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[Tom's] The End of SLI As We Know It: Nvidia Reveals New Model


Darkpriest667
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Yeah, I SLI 2x 1070 and it's time to just move on. The thing that is kind of a bummer is how having 1 gpu, even if a vertical mount, just doesn't look as mean as 2 in SLI. I wonder how the boards are going to react over time with their slot layouts. 

 

Is Crossfire still going strong?

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Worth noting that this news article was released in September 2020.  I said it before and I will say it again, SLI has been dead way longer than this, from a true gaming perspective. What is the point if only a handful of titles in a year will support it.

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52 minutes ago, ENTERPRISE said:

Worth noting that this news article was released in September 2020.  I said it before and I will say it again, SLI has been dead way longer than this, from a true gaming perspective. What is the point if only a handful of titles in a year will support it.

The ones that do still support it tend to be the ones that need it so it still makes some sense. I'm sure J7SC_Orion is happy it works well in flight sim with his dual 2080ti setup.

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2 hours ago, UltraMega said:

The ones that do still support it tend to be the ones that need it so it still makes some sense. I'm sure J7SC_Orion is happy it works well in flight sim with his dual 2080ti setup.

 

...I am indeed happy for the 2x 2080 Ti SLI-CFR in FS2020, though I'm completely switching to 4K here, so a second system just got a 3090 for everything, including FS2020 (comparison soon with 2x 2080 Tis in the primary system in the FS2020 thread). Both sets are also used for productivity, btw.

 

All but one app / sim / game I do regularly still support SLI (about half of which even SLI-CFR), but there is no doubt that it will get increasingly difficult as newer drivers come out w/patches etc. which you can't use.  NVInspector also helps a lot re. finding custom SLI solutions as many games have a 'root' code that goes back to earlier, happier SLI days. For example, the underlying Crytek engine loves SLI +CFR.

 

What really ticks me off :

 

a.) SLI-CFR, undocumented as it was and likely just a precursor / dev tool for upcoming mGPU, showed just how well SLI can work...CFR doesn't really do micro-stutter for example. CFR is sometimes faster, sometimes slower than regular SLI (AFR), but overall, it really showed what 'could have been' with your existing hardware.

 

b.) With that in mind, it's disgusting that NVidia simply turned off CFR again right before Ampere launched, never mind shifting SLI support out of their dev realm - yet as we all know, if you want to play a demanding 4K Ultra title at decent frame rates (and/ or with ray tracing and DLSS), you need to get a top-of-the line GPU, <>> ...only you can't even buy one most of the time now, unless you either pay scalper prices, or get just plain lucky...

 

  

Edited by J7SC_Orion
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8 hours ago, BWG said:

Yeah, I SLI 2x 1070 and it's time to just move on. The thing that is kind of a bummer is how having 1 gpu, even if a vertical mount, just doesn't look as mean as 2 in SLI. I wonder how the boards are going to react over time with their slot layouts. 

 

Is Crossfire still going strong?

 

Not really. Not sure what the official AMD support is for it, but in terms of reality, no developer is really supporting multi-GPU in this day and age and Nvidia and AMD have stopped making profiles. Stick a fork in it Jerry...for gaming it's done.

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Ashes of the Singularity did explicit multi-GPU pretty well, even across vendors.  I'm guessing it had to have been a bridge-less configuration, and do wonder if a bridged configuration (were that it was possible for any cards) would offer more performance.

 

One day, explicit mGPU will be ubiqituous and all cards will have a universal bridge connector ;)

Edited by mouacyk
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10 minutes ago, mouacyk said:

Ashes of the Singularity did explicit multi-GPU pretty well, even across vendors.  I'm guessing it had to have been a bridge-less configuration, and do wonder if a bridged configuration (were that it was possible for any cards) would offer more performance.

 

One day, explicit mGPU will be ubiqituous and all cards will have a universal bridge connector ;)

 

...the sooner the better !

 

Yummy:

 

intelXetile.thumb.jpg.96c09598d0ad34c8f8bdaf01f8418469.jpg

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As an enthusiast builder, the death and support declination of SLI is one of the harder realities that I've had to deal with. 

 

Analytically, I'm not even quite sure that I can see the benefit of moving away from a dynamic that was so popular to so many, to the very base that supports these manufacturers and game developers.

 

From a strict financial analysis perspective, it's easy enough to understand the dramatic cost increase that accompanied the technology packed into the Turning and Ampere architecture and the resulting need to get out of one card what you could traditionally surpass with two cards in SLI.  

 

I get the accomplishment, I do.  What I don't understand with the decrease if not total death of SLI support, performance analytics aside, is how they so quickly killed a dynamic that was never born strictly of performance.

 

Not only do enthusiast builders enjoy the aesthetics of SLI/Crossfire, but they enjoyed that they could pair it with a performance boost.  It was never about one or the other, it was about the marriage of having the flexibility and artistic/creative freedom in your build and being rewarded with increased performance.

 

NVLINK was an incredible advance in SLI performance.  They could have built and sold more cards by supporting and advancing it.  Their business relationships with game developers could have and would have greenlighted a continued support for SLI and Crossfire in games.

 

As a gamer, I'm fascinated by the performance achievements of the RTX 3090.  It blows my mind.  But as an enthusiast and a builder, I'd still rather sacrifice a little bit of performance for the creative freedom to build without restriction.  I love the new vertical mounting options, but Raijintek just authored a full size tower case with a dual vertical SLI bridge.

 

I just think killing SLI kills a lot of what enthusiasts loved about building.  It wasn't always about performance.

Edited by Paradigm Gaming
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2 minutes ago, UltraMega said:

Could it be possible that they might decide to support sli more in the future when it's not hard for gamers to buy a gpu? 

  

...overall, top end GPUs are moving towards explicit mGPU anyway (Intel, AMD, NVidia) but lack of SLI support now at a time most folk can't even get a top card is 'bad' timing

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It was probably problematic for NVidia in yesteryears that two low or mid-range cards could be combined at a lower cost and get more or equal performance to a higher-tier card.  There was just no way for marketing to sell that kind of a solution, without reflecting harm on themselves.  And as we have seen, they also intended to increase the pricing gap between the performance ranges, so allowing SLI  made even less marketing sense.  All good free things must come to an end, as the masses will exploit it to the detriment of enthusiasts and investors alike.

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I figure it was more to do with decreasing manufacturing and support costs of low-end and mid-range cards for a feature very, very rarely used in those segments. The users who did multi-GPU tended to be in the high-end and enthusiast market segments, which where more then capable and willing to buy better performing hardware if available. Usually those that wanted better performance from then their low-end and mid-range products just upgraded to better performing products.

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