2 x 285 GTX (SLI) vs. 480 GTX

StormClaw

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Gentlemen, which setup would be better?

2 x 285 GTX (SLI) or a single 480 GTX ?


I currently have 2 x 285 GTX in SLI and my main problem is HEAT. Both cards are sandwiched VERY tight one on top of another (poor MB design) and last time i tried playing Warhammer 40k: Chaos Rising - it would constantly crash due to overheating. I had to take the case sidepanel off and turn on AC full force (then it was ok).

So i'm contemplating switching to a single 480 GT to reduce the heat output.

Would the performance be on par? (i'm on a 30" display, 2500x1600)
 

Astrodave

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My single gtx 480 is about 50% on average faster in games than my single gtx285 was. So to answer your question: In general, no, the gtx480 would not be close to fps performance of gtx285 SLI. Playability however might be much smoother for you even though fps is less. I get much smoother game play in some games with my 480 than i got with my 285. That would probably only be more magnified coming from SLI where microstutters are more prevalent.
 

Digital Viper-X-

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83c isn't a problem for the GTX285, something else could be causing your crashes, maybe power supply is heating up too?
 

Kangg

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Yeah, was gonna say 83 is fine for those cards, I'd be looking somewhere else for the cause of the crashes cause that temp should not be causing it.
 

Matrices

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You're not going to be happy with the switch at all, aside from whatever outstanding computer issues you're having that are making your setup crash.

Yes, single-GPU is smoother than multi-GPU at comparable framerates, but let's not exaggerate wildly here. Maybe within a 20% framerate variance (e.g., around 40 FPS vs. 30 FPS), the experience is similar, but not more than that, unless there is a game or driver-specific issue.

For instance, a single GTX 470 felt a little smoother than a GTX 260 SLI setup I had in specific areas where the framerate was comparable, but for the most part the framerate was not comparable anyway, so it would definitely be an overall downgrade in performance.
 

Numan

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I just had a BFG 280 GFX do the same thing when it was getting in the mid 80s. Turned out the ram was dying and I RMA'ed it. The other 280 I have was hitting the same temps and never crashed. Get that pinkish/grey screen with 'fuzz' everywhere? Buggered ram issue.

I'm unsure of what to do with this 2nd 280, if I want to SLI it or not. Sounds like I should break the seal and use it for awhile instead of spending cash on a new 5870 or find a 480.
 

Fantasysage

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I look at benchmarks and I see my 2 280's edge out a single 480 pretty much always. But only around 10%.
 

MrXROK

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Gentlemen, which setup would be better?

2 x 285 GTX (SLI) or a single 480 GTX ?


I currently have 2 x 285 GTX in SLI and my main problem is HEAT. Both cards are sandwiched VERY tight one on top of another (poor MB design) and last time i tried playing Warhammer 40k: Chaos Rising - it would constantly crash due to overheating. I had to take the case sidepanel off and turn on AC full force (then it was ok).

So i'm contemplating switching to a single 480 GT to reduce the heat output.

Would the performance be on par? (i'm on a 30" display, 2500x1600)

GTX 480 also runs hot if not hotter If you have bad case ventilation you should clean your case or at least change the fan settings on your cards and add more fans.

Performance wise your SLI setup is faster so it would be a downgrade. If you are worried about heat 5870 is probably the better alternative.
 

NKD

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I have had 480gtx in sli setup right next to each other and the first card idled higher then the second card, but load temps were may be 1c higher then sinlge card. The second card doesn't even heat up that much. The highest I have seen is 84-85c compared to 91-92c for the primary card. what case do you have? How is ur ambient temp, I mean it seems more like a case airflow and high ambient temp to me. Two gtx 285's should not be overheating under normal conditions.
 

RyanLucier

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Not quite 285 sli, but I went from 260 sli to a single evga gtx 480 superclocked and there's quite a difference, newer games are considerably faster especially dx 10 / dx 11 titles.

starcraft 2 used to only run smooth on a mix of high/ultra settings at 2560x1600, now its smooth with all ultra/extreme.

