Is SLI faster on Zen 2 (3700x, etc) ?

HardUp4HardWare

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Hi,

I just upgraded to a 3700x and I have a 1070TI. Runs great. But now I am seeing the price of used 1070TI cards getting low enough to where I am wondering if going SLI is a good option.

I have read reviews and I know that some games benefit, some don't. However, with the Multi-core power of the new Ryzen CPUs I am wondering if the benefit is more betterer....

I have read that on games that DONT benefit from SLI it is usually due to CPU driver load.

Thoughts?
 

T4rd

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Just like always; you're better off just selling your existing card towards a faster single card. Not only for better overall performance and compatibility, but just for better stability and reliability as well.

The only time SLI makes sense IMO is on the top-end x080 or Titan cards when there's no other faster single card solution out already and you have that excess of money to dump into your rig.
 

GotNoRice

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I am wondering if going SLI is a good option.
DirectX 12 basically killed SLI.

In DirectX 11, Multi-GPU was handled at the driver level. Nvidia/AMD would release drivers that had profiles for various games and that is what made it work. With DirectX12, as part of the "closer to metal" fad, they shifted the burden of making multi-GPU work from the driver to the game itself. Now each and every game developer has to program their game to make multi-GPU work with DirectX 12.

The problem is that there was motivation on the part of companies like Nvidia and AMD to make multi-GPU work (at the driver level) because it sold more cards. Game developers on the other hand, are not particularly motivated to spend tons of extra time coding their games for multi-GPU just to cater to a small minority that actually runs more than one GPU.

The result is that very few DirectX 12 games support Multi-GPU. In some cases, if DirectX 11 is still offered as an option in a particular game, you can switch to that in order to make multi-GPU work. But then you are trading away the benefits of DirectX 12.
 

arestavo

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Hi,

I just upgraded to a 3700x and I have a 1070TI. Runs great. But now I am seeing the price of used 1070TI cards getting low enough to where I am wondering if going SLI is a good option.

I have read reviews and I know that some games benefit, some don't. However, with the Multi-core power of the new Ryzen CPUs I am wondering if the benefit is more betterer....

I have read that on games that DONT benefit from SLI it is usually due to CPU driver load.

Thoughts?
Point of order:

It depends more on the resolution that you play at. Some games have SLI/mGPU support, some none - everyone knows this.

Everyone does not know that the CPU is the weak point at low game resolutions. Back when I had 980 Tis in SLI, 1080P had terrible GPU usage scaling because the CPU could not feed the GPUs fast enough. I switched to 4K after and GPU usage scaling (in supported games) went to 99/100%.

These days my two 1080 Tis scale extremely well at 4K. Playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 4K with everything except ray tracing and anti aliasing cranked to max looks quite gorgeous and well above 60 FPS at all times.

On the other hand, playing Assasins Creed Origins and Odyssey the second GPU is just dead weight, forcing me to lower the image quality setting to maintain >60 FPS at 4K. So, having a Gsync monitor becomes a HUGE bonus for smooth gameplay (and one should argue - the most cost effective one since it can span generations of Nvidia cards).

As to those that said DX12 killed SLI - they're half correct. It's not SLI in DX12, but explicit multi-GPU. Also, the onus on implementing explicit mGPU in DX12 is 100% on the game developers and not Nvidia with the game devs input like with DX11 and 9. So, that's going to take time for game developers to get to know the coding language - just like every other time a new DX version has been released.

So, resolution and what games that you play should be the deciding factor as to whether or not it's more cost effective to get another 1070 Ti for SLI/mGPU or to just get a more powerful single GPU now/later, or just get a Gsync monitor (not all are comparable as to what FPS ranges they make smooth, just FYI).
 
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Stoly

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DirectX 12 basically killed SLI.

In DirectX 11, Multi-GPU was handled at the driver level. Nvidia/AMD would release drivers that had profiles for various games and that is what made it work. With DirectX12, as part of the "closer to metal" fad, they shifted the burden of making multi-GPU work from the driver to the game itself. Now each and every game developer has to program their game to make multi-GPU work with DirectX 12.

The problem is that there was motivation on the part of companies like Nvidia and AMD to make multi-GPU work (at the driver level) because it sold more cards. Game developers on the other hand, are not particularly motivated to spend tons of extra time coding their games for multi-GPU just to cater to a small minority that actually runs more than one GPU.

