Crossfire vs SLI

By Corwin613
Aug 4, 2009
  1. Looking to possibly build a new system and I was wondering which is better - advantages/disadvantages to doing one over the other.

    I haven't build a system in a few years (6 - 7) so the whole PCI-Express thing is a bit new to me

    So any help would be greatly appreciated
  2. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    Hi Corwin,
    that depends on a few things, what kind of performance are you looking for? whats your budget for the SLI/ CF components? are you thinking about a 2,3,or 4 card configuration? some cards crossfire/SLI better than others, this info would be helpful. :)
  3. Corwin613

    Corwin613 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 93

    Well to start I am only going with 1 card since my budget is tight but would like to upgrade to more I haven't yet picked a specific card budget though would be 200$ max for a card ones I was looking at on newegg ranged from 100-110 for a 128 bit 1gb PCI-E 2.0 x16 card obviously there are one a lot more expensive. Though if we can do 2x cards for around 250-300 then that is a possibility unless its better to go for a more expensive single card which would be understandable

    I do favor Geforce chipset cards because I have had good luck with those so far

    I am not a heavy gamer but I am looking to get back into some decent gaming again
  4. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    for right now i would say go for 1 card like this XFX GX275XAHFF GeForce GTX 275 for only $219.99. you wont need much more than that especially if your not gaming at anything higher than 1680x1050 which is a typical 22" wide screen monitor.
  5. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    I'll second the GTX 275
  6. Corwin613

    Corwin613 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 93

    Sounds like a good card. Bit of a higher price then I was looking for but any recommendation is helpful
  7. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,435   +145

  8. Corwin613

    Corwin613 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 93

    I hadn't planned on making a decision specifically based on that but I was wondering if there was an advantage of one over the other that I would pick the better and build basing it on that.

    Though I have to say the Vapor-X one sounds quite nice. Is it hard to setup a Crossfire setup beyond the phyiscal installation that is...

    Thanks for all the feedback so far
  9. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    not hard at all Corwin, you just install the cards, put the crossfire bridge(s) on and activate it i catalyst control center. there are a couple of reasons to consider crossfire 1) you just want overwhelming gpu horsepower, 2) you want huge performance, but dont have the money right now 3) you want the performance of a high end card but not the cost that goes with it.
    for example say you decide you want the performance level around a GTX 285, but they go for about $400, you can crossfire 2-ATI HD 1Gb 4870's for $300. net= $100
    the second is that you don't have the money now, and can upgrade later by adding 1-3 more cards later and incorporate them in with the initial card you purchased.
    before some fanboy starts in, i find benches all over that have the CF 4870's at 285 levels and some show the 285 faster. but the point is that if you pick a performance level you want, you may be able to get that level (or better) for a substantial savings. In my case I opted for three HD 4850's in triple crossfire, huge amount of GPU (3 teraflops at stock speed) for a total of $300. I could have easily paid $700 for that much GPU.
    hope that helps :)
  10. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Crossfire usually performs better than SLI due to better scaling and driver support, as far as I have seen. But some titles just run better on NVIDIA GPUs (usually titles that have "The Way It's Meant to be Played" intro screen). Also, when it comes to price, ATI cards are usually the better buy. NVIDIA has faster GPUs, but you have to "Pay to Play", and in some cases, like the GTX 275 and the GTX 285, the difference is small enough so as not to justify the ~$100 price gap. In addition, it helps that CrossfireX support is present on certain Intel chipsets.

    I don't like either personally because it makes the setup heavily dependent on driver support. Also, power consumption and cooling become major concerns, especially with high-end cards.
  11. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,435   +145

    Actually, I chose the vapor-x because it was the cheapest 1gb, 4870, which is a good card, the fact that it has a superior vapor-x cooling is just an added bonus and makes it "cool" :haha:.
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