Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Pros and cons of SLI Video Cards?

Tags:
  • Graphics Cards
  • SLI
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
October 6, 2013 3:25:05 PM

Money isn't an issue, I'm trying to decide if I should get Sli 770's or 1 780. I'm leaning towards 770's, because I don't plan on upgrading in a long, long time. What are the pros and cons of sli gaming?

More about : pros cons sli video cards

a c 89 U Graphics card
October 6, 2013 6:12:49 PM

In my experience the 770 SLi is a great set up, as long as you have the right psu and mobo and strong cpu to run it you will have no issues.
Whats your build config?
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
October 6, 2013 6:23:54 PM

In the case of dual 770s vs single 780:

Dual 770s will be significantly more powerful than a single 780.
BUT,
1. Dual 770s will draw more power and produce much more heat than a single 780, thus reducing overclocking headroom and potential longevity of system components.
2. Not all games will support SLI equally, some games may scale 100%, some games may not scale at all. However, a single 780 will never have scaling issues or SLI glitches because it's a single GPU, and it will always run at its full potential provided that it isn't bottlenecked by another component. There are still games out there that have serious performance issues with SLI, or even some that won't run in SLI.
3. SLI does not combine VRAM from the two cards. With dual 770s, you will still have just 2GB of VRAM, whereas a single 780 will have 3GB of VRAM.

As for your build config, you may want to add an SSD, at least 120GB or so, and use that as your boot drive. Or at least get a Seagate 2TB SSHD for $139, it's well worth the money. You may be able to buy your CPU and motherboard in a combo, that could save you a bit of money. But if not, I would suggest dishing out $25 more for an ASUS Maximus VI Hero motherboard, it's just in a different league compared to the ASRock. And the best GTX 770s are going to be EVGA ACX Superclocked edition or ASUS DirectCU II, those are simply more reputable and trustworthy, and in most cases better made.

As I continue to edit and ramble on and on...

You may want to get a better CPU cooler so you'll have more headroom to overclock that 4770K. The Noctua NH-D14 is one of the best air coolers in the market, it outperforms many of the all-in-one water coolers, and it's very quiet. I would highly recommend it if you don't mind the way it looks. By the way, there is a new version of the NZXT Phantom that you chose, it's called the Phantom 530.

Is this your first build by any chance?
a c 89 U Graphics card
October 6, 2013 6:26:19 PM

Nice set up , you could easily go with the 770 SLI.
Even a single 780 will be plenty for the performance you are looking for.
October 6, 2013 7:27:41 PM

thismafiaguy said:
In the case of dual 770s vs single 780:

Dual 770s will be significantly more powerful than a single 780.
BUT,
1. Dual 770s will draw more power and produce much more heat than a single 780, thus reducing overclocking headroom and potential longevity of system components.
2. Not all games will support SLI equally, some games may scale 100%, some games may not scale at all. However, a single 780 will never have scaling issues or SLI glitches because it's a single GPU, and it will always run at its full potential provided that it isn't bottlenecked by another component. There are still games out there that have serious performance issues with SLI, or even some that won't run in SLI.
3. SLI does not combine VRAM from the two cards. With dual 770s, you will still have just 2GB of VRAM, whereas a single 780 will have 3GB of VRAM.

As for your build config, you may want to add an SSD, at least 120GB or so, and use that as your boot drive. Or at least get a Seagate 2TB SSHD for $139, it's well worth the money. You may be able to buy your CPU and motherboard in a combo, that could save you a bit of money. But if not, I would suggest dishing out $25 more for an ASUS Maximus VI Hero motherboard, it's just in a different league compared to the ASRock. And the best GTX 770s are going to be EVGA ACX Superclocked edition or ASUS DirectCU II, those are simply more reputable and trustworthy, and in most cases better made.

As I continue to edit and ramble on and on...

You may want to get a better CPU cooler so you'll have more headroom to overclock that 4770K. The Noctua NH-D14 is one of the best air coolers in the market, it outperforms many of the all-in-one water coolers, and it's very quiet. I would highly recommend it if you don't mind the way it looks. By the way, there is a new version of the NZXT Phantom that you chose, it's called the Phantom 530.

Is this your first build by any chance?


