Is SLI worth it in 2017?

Discussion in 'nVidia Flavor' started by VanGoghComplex, Oct 12, 2017.

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  1. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Limp Gawd

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    I'm well aware this is a very loaded question, so I'm going to take some time to detail my experience and use case.

    My experience with multiple-GPU setups is limited and dated. The last rig I ran with it used two Radeon HD7870s. My memories of that experience were mixed. In games with native support where Crossfire scaling was solid, it was a fairly painless experience. Those, however, were few and far between. I became semi-proficient with tweaking settings in the third-party RadeonPro software to get some multi-gpu scaling on games with poor (or nonexistent) support, but it was a constant technical struggle. With my limited gaming time, I often spent more of a session trying to eliminate some nasty judder than I did actually enjoying my game.

    I've read that Crossfire is a poor imitation of Nvidia's SLI, and that SLI typically works better and is better supported. Of course, I've also read that's all tripe written by Nvidia shills and that my Crossfire problems were of my own making because AMD is the best etc etc... you guys know the drill. ;)

    I currently play a mix of recent and semi-recent (3-4 years back) titles. I'm running a Gigabyte GTX 1080 Waterforce WB. It's served me well but I've got the itch to go overboard again. A 1080ti, to me, isn't worth the hassle. Maybe if I didn't already have 1080 I'd feel differently about that, but it is what it is.

    How many gremlins do you SLI users typically face in your games? How do older games or games without SLI support fare?

    It wouldn't be a matter of just grabbing another card, for me it will involve a PSU upgrade and of course replumbing a hardline watercooling loop. Do you see this as a reasonable upgrade path as opposed to waiting a year or two for Nvidia's next line?
     
  2. skiddierow

    skiddierow Limp Gawd

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    You said overboard, the answer is single Titan Xp.

    A liquid-cooled 1080 Ti is worth the hassle.

    Maybe two 1080 Ti at 4k.

    SLI = in two years you'll ask yourself "why the hell did I do that?" if you didn't need to.
     
  3. VoloxitySF

    VoloxitySF Gawd

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    I believe it all has to do with what resolution you're trying to game at. I don't think it will make much of a difference at all for 1080, and possibly not much for 1440. I haven't been keeping up with scaling for a few years, so I could be wrong.
     
  4. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Limp Gawd

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    Maybe overboard was the wrong word.

    My goal is 1440 resolution and 120-160fps. 4K looks beautiful, but I will prioritize refresh rate over resolution every single time, and two 1080tis (or a single Titan XP, for that matter) isn't an amount of money I'm comfortable spending.
     
  5. skiddierow

    skiddierow Limp Gawd

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    SLI can be good, it just comes with strings attached too often, even for a game with years of patches like Witcher 3.

    IMO, spare yourself unless you're after 4K+ highest playable settings.

    Tweak settings here and there, 1080 Ti will do great for 120 Hz.

    And you won't waste any time thinking about throwing the second card out the window. ;)
     
  6. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Limp Gawd

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    Okay then.

    I won't make the switch from a 1080 to a 1080ti. It's just not worth the hassle to me, of trying to sell my 1080 with an integrated full cover block, and eating the $300+ price difference for the gains involved. I'll do that maybe with Nvidia's next flagship card, but not for the move from a 1080 to a Ti.

    If SLI is still that finicky, I'm thinking I should just wait and go to the next lineup of cards.
     
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  7. Bandalo

    Bandalo 2[H]4U

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    If you have money to burn (i.e., buying a 1950X / 7980XE or something for fun), then by all means, go SLI. Otherwise, it's probably not worth the trouble. It's definitely NOT worth it unless you're buying the top-tier card model.

    In a lot of games, it'll work and give you a boost in performance. You'll never get 100% scaling, so you're always going to be paying twice the cost for less than twice the performance. Some games will be near 90%, some games will be 0% gain, the average is close to 50% historically.

    Bugs come and go. Some games work flawlessly, some games CTD the second you fire them up. The bugs move around with driver versions and game patches. It's not really THAT much worse than single-card though. I've only had a couple games that flat-out refused to work with SLI.
     
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  8. Communism

    Communism n00bie

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    All these "is AFR mGPU worth it in XXXX" threads need to be merged.

    Narcissistic Wastes of space.
     
