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 Post subject: So many PCI slots... (3-way/4-way SLI/CossfireX)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:32 pm 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 2:31 pm
Posts: 166
Alright. This is basically a multi-gpu discussion.

Whenever i come across a mobo i like, it usually tends to be an enthusiast-grade/gaming board. And almost every time have ridiculous headroom. I'm talking room for 4-way SLI.

I've been told in the past that 4-way SLI is practically useless if you're gaming (anyone care to shed some light on that?), and that it's purely for benchmarking/seeing numbers...

A board i'm in love with is the EVGA Z77 FTW.

I'd get it in a heartbeat. But it lacks built-in WiFi (something that i'll go back to). Which is why i love ASUSs' P8Z77 boards.

I look at those ASUS boards, even the V-Deluxe model, and ask... "why doesn't it have 4-way SLI capability?"


Is there a board out there as amazing looking as the EVGA FTW aesthetically, but is also full-equipped"

Because my OCD prevents me from going with that board... No WiFi = No interest, anymore. :mrgreen:


And if someone could explain multi-GPU setups, that'd be great.

But from my understanding, 4-way SLI/Crossfire lowers bandwidth to the point where you won't even be gaining performance in terms of scalability; which is what SLI/Crossfire are for...

Sooo?

What the hell?

You set up 4 680s in SLI, and... IS IT OF ANY USE?


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 Post subject: Re: So many PCI slots... (3-way/4-way SLI/CossfireX)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:39 pm 
Clawhammer
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
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The only time you ever need SLI on high-end cards is if you're pushing resolutions past 1920x1200, usually something like 5760x1080 or 5760x3600 in multi-monitor setups. Other than that, you're pissing away GPU power. If you you want the performance now and even say your GPU is on par performance-wise by something two generations down the road, you've still spent about twice the amount of money (one high end card now, one high end card then if you didn't upgrade, versus four high end cards now).

SLI/Crossfire is unnecessary for most people. You have to have the pixels to push to match.

Also, the last PCI-Express scaling test anyone did as far as I know, even at PCI-Express 2.0 x4, a high-end GPU barely nudged in performance loss.

So there's no practical reason to get SLI/Crossfire for more than two cards unless you have an ego to inflate.


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 Post subject: Re: So many PCI slots... (3-way/4-way SLI/CossfireX)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:15 pm 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 2:31 pm
Posts: 166
LatiosXT wrote:
The only time you ever need SLI on high-end cards is if you're pushing resolutions past 1920x1200, usually something like 5760x1080 or 5760x3600 in multi-monitor setups. Other than that, you're pissing away GPU power. If you you want the performance now and even say your GPU is on par performance-wise by something two generations down the road, you've still spent about twice the amount of money (one high end card now, one high end card then if you didn't upgrade, versus four high end cards now).

SLI/Crossfire is unnecessary for most people. You have to have the pixels to push to match.

Also, the last PCI-Express scaling test anyone did as far as I know, even at PCI-Express 2.0 x4, a high-end GPU barely nudged in performance loss.

So there's no practical reason to get SLI/Crossfire for more than two cards unless you have an ego to inflate.



Well then if that's the case.... if today's processors ARE powerful enough to keep four very powerful GPUs running efficiently in one system, without any bottlenecking,

How are those 3/4-way SLI setups useless?

I mean... the whole point is scalability in performance.

So, why not?

Say you get some lower-tier cards that still have pretty serious power (560 Ti/580), and quad-SLI them?


The power they demand are even less than something like a 680... so, why wouldn't that be a viable hardware configuration? I'd love to have a setup of that sort.

Would be pumping out some scary graphics processing power.


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 Post subject: Re: So many PCI slots... (3-way/4-way SLI/CossfireX)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:39 pm 
Clawhammer
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 4551
They're useless for the following reasons:

  • 3-Way SLI or higher or CrossFire X is only offered in higher-tier cards, and one of those is enough to push almost any game at 1920x1200@60FPS on max settings. You know the SLI connectors? Notice how they have two instead of one on the lower end cards?
  • Mid-tier cards in SLI tend to carry a slightly higher performance/price ratio as the higher tier card. But they also chew more power. A GTX 660 Ti in SLI consumes about 285W, a GTX 680 consumes 210W (if http://www.extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine is to believed)
  • Lower tier cards are pointless for SLI. You pay more for either the same performance or less than the card you're trying to match. And again, you eat up more power.


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 Post subject: Re: So many PCI slots... (3-way/4-way SLI/CossfireX)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:34 pm 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 2:31 pm
Posts: 166
LatiosXT wrote:
They're useless for the following reasons:

  • 3-Way SLI or higher or CrossFire X is only offered in higher-tier cards, and one of those is enough to push almost any game at 1920x1200@60FPS on max settings. You know the SLI connectors? Notice how they have two instead of one on the lower end cards?
  • Mid-tier cards in SLI tend to carry a slightly higher performance/price ratio as the higher tier card. But they also chew more power. A GTX 660 Ti in SLI consumes about 285W, a GTX 680 consumes 210W (if http://www.extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine is to believed)
  • Lower tier cards are pointless for SLI. You pay more for either the same performance or less than the card you're trying to match. And again, you eat up more power.