This is my first build, and thank you both. I will get to editing my build.
a b U Graphics card
October 6, 2013 7:41:57 PM

Nice! You're going to have so much fun building this rig. Let us know what you decide to put into it!
October 6, 2013 7:42:17 PM

thismafiaguy said:
In the case of dual 770s vs single 780:

Dual 770s will be significantly more powerful than a single 780.
BUT,
1. Dual 770s will draw more power and produce much more heat than a single 780, thus reducing overclocking headroom and potential longevity of system components.
2. Not all games will support SLI equally, some games may scale 100%, some games may not scale at all. However, a single 780 will never have scaling issues or SLI glitches because it's a single GPU, and it will always run at its full potential provided that it isn't bottlenecked by another component. There are still games out there that have serious performance issues with SLI, or even some that won't run in SLI.
3. SLI does not combine VRAM from the two cards. With dual 770s, you will still have just 2GB of VRAM, whereas a single 780 will have 3GB of VRAM.

As for your build config, you may want to add an SSD, at least 120GB or so, and use that as your boot drive. Or at least get a Seagate 2TB SSHD for $139, it's well worth the money. You may be able to buy your CPU and motherboard in a combo, that could save you a bit of money. But if not, I would suggest dishing out $25 more for an ASUS Maximus VI Hero motherboard, it's just in a different league compared to the ASRock. And the best GTX 770s are going to be EVGA ACX Superclocked edition or ASUS DirectCU II, those are simply more reputable and trustworthy, and in most cases better made.

As I continue to edit and ramble on and on...

You may want to get a better CPU cooler so you'll have more headroom to overclock that 4770K. The Noctua NH-D14 is one of the best air coolers in the market, it outperforms many of the all-in-one water coolers, and it's very quiet. I would highly recommend it if you don't mind the way it looks. By the way, there is a new version of the NZXT Phantom that you chose, it's called the Phantom 530.

Is this your first build by any chance?


I think I can live without a SSD. I took your advice on the motherboard. And I think I'll stick with my current 770 because of the core clock speed. That cooler is to expensive for my budget, I don't plan on overclocking, do you think the current cooler will do fine? I'm fine with the case I have picked already.

My concerns are if the cooler is good enough, and you said something about longevity. Explain, please.
October 6, 2013 7:52:11 PM

thismafiaguy said:
In the case of dual 770s vs single 780:

Dual 770s will be significantly more powerful than a single 780.
BUT,
1. Dual 770s will draw more power and produce much more heat than a single 780, thus reducing overclocking headroom and potential longevity of system components.
2. Not all games will support SLI equally, some games may scale 100%, some games may not scale at all. However, a single 780 will never have scaling issues or SLI glitches because it's a single GPU, and it will always run at its full potential provided that it isn't bottlenecked by another component. There are still games out there that have serious performance issues with SLI, or even some that won't run in SLI.
3. SLI does not combine VRAM from the two cards. With dual 770s, you will still have just 2GB of VRAM, whereas a single 780 will have 3GB of VRAM.

As for your build config, you may want to add an SSD, at least 120GB or so, and use that as your boot drive. Or at least get a Seagate 2TB SSHD for $139, it's well worth the money. You may be able to buy your CPU and motherboard in a combo, that could save you a bit of money. But if not, I would suggest dishing out $25 more for an ASUS Maximus VI Hero motherboard, it's just in a different league compared to the ASRock. And the best GTX 770s are going to be EVGA ACX Superclocked edition or ASUS DirectCU II, those are simply more reputable and trustworthy, and in most cases better made.

As I continue to edit and ramble on and on...

You may want to get a better CPU cooler so you'll have more headroom to overclock that 4770K. The Noctua NH-D14 is one of the best air coolers in the market, it outperforms many of the all-in-one water coolers, and it's very quiet. I would highly recommend it if you don't mind the way it looks. By the way, there is a new version of the NZXT Phantom that you chose, it's called the Phantom 530.

Is this your first build by any chance?


+1 to this.
a b U Graphics card
October 6, 2013 8:42:17 PM

What is going to be your main use for this build? Is it just going to be a gaming rig or is it also going to be a work station?

