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2 SLI GTX 680 OR 3 SLI GTX 680?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 8, 2012 1:44:46 AM

im planning to get either 2 sli gtx 680 or 3 sli gtx 680, the question is if the graphics improvement from 2 sli to 3 sli gtx 680 is significant enough to get the 3 sli

my specs are
intel core i7 980x
gigabyte ga x58a ud3r
ati radeon hd 5870
cooler master haf 932 case
corsair ax850w
kingston hyper x 6gb ram

a c 81 Î Nvidia
August 8, 2012 1:51:39 AM

What is your monitor situation? If you play with a 60hz 1080p monitor, you won't see much of any difference from a single 680 vs. two in SLI, and 3 compared to 2 will almost always lower your FPS.
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a b Î Nvidia
August 8, 2012 1:57:55 AM

the 3rd is usually only relevent depending on #of monitors and screen resolution/screen refresh rate. unless you magically have micro stuttering then the 3rd card will fix that.
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August 8, 2012 4:28:49 PM

ok im planning to get only a second card i forgot to say that my monitor is "only" 1920 x 1080 60hz "bystander" said that i would not see any difference between 1 and 2 cards in sli but i read that 2 sli really makes a difference even at 1080p so i was a bit confused by that.....
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a c 81 Î Nvidia
August 8, 2012 4:46:33 PM

irvinth said:
ok im planning to get only a second card i forgot to say that my monitor is "only" 1920 x 1080 60hz "bystander" said that i would not see any difference between 1 and 2 cards in sli but i read that 2 sli really makes a difference even at 1080p so i was a bit confused by that.....


I said you wouldn't see much of a difference going from a single to SLI. You have to realize that if you are at 60hz on 1080p, FPS beyond 60 will not be displayed as your monitor is limited to 60 frames per second. A single 680 is enough to put you over 60 FPS in the vast majority of games with a few exceptions. Two in SLI will get you over 60 FPS in all games that aren't CPU bound with maybe a few rare settings that just don't work well on any system, even with 3 or 4 cards.

You shouldn't even consider 3 680's. I don't even think 2 should be considered at that resolution and refresh rate, but in a few exceptions, you might see a small improvement, like in Metro 2033.
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a c 439 Î Nvidia
August 8, 2012 5:38:06 PM

While you would need to look at the actual benchmarks to see if a single GTX 680 offers at least 60+ FPS in all games (it doesn't), here's a look at SLI scaling on a variety of benchmarks:

Quote:
"At 1920x1080 the GeForce GTX 680 SLI is an average 67% and 75% ahead of the single card with antialiasing off and on, respectively. The difference is larger at 2560x1600: 67% and 83%. And if we take only the most resource-consuming games that correctly support multi-GPU technologies, the SLI efficiency will be as high as 100%!"
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/graphics/display/gefor...



You can also look at any GTX 690 review as a proxy for GTX 680's in SLI and compare to a single GTX 680.
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a c 81 Î Nvidia
August 8, 2012 5:45:06 PM

That unfortunately shows nothing about whether he can hit near 60 FPS or not.

Every one of these games has it over 60FPS with a single gtx680 at 1080p, except Metro 2033 was using High instead of very high.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-680-rev...

I stand by what I said. Getting 2 is a waste at that resolution and refresh rate.

Edit: I'm trying to help you from being yet another person coming to the forums wondering why they aren't seeing massive improvements by going SLI with 680's at 1080p 60hz. We see a lot of people who have gone down this road.
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a c 439 Î Nvidia
August 8, 2012 5:53:14 PM

bystander said:
That unfortunately shows nothing about whether he can hit near 60 FPS or not.

Every one of these games has it over 60FPS with a single gtx680 at 1080p, except Metro 2033 was using High instead of very high.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-680-rev...

I stand by what I said. Getting 2 is a waste at that resolution and refresh rate.

Do you place any value on the potential for gaming at 120 fps to be smoother in the feel of the controls than gaming at 60 fps on a 60 hz monitor?

For me, that's my usual justification for aiming for the highest possible framerates and turning off VSync whenever possible. Even though your screen can't show it, for me, it seems I can still feel it in the smoothness of gaming. UT3 at 200 fps is very responsive vs. BFBC2 at 60 fps, for example.
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August 8, 2012 6:02:41 PM

so a second card offers an 60% improvement average on any game at 1920 x 1080 p?
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a c 81 Î Nvidia
August 8, 2012 6:08:11 PM

17seconds said:
Do you place any value on the potential for gaming at 120 fps to be smoother in the feel of the controls than gaming at 60 fps on a 60 hz monitor?

For me, that's my usual justification for aiming for the highest possible framerates and turning off VSync whenever possible. Even though your screen can't show it, for me, it seems I can still feel it in the smoothness of gaming. UT3 at 200 fps is very responsive vs. BFBC2 at 60 fps, for example.


If he's considering 3, then I'd place value in getting 2, and a 120hz monitor and still use v-sync.

I personally see no value in having tearing all over my screen for smoothness. However, 2 680s in SLI will get you to 120 FPS most the time, except the extreme games. You can get 120hz for the cost of a 680 or less.
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a c 81 Î Nvidia
August 8, 2012 6:10:39 PM

irvinth said:
so a second card offers an 60% improvement average on any game at 1920 x 1080 p?


Higher FPS, but almost 0 displayed frames per second more.

Do you use v-sync? Does screen tearing bother you (horizontal lines through the screen where the images are slightly off sync)?

If so, then you will see 0% improvement, most the time unless you also get a 120hz monitor to go with it.
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August 8, 2012 8:32:53 PM

no point for 3rd GTX 680..
just save up and go QUAD (dual) 690's..
;) 
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August 14, 2012 4:27:08 AM

Best answer selected by irvinth.
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