The result is that very few DirectX 12 games support Multi-GPU. In some cases, if DirectX 11 is still offered as an option in a particular game, you can switch to that in order to make multi-GPU work. But then you are trading away the benefits of DirectX 12.
That's funny, because DX12 was supposed to bring SLI back to life (actually mGPU but you get the idea).
 

Algrim

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That's funny, because DX12 was supposed to bring SLI back to life (actually mGPU but you get the idea).
mGPU is a great DX12 feature. But DX12 also pushed more work on developers to take advantage of features instead of continuing to rely on driver developers. Many people predicted that developers weren't likely to do this but we had lots of people insisting developers would jump on the bandwagon. 20/20 hindsight vision proved the naysayers right so far.
 

IdiotInCharge

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mGPU is a great DX12 feature. But DX12 also pushed more work on developers to take advantage of features instead of continuing to rely on driver developers. Many people predicted that developers weren't likely to do this but we had lots of people insisting developers would jump on the bandwagon. 20/20 hindsight vision proved the naysayers right so far.
Engine developers have done it -- but that hasn't transitioned much to shipping games. It does work very well when done correctly.

But it's done so infrequently that it's not worth bothering with at this time.
 

Stoly

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Tipical chicken-egg scenario.

To think there was a time where SLI was live and well.
 

HardUp4HardWare

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So really, and thanks for all the erudite responses, it is hit or miss but still, in a lot of games two 1070Tis can bring a decent performance boost.

Let's say I got an extra 1070ti for free? Is it worth it then?
 

Ricky T

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If you got one for free, trying it is no risk, so why not?
What difference does it make if the second card was free or not? Being free doesn't make SLI perform any better. Having two cards to sell does make it is easier to buy a faster single card though...
 

Algrim

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What difference does it make if the second card was free or not? Being free doesn't make SLI perform any better. Having two cards to sell does make it is easier to buy a faster single card though...
There are lots of people who have tried and enjoy SLI. Some people can't deal with the microstutter involved; some games don't support it; etc. If you have to pay to find out these issues affect you, there's a risk. If the card's free, why not try it? If my wife were to upgrade her video card to something better I'd snag her 1070 in a heartbeat to try it. I have nothing to lose but time and inconvenience but there's no monetary risk involved.
 

Mchart

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Hi,

I just upgraded to a 3700x and I have a 1070TI. Runs great. But now I am seeing the price of used 1070TI cards getting low enough to where I am wondering if going SLI is a good option.

I have read reviews and I know that some games benefit, some don't. However, with the Multi-core power of the new Ryzen CPUs I am wondering if the benefit is more betterer....

I have read that on games that DONT benefit from SLI it is usually due to CPU driver load.

Thoughts?
Your time/money would be better spent finding a used 1080ti or 2080.
 

sabrewolf732

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tbh the only viable upgrades for you are like a 2080 super or 2080ti

There's the 1080ti but I'm not sure if the increase is large enough to justify cost.

Are any of your games doing really poorly?

I'd wait for ampere/big navi.
 

Ricky T

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There are lots of people who have tried and enjoy SLI. Some people can't deal with the microstutter involved; some games don't support it; etc. If you have to pay to find out these issues affect you, there's a risk. If the card's free, why not try it? If my wife were to upgrade her video card to something better I'd snag her 1070 in a heartbeat to try it. I have nothing to lose but time and inconvenience but there's no monetary risk involved.
No one in their right mind enjoys SLI more than having a single faster card. There are plenty of reviews out there so you don't have to test it yourself as we already have plenty of information on just how crappy SLI is and how many games do not support it at all. So really how dumb would someone have to be to use a solution that has numerous problems and does not even work at all in many newer games when you could simply sell that set up and have a single fast card that will work perfectly? So yes even if it's free, it would be dumb to waste time fooling with it when you could just sell the two cards and get one single faster card.
 
