The debate between the two graphics cards has been going on for years, and many argue that SLI is a “dead” technology. So the question arises, Is SLI worth it? In our opinion, SLI is not an intelligent investment for most gamers today. If you’re looking for performance boosts and better graphics, most should invest in one powerful GPU rather than doubling the number of GPUs.
So is SLI dead? Well, generally speaking, SLI isn’t dead, and for a handful of gamers at the forefront of gaming, SLI is still a viable option. It only applies if you’re actually playing at max settings using a 4k 144hz or 8k monitor. Two GPUs are needed to keep up with the high demand for pixels and frames for this monitor.
Benefits of SLI GPU
The most notable benefit of SLI is simply better performance. It doesn’t apply below 1080p, but SLI will definitely make a difference at higher resolutions like 4k (3840x2160) or 8k (7680x4320). A high-resolution monitor with a high refresh rate like 144Hz requires considerable work on the GPU to render all these pixels and frames. If you have a high resolution and refresh rate monitor, SLI is the only way to ensure flawless performance with these requirements and maximum settings.
Best Graphics Accuracy:
The great thing about SLI is that it can improve image quality without sacrificing graphic fidelity. Graphics fidelity is pretty much everything you need for a beautiful game: detail, resolution, frame rate.
When running at a higher refresh rate than your monitor typically allows, SLI allows you to maintain a playable frame rate while improving graphics fidelity.
There’s no denying that SLI looks pretty cool. To make your gaming rig look as cool as possible, installing two graphics cards will make your PC stand out if you plan to showcase it. Even people who don’t like SLI have to admit that having two graphics cards together on a PC is impressive. While this isn’t the only reason to choose to use SLI, if you seriously think your system could benefit from an extra graphics card, then the aesthetics are certainly a bonus.
Cons of SLI:
You might think that having two graphics cards will double your performance. Unfortunately, that’s not true. For twice the price of a single GPU, you`re simply not getting twice the level of performance. It is beneficial but not commensurate with how much you would actually spend on an additional graphics card which raises the question: is SLI good for gaming? As the number of GPUs added increases, the benefit diminishes. In other words, the benefits of adding a third GPU are far less than the benefits of adding a second GPU. All in all, when it comes to productivity solutions, SLI doesn’t offer much value for money.
Increased energy consumption:
Multiple graphics cards require a lot of power, so don’t be surprised if you’re going to hit a staggering electricity bill next month! Installing two video cards also significantly increases heat dissipation. Think how hot your computer can get on one graphics card and double it. Make sure your computer is equipped with the appropriate hardware to handle this kind of power consumption and heat dissipation.
You may need to buy a new PSU that can provide the power to obtain the best SLI performance. Increased heat can be a problem, especially if you live in a hot climate. Overall, if you want to use the SLI, you should be willing to spend a lot of money. In our opinion, the benefits are not enough to justify the high operating costs.
Games that don’t support SLI:
The main downside of SLI is that the game you’re playing must support SLI to benefit from it. In fact, developers need to add a line of code to their game to support SLI, after which Nvidia must publish an SLI profile for the game. If you are running non-SLI games, you don’t have to use a second graphics card. So one might ask, “how many games support SLI”? Fewer games support SLI these days. As SLI’s popularity declined, developers shifted their focus from including SLI support to improving other aspects of their code. SLI does not offer any additional benefits when playing these games.
SLI must be turned off before playing non-SLI games:
Such a case is relatively minor compared to the other disadvantages above, but it’s still worth mentioning. It is especially problematic as games supporting SLI are very few these days. Therefore, every time you switch from a game that supports SLI to a game that doesn’t, you need to go to the Nvidia Control Panel and disable SLI before playing. Such a step is frustrating that makes the SLI setup even more inconvenient.
How To Run SLI?
If you’re still interested in getting started with the SLI setup on your PC after getting used to the pros and cons, the good news is that setting up SLI isn’t that difficult. However, this requires specific equipment and considerable money.
Two Or More Video Cards:
The very first thing you’ll need is two video cards. Might you be asking, “do you have to have the same graphics card for SLI”? The answer is that the SLI will only work if your graphics cards have two things in common. Both GPUs must be based on the same GPU and have the same amount of onboard memory. It means, for example, you cannot connect a 4GB video card to an 8GB video card. Two 4GB or 8GB cards are required. Similarly, you cannot utilize two GPUs with two distinct GPUs. Manufacturers may vary, but make sure all cards are based on the same GPU.
SLI-capable operating system & Enough Power:
In addition to two graphics cards, you need an SLI-capable operating system and a certified motherboard with two PCIe X16 slots. You will also need an SLI bridge to connect two graphics cards, and finally, make sure your PC has a power supply that can provide enough power for the card you are using. These are quite a few things that can be turned into a small fortune in an instant to get all the parts you need. That’s why we only recommend SLI to people who don’t mind spending money in exchange for a minimal performance boost.
SLI isn’t really worth it for the majority of gamers today. Even if you want to play on an ultra setting, it’s a good idea to invest in one powerful GPU that can handle your gaming needs with far less money, time, and hassle than SLI. SLI is a waste of money and doesn’t offer many rewards in most cases. Is SLI dead? It may seem like the performance of GPUs is constantly increasing, and Nvidia SLI-supported games are gradually phasing it out in some new models. Even the latest graphics cards that support SLI are powerful enough that SLI doesn’t really impact performance so much that it’s worth it. But SLI doesn’t go away at all. It may not reach its former popularity, but it may continue to exist for the savvy gamer niche that benefits from dual graphics cards and doesn’t mind paying extra.