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What is SLI?

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June 3, 2012 4:23:30 AM

Hey all.

I am building my first computer soon and I have seen people mention "SLI", what is it?

If it helps I am going to be running an Asus Z68 motherboard with an overclocked i5 2500k and the GPU will most likely be a 670GTX (I want to be able to run BF3 maxed/smoothly).

So what is this SLI business?

More about : sli

Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 3, 2012 4:31:04 AM

Scalable Link Interface
Scalable Link Interface (SLI) is a brand name for a multi-GPU solution developed by NVIDIA for linking two or more video cards together to produce a single output. SLI is an application of parallel processing for computer graphics, meant to increase the processing power available for graphics.

click on link to read more . . .
Related resources
June 3, 2012 4:32:04 AM

The Motherboard I have chosen does not support SLI. Will I need it with a GTX670?
a c 185 U Graphics card
a c 86 V Motherboard
June 3, 2012 4:33:59 AM

NVIDIA® SLI™ technology is a revolutionary platform innovation that allows you to intelligently scale graphics performance by combining multiple NVIDIA graphics solutions in an SLI-Certified motherboard.However if you buy one GTX670 you'll be able to play BF3 on ultra/max settings hope this answers your question bud
a c 185 U Graphics card
a c 86 V Motherboard
June 3, 2012 4:35:24 AM

steve695 said:
The Motherboard I have chosen does not support SLI. Will I need it with a GTX670?
No a GTX670 will be able to run on ultra/max settings on any current game so no need for SLI ;) 
June 3, 2012 4:38:55 AM

bigcyco1 said:
No a GTX670 will be able to run on ultra/max settings on any current game so no need for SLI ;) 


Thanks heaps, and frame rates should be smooth with a 2500k and Z68 motherboard?

Also, was it hard for you to over clock your 2500k to 4.8GHZ? Is it Sandy or Ivy?

Will the Motherboard I have chosen allow for such over clocking?
a c 75 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 3, 2012 4:49:25 AM

imo a single gtx 670 is plenty for current games on a single 1080p display. if future games become more demainding and 670s are available, just add another if your motherboard allows it. i'd recommend using it on at least pcie x8 bandwidth.
a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 3, 2012 4:59:57 AM

SLI is Nvidia's term for using more than one graphics processor (GPU) to generate higher framerates on demanding games. It requires multiple GPU's connected together with a special cable. Basically if you wanted to "SLI" that GTX 670 card you would buy two or more of them and connect them to a compatible motherboard, connect the SLI cable(s), then enable SLI mode in the driver. I don't know what the letters SLI stand for.

AMD's version of multiple GPU's is called "Crossfire X" (usually shortened to Crossfire).

Both Nvidia and AMD also usually create a SLI or Crossfire version of their highest end video cards that puts two GPU's on a single card. Nvidia's most recent version of this is their GTX 690 which uses two GTX 680 GPU's on a single card. AMD's most recent Crossfire card is the Radeon HD 6990 which has two Radeon HD 6970 GPU's on a single card.
Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 3, 2012 5:16:23 AM

steve695 said:
Thanks heaps, and frame rates should be smooth with a 2500k and Z68 motherboard?

Also, was it hard for you to over clock your 2500k to 4.8GHZ? Is it Sandy or Ivy?

Will the Motherboard I have chosen allow for such over clocking?

what motherboard?
June 3, 2012 5:17:51 AM

JKatwyopc said:
SLI is Nvidia's term for using more than one graphics processor (GPU) to generate higher framerates on demanding games. It requires multiple GPU's connected together with a special cable. Basically if you wanted to "SLI" that GTX 670 card you would buy two or more of them and connect them to a compatible motherboard, connect the SLI cable(s), then enable SLI mode in the driver. I don't know what the letters SLI stand for.

AMD's version of multiple GPU's is called "Crossfire X" (usually shortened to Crossfire).