Yes... that may be so.

If ONE of those cards, under those circumstances is able to run any game maxed... then why not use a multi GPU setup once they drop in price?


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 Post subject: Re: So many PCI slots... (3-way/4-way SLI/CossfireX)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:34 pm 
Clawhammer
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 4551
Prenihility wrote:
Yes... that may be so.

If ONE of those cards, under those circumstances is able to run any game maxed... then why not use a multi GPU setup once they drop in price?

Sure, valid point. But you have make the initial investment in your hardware to do so. 850W PSU, a case with plenty of breathing room, etc. And usually you have to wait a good while before your card gets cheap enough to be a worth it.

And then there's the saying: You can get next generation performance now, but you'll be stuck with last generation's features.

Though with the way things are going for PC gaming, games aren't really stressful anymore since they have to run on hardware that's 7 years old now.


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 Post subject: Re: So many PCI slots... (3-way/4-way SLI/CossfireX)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:10 pm 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 2:31 pm
Posts: 166
Not only that... but the ratio between price, performance, and usable power has completely been skewed at this time in computing history.

For example... "last gen" hardware, such as the X58 platform, still have PLENTY of power left, for YEARS to come.

Now, with these Z77 systems, there's even MORE power that isn't usable. Which is what makes these systems extremely future-proof, if you ask me.

I mean... seriously... do you really think that waiting for today's high end cards to drop in price is all that bad?

I think it's an excellent idea.

We've reached a turning point in the computer world. Usable power, especially in the world of gaming is out of reach. Ridiculously out of reach.


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 Post subject: Re: So many PCI slots... (3-way/4-way SLI/CossfireX)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:30 pm 
Clawhammer
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 4551
The X58 platform doesn't have any life left in it. In order to match or beat a Core i7-3770K at stock speeds consistently, you need a Core i7-990X, which is the top of the line chip and it still goes for MSRP of $1000+ if you can find it. You can build yourself a really nice computer with a Core i7-3770K with $1000. And remember, the # of course doesn't matter if your IPC sucks. And only a few programs can use multiple cores effectively.

Usable power is there, but in other sectors. For gaming, progress is barely even there because of what I said: developers are making games that can run on 7 year old hardware. I mean, it's great that we can still play games without having to worry so much on requirements anymore, but the I haven't played a game that really taxed my system since Battlefield 3. And even I got to run that on Ultra settings at 1920x1200 smoothly. And I see no game in the immediate future that will tax my computer again.

Well, Max Payne 3 came close. I couldn't max out textures because it required 2GB. Which I don't know if that counts as Max Payne 3 ships with uncompressed textures for no real freakin' reason.


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 Post subject: Re: So many PCI slots... (3-way/4-way SLI/CossfireX)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:36 pm 
Team Member Top 500
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LatiosXT wrote:
And I see no game in the immediate future that will tax my computer again.


Crysis 3 due in 3 months, & will supposedly have as big an impact on "current" systems as the original Crysis had...

Also Far Cry 3 due in 2 weeks, won't be as big but should still provide for some pretty decent system stressing in Ultra Quality mode. More than Battlefield 3 at least which runs just fine on my GTX460 in Ultra Quality mode @ 1920x1200.


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 Post subject: Re: So many PCI slots... (3-way/4-way SLI/CossfireX)
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:03 pm 
Boy in Black
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If you're driving anything below a 24" common LCD like most, then don't worry. The graphics card just needs to pump data to the screen you currently have or you plan upgrades for the the screen(s) you want in the future. It's been that way for decades. "I'm not ready for Quake3"...you are and you just don't know it.

I think we're still caught up too much in benches and what they mean. You upgrade your own flaws, not what benches state you should use. I've seen too many caught up in this upgrade ordeal and at the same time blame their hardware on their skill level. You are worried because someone has more money to toss at nothing. You won't be a better gamer because of a video card, and no one really cares what you run when you win and teabag them. Play the game FIRST; upgrade as needed.

I'm just sick of "gamers" saying they don't have the hardware. Time and time again they upgrade and still do the same thing in-game. Maybe X-box is more their style. And that's where "gamers" are going. It's too complicated on the PC side and they can't handle it. Halo?


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 Post subject: Re: So many PCI slots... (3-way/4-way SLI/CossfireX)
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:20 pm 
Clawhammer
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 4551
Chumly wrote:
I'm just sick of "gamers" saying they don't have the hardware.

On that notion, I avidly avoid any "gamer" branded hardware. All they do is throw in some snake oil and charge 30% more.


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