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What's the difference between 2 cards and 1?

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Graphics
  • Product
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 17, 2013 1:28:04 PM

Why do some builds have 2 graphics cards, as in xfire.
Then others 1.
What is te purpose of running 2, is it to save costs? Increase frame rate?
If you buy a top end card would 1 be enough to have the same effect as 2?

More about : difference cards

January 17, 2013 2:22:57 PM

To ur 1st question- two cards give significant performance(atleast 150 % more than a single same card). Crossfire or SLI is done to increase frames, yes. As to your last question- Depends. For eg, if you crossfire two Radeon HD 6770s, it will give you more performance than a single 6770. But for that matter, a single HD 7970 is enough to blow both 6770s out of the water. Hope i cleared your doubt!
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January 17, 2013 2:23:21 PM

Chase91 said:
Why do some builds have 2 graphics cards, as in xfire.
Then others 1.
What is te purpose of running 2, is it to save costs? Increase frame rate?
If you buy a top end card would 1 be enough to have the same effect as 2?


Getting 2 cards in SLI/CrossfireX increases the framerate by about 70%. A single card is always better. If, for example, a Radeon HD 7770($135) gave you 40 FPS, 2 of them in CfX would give you an avg. of 68 FPS ONLY IF THE GAME SUPPORTS SLI/CFX.
A GeForce GTX 660, on the other hand, is $230, but it has 10% better perf. than the 2 7770's. So it saves $40 and still gives you 75 FPS.

So always get a single card which costs as much as the 2 cards you were planning to get combined.
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January 17, 2013 2:40:18 PM

The only reason you should really SLI/CF is if your budget (and power needed ) for video cards is over that of any single video card... So say you have a $600 budget... and the best single card you can get is a GTX 680... but you need slightly more power than that but can't afford 2 of them.. (they cost ~$450 each) So you could buy 2 GTX 660 Ti for $600 and get about 25% better performance than a single gtx 680... But say you have a budget of $250 (going to use AMD in this example so i don't hurt feelings :)  ) You could get Crossfire 7770's for ~$250 (and have to deal with the issues that arise with crossfire/sli) or spend your $250 budget on a single 7870 and get better performance for the same price as the 7770 CF (and save your self from potential head aches)
So only reason to CF/SLI is if a single card can not fulfill your needs.
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January 17, 2013 9:44:10 PM

Yes, you should only get SLI/CfX if you can get 2 $300 cards or so. If you are planning to get 2 mid-range cards (< $475 total) it's better to get a single card which costs the same.
The reason dual high-end cards are chosen is that getting a 50% pricier card will only give you a 20% FPS increase. High-end cards give diminishing returns.
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January 17, 2013 10:13:08 PM

Thanks everyone for your answers much appreciated.
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!