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Graphics 2GB GPU Memory SLi query

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by SuperHans123, 13 May 2015.

  1. SuperHans123

    SuperHans123 Well-Known Member

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    I am about to take delivery of a 2GB EVGA GTX 960 (the SC Compact size version)
    I game at 1080p and this will be the case for the foreseeable future.

    My future plan is to add a 2nd card in around 2 months time when I have the funds.
    Now I am aware that 2+2 doesn't make 4 when it comes to graphics memory.

    So my query is this: if I go SLi, I would expect a fair increase in performance but would the limited frame buffer still mean I would get some slowdown with all the eye candy enabled at 1080p?
     
  2. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    At 1080p you will be generally fine for the foreseeable future. There might be a few games (modded Skyrim for example), where the 2GB vRAM will be your limiting factor, but realistically they will be few and far between!
     
    Last edited: 13 May 2015
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  3. Yadda

    Yadda Well-Known Member

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    I think it depends on the game. If raw GPU horsepower is the limiting factor, then you will see a benefit with 2 cards (providing the game utilises SLI of course). If VRAM is the limiting factor, and I believe some games do use >2GB even at 1080p, then you won't see any benefit.

    Edit: beaten to it.
     
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  4. SuperHans123

    SuperHans123 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input, much appreciated. Given that my CPU shouldn't generally be a limiting factor as it is half decent, is it usually GPU horsepower that would cause slowdown at 1080p as opposed to vRAM?
    I am trying to get a handle on whether going SLi with the 2GB cards would be a worthwhile upgrade as if the majority of games are RAM rather than GPU limited it would be largely pointless.
     
  5. SuperHans123

    SuperHans123 Well-Known Member

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    PS I don't play Skyrim. Mainly AAA shooters, stealth and the odd racing game.
     
  6. Darkwisdom

    Darkwisdom Level 99 Retro Nerd

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    Games that use large textures and a large amount of scripts in one load (like the aforementioned Skyrim) use more Vram. So, adding an extra gpu won't help with vram intensive games. I have a 4GB card because I DO play skyrim with lots of mods.

    For AAA shooters, you'd see an improvement because they don't use much vram (as they're surprisingly low tech, recycling the same engine for each new game) so the only thing is the settings that get higher for each game, requiring more GPU power. If you'e playing COD or BF shooters, some tom clancy games and some racing games, then you shouldn't be too limited for Vram. Although newer racing games, especially open world ones do use more vram as they load more scripts.
     
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  7. davidbrown1988

    davidbrown1988 Member

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    I have a 2gb GTX 770 @1080p and I wouldn't ever consider SLI'ing it now. If I had the 4gb then I would've seen a benefit from doing so.

    Every game where I have to turn the settings down from high it is VRAM that is limiting me.

    Although most of the games were open world. Far Cry 4, Dying Light and GTA V.

    I have to also ensure that aero is disabled before gaming these days as almost all titles fill my entire vram and I can't even allow a few mbs to be used elsewhere.

    I'll be ditching this card when the new AMD/ATI cards come out later this year simply because of the VRAM.

    If I was you @ 1080 you'd simply be better saving the cash and just upgrading the one card to a 970 or whatever comes next from the other side.
     
  8. Madness_3d

    Madness_3d Bit-Tech/Asus OC Winner

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    Yeah I would say you're better off selling and getting something with more Vram, you will get a boost in performance from SLI, but alot of it you wont be able to use. It's AA and High res textures that really will be held back and AA is where you'd realistically be using a chunk of that performance. In the past you would be fine but the fact that the current gen consoles have 8GB of Ram, normally with 4GB allocated by the developer for graphics memory, means the bar has been raised for Vram usage. If I was looking to invest and ensure performance going forward I would definitely be looking at 3/4GB as a minimum starting point, even at 1080p, with the option to add more GPUs and up performance later.

    General approach has worked for me, I'm now out of VRam but I have a pair of 5 year old GPUs which can still play Watch Dogs @ High with Temporal AA and FarCry4 on Ultra (with Medium textures and no AA) at silky framerates at 1200p. Will be upgrading at long last over the summer though.
     
  9. SuperHans123

    SuperHans123 Well-Known Member

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    Can't sell just yet as I am only taking delivery of the first card tomorrow! You seem to still be getting by fine with a new title such as far cry 4.
     
  10. davidbrown1988

    davidbrown1988 Member

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    Yeah I was referring to the fact that when the time comes to consider SLI you'd be better off holding the cash, trading in the 960 and putting the combined cash towards a GPU with more VRAM.
     
  11. Madness_3d

    Madness_3d Bit-Tech/Asus OC Winner

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    +1
     
    Last edited: 17 May 2015
  12. SuperHans123

    SuperHans123 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, gotcha. Will see how it does for a bit. New Star Wars game on the horizon in November, could be decision time then.
     
  13. SuperHans123

    SuperHans123 Well-Known Member

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    What resolution so you game at Dave?
     
  14. johnim40

    johnim40 Well-Known Member

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    There is a 4gb 960 but normal size
     
  15. SuperHans123

    SuperHans123 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks John, I did consider them but they were too expensive.
    Also, I wanted to small ones as I have a mATX case and I dunno, it just appealed to me to have 2 small fairly powerful cards working in conjunction.
     
  16. rollo

    rollo Well-Known Member

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    I have sli 680s 2gb models and I'd say at 1080p at least they still seem untested in the games I've played. ( not played gta5 on PC which I guess would change that perspective)

    In battlefield 4 at ultra they deliver a smooth experience in 64 player maps. Would not say any other game I play is as taxing as that.

    If I go a higher res I'll buy new cards.
     
  17. davidbrown1988

    davidbrown1988 Member

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    1920x1080

    I have AIDA64 outputting my VRAM to my logitech keyboard so I can see it while gaming hence I know exactly what most my games use @peak.


    For Reference this is what geforce had to say about GTAV:
    "For players with 2GB of VRAM, it's likely that compromises between the various memory-consuming settings will have to be made ........... All in all, you need a 4GB GPU to switch every single doodad on at 1920x1080"


    You can see there chart of how much VRAM each setting costs here @1080p, be warned though some of it is mind boggling:
    https://international.download.nvidia.com/geforce-com/international/images/grand-theft-auto-v/grand-theft-auto-v-game-setting-vram-use-at-1920x1080-with-labels.png
     
  18. SuperHans123

    SuperHans123 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info Dave.
    Just got the card up and running 5 minutes ago.
    Nice and small and quiet.
    Had a quick bash on the most recent Metal Gear Solid with all eye candy on and was getting between 55-60FPS, so so far so good.
     

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