Anyone else ditched SLI for single-GPU?

Killa|3yte

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Has any one else here switched from an SLI setup to a single-GPU setup?

Both Far Cry 4 and Dragon Age: Inquisition have been put on hold due to SLI issues until patches get released. This seems to be a really regular thing nowadays. Buy games on release day, find they have SLI issues. Wait 1-2 months for the technical issues to get sorted out before firing them back up :(
 

dvsman

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Right now I'm playing Dragon Age on my desktops, both at my home office (R9 290) and at office office (780gtx) but I'm using my laptop (with SLI 780m gtx) in the living room. Both seem to work fine. What issues are you having?

At any rate, I'll probably go back to single 1080GTX when that comes out. No point in upgrading to current gen given my present hardware still works fine for my purposes.
 

Trackr

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Playing Dragon Age Inquisition on my GTX 660 SLi and getting a lot of texture stuttering issues.

It's really irritating.
 

Kongar

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I ditched a pair of GTX670s for a single GTX980 (Asus Strix). The 980 is like a few % slower than the SLI'd 670s - basically the same. But I'm loving the reduced heat load, quietness, and the games look better. Less little microstuttering issues and stupid things I honestly never noticed until I did a side by side comparison. Also, I've noticed things like tress effects in Tomb Raider work much better on a single card.

Overall - MUCH happier with a single GPU. So much so, I've decided that I'll wait a couple of years for 4k setups - wait until it can be properly handled by a single GPU.
 

Killa|3yte

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I ditched a pair of GTX670s for a single GTX980 (Asus Strix). The 980 is like a few % slower than the SLI'd 670s - basically the same. But I'm loving the reduced heat load, quietness, and the games look better. Less little microstuttering issues and stupid things I honestly never noticed until I did a side by side comparison. Also, I've noticed things like tress effects in Tomb Raider work much better on a single card.

Overall - MUCH happier with a single GPU. So much so, I've decided that I'll wait a couple of years for 4k setups - wait until it can be properly handled by a single GPU.
I too have SLI 670s. There are SO many "little things" with SLI. Microstutter is awful, can confirm. TressFX drove me nuts on Tomb Raider. I think I'm going to pick up a reference 970 (980 would be nice, but $$$) from BB today and replay TR with the fancy hair working!
 

pandora's box

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Went from dual 970's to a single 970. Here is what I posted in a thread about a week ago.

I just sold my second 970. If AMD's 390X has some kind of native downsampling support I will buy one. No more dual card setup's for me.

I simply don't have the patience anymore to deal with the issue's SLI brings to the table. For one even though your getting higher frame rate it still doesn't feel as smooth as single card. I disabled SLI in Far Cry 4 as I was having issues with shadows being too dark. I was amazed at how smooth it felt, even though the fps was lower. Same goes for Dragon Age Inquisition. Was having issues with flashing shadows in SLI. Disabled it, and 1. the shadow flickering is gone, and 2. It feels incredibly smooth, it's been so long since I've used a single card setup I think I forgot how smooth it can be. Sure I may not be using DSR in the latest games anymore or using insane amount of AA but being able to play the latest games without waiting on a new driver is awesome. Also SMAA takes care of enough of the aliasing for me, so stuff like TXAA and 8xMSAA is overkill in my eyes. TXAA looks like crap anyway. I feel like as we get more next gen console releases SLI is going to get buggier and buggier. I think there's so much going on in games now that SLI needs to be re-worked. I'd almost prefer to have split frame rendering at this point. The fact that Nvidia's own features don't even work with SLI is telling. Some people are still having issues getting DSR working with SLI, 2 cards in SLI work at different voltages. Nvidia claims forcing them to the same voltage via 3rd party programs doesn't improve performance, when infact it does. Sounds like they either can't fix the issue or won't spend the time to fix the issue. Nvidia: If you are going to release a driver as "GameReady" for Far Cry 4, Assassin's Creed: Unity, Dragon Age Inquisition; you should probably make sure SLI works properly. The glaring bugs in all 3 of these games makes it look like whoever came up with the SLI profile for them, did it blind folded. The bugs in the game are so damn obvious. Finally the simple fact that I am not gaming as much these days makes it hard to justify that second card. I sold it for what I bought it for.