  9. Damar

    Damar [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yep, it really comes down to the specific game and resolution you're trying to push.

    Some games with SLI support work perfectly... some suck....

    Its a tough call, and I always buy from some place I can easily return things to, so you could test it out with the games you're playing to see if it benefits you perhaps.

    Sadly there's no simple yes or no answer. :(

    (I on the other hand have zero regrets shelling out for 2 Titan's and just lately a Predator X34 monitor to view the output on, but I'm just a little nuts too). :p
     
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  10. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Limp Gawd

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    I wasn't asking about any specific GPU, but rather multi-GPU technology and support in general.

    Thanks for reading, though.
     
  11. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Limp Gawd

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    Thanks for the input.

    If it were as simple as popping in another card and returning it if I don't like it, I might be inclined to just try it out... sadly, that's one of the flexibilities I gave up when I went with a hard-piped watercooling loop.
     
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  12. verylostindeed

    verylostindeed Gawd

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    I'm a repeat victim of multi-GPU on both the AMD and Nvidia side. Every time I say "never again." I'm actually holding out fairly well right now with a single 1080ti for 1440. I think for that resolution, multi-GPU will be a waste of time and is more likely to cause problems than anything else.
     
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  13. BitMaster

    BitMaster Limp Gawd

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    Buy the biggest fattest SINGLE card you can afford and settle with it. Take the money you have saved for the 2nd 1080 and spend it on something that actually works.

    I have had multiple mGPU systems and none worked as good as my 2 Voodoos back then, every SLI or CF after that was a big waste of money and time.

    I even sold those systems and despite I told them not to buy it they got it and it was also a waste from A-Z.
     
  14. jhatfie

    jhatfie [H]ard|Gawd

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    Same here. Done both several times. There are moments of "Hell Yeah, this is awesome!" with moments of "F this crap" in equal measure.
     
  15. Nebulous

    Nebulous [H]ard|Gawd

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    Last time I ran multi-gpu was back with the 7970's and before that it was 470GTX's. Tho it was a great epeen thing, it was totally a waste of resources, energy and was better suited to heat up my room during the winter months.

    BitMaster hit it on the head with his statement: " Buy the biggest fattest SINGLE card you can afford and settle with it. Take the money you have saved for the 2nd 1080 and spend it on something that actually works"

    The money you save on that second gpu will be better spent on a Gsync monitor or something else that you will benefit from it. Don't waste your money and time on SLI/Xfire as it's already a dead end.
     
  16. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Limp Gawd

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    Thanks everyone. That pretty much answers it for me. I was wondering if / hoping that the multi-GPU ecosystem had matured, but I guess it's still what it was four years ago: an e-peen moneyhole for folks with more dollars than sense.
     
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  17. skiddierow

    skiddierow Limp Gawd

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    I wouldn't go that far, there are cases for it, but fewer now that more GPUs can drive greater than 1080p resolutions with ease.
     
  18. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Limp Gawd

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    I guess if you're running a task, maybe in a professional setting, that can (dependably) leverage that much GPU power?
     
  19. Algrim

    Algrim Gawd

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    Professional GPU tasks don't need Crossfire/SLI to take advantage of multiple GPUs.
     
  20. Minimalist

    Minimalist n00bie

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    well not exactly
    I run sli and I actually use it for 3d medical reconstruction/imaging
    I also use it for nic med

    but I also CUDA as much as possible.

    SO
    its not worth it if you're just going to game

    BUT
    if you set up the rig correctly, and you play at no less than 4k, preferably 8k, then SLI is capable of showing you smooth frames, fast response and depending what tricks you play in you're head, then its worth it to you.


    2 way sli is easier but in order to get your satisfaction you'll have to learn INSPECTOR and make your own profiles or at the very least, tweak the ones from nvidia.

    personally, I'm at 4 way fully functional SLI and content.

    .... but I would not recommend that fro the faint of heart AND definitely not if you're just going to play games.


    for 4 way sli, the entry fee is a dual cpu rig and 1600w of power. or you can't fee the 4 way brick of cards what it deserves.


    but 2 way SLI, with understanding of profiles and Inspector, shows the most amount of gain for your money and is a satisfying experience.

