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Does having multiple graphic cards improve/ help gaming performance?

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Old 10-29-2010, 07:52 PM   #1
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Hello,

Does having multiple graphic cards improve/ help gaming performance? If so, then how does it improve/ help gaming on a PC?

Thank you for your time.

--Dell

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Old 10-29-2010, 08:53 PM   #2
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for 2x the cost, 2x the heat output, and 2x the electrical use for maybe a 25% increase in performance.

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Old 10-29-2010, 08:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebackhus View Post
for 2x the cost, 2x the heat output, and 2x the electrical use for maybe a 25% increase in performance.
And thats if you are lucky.
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Old 10-29-2010, 09:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Does having multiple graphic cards improve/ help gaming performance?
The short answer to this: yes.
The real answer: At low resolutions on a single monitor, dual gpu's will give you little or no benefit over a single card. At high resolutions (> 1920) and using multiple monitors there is marked improvement. In most cases though, you can achieve the same performance boost by using a single, higher end card.
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Old 10-29-2010, 09:09 PM   #5
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To the two people who posted, can you provide my with some anecdotal evidence about that?
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Old 10-29-2010, 09:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcavan View Post
The short answer to this: yes.
The real answer: At low resolutions on a single monitor, dual gpu's will give you little or no benefit over a single card. At high resolutions (> 1920) and using multiple monitors there is marked improvement. In most cases though, you can achieve the same performance boost by using a single, higher end card.
Is the purpose of multiple graphics cards for gaming or just multiple monitors?
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Old 10-29-2010, 09:49 PM   #7
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The purpose is to improve graphics performance. You get the most benefit when using multiple monitors at higher resolutions.
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:16 PM   #8
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Well the other purpose is to make you spend twice as much on two gpu's rather then one as well. Also check the "gpu benchmarks" link in my sig. Evey dual card setup is barely 25% faster then run with the same card alone.

The reason is because having two gpu's will not magically make your cpu or ram any faster , only your video performance. Both cpu and ram also dictate fps not just gpu speed.
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:37 PM   #9
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http://www.techspot.com/review/309-g...nce/page6.html
This review compares a single GTX 460 to two in SLI.

In the Just Cause 2 benchmarks on top here, SLI doesn't scale very well and there's only a ~30% boost in framerates.
The Crysis benchmarks below that show a ~90% boost though.

If you're thinking about using more than one video card, I'd look up benchmarks for the games that you play and at least see if your games will work well with multiple cards, then make your own decision. I personally think that one higher-powered card is a better alternative though, and your power supply will be happier going that route too.

And with all video cards, make sure you have an equally powerful CPU to balance it/them out. The review above was running a 3.70GHz Core i7 920. If you're running two $200 video cards on a $50 processor, you're going to run into serious diminishing returns -- even moreso than installing two cards in the first place.
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emosun View Post
Well the other purpose is to make you spend twice as much on two gpu's rather then one as well. Also check the "gpu benchmarks" link in my sig. Evey dual card setup is barely 25% faster then run with the same card alone.

The reason is because having two gpu's will not magically make your cpu or ram any faster , only your video performance. Both cpu and ram also dictate fps not just gpu speed.
And there you have it.
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:45 AM   #11
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One of the other possible advantages of a dual card setup is (in nvidia cards anyways, not sure about ATI's) that you can dedicate one card to PhysX processing only, while the other one will be utilized for polygons, and whatnot. Not sure how much of an improvement in graphics processing this will actually make as I just run a single higher powered card, but the theory is sound.
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:59 AM   #12
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I have run SLI before I went all AMD. When it didn't have a negative effect the improvement was minimal.

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