Not what you're looking for but its a start!
 

Digital Viper-X-

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Not quite 285 sli, but I went from 260 sli to a single evga gtx 480 superclocked and there's quite a difference, newer games are considerably faster especially dx 10 / dx 11 titles.

starcraft 2 used to only run smooth on a mix of high/ultra settings at 2560x1600, now its smooth with all ultra/extreme.

Not what you're looking for but its a start!

a GTX260 sli setup should be slower then a GTX295, and the GTX480 is fairly close (maybe even ties) the GTX295 over all, and the GTX285 sli, should be faster than the 295 ^^ by a fair margin(I'd say 10-15%)
 

evilsofa

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GTX 285 SLI does beat a single GTX 480.

If you're already having trouble with heat just running GTX 285 SLI, I think you have airflow issues that need to be addressed regardless of what video cards you have. My recommendation would be to keep the GTX 285s and get a motherboard with better design and a case with better airflow. Speaking of which, what motherboard and case do you have?
 
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Heat may not be your problem, but you should still take a little piece of paper, fold it over a few times, and wedge it between the cards roughly around where the power connectors are. That's a quick fix, you can also find little rubber washers that help space the cards. It can help the blocked card by a few degrees.
 

StormClaw

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Get that pinkish/grey screen with 'fuzz' everywhere? Buggered ram issue.

Yeah exactly. Pinkish/grey screen with 'fuzz' \ 'dots' everywhere. Windows 7 would report that video driver had crashed. So you say it's buggered VIDEO ram issue?

I tried running it without the SLI. Tried Both cards. Each one had same issues. SO i know for a fact it was an overheating problem.

After I removed the side-panel and turn AC on full force, the temps were at about 75'C - 77'C and everything worked just fine, no issues.
 

StormClaw

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GTX 285 SLI does beat a single GTX 480.

If you're already having trouble with heat just running GTX 285 SLI, I think you have airflow issues that need to be addressed regardless of what video cards you have. My recommendation would be to keep the GTX 285s and get a motherboard with better design and a case with better airflow. Speaking of which, what motherboard and case do you have?

MB: ASUS Rampage II Extreme X58
Case: ATSC 840

Here's some pics. I have a ton of airflow installed.

http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/504/dsc00196h.jpg

http://img297.imageshack.us/img297/6453/dsc00194o.jpg

http://img256.imageshack.us/img256/8995/dsc00195me.jpg
 

Numan

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Yeah exactly. Pinkish/grey screen with 'fuzz' \ 'dots' everywhere. Windows 7 would report that video driver had crashed. So you say it's buggered VIDEO ram issue?

I tried running it without the SLI. Tried Both cards. Each one had same issues. SO i know for a fact it was an overheating problem.

After I removed the side-panel and turn AC on full force, the temps were at about 75'C - 77'C and everything worked just fine, no issues.

Dispite my technical term of "buggered ram" yes that's a video RAM issue of some sort. I only got it with that driver release that ran things hotter then usual, at least that's when it started. I never had a chance to SLI both 280s when I noticed it (damn mb had the sata ports beside the 2nd PCI-E slot so it didn't fit) but I had them in one at a time to test this. I found a spot that would crash in Mass Effect every time I walked down some stairs so it was easy to tell that one card was starting to die while the other was ok.

I should mention that running the dying card with 100% fan after I noticed the pink/grey mess didn't stop it, it was already too late. The good news for me was BFG RMA'ed it without question.
 

vjcsmoke

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Try moving the second video card down a slot and then use an extended SLI bridge. That should improve your temps considerably over keeping them sandwiched together.
Afterwards, they would look something like this:
103_6488_8x6.jpg
 

StormClaw

Gawd
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Jun 10, 2009
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Try moving the second video card down a slot and then use an extended SLI bridge. That should improve your temps considerably over keeping them sandwiched together.
Afterwards, they would look something like this:
103_6488_8x6.jpg

Yeah that did help.

Also, I think Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising is very poorly coded, that's why the constant crashes and video card failure. I don't have such problems with other games.
 
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