The Value Prospect of Sli/Crossfire Today...

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Re: The Value Prospect of Sli/Crossfire Today...

Postposted on Sun Dec 08, 2013 3:41 am

Based upon the 'frame-rating' tests I've seen Crossfire is still a dodgy proposition, in some situations it will boost FPS dramatically while in others (mostly DX9 which hasn't got frame-pacing support) it will offer no real FPS boost (because the actual size of the extra displayed frames is miniscule) and it will introduce a lot of screen tearing - arguably giving a worse experience than if you were to use a single card.

Theoretically Mantle is going to improve things on the GCN Crossfire front (we'll have to see) but again this will be limited to games that support Mantle. So you end up with games that possibly run best in one of three different configurations (single card - DX9, Crossfire - modern, Mantle - unreleased), it makes it extremely hard to quantify just how much performance benefit you will get because that's going to vary wildly depending on the game, plus Mantle is an unknown.

If you just play modern AAA type games you will probably be fine because AMD will provide decent driver support for the game giving you sizable FPS increase with frame-pacing. If you do go back to play an older game disabling Crossfire (hardly ideal) might be needed should you find tearing to be too bad (plenty of people appeared not to notice it), you will still probably get respectable performance in older DX9 games at 1080p with a single 7870.

It definitely seems like a relatively cheap way to improve performance in modern games and since there won't be any new series of cards launched for a year prices probably won't drop much on current lines so it could turn out to be a great investment, personally I'd wait to see how Mantle pans out first. For people that play a lot of older games waiting for a single card upgrade at a good price would be a better route, but at the moment there aren't many that offer huge performance increases without spending $300+.
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Re: The Value Prospect of Sli/Crossfire Today...

Postposted on Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:37 pm

puppetworx wrote:It definitely seems like a relatively cheap way to improve performance in modern games and since there won't be any new series of cards launched for a year prices probably won't drop much on current lines so it could turn out to be a great investment, personally I'd wait to see how Mantle pans out first. For people that play a lot of older games waiting for a single card upgrade at a good price would be a better route, but at the moment there aren't many that offer huge performance increases without spending $300+.

Not completely agree. For people who bought a non SLI/CF capable board, chassis (cooling wise), and PSU, they would have to tear up their build for a 2nd card. For people who did buy the components, they would have spent a premium on the stuff already. So the extra that people have to pay is the same, if not more.
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Re: The Value Prospect of Sli/Crossfire Today...

Postposted on Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:24 pm

I agree, if you have to spend money elsewhere to make it work it's not the right path. Power use won't be all that high though (~500w) so it should be an option for quite a few people.
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Re: The Value Prospect of Sli/Crossfire Today...

Postposted on Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:31 am

Pretty much any modern ATX case can support crossifre/sli, same with PSU if they bought a namebrand one 600w+ which most people are doing nowdays. I had a 550w pure before I upgraded to a 650 and I'm sure it would've been able to handle it. Those things you can take care of if and when you run across them (if you're sketchy on it to begin with). It's not hard to mod a case either. I modded my old school Lian-Li to support a 92mm back blow and 140mm blow hole on top.

However, comparing a $115 purchase Vs a $400 one is what this comes down to. I hope TR can find time to work on this because it is a pretty hot topic for people upgrading. People have been talking about such things off and on in my channel while I stream for awhile now and it used to be a solid 'no', especially a few years ago... but now days it actually looks like it might be worthwhile and I can't say for certain it's a bad idea.
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Re: The Value Prospect of Sli/Crossfire Today...

Postposted on Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:36 pm

Hi All,

I registered on the forum just to add my view to this thread as I've pretty much gone through the OP's thought process and wanted to recount my experience.

I, like most people who live in the real world, can't afford to just throw money at building the latest and greatest rig. I own a mid range PC built mainly from bargains I've sourced on Ebay plus bits I've added to improve it here and there. I run an AMD Phenom II X4 965 with 8Gb G.Skill memory and an ASUS 560 Ti - not great shakes I know but hey, we're not all millionaries Rodders (Delboy pun for the UK boys amongst us).

Anyway, I've just upgraded from a Gigabyte mobo to an ASUS Sabertooth 990FX which supports SLI - bargain Ebay price £90. I've also added a second ASUS 560 Ti for £65.

The reason I went down this route is having played BF3 only high/ultra settings before, I was sorely disappointed to see that geforce experience set everything to LOW or OFF on BF4 with one card- not pretty I can tell you.

However having done the 'El Cheapo' upgrade to 560 Ti's in SLI, geforce experience is now cranking most things to ultra and running HBAO to boot, all at 1920 x 1200. So for not much money, and SERIOUSLY LESS than buying a new GTX 770 or AMD equivalent, I can play BF4 as it should be played with frame rates averaging in the 50/60's

Now you can argue the semantics of micro stuttering this, game profiles that and SLI/crossfire the other, but the reality is that buying a second mid range card can and will significantly improve gaming perfomance so long as you understand what it takes to run one.
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