode in 2way sli.

    My system is i7 920 @4.4 water, X58 gigabyte G1.Guerrilla, 4x4GB CL8 ripjaws, 1.25kW supply.
  9. Until a month or 2 ago, SLI gave no boost in windowed mode. However, I have heard that just recently a beta driver worked and the later released drivers probably do as well. I have not done any testing to see how well they work.
  10. SLI does function in windowed mode now, but I havn't run any benches to see how much it helps.
  11. I tried a couple of games in non-sli mode vs 2way SLI mode, but to my surprise found no difference at all :( I am also puzzled by the fact that I no longer get low FPS and performance i used to get: i think it is because i recently overclocked my CPU from like 3 GHz to 4.4; i wonder if that used to be some kind of a bottleneck in the past. not sure. I think a cheap budget card for a 3rd monitor is all i need then
  12. Have you updated your driver recently? The newest driver 280.26 is the first WHQL release that supports SLI in windowed mode.
  13. Yes 280.26 is what i see in NVidia system information..
  14. Well maybe it just doesn't help much in windows mode, like I said I never ran any benches, but I know it works because I use MSI afterburner and I can see both cards being used in most cases now, even google earth and VLC media player are putting some small load on both cards, and the purple GPU2 50% thing pops up in windowed applications now which it didn't previous to the 275.whatever beta.

    If you only run windowed mode and SLI isn't helping why not just disable it and run your 3rd monitor like that? You can always turn it back on when you want to run full screen.
  15. Agree with your suggestions, benski, thanks for your inputs. I will try to monitor my GPU usage to make sure both cards are being used in SLI mode. WIll also try beta drivers.

    WHere did you find that 280.26 was the first to have support for this? In their release notes, i only found references to windowed mode for 3D Vision stuff.
  16. Just personal experience. I had 275.33 and it didn't work, then when I got the 275.50 beta it did work. 280.26 is the first WHQL since then and it is still working with it.
  17. I would personally just "enjoy" what you already have. Id wait for like 2 generations untill some much better stuff comes out. I mean, with 2 570 you can get maxed detais everywhere, right?
  18. Two gtx 570 offers more bang than most will need for at least a few years but two way sli is the most stable and tri sli isn't bad unlike crossfire. Quad sli is something that you want to avoid as it rarely works. The dedicated card for physx games can provide a nice boost if every thing is done right. I ended up adding a 8800gt just to take care of that while I played through Mafia 2 when pared with my main card that being a gtx 460. A gtx 460 at idle can be more economical than a 8800gt when it comes to power use but load is where things change. For your setup a cheap dedicated card might provide a little boost but you can use it for other uses as well like Cuda applications. Right now I got my gtx 460 set aside for another rig and backup at the moment so I am using a gtx 280 and a 9800gtx+. The 8800gt is put away as well.
  19. Do you have an onboard graphics chip? I ended up hookin a 4th monitor to my onboard HD4250 for streaming football/movies, etc while gaming on my Eyefinity screens. Works like a champ.
  20. The only reasons I'd recommend a cheap 3rd card is to run the 3rd monitor. I withdrew my 570 tri-sli recommendation due to you still having to disable the SLI to run that 3rd monitor as you don't have matching monitors and aren't running 2D surround.
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