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Multiple Graphics Cards, not SLIed

Moderator: MiRai



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Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2016 10:56 am

Post Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:57 am

Multiple Graphics Cards, not SLIed

My ageing motherboard appears to have given up the ghost and, given that I'd been uhm-ing and ah-ing about a computer upgrade anyway, I've decided to go for a whole new system.

This time round, I'm trying to design a rig with multiboxing specifically in mind. I'm currently 5-boxing WoW and Neverwinter, but a long term ambition has been to try and 20-box RIFT at some point. Time to try and build a machine that stands a chance of doing it.

One idea that occurs to me is that I still have a reasonably recent and perfectly functional GTX 960 in the old machine. Here's the question; as multiboxers is there a reason we can't make good use out of multiple non-SLIed graphics cards used to run seperate monitors and instances of the game? I use a setup of three monitors that I'll be keeping.

Could I, for example, stick a GTX 1070/1080 in the new machine, stick in the old GTX 960 in another slot (motherboard permitting) and run two monitors off the first and a third monitor off the latter and get benefit?

Indeed, given that the machine is primarily going to be multiboxing, assuming this works, is there an argument that I'm better off purchasing two GTX 1060s for roughly the same price as one 1080, and using three graphics cards, one for each monitor? Presumably, setting up cooling for this would be a small nightmare, but I assume possible with the right case.

Does anyone have any experience of this? Many thanks for any input.


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Vibrant Videographer

Posts: 2977

Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:30 pm

Post Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:44 pm

Re: Multiple Graphics Cards, not SLIed

It's been awhile, but, for me, the biggest drawback to using multiple GPUs for multiple monitors was that I couldn't capture more than one monitor reliably when I wanted to record videos. That, and the fact that both VideoFX and cross-monitor swapping takes a big performance hit. If you can live with those limitations, and build your layout around them, then all should be well. :)

As for which GPU(s) to use... I'm not entirely sure. Personally, I'd say that the x60 cards don't age all that well when it comes to running multiple games because of their lower memory bandwidth, so they start to choke much earlier than something in the x70 or x80 range.

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