Benchmark buster: Running two RTX 3090s in SLI

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,617   +124
Staff member
Bottom line: The setup is about the furthest thing from practical – in fact, they describe it as “hideous and terrible” – but it “works perfectly” and for the purpose of feeding our curiosity, it more than suffices.

Nvidia’s latest “Titan” class graphics card, the GeForce RTX 3090, is the most powerful consumer graphics card money can buy (that is, if you can find one to purchase). It’s also the only 30-Series GPU equipped with the proprietary connector to enable multi-card SLI configurations.

Of course, if you’ve been following the SLI story, you already know that Nvidia’s scalable link interface has been on the way out for years now. The final nail in the coffin was effectively hammered in last month when the GPU maker said it would no longer be adding new SLI driver profiles for RTX 20 Series and earlier cards starting on January 1, 2021.

Instead, Nvidia will leave it up to developers to natively support SLI inside their games for older cards, the RTX 3090 and “future SLI-capable GPUs,” which more or less means the end of the road.

A handful of DirectX 12 and Vulkan games do support SLI natively, however, and Gamers Nexus simply couldn’t resist linking two RTX 3090 cards together to see what was possible.

The results are fun, for sure, but don't waste your money.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 3,557   +3,385
#1 I watched that video. He didn't have two of the exact same card - so immediately I was disappointed.

#2 I would NEVER tear down my cards - ever - regardless what the possibility of minute gains were.
 

Eflow

Posts: 24   +47
Regardless of the practicality of this set up, people should be excited to see hardware capable of running games like Red Dead 2 at 144 fps+ in 4k.

Hopefully this is a preview of what mainstream gamers can experience within the next 5 years.
 
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treetops

Posts: 3,050   +776
Funny he had to use Vulkan for RDR2. Quake 2(1997) ran at 67 fps with RT on 4k. Ballsy setup. He also reported no micro stutter during testing, that's awesome. Has anyone else managed to get one of these cards with proof?
 
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godrilla

Posts: 167   +99
I want to know how they got TWO RTX 3090's, when I can't even find one!
Both cards were from different AIB cards. Most tech reviewers got them for.... reviews. They probably borrowed one from another colleague.



The title shows FE cards but neither were FE cards and posed a challenge with Nlink alignment.
The best part was when he said total power Draw was 350 watts........... at idle lol.

Also $1500 plus $1500 plus $90 is coincidentally $3090.
 
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Angga B

Posts: 96   +91
I know, I know, every tech experts and reviewers out there are always trying hard to act as the best adviser in the world on the value for money aspect.

But their message would never apply to that specific niche market which always want the greatest of all no matter what. They wouldn't even flinch any nanometer hearing that message.

So, yeah, it's okay to give such but try not to outdo yourself please. Let us commenters do that for you. LoL.
 

Aaron Jones

Posts: 27   +12
And the question is: Are there any cases on the market that have 8 empty slots for 2 x 3090??
If you want to put one empty slot between them (so the fans on the upper card can get some air) then you only need a case with 7 slots (because there will already be at least a "slot" worth at the bottom of the second GPU because that's where the motherboard ends and such). This is pretty much all mid-tower ATX cases.

Downside is you don't get the opportunity to use any other PCIe cards (e.g. 10 Gbit/s networking, sound, etc).
 

fps4ever

Posts: 540   +617
I know sli and xfire are dying but I think it would give a boost to adopting 8K TV's and monitors. Just think what you could do with a pair of 3080's if the 3090's are to rich for your blood. You saw the benefits in the first game optimized for it.
 

godrilla

Posts: 167   +99
I know sli and xfire are dying but I think it would give a boost to adopting 8K TV's and monitors. Just think what you could do with a pair of 3080's if the 3090's are to rich for your blood. You saw the benefits in the first game optimized for it.
Notice how as Nvidia kills of Sli and reserves it for only the 3090, the premium goes up on enthusiast level cards almost a direct correlation!
 
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koblongata

Posts: 328   +140
Oh wow, better than expected, someone will actually want to waste that money trust me. Just hope the industry embrace Vulcan more.
 
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Sherwoodnt

Posts: 23   +39
That's because you are what I like to call a fake enthusiast, spend a lot to show off but too scared to take the cooler of a gpu... ; - )
Maybe a little harsh. Definitely respect anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable tearing open an expensive new card. Was super nervous about tearing the coolers off a pair of 1080ti’s when they were new, but was super rewarding to see the temps drop under AIO cooling.

Might suggest trying it out with some older hardware to test the waters...
 

Adi6293

Posts: 584   +692
Maybe a little harsh. Definitely respect anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable tearing open an expensive new card. Was super nervous about tearing the coolers off a pair of 1080ti’s when they were new, but was super rewarding to see the temps drop under AIO cooling.

Might suggest trying it out with some older hardware to test the waters...
I'm just honest that's all : -)