Hey guys, often on here just answering questions for others, But i really need a question answer'd for myself, Ive recently been growing more and more interested in Triple monitor Gaming, I built my pc a few months back, Had ALOT of trouble's with AMD, Decided wth a Gainward gtx 680 2gb, Cost me $580, I live in Australia, The rest of my Spec's are.. Briefly..
MOBO. Asrock z77 extreme4
PSU. Thermaltake 700w Gaming PSU (like 58amps 12Vrail) it cost a fuckload.
CPU. i5 3570k running stock till i get my cooler
RAM. Gskill 8gb 2x 4gb sticks.
GPU. GTX 680 2gb OC to 1200/7500
and some random 1tb hard drive. random dvd thingy.
LG flatron e2441 24inch super led.
I want to buy 2 more of these monitor's and run NVIDIA surround gaming, But after very little research it seem's that if i SLI my gtx 680 ill still only have 2gb VRAM, Which will not suffice. So im asking what my next best step is. Am i totally screwed? Did i waste $600 and need to buy 2x new cards? or is there something i can add that will suffice and not make me spew over losing my 680? My mobo is SLI compatable. I will be OC my cpu soon. and have Liquid cooler for GPU and CPU. Any Advice would be great !!!!!
While its not optimal, you can surround game on 2 gigs of ram. I've been doing it since having 2 4850's with 512 meg of ram each. After that I had 1x 5850 with one gig of ram. Last year I replaced it with a 7950 with 3 gigs of ram. While yes the extra ram on the 7950 does help, even before I had it surround gaming was an enjoyable experience. A 680 is a good card, while Nvidia may not be as good as ATI at surround gaming, I dont think the difference is worth getting rid of your card. Even if you did get a 3 gig or higher card, you would still need 2 of them to get optimal performance. I just ordered a second 7950 for crossfire.
yeah but im hardly going to go from everything max 70+fps to some rediculously low fps and falk out a *** load for it. Can anyone that's had experience with a similar situation chime in? Or someone explain exactly why SLI is needed for tri monitor gaming? I thought it was mainly due to VRAM, In which case adding another 680 would have done sweet f#$%K all. Cheers !!!
The RAM doesn't stack in SLI two 680s with 2gb will still effectively use only 2gb. Each card's RAM has the same info on it as it works. But... people have been happy for years with 2gb of RAM. Now and in the future games will really tax it though.
To answer your question on why SLI, its simple, POWER. When running 3 displays you effectively are pushing 3x as many pixels. Pushing a higher resolution always requires more power. Think of running a game at 1024x768 vs 1920x1080. 1080p would require a lot more power. The same is true for multi-monitor setups. Running 5760x1080 requires a lot more pixel pushing power than 1920x1080. While raw power is the most important factor, ram does start to come into play at these high of resolutions. While having more than 2 gigs of ram is ideal, you will still get very playable frame rates with 2 680's with only 2 gigs of ram. Check Hardocp for some SLI multi-monitor benchmarks, while they are slightly behind the 7970's they are still a very viable option especially considering you already have one. While you wont be able to max everything, the dial down of settings should be very minimal.
Also, you're saying "required" for surround gaming, its not. You can surround game just fine on one 680, you'll just have to dial down settings. My 7950 runs most games at 5760x1080 just fine but I definitely cant max out settings like AA.