Will SLI ALWAYS cause stuttering or micro-stuttering no matter what?


Jan 23, 2015
Hello, guys, I am about to order a GPU for my first gaming PC, and I am a little confused here, please help me.

This is my intended build:

CPU:Intel Core i7-4790K
MOBO:Gigabyte ga-z97x Gaming 5
GPU:Gtx 980 Gygabyte Gaming 1
Cooler: Phanteks PH-TC14PE CPU Cooler
RAM: Kingston HyperX Savage 16GB Kit (2x8GB) 1866MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL9 DIMM XMP
HDD: WD Caviar Dark 1TB
SSD: 850 EVO
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2
Case: Nzxt H440

A fellow user suggested SLI with two GTX 970's instead of going for the GTX 980 Gaming 1. My biggest fears would be these:

1.-I want to get a 144hz monitor, and for that I need conistent FPS over 100, so I can notice the difference between the 144hz and the 60hz monitor. But I don't know if it is really worth having a 144hz experience at the cost of sacrificing the resolution like going from Ultra to Medium or something like that so I can get the minimum FPS. Yet again I'm just guessing here.

2.-I have heard that past the 3,5 VRAM of the GTX 970, things would go bad pretty fast, FPS-wise.

3.-SLI technology is not perfect yet and it is going to cause stuttering, mild or considerable, but it will happen no matter what. Only special and very expensive monitors can attenuate this problem and I don't really want to put that much money in a monitor.

Tobe honest 1080p would be enough for me, I don't really care about the 4K hype anymore, I just want to have the best possible resolution while keeping a high FPS for the sake of the 144hz experience, but I might not have enough horse-power for both things.

I was thinking that I could go SLI with two GTX 980, but that would be later, because I can't afford two of those. But, would those stutter anyway?

I really want to learn, guys. I'm sorry for all these questions.

Thanks for your time


Jun 27, 2012
1. The issue of higher resolution vs higher refresh rates is a very personal choice. Competitive gamers tend to like the speed of 144Hz, while people who play mostly single player games like RPG's don't need it and prefer the 1440p experience in general. This is very much your decision to make (of course, the nicest is both, but that is expensive :p)

2. The 970 does have some issues going past 3.5GB, but you're unlikely to see that at 1080p. In the end, it's still a fantastic card, and very much worth the price.

3. Micro-stutter has been mostly fixed by now with frame pacing in both AMD and Nvidia systems. It hasn't been a massive issue for about two years now. Also, I don't know who started this, but the G-Sync monitors (which is what I think you mean with the expensive monitors) are not at all meant to fix micro-stutter; they fix screen tearing, which is a very different problem.

Feel free to keep asking. It's the only way we learn :)


Oct 22, 2013
the real problem is when the FPS that the set up is hitting is changing. if you monitor is 144hz an your getting 130fps then something explodes and it drops to 80 there will most likely be a noticeable transition. But if you setup is maxing the game, and your sitting at 144hz the whole time, then those effects will be much less noticeable. And if the action on the screen is a little slower paced, the effect will be even less noticeable, so basically, you should take the SLI and adjust setting depending on how each game runs. Something like LOL will be maxed at 144hz easy on even a single card. COD and CSGO will also be failry easy to run. However battlefield will challenge your setup.

I always tell people, if you can manage with one card, do it. Because sometimes games dont even support SLI. I have a friend who is building a gaming setup targeted at 144Hz and 1440p. so we will definately be SLi'ing.

a 4790k is fast but some games may require the 4.4GHz boost to hit 144hz, in that case, your gonna wanna make sure the processor always has the thermal headroom to boost. so a decent after market cooler is recommended, even if you dont overclock.


Jun 27, 2012
Most games designed without SLI would run perfectly fine on one 970, though. Or it can even be hacked into some games through various methods. And with DX12/Mantle/Vulkan, we might even see more creative ways of getting more out of multi-card systems.

In the end, I think there are very few settings where a single 980 makes more sense than dual 970's if both are within the price range.

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