Multi-GPU Setups: The Basics Of CrossFire And SLI

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ramcrazy360

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It's great to know there's so little difference between 8x and 16x preformance even with a 5850! I was worried about having a bandwidth issue with two 5770s, but it seems that won't be a problem.
 

wildeast

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same as ramcrazy,
i was going to get an i5 but that means a p55 mobo (x8+x8) not x58 (x16+x16), so i thought i should be getting x58 and i7 rig which is beyond my savings, thnx tom's am getting i5 + p55 now :)
 

ruffopurititiwang

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Great article! Now we know what the deal is regarding multi-gpu and PCI-E lane speeds with mainstream setups.

Now how about showing some love for top of the line setups? Can you apply the same tests to GTX 480/ATI 5870 Multi-gpu configuration + X58 mobo & 980X proc?
 

lothdk

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[citation][nom]rohitbaran[/nom]On page 7, performance of Radeons in Alien vs Predator is not arranged properly with CPU speed.[/citation]

All the tests are arranged by GPU performance not by CPU speed.
 

hixbot

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In every single TOMS article showing benches on CPU scaling, you use High resolutions with FULL AA and aniso! WHY?!

I know thats how many would play the game, and it shows the performance that one would expect with different CPUs. It shows that we don't need to overclock or buy expensive CPUs, when the load (bottleneck) is on the GPU.
BUT if you would also show the CPU scaling in low resolutions and no AA/aniso, we could see how the CPUs might stack up. This is valuable for knowing how the CPUs perform in the future, when one might have upgraded the GPUs, and the bottleneck dissapears.

Yeah, yeah, this is not a CPU article... i know but still.. it shows CPU scaling, and every time I see CPU scaling demonstrated on toms, it's shown with a bottleneck on the GPU.

Humour us next time and include a bench or two with no GPU bottlneck (low res, eye candy). Just becaause that's not how we'd play the game, and just because the FPS would be insanely high, doesn't mean the numbers wouldn't be valuable. I complain about this in every article that includes CPU scaling.
It doesn't erk me that much here because this article isn't focused on CPUs. but for the love god, the next CPU article you do, when you test gaming, throw a bench or two in there with very low settings.
 

tolham

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"The compact design looks great on a single card, but when putting several cards together as a CrossFire or SLI configuration, the closely spaced PCIe slots barely give the cards any room for sucking in cool air. "

i've wondered about this. with graphics cards getting huge and sli/crossfire becoming more prevalent, and CPU heatsinks getting huge and nearly touching RAM sticks, it seems that the motherboard needs to be redesigned with more space between PCI slots and a buffer area around the CPU socket.
 

Sorax

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@hixbot I don't think it irks me as much as you but I agree that a CPU benchmark would be useful. It demonstrates the limitations of the platform and defines an upper limit. I hope to see these metrics in future articles.

Good article by the way.
 

cknobman

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Just asking: Why compare crossfire of ATI current gen top of the line against Nvidia SLI last gen cards??? Especially when you have already done several SLI benching in other articles on the new Nvidia gen cards?

Also the point of SLI is super high res so why are you benching at 1080p? A single graphics card can handle that resolution nowadays.
 

hixbot

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Since this is a multi GPU article, it would be nice to see a blurb about microstuttering. The issue has still not been 100% resolved.
 

ta152h

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I'm curious how the x8 and x16 was tested. How could you possibly test x16 and x16 on a motherboard that couldn't support it (since you said you had a P55 test system). Was the x16/x16 done on a different motherboard from the x8/x8? If so, this invalidates the claim, since it's a different chipset and processor, and while it could be related to the number of lanes, it could also be related to differences in the processors and chipset, so is less than conclusive.
 

mindless728

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if you didn't notice, they were all the same cpu at different speeds, and they were just showing what speeds are needed without having a cpu bottleneck
 

coldmast

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Superb article!

I still would like to compare x16 bottlenecks on the ASUS ARES with two 5870s running both on x8 and x16.

Also it would be nice to compare the 5870+5830 vs 5850+5850.
 

coldmast

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[citation][nom]ta152h[/nom]I'm curious how the x8 and x16 was tested. How could you possibly test x16 and x16 on a motherboard that couldn't support it (since you said you had a P55 test system). Was the x16/x16 done on a different motherboard from the x8/x8? If so, this invalidates the claim, since it's a different chipset and processor, and while it could be related to the number of lanes, it could also be related to differences in the processors and chipset, so is less than conclusive.[/citation]

Nvidia NF200


 

ta152h

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[citation][nom]coldmast[/nom]Nvidia NF200[/citation]

That would make more sense if the sentence "This also means that the speed of one physical x16 PCIe port decreases when you use expand out to a second slot. If you're running a P55-based platform, like our test system, this applies to you." were not in it.

But, it appears that motherboard does have this in it, so I guess the author just chose his words very poorly, which creates some confusion.
 

coldmast

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Now a comparison should be made on the difference with x58 (LGA 1366) with the x32 link to the processor with QPI, and on the UD7 P55 with x16 lane built into the processor (LGA 1156).

Also humor us with the i7 980X, Phenom X6 1090T, and Phenom X4 965 scaling as well.

I really hope there is a part 2.
 

vicsrealms

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I haven't done a lot of research on SLI systems, but I have been looking at them of late. Can you use an SLI system on an AMD board or are they only setup for XFire? All the AMD boards I look at seem to be XFire.
 
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