Both Nvidia and AMD also usually create a SLI or Crossfire version of their highest end video cards that puts two GPU's on a single card. Nvidia's most recent version of this is their GTX 690 which uses two GTX 680 GPU's on a single card. AMD's most recent Crossfire card is the Radeon HD 6990 which has two Radeon HD 6970 GPU's on a single card.


Thanks for this.

Now I'm just in the process of finding a Motherboard that will support SLI.

I mase well, so then if I ever want to buy a second GTX670 when games become more demanding, I will be able to.

I posted on the Motherboard forums and some one has already listed 2 ASRock motherboards that support SLI and are far better than the one I had listed - and they cost the same :) 
June 3, 2012 5:21:01 AM

Anonymous said:
what motherboard?


Well it was an Asus Z68 LE but after a thread I just made on the Motherboard forums I have found that I can get an ASRock Z77 that is far better for the same price, with SLI support.
Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 3, 2012 5:22:17 AM

ok, any of the Z(68/77) you will be able to overclock a "K" series processor.
June 3, 2012 5:26:28 AM

Anonymous said:
ok, any of the Z(68/77) you will be able to overclock a "K" series processor.


Sweet, thanks.
a c 185 U Graphics card
a c 86 V Motherboard
June 3, 2012 5:32:17 AM

steve695 said:
Thanks heaps, and frame rates should be smooth with a 2500k and Z68 motherboard?

Also, was it hard for you to over clock your 2500k to 4.8GHZ? Is it Sandy or Ivy?

Will the Motherboard I have chosen allow for such over clocking?
Yeah,frame rates will be fine as for overclocking that's a whole different subject but to answer your question i am using sandy ivy is not for me since i am addicted to overclocking extreme :lol:  and no it wasn't hard at all i can go all the way to 5.1ghz but i don't like to because i half to set my v to 1.5 in order to hit that high so i keep it at 4.8GHZ 1.384V 24-7 ;)  as for your mobo that isn't the main thing when comes to overclocking your cpu is the most important and everyone is different most i5-2500k can hit 4.5ghz but nothing is for sure
June 3, 2012 5:46:57 AM

bigcyco1 said:
Yeah,frame rates will be fine as for overclocking that's a whole different subject but to answer your question i am using sandy ivy is not for me since i am addicted to overclocking extreme :lol:  and no it wasn't hard at all i can go all the way to 5.1ghz but i don't like to because i half to set my v to 1.5 in order to hit that high so i keep it at 4.8GHZ 1.384V 24-7 ;)  as for your mobo that isn't the main thing when comes to overclocking your cpu is the most important and everyone is different most i5-2500k can hit 4.5ghz but nothing is for sure


Ok cool. I will probably only over clock to 4.5 I don't see any reason to go further and I don't want to strain the cooler Master too much when I get it.

Will an OCZ 750W ATX12V Power Supply be good for an over clocked CPU?
a c 185 U Graphics card
a c 86 V Motherboard
June 3, 2012 6:12:06 AM

steve695 said:
Ok cool. I will probably only over clock to 4.5 I don't see any reason to go further and I don't want to strain the cooler Master too much when I get it.

Will an OCZ 750W ATX12V Power Supply be good for an over clocked CPU?
Depends on which one? It should be more than enough as long as the PSU is at least bronze plus rated
a c 185 U Graphics card
a c 86 V Motherboard
June 3, 2012 6:24:25 AM

As much as the power (Watts) requirement matters, the current requirement, measured in Amps is as important if not even more important. This is especially true if you have a or several dedicated video card(s). As a general rule of thumb, you’re aiming for the highest number on the 12V line.Power Supplies that are certified 80 PLUS have been independently tested for their efficiency. Now, there are 4 different 80 PLUS certifications, depending on how efficient the power supply is:

80 PLUS: The power supply is at least 80% efficient at 20%,50% and 100% load
80 PLUS Bronze: The power is at least 82% efficient at 20% and 100% and 85% efficient at 50% load.
80 PLUS Silver: The power is at least 85% efficient at 20% and 100% and 88% efficient at 50% load.
80 PLUS Gold: The power is at least 87% efficient at 20% and 100% and 90% efficient at 50% load.