I just purchased a LG 34UM95 Monitor (21:9 3440x1440). Hoping this single 970 can hold its own until big maxwell/390X gets here.
 

DPI

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I've been SLI-free since getting rid of a pair of 580's, and upgrading to a single 680 -> single 780 -> single MSI GTX 970.

Single card simplicity has been great for so many reasons. Since my OC'd 970 (1500/8000) drives pretty much every game at max settings, the only net gain I'd see with a second card would be higher levels of MSAA and DSR. Don't care. The only game I'd even consider adding another card for and going back to SLI for a time.. is Witcher 3.
 
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Araxie

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Jumped from 660TI SLI to a single GTX 780....
 

Killa|3yte

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Went from dual 970's to a single 970. Here is what I posted in a thread about a week ago.



I just purchased a LG 34UM95 Monitor (21:9 3440x1440). Hoping this single 970 can hold its own until big maxwell/390X gets here.
This has been exactly my sentiment. Going to go pick up a reference 980 or 970 (haven't quite decided which yet) from Best Buy today.
 

harmattan

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After having either SLI or Crossfire setups in both my desktops and laptops since dual 6800 GTs, I recently switched back to a single card -- will never go back to multi-GPU. The extra cost, heat, driver issues, and microstutter (which to me is sooo noticable) is not worth it.

My (very frivolous) list of multi-GPU essays:

6800 GT SLI
7800 GT SLI
1800 XT Xfire
1900 XT Xfire
8800 GTX SLI
4870 XFire
4870 x2 Mobility
5870 SLI
5990
485m SLI
680m SLI
7970 x2 Mobility
780m SLI
290x Xfire
 
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misterbobby

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Good to see some honest replies here. I get so sick of arrogant folks that claim SLI/Crossfire works great and they never have any problems. Thats such a load of bull as multi card setups will always have more issues and in some games it wont even work at all. You could not pay me to run more than one card.
 

Koizumi

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I've always been a single GPU guy mainly cause I didn't want to spend more money, but now I have 970s SLI and i'm loving it. I guess I've just been lucky and haven't noticed any stuttering in the games I play.
 

jhatfie

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I am debating dropping my 970 SLI. The voltage discrepancy issue is messing with my stability and causing an extra headache I do not want to deal with. I enjoy the performance boost @ 2560x1600, when SLI works properly though, but I want to spend my limited gaming time playing and the less bugs I have interfering the better.
 

pandora's box

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I am debating dropping my 970 SLI. The voltage discrepancy issue is messing with my stability and causing an extra headache I do not want to deal with. I enjoy the performance boost @ 2560x1600, when SLI works properly though, but I want to spend my limited gaming time playing and the less bugs I have interfering the better.

drop settings from maxed out in games to one notch down, hardly any difference at all, and massive fps gains.

Biggest thing for me when going from sli to single card is turning off the frame rate monitor while gaming.
 

Unknown-One

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Never going to bother with SLI or Crossfire, far too many issues that simply don't exist on single-GPU.

Only thing that would make me even begin to consider something like GTX 970 SLI is the Oculus Rift due to the special VR-SLI modes that dedicated one card per-eye (perfect scaling, no microstutter, half the latency, etc).
 

RadXge

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SLI makes sense to me since I game at 1600p.
Also, I usually play games at least a few months after release so drivers have time to mature.

I personally avoid Tri-SLI and Quad-SLI as stability and performance is more erratic with such setup.
 

chenw

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I am going from single GPU to SLI, may regret it big time lol. (1440p)

Call it a life experience with a $400 price tag
 

The_Controller

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I've been with SLI pretty steady for a while. It's such a superior technology to Crossfire. It's to the point where I don't think I could game without SLI. I've had all types of configurations, surround, 144hz single, and high res displays and SLI has served me well. I think you have to know what you're going for. If a single card is getting you 30 fps at your desired settings and you expect a smooth 40-50 fps with SLI, you'll be disappointed. If you're gaming @ 60 fps. and you want a little more eye candy, a higher resolution, some higher AA, that is what I expect from SLI anyway.
 

Killa|3yte

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Picked up a 980 from Best Buy today. Finally was able to play some Far Cry 4!

One of the 670s went in the wife's computer and the other will be going on eBay or forum here tomorrow. I am very happy to hear that SLI is working well for some of you. I ran SLI 670 basically since they came out and we've had some good times together. It's always been something of a headache, but the performance was worth it.

