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Sli or Tri sli in gaming.......

Discussion in 'Videocards - NVIDIA GeForce' started by JEFFRO503, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. JEFFRO503

    JEFFRO503 Master Guru

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    I have done quite a bit of reading and it seems quite a few games ( most ) don't take advantage of using a 3rd card. Just wanted your opinions on this. It's going to be a while before I even start buying / building anything again , but I'm just trying to get a grasp on some of this stuff.

    I wanted to just go with a regular Sli on my next build , with possibly using the third slot on ( asus Maximus ) for a really good sound card. I want to use this new rig not only for gaming , but I'll use it as a home stereo as well.

    If I got two descent Nvidia cards and a sound card , would the Maximus be a good choice for this? I also would like to stay with just two cards for the cost....as a 3rd card is just to much money for what I want to spend.

    BTW....thanks to all you guys who helped me out through that big computer mess a couple weeks ago. It was really appreciated.
     
  2. MoosePower

    MoosePower Master Guru

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    Hey Jeff, what kind of resolution will you be playing at? I don't think SLI is necessary unless you are playing on 1080p+ size monitors. I've done SLI in the past and I wasn't all to impressed. I would recommend going with one beefy videocard rather than 2 mid grades. Lets see what the others recommend though, I've been out of the game for a while. :p
     
  3. fr33k

    fr33k Ancient Guru

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    well for one, you are looking at "down the line" and thats never good.
    SLI is good, but not THAT good. Currently any game out does not even begin to stress the GTX580 let alone the GTX590 and that is an SLI card.

    Then we come into the issue of only one game out this year that's going to stress PC gaming computers BF3. The rest are all ports which are known to not be even remotely graphics intensive.

    Next, this fall/winter there will be a new set of cards- there always is. You really shouldn't worry about the parts you want in your PC yet. It should be "do i really need SLI?" if you game at anything above 2000x1000 res then the answer is probably yes if not then probably no.

    Plus, buy the maximus only if you want tri/quad sli. Many cheaper (in most cases better) mobos can be had at a fraction of the cost.
    Those mobo's are build with enthusiast ideals in mind, those that buy just for bragging rights and love to OC their build for numbers. Find something that fits your needs not your wants.
     
  4. wasteomind

    wasteomind Master Guru

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    I've been using tri-sli gtx 280s @1920x1080 and down sampling from 2560x1440 since the I7 920s came out. My take on it is as follows:

    Tri-sli even at this resolution, does make a difference in games over regular sli. The gains aren't massive, but in some games it is definately noticable. It is important to note that this is a performance advantage when AA is enabled in some form. Off the top of my head it means a 10-30fps advantage in games like Farcry 2, All Crysis games, Metro, and a few others. Though in games that don't use the 3rd card well, there tends to be more introduced microstuttering.

    Aside from that, it is nice to be able to toggle physx on the fly in the newer drivers while still having sli enabled. Works wonders in games that use hardware physx most notably Batman Arkham Asylum.

    That said though, when I finally upgrade my cards/pc I will be going back to a single high powered card. I'm honestly really really tired of the small annoying issues with sli and tri sli. Mostly my now increased sensitivity to micro stuttering caused by games and the drivers trying to divide the workload between cards. It isn't perfect and overtime has worn me down.

    Not to mention there are few games out there that I own that don't have any decent sli support, and forcing causes other issues, so your relegated to using SLI AA, which then causes the same microstuttering issues that an sli profile can. So its pretty round about.

    So TL;DR
    It is nice and I enjoy it, decent benefit to be had from TRI over dual.
    I've grown tried of the little annoyances with it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011

  5. Penal Stingray

    Penal Stingray Banned

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    one thing for sure i aint going back to sli or single card if u got the cash go for tri-sli as far as micro stuttering i havent experience it since wit tri 480s and tri 580's i only experience it while back when i had tri 5870's from amd. soon going quad 580's
     
  6. JEFFRO503

    JEFFRO503 Master Guru

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    Man....a lot of different opinions. I do plan on probably gaming at the normal 1920X1080 res. That is "IF" I end up going with a single 27" monitor. I had thought about doing the triple monitor setup thing , but it just takes up to much room. So a single 27" monitor at 1920X1080 is probably what I'll be looking at doing.