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sabrewolf732

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No one in their right mind enjoys SLI more than having a single fast card. There are plenty of reviews out there so you don't have to test it yourself as we already have plenty of information on just how crappy SLI is and how many games do not support it at all. So really how dumb would you have to be to use a solution that has numerous problems and does not even work at all in many newer games when you could simply sell that set up and have a single fast card that will work perfectly? So yes even if it's free, it would be dumb to waste time fooling with it when you could just sell the two cards and get one single faster card.
Some people enjoy tinkering with things, you're forgetting to account for that.
 

arestavo

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Well that's great for them but I thought we were talking about getting the best solution and that is always going to be to with a faster single card.
God-Emperor Ricky hath spoken! No one else is allowed to have a differing opinion or experience, you ignorant pissants!
 

Ricky T

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God-Emperor Ricky hath spoken! No one else is allowed to have a differing opinion or experience, you ignorant pissants!
Again we were talking about the best solution here and it's a fact not an opinion that a single faster card is better. If someone wants to fool around with SLI just to tinker then that's fine if they enjoy doing that.
 
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doubletake

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No one in their right mind enjoys SLI more than having a single faster card. There are plenty of reviews out there so you don't have to test it yourself as we already have plenty of information on just how crappy SLI is and how many games do not support it at all. So really how dumb would someone have to be to use a solution that has numerous problems and does not even work at all in many newer games when you could simply sell that set up and have a single fast card that will work perfectly? So yes even if it's free, it would be dumb to waste time fooling with it when you could just sell the two cards and get one single faster card.

Or....orrrrr.....hear me out on this one....

You could just buy two of the fastest cards that are out so that you can have top end performance no matter what. Can't upgrade to a faster card when there are none anyways. That's what I've been doing since the Maxwell Titan and it's been serving me well. Only reason I sold one my current Titan X Pascals was to get rid of some my current stuff as I get ready to do a full system overhaul, which will include either two 2080Tis, or maybe two TRexs if my pending car repairs don't cannibalize my PC funds.

Otherwise, yeah, I wouldn't bother with SLI on lower end cards since it doesn't really make sense unless you do it on release day to maximize value over time.
 

Ricky T

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Or....orrrrr.....hear me out on this one....

You could just buy two of the fastest cards that are out so that you can have top end performance no matter what. Can't upgrade to a faster card when there are none anyways. That's what I've been doing since the Maxwell Titan and it's been serving me well. Only reason I sold one my current Titan X Pascals was to get rid of some my current stuff as I get ready to do a full system overhaul, which will include either two 2080Tis, or maybe two TRexs if my pending car repairs don't cannibalize my PC funds.

Otherwise, yeah, I wouldn't bother with SLI on lower end cards since it doesn't really make sense unless you do it on release day to maximize value over time.
Yes if you already have the top of the line fastest card and you still want to try to get some more performance in some games and don't mind all the downsides and accept the fact that it's not going to always work then sure. But yeah in a case like the one here it just doesn't make any sense if you're looking for the best overall playable performance and consistency.
 

IdiotInCharge

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Again we were talking about the best solution here and it's a fact not an opinion that a single faster card is better.
Yeah that's not really debatable
It is debatable for games that support DX12 / Vulkan mGPU, but given that tiny slice of the market the OP would need to be looking almost exclusively at those.

Otherwise, in those instances where an mGPU profile may be forced, frametimes should be expected to be no better or even worse than a single card. That means that what the user experiences in the case of a forced profile in place of first-class support is going to be sub-par, and that's going to be most of the time with today's games.
 

Dayaks

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Someone did a poll on this once. Two mid range vs a high end card. People voted 88% in favor of the single card iirc.

Another problem with mgpu is your game might work well... for today. Then a patch drops the next day and bam, worse performance than a single card. I found that more annoying than a game not supporting it.

As for the OP. Logically SLI would be faster on the 9900K. Overclocked HEDT could also be up there due to full 16x PCIe lanes which Vega (the user) has a thread showing Titan X Pascal (iirc) SLI was about 14% faster with 16x rather than 8x PCIe 3.0. But all of that is moot since, if you look at frametimes which matter and not the average fps, multiGPU rarely adds much value.
 
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oldmanbal

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Tipical chicken-egg scenario.