For me I think buying FC4 and AC:I on launch day and having to shelve them for potentially weeks was what made me crack. Will probably go and play Tomb Raider again too.
 

rennyf77

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far cry 4 was buggy at launch with just one video card, but seriously anyone who expects multi gpu to work out of the gate every time probably gripes when it rains, too. there are just too many variables. if the number of mobos that support sli or cf dwindled down to 8, with the accompanying cpus reduced to 4, then one might expect near perfect alignment between game and driver. nvidia has been more consistent with delivering on day one than amd, but these days amd has committed itself to keeping up with team green. plus it really doesn't help when publishers push games to market before the devs are done. this is becoming a trend with ubisoft.

as to sli being 'such a superior technology to crossfire'......someone hasn't taken xdma crossfire for a test drive.
 

x3sphere

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Yep. I've had several multi GPU setups:

GTX 275 SLI
5870 Crossfire
HD7990
GTX 780 SLI
R9 290 CrossFire
GTX 980 SLI

... and I've now gone to just a single 980. The issues in various recent games pushed me to finally ditch it. I feel like support for multi-GPU setups has actually gotten WORSE as of late. I do not have time anymore to deal with the little issues that crop up when I just want to sit down and play a game.
 

Killa|3yte

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I feel like support for multi-GPU setups has actually gotten WORSE as of late.
I'm glad it's not just my imagination.

but seriously anyone who expects multi gpu to work out of the gate every time probably gripes when it rains, too. there are just too many variables
You're right. As PC users, we should expect that there will be some issues, particularly close to launch. As you said, lots of variables and combinations with the hardware. I hope I didn't come off too whiny, I guess all I meant to say was that after spending a lot of time with an SLI setup, it's not something I'm interested in using anymore.
 

rennyf77

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i don't know if its specifically multi gpu that's gotten worse or just the state of pc games in general as they're coming to market. again, a bunch of major titles released in the last 6-8 months have performed really poorly for people who just game on one card. as a gamer who's embraced multi gpu for close to a full decade, trust me when i say right now isn't the worst its ever been, but it looks like we're at the beginning of a bad trend. when it comes to multi gpu, my advice to most users is don't do if you can't afford to be disappointed.
 

c3k

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Both camps (AMD and Nvidia) have a lot of driver issues with multi-card setups. I dabbled in it years ago and swore off it. I have never regretted single card ease of use.

(However, a spare rig w/HD6870 will get a just-made-spare HD6850 added in, just to see what it can do. I foresee removing both and using an R9 after a few months of playing with it. This is for my AMD/AMD rig. I have an intel/Nvidia rig, and also a hybrid running either intel/AMD or AMD/Nvidia, depending on what I have lying around. Just to show I'm not a fanboi.)

Somewhere around here is a set of graphs showing SLI 980's getting lower fps than a single 980, and even lower than a single 780. Very surprising and pointing to massive driver inefficiencies if the graph is correct.


Single card is the way to go, unless you have a specific game you need/want multiple cards to run and have the time and inclination to get that configuration working for that software. (Because it won't work with ALL the gaming software/monitors/connections/etc. out there.)
 

KickAssCop

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Can't imagine going back to single card again. The extra frames and flexibility to turn the settings up to the maximum possible are appealing to me. If game has SLi issues, disable SLi and move on with life. There are always more games that use SLi than not use it and hence, why I will stick with SLi.
 

Direfox

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I like going with the best bang for the buck single GPU then adding another one down the line when my one GPU is a little slow. Once there is an affordable single GPU thats significantly faster than my dual GPU setup, I know its time to upgrade.
 

magictoaster

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Can't imagine going back to single card again. The extra frames and flexibility to turn the settings up to the maximum possible are appealing to me. If game has SLi issues, disable SLi and move on with life. There are always more games that use SLi than not use it and hence, why I will stick with SLi.

^^^
This!

For the last few years I've always been running either SLI or Crossfire. If there is a compatibility issue with a specific game it's simple to disable until a profile is made available.
 

PornoSatan

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Some things never change. Here's how SLI/Crossfire advice works on various forums:

"Hey, I got XXXX video card, should I buy another XXXX for SLI or wait and just get a YYYY?"

