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Dual GPU set-up - SLI

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TheSeeker

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Hello everyone!

since quite some time my PC has been out of use due to paucity of time and nature of my work. however i now see myself spending some 'quality-time' with my PC in the near-future, hence wish to upgrade a thing or two.

this PC of mine was built for gaming in 2011. following is its present config:

CPU - i7 2600k

RAM - Gskill ripjawsX 8GB (4GB x 2)

GPU - MSI N580GTX Lightning III 1.5GB

PSU - Corsair 850TX (or 750TX; sorry can't recall at the moment. will have to chk)

Cabinet - HAF X

CPU Cooler - CM Hyper 212 Plus

MoBo - Asus P8Z68-v pro

HDD - Seagate 1TB

Monitor - BenQ G2420HD

am presently checking articles on SLI. the least i know is that you need an identical GPU for it to work. my doubts are:

1. the GPU i have used to come in 2 variants - 1.5GB and 3GB. can i couple the 3GB one with my present GPU (1.5GB), or i would've to use the 1.5GB one only?!

2. a single GPU better than your present one is said to be better than having dual GPUs. does it still hold significantly true now too?

3. would i have to get a water cooler?

please suggest if i should take this route.

TIA!
 

firearm12

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1. the GPU i have used to come in 2 variants - 1.5GB and 3GB. can i couple the 3GB one with my present GPU (1.5GB), or i would've to use the 1.5GB one only?!

2. a single GPU better than your present one is said to be better than having dual GPUs. does it still hold significantly true now too?

3. would i have to get a water cooler?

please suggest if i should take this route.

TIA!


Though I have never used sli, but below are my opinions

1) Though you can run memory mismatched cards in sli but then both cards will be locked to to the amount of memory the lower card has.
2) 580 runs hot and is an based on old archtecture. Newer cards run cool and are more efficient. Running two 580's is not a good idea they will run too hot. Sell the 580 and get a 970 if you have budget.
3) Water cooler will be useful if you overclock your CPU to an extreme limit otherwise air cooler is fine. Personally, I find too much overclocking a waste of resources and time not to mention random reboots, stability, crash issues and the heat generated that degrades components. Actual, performance gains are not that much. I go for normal overclock and dont want to run too hot, so air cooler is fine for me.
 

firearm12

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All in all, instead of buying a new water cooler and an gtx580 for sli, get a GTX970 and you will be surprised.
 

TheSeeker

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Though I have never used sli, but below are my opinions

1) Though you can run memory mismatched cards in sli but then both cards will be locked to to the amount of memory the lower card has.

- yes! had totally forgot about this.


2) 580 runs hot and is an based on old archtecture. Newer cards run cool and are more efficient. Running two 580's is not a good idea they will run too hot. Sell the 580 and get a 970 if you have budget.

- important point indeed. i have a plan to build an HTPC too (or may be get a used one). this GPU (580) would be overkill for it?

(my replies in red above)
 

jai1611

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I use a similar setup. I had upgraded from the 570 to the 770 a couple of years back and it was a big step up. The other change that helped with getting an SSD to install games on. Not much difference in frame rates from the SSD but significantly improved load times.

SLI has compatibility issues with some games. Also, two 580s will run hot. You'll need a well ventilated cabinet. Maybe a larger power supply as well. Even after all that, you may end up with stability issues. Getting a single 970 will be the easier solution all around.

I have a watercooling setup for the CPU. In hindsight, it was a waste of effort to set it up. Unless you are into heavy overclocking, air cooling is fine. For moderate overclocking, an air cooler like the 212 Evo should be enough - that too only if you feel the cooling in your current setup is not enough.
 

reignofchaos

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You'll be hard pressed to find a new 580 now and anyways Fermi is too outdated. No point buying now. If you must get something now, get a single 970 (low budget) or 980 ti(higher budget) and get rid of your 580. If you can wait a little while, the next gen of GPUs featuring 14nm tech is just around the corner. The performance difference compared to the current gen will be substantial.
 

TheSeeker

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thanks! cabinet is well-ventilated. i have/had thought to buy a used 580 itself as, yes, a new one can't be had now. overclocking is not on my mind right now. since am planning to spend on a few things more, hence thought of taking the dual-GPU route for the time-being in order to save some bucks and invest them elsewhere. my estimate is i could have a used 580 now for near-about 10k.
 
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