I recommended the EVGA GTX 770 ACX over the Galaxy GTX 770 because the EVGA card has a better cooler. All GTX 770 cards have a feature called GPU Boost 2.0, which is basically an automatic overclocking feature. You can set a target max temperature for your card and it will overclock itself until it reaches that max temperature, and this is where a better cooler really pays off. Even with higher core clock speeds by default, the Galaxy card will not be as fast as the EVGA card in the real world because it will run hotter and thus have less headroom for "boost". And keep in mind that GPU Boost 2.0 is completely automatic, you can set the target temperature wherever you want. A better cooler is always beneficial in this scenario.

If you don't plan on overclocking, then the Hyper 212 EVO will be more than enough. But with an unlocked processor and a Republic of Gamers motherboard, you may change your mind later down the road. You can do a mild overclock without affecting component longevity, it's free performance.

System longevity has a lot to do with heat and hours of operation. If your system runs at its thermal threshold 24/7, it won't last very long. But if your system stays cool and you don't always leave it on overnight, you're not going to wear it down any time soon. In a gaming system, the main sources of heat are going to be high end graphics cards and CPUs, so having an additional graphics card will make the system that much warmer. Also, if you're gaming at 1080p, a GTX 780 will dominate every current game out there. One GTX 780 is really enough, and in some ways better than having dual GTX 770s.

If you want to skip the SSD, at least consider the Seagate SSHD.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaxBmTTTWMo
October 7, 2013 4:58:19 AM

thismafiaguy said:
What is going to be your main use for this build? Is it just going to be a gaming rig or is it also going to be a work station?

I recommended the EVGA GTX 770 ACX over the Galaxy GTX 770 because the EVGA card has a better cooler. All GTX 770 cards have a feature called GPU Boost 2.0, which is basically an automatic overclocking feature. You can set a target max temperature for your card and it will overclock itself until it reaches that max temperature, and this is where a better cooler really pays off. Even with higher core clock speeds by default, the Galaxy card will not be as fast as the EVGA card in the real world because it will run hotter and thus have less headroom for "boost". And keep in mind that GPU Boost 2.0 is completely automatic, you can set the target temperature wherever you want. A better cooler is always beneficial in this scenario.

If you don't plan on overclocking, then the Hyper 212 EVO will be more than enough. But with an unlocked processor and a Republic of Gamers motherboard, you may change your mind later down the road. You can do a mild overclock without affecting component longevity, it's free performance.

System longevity has a lot to do with heat and hours of operation. If your system runs at its thermal threshold 24/7, it won't last very long. But if your system stays cool and you don't always leave it on overnight, you're not going to wear it down any time soon. In a gaming system, the main sources of heat are going to be high end graphics cards and CPUs, so having an additional graphics card will make the system that much warmer. Also, if you're gaming at 1080p, a GTX 780 will dominate every current game out there. One GTX 780 is really enough, and in some ways better than having dual GTX 770s.

If you want to skip the SSD, at least consider the Seagate SSHD.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaxBmTTTWMo


Alright, I'll get the evga, and the cooler will still be enough to not effect the longevity?
October 7, 2013 5:39:35 AM

It's like this

With sli you can get higher performance at a lower cost. But the potential performance of the higher end cards when you do sli them a year down the line is much higher

For example dual 760s outperform a single Titan by 30% at half the price. But in a year and a half the only way to max out the games that will come out is to sli two titans. So if you have the money get the single cards. Two 780s should last 2 years in terms of maxing graphics. You can tri sli it for a year more or so probably. But your not going to be able to truly max out games like crysis 3 on a single 780 RIGHT NOW. If you want prformancr right now get the 770s
October 7, 2013 5:40:00 AM

It's like this

With sli you can get higher performance at a lower cost. But the potential performance of the higher end cards when you do sli them a year down the line is much higher

For example dual 760s outperform a single Titan by 30% at half the price. But in a year and a half the only way to max out the games that will come out is to sli two titans. So if you have the money get the single cards. Two 780s should last 2 years in terms of maxing graphics. You can tri sli it for a year more or so probably. But your not going to be able to truly max out games like crysis 3 on a single 780 RIGHT NOW. If you want prformancr right now get the 770s
a b U Graphics card
October 7, 2013 2:40:41 PM

Yes, you will be getting more performance with dual 770s, but you'll have room to expand later on if you go with a single 780, which CAN max Crysis 3 at 1080p.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/GPU13/708
!