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Thread: Difference between SLI and CrossFire

  1. #1
    Do you have a second life?
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    Default Difference between SLI and CrossFire

    Hey guys,

    I was just looking at some motherboards for the future when i get another G-card. I was wondering whats the difference between SLI and Crossfire or rather what is Crossfire?

    Thnx for the help

    Sam

  2. #2
    iShot the Sheriff jdbnsn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Difference between SLI and CrossFire

    They are both system configurations implementing dual graphics cards for increased performance, SLI refers to NVIDIA brand and Crossfire for ATI brand. Basically they are the idea. Here is where to read up on Crossfire.
    "At the midpoint on the journey of life, I found myself in a dark forest, for the clear path was lost..." -Dante Alighieri

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    Overclocked Cagedconnerman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Difference between SLI and CrossFire

    Being an Nvidia fanboy myself, i prefer SLI, although i do know crossfire has a more efficient system worked out. When running two nvidia cards in an SLI configuration you get something like 80% performance from each card, whereas crossfire allows about 90% performance from each. Seeing as Nvidia has better cards though, this could be negligible, though price can cause issues with this theory. Another common issue brought up is ease of use. I've personally set up both an SLI computer and a Crossfire computer. They both have they're own drawbacks as to card selection, I found Nvidia's solution to be much more picky. With SLI both cards have to be the exact same card, manufacturer, gpu, ram, clock, everything. ATI's system is slightly more flexible, the cards can have different features, from what i remember setting it up, they're allowed to have different clocks, different manufacturers, and different amounts of RAM, the primary issue (though not difficult to overcome) is that one card has to be the crossfire edition. The first two issues are usually overcome quite easily, but the last one is the real deciding factor for wether or not you get Crossfire or SLI, motherboard selection. SLI-capable motherboards have almost become a standard, whereas crossfire capable chipsets are quite a bit harder to come by.
    All in all, I like both systems equally, performance has never been an issue, 50+ fps on full quality is gonna look the same with an ATI card or an Nvidia card.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Difference between SLI and CrossFire

    Quote Originally Posted by Cagedconnerman View Post
    Being an Nvidia fanboy myself, i prefer SLI, although i do know crossfire has a more efficient system worked out. When running two nvidia cards in an SLI configuration you get something like 80% performance from each card, whereas crossfire allows about 90% performance from each. Seeing as Nvidia has better cards though, this could be negligible, though price can cause issues with this theory. Another common issue brought up is ease of use. I've personally set up both an SLI computer and a Crossfire computer. They both have they're own drawbacks as to card selection, I found Nvidia's solution to be much more picky. With SLI both cards have to be the exact same card, manufacturer, gpu, ram, clock, everything. ATI's system is slightly more flexible, the cards can have different features, from what i remember setting it up, they're allowed to have different clocks, different manufacturers, and different amounts of RAM, the primary issue (though not difficult to overcome) is that one card has to be the crossfire edition. The first two issues are usually overcome quite easily, but the last one is the real deciding factor for wether or not you get Crossfire or SLI, motherboard selection. SLI-capable motherboards have almost become a standard, whereas crossfire capable chipsets are quite a bit harder to come by.
    All in all, I like both systems equally, performance has never been an issue, 50+ fps on full quality is gonna look the same with an ATI card or an Nvidia card.
    .

    I don't know anything at all about ATI cause I really don't care for them, but when you say:
    I found Nvidia's solution to be much more picky. With SLI both cards have to be the exact same card, manufacturer, gpu, ram, clock, everything.
    On the Wikipedia site located here

    [edit] Caveats
    Cards from two separate retail companies will work together in SLI mode, but they must be the same GPU model (e.g. G70, G73, G80, etc). The cards may have different BIOS revisions, different default clock speeds, or even different memory sizes. However, the fastest card - or the card with more memory - will run at the speed of the slower card or disable its additional memory[5].
    SLI doesn't always give a performance benefit in some extreme cases, it can lower the framerate due to the particulars of an application's coding.[6] This is also true for ATI's CrossFire, as the problem is inherent in multi-GPU systems.
    In order to use SLI, a motherboard with an nForce4, nForce 500, or nForce 600 SLI chipset must be used. But with the use of hacks and older drivers, one can now make SLI work on motherboards with Intel, ATI and ULi chipsets, NVIDIA have stated that only their own chipsets can allow SLI to function optimally, and that they will not allow SLI to work on any other vendor's chipsets (even though some early SLI systems used Intel's E7525 Xeon chipset, which caused problems when NVIDIA started locking out other vendor's chipsets as it limited them to an outdated driver set).
    Initial versions of drivers for just-released video cards may not show immediate performance increase over a single GPU setup or a dramatic increase in performance.
    Kent.

  5. #5
    . Spawn-Inc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Difference between SLI and CrossFire

    the difference is sli is better !

    i have just come to the conclusion myself. i don't have any experience with either but i like nvidia better. i currently have a ati all-in-wonder and i don't really like it. its only good for the video card part, the tuner sucks.
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  6. #6
    Keepin' it Metal .Maleficus.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Difference between SLI and CrossFire

    It's the same idea. Main differences:

    1. Nvidia and ATI.
    2. One uses two normal cards, the other has some weird Master/Slave deal worked out.

    That's 'bout it. All I can think of anyways.
    RIP Bucko

  7. #7
    Case Wizard
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    Default Re: Difference between SLI and CrossFire

    ATI ditched the Master/Slave thingy, though I'm not sure which generation of cards that they started doing that. I think the X1950XTX was their first card that didn't need a Master card.

  8. #8
    iShot the Sheriff jdbnsn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Difference between SLI and CrossFire

    There was a great discussion that broke out here about Crossfire and which cards work with which. Recommended reading.
    "At the midpoint on the journey of life, I found myself in a dark forest, for the clear path was lost..." -Dante Alighieri

  9. #9
    Fresh Paint
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    Default Re: Difference between SLI and CrossFire

    Nvidia is better, and AMD and ATI are dieing.

    Kent.

  10. #10
    . Spawn-Inc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Difference between SLI and CrossFire

    Quote Originally Posted by Catalyst View Post
    Nvidia is better, and AMD and ATI are dieing.

    Kent.
    ya but i wouldn't say there dieing, more like there on there way to dieing.
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