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View Full Version : 2x GTX 460 1GB in SLI vs. GTX 480


Kain
08-13-10, 06:10 PM
I understand that 2x GTX 460 1GB cards in SLI are faster and slightly cheaper than a single GTX 480, but are the "headaches" of SLI (that I have read around but not sure how "true" they are) worth it to get the 2x GTX 460 1GB cards in SLI over a single GTX 480?

JasonPC
08-13-10, 07:02 PM
Well the good thing about SLI is you can set a profile to disable it if you do have issues with it in certain applications. Though obviously the downside is you won't get the extra performance. But any applications that have issues with SLI probably wouldn't need the extra performance since the 460 is a fairly strong card on its own.

Where the headaches come in is when the application could use the performance of two cards but has issues with it. When I had dual 8800s Empire: Total War had terrible issues with SLI and it was a game that could have used the extra performance from those cards. Though my thoughts are the game suffered from poor driver support from nvidia for those cards as the 200 series had no trouble with SLI but anything G80 or G92 just flat out sucked with SLI. So I guess down the line if you want to keep the card for a while it could become an issue, but partly it depends on nvidia's driver support.

RollinThundr
08-13-10, 08:34 PM
Good post Kain, its a question I share as well. Being someone who's going into an SLI situation for the first time, are there any articles explaining how SLI actually works and what the process is on getting applications (games) up and running in SLI mode?

particleman
08-13-10, 10:33 PM
SLi is a lot better than it was years ago. Most games work pretty well with SLi although there is the occassional game that does not work with it. In cases like this though you can still use SLi AA so you can at least get better image quality in games with SLi issues.

I would choose 2 460's over a GTX 480 any day.

Destroy
08-14-10, 12:13 PM
Is there a list somewhere of games that have known SLI issues?

JasonPC
08-14-10, 12:37 PM
It's easier to just check which ones are officially supported http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone2_game.html

There may be more that work but these are the ones that are officially supported by nvidia so there's no guarantee you can get it to work right with anything not on the list.

LurkerLito
08-14-10, 01:17 PM
I like the idea of SLI but for the most part don't want the power requirements, heat or slots SLI take up. I'd personally rather have a single powerful card than 2 lower end cards eating 2x the power and generating 2x the heat for the same or just a little bit more speed and having to deal with games that have SLI issues. To each their own though :).

JasonPC
08-14-10, 02:26 PM
Well the heat might not be as bad as you think, it depends on the cards. Yes it will run hotter than a single version of the card, but higher end single cards run hotter as well, especially the 480 when compared to a 460. Additionally in theory if both cards aren't being 100% utilized since the graphic load is being distributed to both, it should result in a lower load temperature. Reviews I have seen show the two 460s actually end up being cooler than a single 5870. And of course the 480 ends up getting scary hot http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-460-sli-review/17. Power is a little bit of an issue though since TDP of the 460 is around 160W two would end up being somewhere over 300W while the 480 is around 265W. Not a huge difference though.

H3avyM3tal
08-14-10, 02:29 PM
I like the idea of SLI but for the most part don't want the power requirements, heat or slots SLI take up. I'd personally rather have a single powerful card than 2 lower end cards eating 2x the power and generating 2x the heat for the same or just a little bit more speed and having to deal with games that have SLI issues. To each their own though :).

The nice thing about SLI-ing 2 460 is that they give you double the performance most of the time. With these cards it's pretty worth it (according to reviews at least).

ryoohki
08-15-10, 07:21 PM
I just got 2 GTX 460 in SLI, coming from CrossFire 5850. I Can tell you it's way better than Crossfire in a couple of game. I had terrible shuttering in 2 games (Metro 2033 and Aliens Vs Predator). Now it's superb, even tought i OC them to 825/2075 and i'am having great performance and temps (about 67C at worst with 60% fan speed at worst)..

RollinThundr
08-15-10, 08:24 PM
Well the good thing about SLI is you can set a profile to disable it if you do have issues with it in certain applications. Though obviously the downside is you won't get the extra performance. But any applications that have issues with SLI probably wouldn't need the extra performance since the 460 is a fairly strong card on its own.

Where the headaches come in is when the application could use the performance of two cards but has issues with it. When I had dual 8800s Empire: Total War had terrible issues with SLI and it was a game that could have used the extra performance from those cards. Though my thoughts are the game suffered from poor driver support from nvidia for those cards as the 200 series had no trouble with SLI but anything G80 or G92 just flat out sucked with SLI. So I guess down the line if you want to keep the card for a while it could become an issue, but partly it depends on nvidia's driver support.

SLI profiles are they part of the actual driver package or is it something you need to download seperately? Having just a 6800GT currently, nvidia control panel doesn't seem to have any mention of SLI anything. Is this due to my current card and board being pre sli so it just doesn't show up or will I have to do anything special day one with the new machine to get SLI up and running?

JasonPC
08-15-10, 08:44 PM
They are included in the drivers and can be modified using the nvidia control panel profiles. It will show up as long as you have SLI enabled. You can use nhancer to further customize them but I believe nhancer is waiting on an update to work with the recent drivers.

RollinThundr
08-15-10, 08:47 PM
Thanks Jason, good to know!