Could someone explain SLI to me?

jmacavali

Fully Optimized
Messages
4,867
Can someone explain what SLI is? I don't know much about it other than it has to do with having 2 NVidia graphics cards and running multiple monitors maybe?

I thought that any video card with 2 outputs could multimonitor though so how is it different?
 

LostDog4

Solid State Member
Messages
6
You're right, any card with two 'outs' can do that, but thats not the primary feature of SLI. Infact technically its quite the opposite - to utilize 2 cards into a single output.

You'd have two cards, thats twice as much punch!

The short answer is it increases your Graphics processing power & is nothing to do with dual display (not primarily anyway).

Nvidia use SLI, ATI use crossfire ... its only a name but the concept is the same.

Its a huge topic with many opinions and views, whats best, is it worth it, yada yada yada. Do a google search on SLI versus crossfire, by the time you've read over all the arguments you'll be well up to speed on utilizing two cards.
 

Whyfly??

Daemon Poster
Messages
976
You're right, any card with two 'outs' can do that, but thats not the primary feature of SLI. Infact technically its quite the opposite - to utilize 2 cards into a single output.

You'd have two cards, thats twice as much punch!
Nope... You don't just multiply by two. The only time it is good to get 2 cards in Sli over getting one more powerful one is when you've got the best cards on the market and the only way to improve is another of the same card.

The short answer is it increases your Graphics processing power & is nothing to do with dual display (not primarily anyway).

Nvidia use SLI, ATI use crossfire ... its only a name but the concept is the same.

Its a huge topic with many opinions and views, whats best, is it worth it, yada yada yada. Do a google search on SLI versus crossfire, by the time you've read over all the arguments you'll be well up to speed on utilizing two cards.
:)
 

Computear

Daemon Poster
Messages
675
Location
US
You're right, any card with two 'outs' can do that, but thats not the primary feature of SLI. Infact technically its quite the opposite - to utilize 2 cards into a single output.

You'd have two cards, thats twice as much punch!

The short answer is it increases your Graphics processing power & is nothing to do with dual display (not primarily anyway).

Nvidia use SLI, ATI use crossfire ... its only a name but the concept is the same.

Its a huge topic with many opinions and views, whats best, is it worth it, yada yada yada. Do a google search on SLI versus crossfire, by the time you've read over all the arguments you'll be well up to speed on utilizing two cards.
Basically right, if you add what Whyfly mentioned.

The increase in performance from adding additional cards isn't a 100% increase per card. The more card you add, the less you get out of each.
 

wol-va-rine

Fully Optimized
Messages
2,104
in addition to not multiplying the performance by two, some cards just don't scale well in SLI while others do scale well, different models don't all scale the same amount when SLIed...
 

jmacavali

Fully Optimized
Messages
4,867
So it uses the 2 cards to 'multiply' the graphic processing power. But it really only helps when you have the 'best' cards on the market. But since most likely a new card comes out regularly, it's really not the best practice right?

I guess I understand now. Thanks for the help.
 

rohan23

Fully Optimized
Messages
4,087
It's not exactly like what has been said before. SLI stands for scalable link interface. It can be used in two modes. SFR and AFR.

SFR: One card only renders a half of the screen.
AFR: One card works on the current frame and the second will work on the upcoming one.

It should be used when you get a card i.e. GTX 280. Soon after the 295 comes out. You can't exactly afford to purchase the card at it's hefty price. So you purchase another GTX 280 at a lower price to compete with the 295. It doesn't exactly "multiply." The way the game is coded takes a huge toll on performance. Many of the newer games can utilize multi-GPU setups. You can get anywhere from a 0%-100% increase in performance depending solely on the card and the engines utilization of multi card setups.
 
Top