Thinking about getting another GTX 570 and going dual SLI

#1 Posted by Andorski (5240 posts) -

I made my current rig back in March and have been pretty happy with its performance until Far Cry 3. Currently I'm playing that game with most settings on high (some on medium) in order to get 60 fps, but it dips to ~40 erratically. It doesn't ruin my experience and the game looks great even at modest settings, but still...

So I have some cash that I can spend on getting another video card. My current rig specs: i5-2500k, GTX 570, 8GB RAM, 7200rpm HDD (I have an SSD but install my games onto a secondary drive), and a 850W PSU. Will going dual SLI make it so that virtually any game that comes out within the next year run at the highest settings at 1080p? Also, how troublesome is it to have a dual GPU rig? I've heard of how games that are newly released get all buggy on a dual GPU systems and owners have to turn off one of the GPUs in order for the game to run. Is this a common occurrence? Is it usually expected of a developer to patch their game when it can't run on a multi-GPU setup?

#2 Posted by MB (12206 posts) -

I have a Crossfire setup. If I could do it all over again, I would have gone with a single, higher-end card as opposed to two mid to high end cards.

Crossfire/SLI scaling is great for some games, poor for others, and in some cases, you have to disable your second video card in order for the game to even run. In general, you're better off with a single card. If there is any way you can sell your 570 or use it in another system and buy one new card, do that.

Moderator Online
#3 Posted by Zekhariah (697 posts) -

I think it is a bit difficult to say what would allow for any game on the highest settings. The new (or heavily reworked) graphics engines that should be coming out in the next year might be able to stress video cards for a few years, if the developer is so inclined (ARMA 3 looks like it will do murder to the avg. pc).

MB posted the issues with running, and that seems to have been a theme for the last few years as very few people have systems that will tolerate two cards. If you want a new single card it may be worth keeping in mind that spring is usually when AMD / NV start gearing up their initial round of refreshed cards (which they roll out over the course of the year, usually higher end ones sooner).

#4 Posted by LiquidPrince (15901 posts) -

It would probably be better if you sold your current 570 and stacked that money on top of the money you currently have for your new card and get a GTX680 or AMD7970.

#5 Posted by phampire (284 posts) -

SLI setups are very dependent on the latest beta drivers and even then there are compatibility issues with some games, which is a bit of a pain. Another thing to consider is the power consumption, running a higher single card could be better for your power-bill in the long run. One card also means less noise and heat, which is why I have stuck with a single card setup. Two 570's should be more than enough for 1080p for the foreseeable future. On a side note Farcry 3 doesn't run that great in DX11 (on my 560ti @ 1080p) so I ended up running it on DX9 on very high instead of low/med on dx11.

#6 Edited by Snail (8593 posts) -

@MB said:

I have a Crossfire setup. If I could do it all over again, I would have gone with a single, higher-end card as opposed to two mid to high end cards.

Crossfire/SLI scaling is great for some games, poor for others, and in some cases, you have to disable your second video card in order for the game to even run. In general, you're better off with a single card. If there is any way you can sell your 570 or use it in another system and buy one new card, do that.

This is what I regret about getting a Radeon HD 6990. Even with a card that is in a way the equivalent of two high-end cards (dual-GPUs) you'll run into this problem. I obviously don't entirely regret the purchase, but this ended up being more of an issue than I expected.

AMD has, however, a regularly-updated little file you can download that, as I understand it, automatically turns off CrossFireX for many games that do not support it. It helped a lot, though I don't know if nvidia has any sort of equivalent.

#7 Posted by mordukai (7149 posts) -

Like others have stated, you're better off selling the card you have right now and going for a single higher end GPU.

#8 Edited by SuperiorArmbar (32 posts) -

I get the sense that Farcry 3 is just very poorly optimized. I am running i5 2500k and crossfire 6870's. I was having frame rate issues running the game on high settings and I haven't really had issues with any other games I have played

I am not talking about the maxed out settings either. I haven't played it for a week or so though so maybe it has been updated since then. There was also a driver update I installed today

#9 Posted by charlie_victor_bravo (983 posts) -

Also note that proper cooling is much harder with multiple graphic cards.

#10 Posted by cannedstingray (387 posts) -

ive got an i7 2600k and 2 superclocked 570's, I run the game (Far Cry 3) mostly on optimal which is most everything set to very high, except for like 3-4 things set at high, and I get a pretty solid 60 fps with occasional drops to 50 or 40 briefly at times when there is a TON happening on screen. There is also just a few places around the world where the fps will dip even if im just sitting still.

Like others have said keep up on drivers. Sli set ups are definitely a little more of a hassle at times, especially if sli isn't immediately supported for a game at release, but I haven't had a ton of issues, and the ones I have had, Ive been able to sort out, and im no computer whiz at all..

#11 Edited by envane (1162 posts) -

@MB said:

I have a Crossfire setup. If I could do it all over again, I would have gone with a single, higher-end card as opposed to two mid to high end cards.

Crossfire/SLI scaling is great for some games, poor for others, and in some cases, you have to disable your second video card in order for the game to even run. In general, you're better off with a single card. If there is any way you can sell your 570 or use it in another system and buy one new card, do that.

what he said .. i have sli 580s and it was instantly a world of pain just managing the extra heat , driver issues were less of a worry to me but i had plenty.i got it to run 3x24 inch widescreen surround, which is pretty cool , but the amount of games that dont stretch horribly without widescreen tweaks is still tiny , plus you can run that out of a single 680 now anyway.

But yeah .. honestly half the time i run a single card to keep the noise down lol , farcry 3 and hitman ran a smooth 60fos for me already when they hadnt even updated drivers to use sli.

so yeah .. unless you can handle the extra heat then dont get one (sandwiching 2 cards together is suicide , but spreading them out an extra slot might not be supported fully in 16x pci-e depending on your mobo..)

but i wouldnt say no if you got one suuuper cheap

(im in australia so heat is a super duper concern :/ your ambient temps might be fine to run 3 with low fan speed who the fuck knows)

#12 Posted by tread311 (355 posts) -

Single card is the way to go. I have never had a good experience with crossfire or SLI. Weird driver issues, negative scaling, all around frustration many times. Just try to get a 670 or something more powerful if you want to upgrade.

#13 Posted by Laiv162560asse (487 posts) -

I have 2 x 570s in SLI and I'm delighted with the setup. I feel like it could last me for years to come. The only drawback is fan noise, since although temps do climb pretty high, with a well-ventilated case they never reach truly dangerous levels. Playing a game on release can produce issues if the SLI profile isn't perfect (common, but often resolved very quickly) or if the game doesn't support SLI at all (rare). Overall I've experienced no more driver issues with an SLI setup than I experienced with a single card, the bottom line being that driver updates are frequently required in either case. Worst case scenario with this setup is that I only have the horsepower of one GTX570, which is still a great card. Best situation, and essentially every situation I've encountered, is that I have the equivalent punch of one top of the range card.

#14 Posted by Chrjz (326 posts) -

At 1080p you're much better off with a single, more powerful card, as others have said. SLI makes more sense with multiple monitors or WQHD monitors.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.