Using SLI/Crossfire setups for a different purpose.

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Using SLI/Crossfire setups for a different purpose.

Postposted on Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:11 pm

I was thinking about something the other day, and after reading some of the issues getting a proper boost using SLI or Xfire setups for gaming, I was wondering why it wouldn't be possible for devs to use ONE of the GPUs for actually scene rendering, while using the "slave" card for other tasks, like Physics, OpenCL computation, AI, etc..


Any good technical reason why a devs couldn't use those types of setup to bring more things to a game environment (better RBD and/or soft body physics, smarter AI, pathfinding, etc...)
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Re: Using SLI/Crossfire setups for a different purpose.

Postposted on Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:16 pm

So the person who doesn't have an SLI setup won't be able to fully enjoy the game? Also in my SLI setup, one of the cards does apparently act as the Phsyx Engine. I'll take a SS of what I mean when at home.
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Re: Using SLI/Crossfire setups for a different purpose.

Postposted on Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:21 pm

If you have two nvidia cards, the control panel already lets you designate one as the PhysX card, for PhysX games. My guess is that if a game supports an OpenCL or CUDA-based physics engine, it would need to allow you to choose the physics processor.

In fact, Mafia II recommended such a thing: http://techreport.com/news/19236/mafia- ... a-beefy-pc

The system requirements wrote:PHSYX/APEX ENHANCEMENTS SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP (SP2 or later) / Windows Vista / Windows 7 Minimum Processor: 2.4 GHz Quad Core processor
Recommended Processor: 2.66 GHz Core i7-920 RAM: 2 GB

Video Cards and resolution: APEX medium settings
Minimum: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 (or better) for Graphics and a dedicated NVIDIA 9800GTX (or better) for PhysX
Recommended: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 (or better)

Video Cards and resolution: APEX High settings
Minimum: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 (or better) and a dedicated NVIDIA 9800GTX (or better) for PhysX
Recommended: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 for Graphics and a dedicated NVIDIA GTX 285 (or better) for PhysX NVIDIA GPU driver: 197.13 or later.
NVIDIA PhysX driver: 10.04.02_9.10.0522. Included and automatically installed with the game.
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Re: Using SLI/Crossfire setups for a different purpose.

Postposted on Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:38 pm

mvp324 wrote:So the person who doesn't have an SLI setup won't be able to fully enjoy the game? Also in my SLI setup, one of the cards does apparently act as the Phsyx Engine. I'll take a SS of what I mean when at home.



I don't know if I'd go so far as to say that SLI owners wouldn't be able to enjoy the game. I was just thinking about people like me, who have AMD cards. My 7950 has no problems turning up all the bells and whistles on modern games. I was just thinking of what else could be done if I dropped in a second 7950, but has it utilized for non-graphics tasks, to offload as much work off the CPU (and maybe even the primary GPU). I was just contemplating what other tasks/improvements could be made to games, by mearly using the power of the second GPU to add things to enhance immersion, not just extra eye candy.
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Re: Using SLI/Crossfire setups for a different purpose.

Postposted on Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:08 pm

I have two R9 280X in my home PC and I don't bother gaming with two of them; SLI still has plenty of problems and it's considerably better than Crossfire.

I can encode/render on one and still game uninterrupted on the other - but I'm quite happy playing on a single 1440p screen and I'm not upset if some of the bells and whistles aren't set to "ultra".
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