How 'reliable' is SLI and Crossfire nowadays?

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internetswag

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Just thought I'd ask.

I know it's been around for a while, so each respective GPU manufacturer should have sorted out most kinks yeah? Cause I still see a lot of people complaining about Crossfire while playing some games. This was especially noticeable when Skyrim first came out.

So what to you think? Is it worth it? Or is it just better to go for a superior single GPU and avoid the entire cool factor of running SLI/Crossfire?
 

rndmavis

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I am currently experiencing CF for the first time. I am disappointed in the s/w support. Drivers seem to be buggy in some games, skyrim for instance. Can't increase settings beyong a single card even though I've confirmed it does run in crossfire. The heat can be another issue if you dont have the best airflow/ambient temps.

For instance, in league of legends, if I'm running crossfire, the screen scrolling is choppy and character movement is skittery. My character will sometimes have no walk animation (lag in place after I click to move) and suddenly my character will have jumped 10 distance from where I was just standing. Disabling crossfire makes the game run buttery smooth.

My next gpu upgrade will be to a single AMD/nvidia. I have not heard the amount of issues with sli as I have heard with cf.

Another note, I have not heard of a single issue with the 6990's from my friend. We play the same games and he has no issues with character jumping, stuttering, heat. It's just super loud and 700ish bucks. Of course, 2-3 months we'll have brand gen cards on the market.
 

rndmavis

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I am currently experiencing CF for the first time. I am disappointed in the s/w support. Drivers seem to be buggy in some games, skyrim for instance. Can't increase settings beyong a single card even though I've confirmed it does run in crossfire. The heat can be another issue if you dont have the best airflow/ambient temps.

For instance, in league of legends, if I'm running crossfire, the screen scrolling is choppy and character movement is skittery. My character will sometimes have no walk animation (lag in place after I click to move) and suddenly my character will have jumped 10 distance from where I was just standing. Disabling crossfire makes the game run buttery smooth.

My next gpu upgrade will be to a single AMD/nvidia. I have not heard the amount of issues with sli as I have heard with cf.

Another note, I have not heard of a single issue with the 6990's from my friend. We play the same games and he has no issues with character jumping, stuttering, heat. It's just super loud and 700ish bucks. Of course, 2-3 months we'll have brand gen cards on the market.
 

dharmenparikh

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I own 2x 6970s in CF and they work very well. These issues with drivers and other things only cause issues when a game is new. Most get fixed in 1-2 months so its nothing to complain about. PC gamers shouldn't be complaining too much because as is game makers are doing us a favour by adding dual/triple/quad GPU support...they make most of their money from console nowadays. PC gaming is slowly dying.

As far as performance is concerned...Crossfire in the 6900 AMD series and 6800 series is a lot better than Nvidia 500 series. Used to be the opposite a few years ago.

Also, given the current prices if you're looking to maximize performance at a given price point...then you'll be better off with 2 cards rather than one because they scale like mad for SLI and Crossfire now. Its almost 100% in some games
 

buzznut

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SLI and crossfire still have issues and a multi-card setup isn't recommended for the average user. Some games actually have reduced performance in dual card mode, so its hard to say this is a technology for everyone. Some folks interested in maximizing performance in top PC titles like BF3 insist on going with Crossfire/SLI. So it depends on your usage and how involved you want to be in your graphics subsystem.

Drivers always seem to be an issue and it takes some tinkering to get everything just so. Even then, increased performance isn't guaranteed in every title, and as mentioned some titles take a month or two to completely support multi GPU setups.

My advice is, get the most powerful single card you can afford unless you like tinkering and have a monitor resolution that requires beefier graphics. Otherwise you're just wasting your money.
 

mjello

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It could be two cards with different versions of BIOS. One of my friends had this issue. After flashing downloading the newest bios from the newest card and flashing it on the old one things got just about perfect. Thx for dual bios AMD. Makes it a no pain.
 

monsta

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For most , SLI/CF is usually an upgrade by adding another card of the same model to get more performance out of their pc, unless they have planned to get the SLI/CF right away due to wanting higher FPS than a single card.
I would recomend getting the fastest card you can afford, SLI/CF can be done later as an option, but primarily its best to run a single card to avoid the issues that multi gpu's have. The drivers do get updated but its frustrating waiting for a fix when you encounter problems with a game such as BF3.
 
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