Amazing SLI Scaling: Do Two GeForce GTX 460s Beat One GTX 480?

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Marcus52

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I can think of 1 other reason not to use the 2 cards - if you want to use the other expansion slots for something besides video cards :D

Thanks Tomshardware for another excellent article.

;)
 
G

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Hey,

does anyone know how having 8x PCI-E SLI would affect this? would there be a notable loss in performance?
 

DSpider

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No. Not really. x8/x8 is not that far from x16/x16. Previous card generations (dx9.0c and dx10/10.1) proved very little differences is SLI or CF... I'm guessing history repeats itself with these too.

PS: The problem with some P55 mobos (i5 750 for example) is that you won't have any lanes left for USB 3.0 or SATA 6Gb/s. Not sure about AM3 chipsets, except the 8xx series which support it natively.
 

DSpider

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Anyway, Nvidia finally released a good dx11 card, TWO YEARS LATE IN THE GAME. HD5850 turns 2 years old this October.

Why isn't there any AM3 motherboard that does SLI ?? Probably because you need to obtain a license from Nvidia to put it on your board. It's a feature, one that costs money, sure. But since AMD owns ATI, of course Nvidia won't release the SLI technology to ATI.

It's a f*cked up thing. We're stuck on Intel platforms for SLI which is pretty bad for consumers if they hold the monopoly. Damn. I hope ATI rolls out the HD6xxx series soon.
 

rockstone1

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Wow.
I'm seriously thinking about getting a new motherboard and picking up these two cards. Depending on what motherboard I get, it still might be cheaper than the GTX 480.
 

dragonsqrrl

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[citation][nom]DSpider[/nom]Anyway, Nvidia finally released a good dx11 card, TWO YEARS LATE IN THE GAME. HD5850 turns 2 years old this October.[/citation]
I think you might have your dates mixed up a bit, and I'm not sure how the GTX400 series was 2 years late, but lets clear a few things up. The HD5850 will not turn 2 years old this October, it'll turn 1 year old this September. It was launched about a week after the HD5870 in late September of 2009. The GTX400 series was scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2009, but was delayed to the first quarter of 2010. This places its release almost exactly 6 months after that of the HD5800 series... not 2 years.

And a 6 month separation is certainly not unheard of in the history of GPU generations. In fact competing generations from ATI and Nvidia are rarely released within 1-2 months of each other. A 3-5 month separation is more the norm from what I can remember, with perhaps the only exceptions being the HD4000/GTX200 series and the x800/Geforce 6 series, at least in recent memory. In both of those generations ATI's GPU's were released about a month later then Nvidia's. But other then that, the HD2000 series came out almost exactly 6 months after the Geforce 8, and the x1000 series was released about 5 months after the Geforce 7, etc... In fact this is the first time I can remember Nvidia releasing a generation of GPU's after ATI.
[citation][nom]DSpider[/nom]It's a f*cked up thing. We're stuck on Intel platforms for SLI which is pretty bad for consumers if they hold the monopoly. Damn. I hope ATI rolls out the HD6xxx series soon.[/citation]
I'm interested to see what the HD6000 series brings to the table. It'll incorporate ATI's Southern Islands architecture, which will not be the entirely new architecture people have been waiting for. This is planned for the Northern Islands family of GPU's. It'll still be based on the Evergreen architecture inside the HD5000 series, which in turn is an evolution of the R600 found in the HD2000 series. It'll also incorporate the same or similar number of SP's as the previous generation at 1600, so in this way the two will be quite similar.

From what I've heard, one of the principle differences between Evergreen and Southern Islands will be in the area of tessellation. Southern Islands will incorporate a fixed function tessellator to boost tessellation performance, something that's seriously lacking in the HD5000 series. This idea is very similar to what's currently found in the GTX400 series. Many of these rumors seem logical and believable, considering Southern Islands will be manufactured on the same 40nm process as the HD5000 series. This doesn't give ATI many extra transistors to work with given their new business model, so we shouldn't see huge physical differences in core or cluster counts. It's rumored that the HD6000 series is set for release in the fourth quarter of 2010.
 

pinkfloydminnesota

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Wow.

I just dumped my old single GPU solution q9550 build for an AMD 6 core and a crossfire board due to the lack of value in the 5xxx and 4xx series vs. adding a second 4890 and going crossfire.

I was lucky to get dollar for dollar value on my swap and a $125 4890 used. My fps is through the roof and six cores add brag, if little other value ... a great, cheap upgrade for someone who doesn't care about dx11 enough to pay $300+ for a 5850/470 and a few more frames each second.

The 4890 scales great in crossfire but, had i known about this 460 pumping the sli numbers so high, I might've waited and grabbed a single 460 1GB, sold the 4890 and worked on putting together an i7/x68 sli system instead.

This card seems to be the entry point into the new generation of cards and the fulcrum of an upgraded system.