To think there was a time where SLI was live and well.
That was also back in the day that SLI/CFX stuttering (frameloss / frame drops / spikes ect) was at its worse. Sure you had 90% scaling, but it played like shit, and you told people 'it didn't bother you' to make yourself feel good about your investment. It's almost comical that when the whole frame timing way of measuring how smooth a game is being delivered by GPUs actually forced AMD and NVIDIA to FIX microstutters, they entire mGPU niche was virtually killed off. We finally had decent mGPU gameplay and performance, right when it all went to shit support wise. It's like taking acid and finally realizing the meaning of life, only to instantly forget it, never to live in the warmth of understanding again.
 

Nenu

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SLI isnt dead, even on games that arent marketed as SLI capable.
DX12 is another matter but nearly all games still use DX11 with the inevitable loss of some features.

Check this thread out, the op is running 4x GTX970 and works hard to get games running well with Quad SLI !!
(another guy with Quad Titans contributes later in the thread and also enjoys success)
He specifically states that his results are probably not directly applicable to even a GTX980 but you will learn what is required to tune your SLI setup.
He goes hardcore getting games to work and has great success.
There can be compromises but he is pushing quad SLI, it might not be so tough with dual cards.
https://forums.guru3d.com/threads/my-experience-with-4-way-sli-thus-far.425674/
Warning, its BIG.
 
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Ricky T

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In the last SLI review on Techpowerup, one third of the AAA games they tested had absolutely no support for multi-gpu setups at all. And even in games that do support SLI you will still have all those potential downsides. There are several games with flickering issues, poor scaling, micro stutter and sometimes support gets broken on a driver or game update. You are constantly having to worry about which games work or don't work and which games have issues and chasing down ways of working around those issues. I can't even fathom what goes through the mind of someone that would suggest SLI over using a single faster GPU.
 
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Dan_D

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However, with the Multi-core power of the new Ryzen CPUs I am wondering if the benefit is more betterer....

I have read that on games that DONT benefit from SLI it is usually due to CPU driver load.
The quick answer is no.

The fact of the matter is that higher core count CPU's have nothing to do with whether or not SLI is better or not. Going beyond say 8c/16t isn't generally going to benefit you in most games. Other people have talked about why some games don't benefit from SLI. They are correct. With DirectX 12, the developers have to put in the work to make explicit multi-GPU work. Most, do not bother. With DirectX 11 and older games, it can work pretty well but it depends on the architecture. As an example, I think Maxwell scales better than Pascal does in SLI.
 

Dan_D

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In the last SLI review on Techpowerup, one third of the AAA games they tested had absolutely no support for multi-gpu setups at all. And even in games that do support SLI you will still have all those potential downsides. There are several games with flickering issues, poor scaling, micro stutter and sometimes support gets broken on a driver or game update. You are constantly having to worry about which games work or don't work and which games have issues and chasing down ways of working around those issues. I can't even fathom what goes through the mind of someone that would suggest SLI over using a single faster GPU.
There is a key point everyone seems to miss. There isn't a single, faster card if your at the top of the stack already. If you buy an RTX 2080 Ti today, you have no where to go.
 

Ricky T

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There is a key point everyone seems to miss. There isn't a single, faster card if your at the top of the stack already. If you buy an RTX 2080 Ti today, you have no where to go.
I think everybody that keeps up with graphics cards knows that and it has actually already been mentioned just a few posts up. For the OP, it makes more sense to just sell his current GPU setup and buy a faster single card.
 

Mchart

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There is a key point everyone seems to miss. There isn't a single, faster card if your at the top of the stack already. If you buy an RTX 2080 Ti today, you have no where to go.
This is generally why SLI only makes sense if you have the money for two 2080ti's. I have a single 2080ti and could use more horsepower for many of the newer games at 4k, but I can't personally justify dropping another $1k for another 2080ti.

It wouldn't make much sense going SLI in any other situation these days though.
 

arestavo

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Or all the "big brains" here could just recommend a good Gsync monitor and it wont matter!

But SLI is deaaaaaaaaaaaad!

Fudge off, we know it never had good support. Tell them about the game changer that is Gsync (or Freesync if that's your thing).

Or don't, and meme more SLI IS DAD!
 

Dan_D

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Or all the "big brains" here could just recommend a good Gsync monitor and it wont matter!

But SLI is deaaaaaaaaaaaad!

Fudge off, we know it never had good support. Tell them about the game changer that is Gsync (or Freesync if that's your thing).

Or don't, and meme more SLI IS DAD!
This post doesn't even make sense.
 
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