Subscribe For Free Updates!

We'll not spam mate! We promise.

Thursday, 17 July 2014


What is AMD CrossFire and Nvidia SLI

Two is better than one and three is better than two and so on. If you believe in this philosophy then AMD Crossfire and Nvidia SLI are the technologies for you.
What they both simply mean is that they enable you to run two or even four GPUs at the same time in a same computer on the same motherboard. Sounds cool? Of-course it does, imagine at least two graphic cards running simultaneously inside your rig and if you are one of those who like to keep their rig all flashy and glowing then you'll love it more than anyone else.

Using two (or more) video cards in tandem—known as "SLI" for NVIDIA cards and "Crossfire" for AMD cards—can get you better performance, sometimes even for less money than you'd spend on a comparable single card solution. Here's what you need to know.

How does it all work?

To run SLI or Crossfire on your system, you need a few things:
1. A compatible motherboard, the one that is SLI or Crossfire enabled
2. Two compatible video cards and
3. A "bridge" that connects the two cards together (these usually come with your motherboard or video cards).
Once you install both cards and the necessary bridge, you can open up your driver's control panel and enable SLI or Crossfire. Make sure your drivers are up to date and play a game—if your drivers support SLI or Crossfire for that game, you'll notice a significant performance boost. It won't be exactly twice the performance, and every game will be a little different, but in many games you should find that everything runs more smoothly—with some exceptions.P

AMD CrossFire

AMD likes to call its multiple GPU technology as CrossFire and even CrossFireX, which are both the same with just a re-branding. It even follows the same general methods and components as mentioned above.
Salient Features of AMD CrossFire:
1. AMD cards are Crossfire compatible with other cards in the same family and with different RAM configurations and clock speeds—like a Radeon 7950 with a Radeon 7970! To check the list of compatible cards go to the AMD's Crossfire page.
2. CrossFire is available on more motherboards (and on cheaper ones) simply because the manufacturers don't need to obtain a special certificate unlike the Nvidia SLI, bringing down the over all cost and not because of cheap parts which many think about AMD.
3. Newer AMD cards do not require a connector—which isn't a huge deal, but it looks cleaner and is one less link in the chain in which something can go wrong.
4. AMD cards can crossfire a GPU with an onboard APU, also known as CrossFireX. But this technology is still unstable and quite unreliable.

Nvidia SLI

Nvidia was the first to adopt this technology. Much like its counterpart AMD CrossFire, it is the same thing with a little more constraints. The whole setup is general and no extra addition in hardware of software is required.
Salient Features of Nvidia SLI:
1. In SLI, you need two cards that have the same GPU—for example, two GTX 650 Tis. They don't have to be from the same manufacturer, they just have to both be GTX 650 Tis. For list of compatible cards visit the Nvidia SLI page.
2. It is available on lesser motherboards and often expensive than those offering AMD CrossFire. This is because every manufacturer has to obtain a SLI certificate adding to the over all cost and hence raising the price
3. All the Nvidia SLI compatible cards require a bridge to connect them together.
4. No such ability to SLI a GPU with an APU is available, simple because no CPU manufacturer uses Nvidia GPU in their CPUs, Intel has its own Intel HD graphics whereas AMD has its own Radeon series.

The Need of Multi GPU??

So why would you run multiple video cards? The main reason people go for it is its price to performance ratio. It varies from card to card, but in some cases, running two mid-range cards is slightly cheaper than running one comparable high-end card. You can get the same performance for a few bucks cheaper. They're also ideal for multi-monitor or high-resolution gaming. Plus, they look sweet, and some people just want to make their rig look as baller as possible.
So that sounds awesome, right? Unfortunately, running multiple cards comes with some cons. For example:
·Two video cards sitting closely together in your case will draw more power, produce more heat, and produce more noise. If you're concerned about any of those things, SLI and Crossfire may not be for you.
·Not all games support SLI and Crossfire. This depends on your video driver, not the game itself. NVIDIA and AMD often update their drivers to include multi-GPU support for new games, but if one of your games isn't supported, you'll either have to deal with one GPU or tinker with your driver settings to get the game working yourself.
·SLI and Crossfire can sometimes cause a phenomenon called micro stuttering that makes the video look a tad choppy. It can be particularly aggravating to some people, especially at lower framerates.

In short, using two video cards may require more attention and tweaking on your part, whether to compatibility issues, heat, or just dealing with micro stutter.

I can't tell you what will work for you, but I almost always try to go with a powerful single card rather than two cards in SLI or Crossfire. To me, it's worth the extra $50 (or whatever it is) to have a card that works without system tweaks, without the extra noise, and without the chance of any micro stutter issues.
However, there is another school of thought, that says you can buy a good card now, and SLI it later.
Here is what I have a snap of a post by a random user, which explains the practical usage of SLI or CrossFire.

This still means you'll have to deal with the cons of SLI, but it allows you to wait a little bit longer before dropping wads of cash on a brand new card—you can buy an older card for cheap and eke more performance out. Of course, you could always just sell your old card on eBay and buy another single, high-end GPU too, which will save you the trouble of SLI and Crossfire.
In the end, it's all about how much work you want to do. Some dual-GPU configurations may not require any work, but it's hard to know that out of the gate—you always run the risk of having more work when you get multiple cards. But in some cases, it may be worth the trouble.

Hope that my article served your brain cells and appetite for knowing more about computer technology. If you have any additions to make to this or any omission are necessary then feel free to drop a comment.

Socializer Widget By Computers and More


  1. Plz tell me how do i know maximum expanding capacity of RAM of my pc..?

    1. It's easy, you first need to know that what is your motherboard model and see the maximum ram supported by it listed on the manufacturer's website or the catalog that came with it.
      Second the no of ram slots available to add new sticks into them.

      Tell me your motherboard model and I'll do the rest for you.