The 80 PLUS and higher certifications are the way to go when you are looking for an efficient power supply.

Do not trust specifications such as “Efficiency: 80% to 85% Efficiency Typical” that are not 80PLUS certified. 80 PLUS is an independent standard test. No 80 PLUS and “Efficiency: 80% to 85% Efficiency Typical” means that it is 80% to 85% efficient, according to the manufacturer that is, using their own in-house test, which may or may not so much represent real efficiency.Brand name doesn't really matter since almost all have made bad psu at one time or another aside from seasonic imho.Hope this helps bud.
June 3, 2012 6:32:52 AM

Ok so what do I need to run 1 GTX670 and eventually 2?
Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 3, 2012 6:38:58 AM

a minimum of a quality 550 watt power supply with 40 amps on the 12 volt rail.
June 3, 2012 6:40:29 AM

Anonymous said:
a minimum of a quality 550 watt power supply with 40 amps on the 12 volt rail.


Ok cool, so the OCZ 750W ATX12V Power Supply should be fine?
Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 3, 2012 6:45:26 AM

yes though what series?
the ZT or Fatal1ty?
a c 185 U Graphics card
a c 86 V Motherboard
June 3, 2012 6:56:59 AM

steve695 said:
Ok so what do I need to run 1 GTX670 and eventually 2?
a quality 550 watt for 1 GTX670 a quality 750 watt to run 2 GTX670 in SLI
June 3, 2012 7:04:56 AM

bigcyco1 said:
That's a OCZ ZT Series it will work fine bud ;) 


Sweet, thanks heaps for all your help :) 
June 3, 2012 7:17:58 AM

I don't fully understand the graph but thanks :) 

Will that PSU work for 2 GPU's and does newegg ship to Australia?

If not it's no biggy, most of the parts on newegg are on ebay for roughly the same price, some are a little more expensive.
Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 3, 2012 7:25:31 AM

steve695 said:
I don't fully understand the graph but thanks :) 

Will that PSU work for 2 GPU's and does newegg ship to Australia?

If not it's no biggy, most of the parts on newegg are on ebay for roughly the same price, some are a little more expensive.

:lol: 
yours is fine, i was just correcting the, "you need a 750 watt PSU to run SLI" myth . . . usually a 650 is fine.
a 4 x 6+2-pin PCI-E is what is important after the amount of AMPs on the 12 volt rail.
a c 185 U Graphics card
a c 86 V Motherboard
June 3, 2012 7:32:23 AM

Anonymous said:
what are you willing to bet on that?
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 2 GB
single: with a more power hungry sandy-E set up . .
http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph5818/46459.png
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 2 GB then add 162 for another card
http://tpucdn.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_670/images/power_maximum.gif

for SLI this will work;
KINGWIN Absolute Platinum Series AP-550 550W $119.99
oh, and have a review on that too
Kingwin Absolute Platinum 550 W
:) 

Well you learn something new everyday i guess :lol:  still i don't want to trust that though and i would only use 750watt ;) 
June 3, 2012 7:38:31 AM

Oh I see, I will stick with the ZT OCZ 750W then :p 
Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
June 3, 2012 7:44:26 AM

bigcyco1 said:
Well you learn something new everyday i guess :lol:  still i don't want to trust that though and i would only use 750watt ;) 

the energy efficiency of power supplies drops significantly at low loads; less than 20%. when you overcompensate due to "comfort level" your actually shortening the life expectancy of the PSU because it sits and get hot when idling, doing nothing.

the very best recommendation is idle at 20% load an max at 80% for what the rig runs. a 750 watt PSU would need not to idle less than 150 watts.

when enabling speed step for the CPU and how GPU manufacturers the same on their card anymore; idle levels are falling so that an i7 with a 670 SLI set up won't hit 125 watts.
!