Then everyone goes:

-"Go with the single more powerful YYYY, it's newer and more effecient, you won't regret it, and you can SLI it later on!"

*A couple years ago by*

"Hey guys, I got a YYYY, think I should SLI it now since the price has gone down? The ZZZZ just came out though and looks really nice."

-"I'd go with a single ZZZZ, it's newer and more effecient, and you can just SLI it later if need be."



La la la
 

Starrbuck

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I've had several SLI setups over the years (GTX 260, GTX 460, GTX 780, and GTX 970) and while there have been minor issues there's never been anything that would make me want to go back to single card. I'll be using SLI until they can make a single card that handles 4K (at ultra or at least high settings) adequately.
 
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Porter_

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i ran SLI GTX 460's for about a year and a half and it was problem-free. for the most part i only play mainstream games so i didn't run into any issues, i was playing a lot of BF:BC2 when i had the 460's. i'm going to grab another 970 soon and hop back into the multi-gpu arena. PornoSatan is right about the typical cycle, nailed that one on the head :D
 

SRTie4k

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I've always considered trying an SLI setup (only SLI setup I ever did run was the 7950GX2, but that wasn't really SLI per se), but all the horror stories I hear and incompatibilities in games makes it sound like a total waste of money. I'm still happy with my single GTX 670 FTW, haven't found a game that demolishes it yet.
 

OpStar

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Good to see some honest replies here. I get so sick of arrogant folks that claim SLI/Crossfire works great and they never have any problems. Thats such a load of bull as multi card setups will always have more issues and in some games it wont even work at all. You could not pay me to run more than one card.

Other than stuttering very early in BF4's life, which they fixed in a driver update within weeks of the game's launch, my SLi setup has been pretty much trouble free for me and that's with surround. I think it's come a long way from when I had 6800 Ultra SLi back in the early 2000s or whatever.
 

MorgothPl

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Same. I ordered 2nd 970, but sent it back. It's not really the microstutter or driver trouble or anything else (as all worked perfectly), but I can't stand 970 Strix on 60-70% fan. It's too noisy. I rather run DA:I or Watch Dogs or whatever else there is with demanding graphics at 45 - 50 FPS with Gsync and don't hear a thing from my PC, then having a blower (and yes blower cards are noisy as hell also).

You want SLI, you need to cough a lot of dough for watercooled system. On air it's pointless.
 

OpStar

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You want SLI, you need to cough a lot of dough for watercooled system. On air it's pointless.

I don't understand statements like this. SLi enables me to play BF4 all ultra @ 5960x1080 and stay above 60fps. No way I can do that on a single card. How is that pointless lol.
 
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I would have to say that after trying Crossfire twice, that I would say that 1 great card will be better than 2 good/great cards. I feel that the emphasis in the drivers is being put towards keeping up with the games , and not getting their hardware to work in multiple card configurations. I know from my experience with dual ATi cards, that you have to find a driver set that works, then never change! Find one that works then do not touch it.

Also on air SLi/Crossfire is fine. Just deal with the noise, or the abuse of your wallet. But air is fine.
 

Blackstone

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As Jimi Hendrix used to say, if one is good, two is better. Is this really a debate?

I think SLI introduces some latency and some issues but when you actually get a game where it works it works great. BF4 was lame at launch and then as the drivers for 980 got better it got incredible. It runs without a hitch even at 1080 with 30% resolution scale boost. Having a game like THAT without missing a beat is really something. Intense.
 

kasakka

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At 1440p I either need two cards or the top of the line single card which is usually more expensive than two cards one step down on the performance rung. Got 2x GTX 770 now with 2x GTX 970 on the way.

To be honest so far the only game giving me proper grief is Far Cry 4. It is a combination of Ubisoft churning it out before it was ready (stutter on all hardware unless using medium textures) and Nvidia drivers being incompatible (environment going black unless SLI bits are altered).

With SLI my current setup isn't all that much noisier than a single card. Idle is about the same and load is drowned by game audio without turning volume up.
 

Tyler-Durden

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I tried CF with a pair of 5870s and SLI with two GTX 580s. I'm not one who enjoys constant system tweaking and hated having to do it to keep my multi-GPU gaming rigs at an acceptable level. I've been a single GPU guy since. Whatever I lose in statistical performance measurements is more than offset by smooth, hassle-free gaming.

That's just me, though.
 
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