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Thread: 2 lesser Cards SLI, or 1 better card?

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    Default 2 lesser Cards SLI, or 1 better card?

    Hi guys, I'm building my first PC for about 6 years, and I'm trying to decide on a video solution.

    I can afford either a pair of NVidia 660's or a single 680 - what would be the best solution?


    Shane

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    Default Re: 2 lesser Cards SLI, or 1 better card?

    Hi Shane,
    Welcome to PureOC.
    There is no doubt, the GTX-680 would be much better, more stable (there are issues with SLI at times) and faster too. My EVGA card is a beast.

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    Default Re: 2 lesser Cards SLI, or 1 better card?

    Thanks RealNeil,

    I'll kick off with one 680 and later on I might get another just to play with sli (I've been wanting to do that since it first became a possibility)

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    Default Re: 2 lesser Cards SLI, or 1 better card?

    One better card almost always tops two lesser ones. The problem is SLI can be buggy and cause small issues, additionally, memory is not pooled. Meaning that one 2GB card and another 2GB card does not make a 4GB graphics setup. Also, some games and applications do not support SLI capabilities correctly, so you will see very little boost in performance over a single card.

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    Default Re: 2 lesser Cards SLI, or 1 better card?

    Thanks TCC, I thought that memory was shared, looks like I need to do more research

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    Default Re: 2 lesser Cards SLI, or 1 better card?

    Yes one card will almost always be better than two lesser cards. When I was building my computer someone kept telling me to get two lower cards rather than one higher card but it doesn't really make sense because you can't necessarily add another down the road and SLI/CrossFire isn't the most stable thing in the world. So really there are no benefits to getting two lower end cards vs one high end IMO

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    Default Re: 2 lesser Cards SLI, or 1 better card?

    Hey Neil, what kind of SLI issues? I've been running SLI ever since it first came out, and never had an issue, and as you know I've run SLI, Tri-SLI and Quad SLI, I'm running Quad SLI right now with the 690s and like I mentioned, I've never had an SLI problem. Crossfire yes, but SLI, never.
    Shane, skip the 660s and go with a 4GB GTX680 or even a 2GB 680, I was running 4 of them before buying the 690s their great cards, your going to love owning one, you might even decide to buy a 2nd 680 .

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    Default Re: 2 lesser Cards SLI, or 1 better card?

    I personally haven't had issues with SLI, (I used two GTX-570s ~not~ made by the same company too) but others that I know have.
    Sometimes, you have to load game "profiles" for some games to get the best framerates. And that's never an issue with just one card.
    So yeah, one better card trumps two lesser cards in SLI/Crossfire.

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    Default Re: 2 lesser Cards SLI, or 1 better card?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor_Death View Post
    Hey Neil, what kind of SLI issues? I've been running SLI ever since it first came out, and never had an issue, and as you know I've run SLI, Tri-SLI and Quad SLI, I'm running Quad SLI right now with the 690s and like I mentioned, I've never had an SLI problem. Crossfire yes, but SLI, never.
    Shane, skip the 660s and go with a 4GB GTX680 or even a 2GB 680, I was running 4 of them before buying the 690s their great cards, your going to love owning one, you might even decide to buy a 2nd 680 .
    Personally had issues when running two 9800s. Games not supporting, games needing profiles, waiting for sli to do something in said games. There were issues. Not many anymore, which is why I am running SLI again. Feels good man.

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    Default Re: 2 lesser Cards SLI, or 1 better card?

    SLI has its problems. its just not as widely talked about like the crossfire issues.
    I had some initially with my 670s. But that was in Surround Mode and games not using both my cards when they are suppose too.

    Most of the time its profiling issues. So unless you are playing a game that demands both cards (like in surround mode) sometimes the users that don't monitor FPS they don't even notice it.
    However I play BF3 in Surround Mode sometimes and I get hick ups here and there.. But for the most part, its pretty smooth.

    This is the same thing with Crossfire. Normally its also the ones that run less hardware (including # of monitors) are the ones that run into less problems. The more you add on, the more problems it seems to create with the set-up.

    If it were me, I would buy one single good card and call it a day.

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    Default Re: 2 lesser Cards SLI, or 1 better card?

    Quote Originally Posted by MattyMatt View Post
    Personally had issues when running two 9800s. Games not supporting, games needing profiles, waiting for sli to do something in said games. There were issues. Not many anymore, which is why I am running SLI again. Feels good man.
    Games not supporting SLI is not an SLI issue, it's a game issue. and Nvidia has been on top of releasing new drivers for the latest games for several years now.

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    Default Re: 2 lesser Cards SLI, or 1 better card?

    Kenny, lets face it, there's more people running single monitors, then dual or tri setups. I've owned every single high end card the Nvidia has ever made, with the exception of the GTX Titan, and have always run ay lest 2 GPUs and like I mentioned, I've never had an SLI problem. As far as games that do not support SLI, it's easy enough to go into the Nvidia control panel and disable SLI if you want to play a certain that does not support SLI, disabling SLI only takes 60-90 seconds if that, same thing going back and enabling it.

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    Default Re: 2 lesser Cards SLI, or 1 better card?

    I have never had any issues while running SLI but I do like my GTX 680 in that it handles everything I throw at it with full eye candy and games play great. My 560ti's (SLI) are in the second rig and as they have in the past play exceptional in that system as well.
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    Default Re: 2 lesser Cards SLI, or 1 better card?

    Hey Rick, when's your new water cooling build going to be finished ?

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    Default Re: 2 lesser Cards SLI, or 1 better card?

    Hey Stan,

    I have all the parts and now just waiting for a full day without interruptions to do a very good job. I will take pics of before and after and prior to installing I will take pics of the new parts. I am very, very happy with the look, build and detail for high performance from the Koolance RP-452X2 (Rev. 2.0). Thanks Stan for making the suggestion and providing your thoughts on the quality of the piece. I completely agree. I also like the QDC's from Koolance. Everything will look very, very nice when completed. I have decided to order a set of PSU Red-sleeved for my Corsair AX1200 Modular PSU. It will help make the RED/BLACK theme pop more.

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    RAM: 64GBs Kingston Beast 2133MHz
    GPU: Two EVGA GTX 690s in Quad SLI
    • Doctor_Death's Full Spec's
      • Case:
      • Corsair 900D
      • PSU:
      • Corsair AX1200i
      • Cooling:
      • Complete system cooled by EK Water Blocks
      • Sound:
      • Creative Sound Core 3D Audio 7.1
      • Monitor:
      • Dell U3011 30" 2560 x 1600 Res
      • OS:
      • Win 7 Ultimate 64Bit
      • Misc:
      • Asus Blu-Ray, Asus 24X DVD Burner, Max Mechanicalkeyboard / Razer Abyssus Mouse / Razer eXact Mat with wrist rest.
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    Default Re: 2 lesser Cards SLI, or 1 better card?

    Hi Rick, Corsair usually sells the sleeved cable kits for $99, but the AX1200 are now selling for $69, and they do work with the new AX1200i, I just installed a blue cable kit on my 1200i so I could make sure they worked .
    Looking forward to seeing photos !

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