This is really the first card of the new generation that makes more sense than adding a 48970/4890/260/275/285 to an existing set up.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]DSpider[/nom]Anyway, Nvidia finally released a good dx11 card, TWO YEARS LATE IN THE GAME. HD5850 turns 2 years old this October.Why isn't there any AM3 motherboard that does SLI ?? Probably because you need to obtain a license from Nvidia to put it on your board. It's a feature, one that costs money, sure. But since AMD owns ATI, of course Nvidia won't release the SLI technology to ATI.It's a f*cked up thing. We're stuck on Intel platforms for SLI which is pretty bad for consumers if they hold the monopoly. Damn. I hope ATI rolls out the HD6xxx series soon.[/citation]There are SLI-enabled Socket AM3 motherboards. And it's not really a license from Nvidia, it's a BIOS hook for the driver. It's all controlled by software.
 

epkfaile

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[citation][nom]stm1185[/nom]"With an MSRP of $250 and a Web price around $230, the GeForce GTX 460 was already known to be a great mid-priced performer" Is that Canadian pricing I see, because in America GTX 460s go for $199!. For $250 you get a GTX 460 factory overclocked from 675 mhz to 800MHZ! and with 1GB of ram, not 768mb! 2 of which are 90% as fast as a Ati 5970, for $200 less![/citation]
actually, there 200 at newegg.ca :D
 

DSpider

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[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]There are SLI-enabled Socket AM3 motherboards.[/citation]
Name a few. With a recent chipset if possible.
 

sdnly

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same, especially the 5850 xfire part
has anyone seen these benchs done on another site?
 

Esyphelon

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[citation][nom]esyphelon[/nom]I have a question about the power readings. Are the load numbers CPU+GPU load? Or just CPU load?[/citation]

Heh. My first post and I screw it all up...

What I meant to say was:

I have a question about the the power numbers. Are they supposed to be CPU+GPU load numbers or just GPU load numbers?
 

dragonsqrrl

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[citation][nom]DSpider[/nom]Name a few. With a recent chipset if possible.[/citation]
ASUS M4N82 Deluxe nForce 980a SLI
Asus M4N98TD EVO nForce 980a SLI
MSI NF750-G55 nForce 750a SLI
MSI NF980-G65 nForce 980a SLI

Dude honestly, they exist. It took about 5 min of searching on Google.
 

zendax

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[citation][nom]dragonfang18[/nom]But you lose the power to upgrade... At least I can still save up for another 480 down the road when I need an upgrade.[/citation]

This argument rarely turns out well. By the time you want to upgrade by adding another 480, you'll either find that the card isn't available or the price/performance of newer products makes them more compelling even though you have a GTX 480 as a starting point.

Let's say for example you had an 8800 GTX. It was once king, but now it's looking a bit long in the tooth. You can add another one, but you still won't reach the performance of say a GTX 480. It'd be cheaper, but the 280 isn't exactly an efficient card.

You'll either spend more money than you want or get less performance than you want. In either case you'll lose out on any new features the new cards provide.

Two GTX 460s are cheaper and provide MUCH more performance than a GTX 480. The 480 really doesn't make sense right now.
 

williehmmm

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[citation][nom]zendax[/nom]Two GTX 460s are cheaper and provide MUCH more performance than a GTX 480. The 480 really doesn't make sense right now.[/citation]

I'd challenge that if I had the figures to back it up. 3D vision reduces FPS to between 50% - 70% of a non 3D display. That would push many of those scores to below the magic 40 fps. I prefer a 60 fps target, but I'm greedy.

2D surround/Eyefinity also has an impact. Screen resolutions of 5040x1050 (x3 1680x1050) or 5760x1080 (x3 1920x1080) are now possible and if you've got a card suitable, why not use it.

Then there's 3D vision surround, 5760x1080 @ 120Hz. I think the sli 460 will struggle, but again, I'm just guessing because the benchmarks haven't been done. Come on Toms, I think the 480 sli setup will have a purpose once you start pushing the hardware to it's fantastic limits.
 

williehmmm

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My mistake. 3D Vision surround has been reviewed and benchmarked on here, and as I suspected, GTX480 sli is the recommended setup.

I still think x2 GTX460 in sli should be enough for 2D Surround gaming, but it'll struggle with the extra demands of 3D vision surround.

I have x2 470 in sli and can max out details on everything except Metro 2033 in 3D vision single screen mode. If Toms or anyone else wants to donate x2 3D vision ready monitors, I'll happily benchmark GTX470 in sli 3d Surround vision for you.
 

zendax

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[citation][nom]williehmmm[/nom]I'd challenge that if I had the figures to back it up. 3D vision reduces FPS to between 50% - 70% of a non 3D display. That would push many of those scores to below the magic 40 fps. I prefer a 60 fps target, but I'm greedy.2D surround/Eyefinity also has an impact. Screen resolutions of 5040x1050 (x3 1680x1050) or 5760x1080 (x3 1920x1080) are now possible and if you've got a card suitable, why not use it.Then there's 3D vision surround, 5760x1080 @ 120Hz. I think the sli 460 will struggle, but again, I'm just guessing because the benchmarks haven't been done. Come on Toms, I think the 480 sli setup will have a purpose once you start pushing the hardware to it's fantastic limits.[/citation]

They suggested they'll have 480's in SLI in the next system builder marathon.

At any rate, that would be a reason to get GTX 480 in SLi NOW as opposed to buying one now and one down the line, which is a completely different argument.

If 1 GTX 480 fufills your needs, then buying 2 GTX 460s is a better choice. If you want to get 2 GTX 480's buy 2 GTX 480's. I'm not going to stop you. Whether or not there are applications for it, though, $1000 just for graphics is way out of most people's price range.
 

ajithkumar420

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im looking forward for fermi gf104 with 512cuda cores and whopping 2048gb ram naming it 485 for 350$ and triple sli them for future needs....that will make amd SOOOO SAD!
 
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