Question What is the best processor for running dual GPUs + a dedicated sound card?


Jul 29, 2015
Hello everyone. I need a question answered. I’m designing an extreme enthusiast gaming PC and I need answers. My computer will be a fusion of a gaming rig and a workstation, mean it will be blisteringly fast while packing multiple hardware parts like a workstation (heavy gaming rig/light workstation hybrid).

What is the best CPU processor for running dual GPUs at x8 or x16 speeds in SLI + dedicated sound card? I’m not picky between Intel and AMD.

Hardware example:
Dual GTX 1080ti in SLI
Creative Labs Sound Blaster ZxR audio card

The sound card will be used for both gaming and music playback through a big sound system (the motherboard audio chipset just wont do).

Thanks for any help!


SLI is a waste of money, poor driver support nowadays, better off getting the single best GPU you can afford which by the sound of it would be the RTX 2080 ti. CPU wise comes down to budget but workstation wise I'd get the 8700K/Ryzen 2700X or better.
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The somewhat humorous part is that at least a few folks will still choose a gaming mainboard based almost solely on the basis of available PCI-e lanes for GPUs, and support of 16 + 16 lanes (i.e., choosing X399 or X299) over 8 + 8, as though that will make a large difference over 8+8 lanes with poor Z270/370/390, which, as predicted still generate the fastest frame rates....

I guess intuitively, some folks think that 8 + 8 PCI-e lanes dual GPU config must only run half as fast, and 'suffer' from it.

SLI -support seems in it's final death throes these, it's just short of irrelevant...


It would kind of depend exactly what you want out of the workstation side of the pc. A gaming rig is easy, the i9-9900k is Intels best performer, and has the threads to handle anything at 8c/16t. Or if you really need it, the i9-9920X has 12c/24t and access to quad channel ram, but pretty much demands full custom loop cooling at 165w apart from its $1300 price tag and a $500-$700 motherboard to hold it.

SLI is dying a slow and painful death. It's only supported by games that use DX11, it has no support in Windows10 or DX12 as they are set for multi gpu (mgpu) which works multiple gpus separately but together, unlike SLI which works gpus simultaneously.

Unfortunately mgpu is still in its infancy, so only a handful of games use it, and it's still buggy enough that DX11 play through has better everything.

With SLI the best you'll get in a few supported games is @ 70% improvement, mostly its @ 30-50% better, and some is in the negative % where you get better results with no SLI,juzt a single card. Hopefully if you did get SLI, you'd be playing the few games it works well for, doesn't usually work out that way though, so $700 for a good chance to get a few more fps you can't use because you use a 144Hz monitor and a RTX2080ti is already giving you 200fps minimums.

Cheaper: Ryzen 2700x (or it's newer version releasing soon) and 2080ti, will be stronger in workstation/production.
More expensive: Intel i9-9900K and 2080ti, will be stronger in games.

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