    A lot of folks put SLI down, in most cases they just don't understand. Its not their fault, a correct implementation is complicated. That's probably why its not worth it to nvidia to continue as most consumers aren't able to use the tools to get there.



    Anyhow, if you want SLI, learn profiles and INSPECTOR, or its not worth it.
     
  21. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Limp Gawd

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    I'm familiar with inspector, and use it frequently to get my framerates capped and force stuff to work with Gsync. Still though, that's pretty simple and easy.

    Thanks for your input, but I'm decided against SLI at this point. I don't plan to push the resolutions that would require it, and it's mainly a gaming rig, so it doesn't seem to make much sense for my use case.
     
  22. Ed Lin

    Ed Lin [H]Lite

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    No, plain and simple. Invest in a high end card and spend more time gaming rather than dealing with the pros and cons and troubleshooting of an sli rig.
     
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  23. veedubfreak

    veedubfreak 2[H]4U

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    I went from watercooled 980 TI SLI to a single watercooled 1080TI and I don't feel the need for anything more. I play on triple 1440 and so far nothing can make the 1080 ti flinch.
     
  24. Gideon

    Gideon [H]ard|Gawd

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    SLI or crossfire they both suck and tend to add stuttering and weird glitches that you wait for a driver or patch and hope it actually fixes it. Buy the best single card you can afford and that is what you use as both companies are supporting multiple cards less and less. Or wait for the next generation of gpu's that likely will allow for well over 60 fps 4k gaming.
     
  25. H2R2P2

    H2R2P2 Limp Gawd

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    If you game at 4K then you need it. I have SLI Titan XP's and using just one at 4K doesnt pass muster.
     
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  26. misterbobby

    misterbobby 2[H]4U

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    Comments like this drive me nuts. If a game has issues with multi gpus or does not support it all then what difference does it make if you are playing at 4k? :rolleyes:
     
  27. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Limp Gawd

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    Doesn't matter much to me either way.

    I use a 144hz Gsync 1080p monitor and the framerates have positively spoiled me. I might make the move to a 1440p monitor, but likely no higher. I am not a rich enough man to drive 4k @ 140fps, and dumb as it may be, the 140fps is the number I won't budge on.
     
  28. H2R2P2

    H2R2P2 Limp Gawd

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    We'll put you down as a solid "no" vote.
     
  29. JRUHg

    JRUHg Limp Gawd

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    have a free electricity?

    buy two or more for mining :)
     
  30. misterbobby

    misterbobby 2[H]4U

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    Let me see if I can be more clear...it does not matter what the reason is for saying multi gpu is needed for gaming as it is irrelevant if the games themselves do not support it or have issues.
     
  31. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Limp Gawd

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    Let me see if I can be more clear... :D
     
  32. NukeDukem

    NukeDukem [H]ard|Gawd

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    Your 1080 is more than enough for 1080p. It's a great card even at 1440p. No need for SLI in either res, although I did notice improvement at 1440 high refresh going to the 1080Ti.
     
  33. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Limp Gawd

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    No arguments there! I've been thrilled with the performance at 1080p. The only thing that had me thinking about it at all was the fact that my next upgrade will be a 1440p monitor.

    The helpful and informative replies to this thread fixed that, though. If I go to 1440p, and only get 80fps in some of my games, I'll deal with it and dial back the eye candy until... what is it, Volta?
     
  34. ChronoDetector

    ChronoDetector 2[H]4U

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    Back then SLI before 2013 was great, my SLI in GTX 670 was great, most games worked well with it. However, my experience with SLI after 2013 was horrible. My GTX 970's in SLI was nothing but a headache, most games was stuttering like crazy and I got horrible scaling, inconsistent framerates and most modern games just didn't work well with SLI. The GTX 1080's in SLI was slightly better than the GTX 970's, but not great either due to poor support, poor scaling and certain games didn't support SLI. Got fed up with it so I sold both cards and got a single GTX 1080 Ti instead. It is a waste of money and time trying to get the second card to work due to poor SLI support and it is not worth it.
     
  35. eclypse

    eclypse 2[H]4U

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    I bet if I hit up a microcenter for 2 1080ti cards to test out, id prob could not bring myself to return one.
     
  36. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex Limp Gawd

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    Well, this thread had a good run, but my question's been answered. Thanks all!
     
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