    As far as the cards go , I use Hilberts VGA charts to help me decide on some things. And by the looks of it , Dollar amount + performance , it always seems like the Sli setups come out on top. But I don't want to deal with hassles either. I dunno....may single 580 at first , then get a second one if I need it?

    I am getting ahead of myself here I know. I have $1500.00 to spend right now on all my parts , but it wouldn't get used very much at all until probably October some time. The weather is still really nice , so I ride my bikes and fly planes until it turns crappy outside.

    So , I'm in no hurry....but i'll be damned if I don't have a good gaming rig for the winter. So I may start on it sooner than later.

    One more thing....with Asus , when do they usually put out new boards and such...are they like the video cards and announce things ahead of time? I was looking at the Maximus because it would give me room to grow and learn things on. I also dug it because I could run a Sli setup with a sound card. It has the same damn onboard sound device as my last 1366 board....which sucked! Believe it or not , this old Biostar TF520-A2 board has a great onboard sound. Better than my $80.00 creative card I had in there.
     
  7. TruMutton_200Hz

    TruMutton_200Hz Ancient Guru

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    http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-580-3-way-sli-review

    An intermal soundcard blocks airflow on the intake fan(s) of the vidcard sitting next to it too much IMO, except if you leave one empty slot between. You could decide to go for custom water cooling on the vidcards and still fit in a low profile soundcard but for audiophile music listening I, personally, would wait for Asus Xonar Essence One instead or maybe aim for an even higher end external DAC. For surround sound, I'd be quite alot less picky and probably settle for an AV Receiver that connects through the vidcard's DVI / HDMI interface.

    I think there's not much point in getting the Maximus IV Extreme motherboard if you never intend to get more than just two vidcards because then you could do much cheaper by choosing the P8P67 Deluxe or P67 Sabertooth instead. The P8P67 Pro is a valid choice if you don't intend to overclock to 5.0 GHz+ for daily use. However, alot still depends on the list of features you need, obviously. For example, even if you don't intend to overclock to 5.0 GHz+ for daily use the Deluxe still has better LAN support than the Pro (dual LAN versus single). For another example, the heat shield on the Sabertooth can be removed but doing so kind of defeats the whole purpose of the Sabertooth, while the heat shield does get in the way of high end CPU aircoolers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  8. dennymoofoo

    dennymoofoo Member Guru

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    Tri :pc1:
     
  9. JEFFRO503

    JEFFRO503 Master Guru

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    Well , I'll start out on air cooling at first , but this winter I am wanting to build my own external water system of some type. ( I have some good ideas ) mainly just for fun and see what I can do. Wanting to go with two single loops , one for CPU and one for the VGA. So....overclocking "Is" something I want to learn , and I was just trying to get something that would let me grow into it....instead of holding me back.....ya know? Without hitting a wall and saying " Crap........I knew I should of gotten a better board!"

    I know some guys have had good luck with the 2600K on water @ about 5.5 and higher. So will any of the other lower end boards be able to do that? I've read good things about that Asrock Pro gen3 board. I think i'd like to stick with Asus though.

    And TruMutton , is this what you were talking about here? >> http://www.google.com/products/cata...a=X&ei=x-U4TrO-KNHXiALGrsn7Dg&ved=0CDEQ8gIwAA

    What's the advantage of this sound card. I know you mentioned it before , but why this one? It is badass looking btw.
     
  10. TheHunter

    TheHunter Banned

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    Go with SLI max.

    3SLI is calling for trouble - bigger chance to get driver issues..


    Also go with Auzen XFI card and enjoy all the fx. Those Asus are $hit, ok for music and that's it.
     

  11. Saabjock

    Saabjock Master Guru

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    Tri-SLI is a waste of money on most modern setups and game titles. It's been proven over and over again that the return on the investment for the third card, is poor at best.
     
  12. fr33k

    fr33k Ancient Guru

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    not true especially if you use headphones.
    If you use an advanced speaker setup though go with something else.

    Asrock is part-owned by asus, Asus makes their boards XD.
    Its like a budget version of asus.

    and again i think people agree tri-sli isn't worth the cost or the effort involved. Stick with the sabertooth if you really want sli and want headroom for overclocking.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  13. Penal Stingray

    Penal Stingray Banned

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    it wont be a waste of money when BF3 comes out when u want the best visual and uber fast fps. try running sli and single card on multimonitor setup lmao that thing will crawl. Before u start posting make sure u do a research my friend. Tri-sli is worth it on higher resolution.

    this was from guru3d review note that this drivers are worse compare to the newer ones wit better sli profile's and multi-gpu scaling support.

    http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-580-3-way-sli-review/6

    Bad Company 2

    2-Way Sli= 108
    3-Way Sli= 140

    thats a pretty big difference.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  14. fr33k

    fr33k Ancient Guru

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    Maybe if you really like screen tearing and flickering.

    Oh and the return investment is 40fps for something that costs $1000+ to do is not worth it lol.
    60fps on a 60hz monitor is more than worth it for just one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  15. Pete J

    Pete J Master Guru

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    Hmm. Most people who rubbish SLI/Crossfire haven't tried it.

    The facts:

    1) There is no microstuttering any more.

    2) Resolutions of less than 1920x1080 will not show much benefit with additional cards (CPU limited).

    3) 1920x1080 and upwards will certainly benefit from two cards for the more extreme games such as the venerable Crysis, Crysis 2 DX11 mode and Metro 2033.

    4) 2560x1600 (my res) loves tri SLI. Custom settings, hi res pack and 4xAA for Crysis means 40+FPS average. Crysis 2, with all bells and whistles as well as forced 4xAA and 4xtransparency AA averages 60FPS.
     

  16. Penal Stingray

    Penal Stingray Banned

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    True that most of these poeple talk about tri-sli not worth it either have no cash for it or never had one lol.
     
  17. fr33k

    fr33k Ancient Guru

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    I will be the first to admit SLI is great, the whole concept behind it is great but the cost is also great -_-. Hell, i used it for 2 years. It just depends on the setup you plan on having.
    so far early BF3 impressions show great fps even at a minimum using single card hovering around 50-60 fps at 1200x1080 for gtx 580. This is before any optimizations.
    That's really damn impressive.
    I do plan on going SLi with my 580 if it really needs it for bf3.
     
  18. ---TK---

    ---TK--- Ancient Guru

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    theres nothing wrong with sli, 3 way or 4 way sli. I only have 1 monitor @ 1920x1080 and the benefits over 1 580 are very apparant. when I do a monitor upgrade I may go for 3 way sli. the 580`s are coming down in price. why not?
     
  19. JEFFRO503

    JEFFRO503 Master Guru

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    Tommy....did you notice a big difference between 1 GTX580 and then upgrading to Sli? I haven't made up my mind on exactly what I'm getting yet , and it's pretty early for me to even ask since it will be a while. But I think getting a good $200.00 - $250.00 asus board and 1 GTX 580 at first is what I'll probably end up doing. Then this winter some time , pick up another 580 , finish my water cooling system and run the CPU and both cards on water.

    I don't know what it is....but I have this goal I set for myself to build something like that. In fact , until this bad stuff happened with my previous computer builder , I never really gave it to much thought. And NOW.....I can't wait to build this friggin' thing!
     
  20. Veteran

    Veteran Ancient Guru

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    SLI yes TRI sli NO.
    GPU 1=100% use
    GPU 2= 90% use
    GPU 3= 50% use

    You lose 50% of gpu 3 and you hardly notice any difference with 3 gpus over 2,im talking from alot of experience having owned them in the past,my opinion but each to there own.

    great for benching but thats all the 3rd gpu is good for unless your using some crazy resolution like 5000+

    2 gpu's is sweet though.
     

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