When they made us believe that the future of gaming was to join two graphics cards to get more performance

When they made us believe that the future of gaming was to join two graphics cards to get more performance

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technology advances to leaps and bounds. It is not something that catches you new, that is clear, but the PC world 8 to 10 years ago did not remotely resemble what we have today. However, looking back as I like to do —living in the past usually dazzles me, what can I do about it— I have remembered the interest aroused in me by the AMD CrossFire Y NVIDIA SLIs. It may catch many of you new, even if you know what I’m talking about, perhaps its technical name is strange to you. There was a time, of which small fragments remain even today, when the two big PC component companies became infatuated with a technology for which, supposedly, at join two GPUs we could get a huge performancecapital, and clearly differentiating.

Was it something to consider? Nothing is further from reality. The idea behind both technologies was to put two GPUs together under one connecting bridge —which was included in all models for free, at least the ones I’ve gotten my hands on— to double the power rendering. “Double the power”, sounds important, mammoth, right? Well, the truth is that it was a chimeraa vague idea whose base has always fascinated me, but the reality was far from good.

The truth is that although this could be done without a extra cost of money – beyond investing in other GPUs, something that I reserve for later – the memory was not duplicated, nor was it shared, and that is that each graphics card needed to individually duplicate the data of the sequences on which it worked. In other words, it did not guarantee the double the performance and neither was any equipment capable of supporting both technologies.

In fact, it wasn’t even the sole task of NVIDIA or AMD, but also of video game developers. SLI and CrossFire became standard, yes, but for those looking to push their PCs to the max or create real monsters with up to 4 graphics cards connected; although not all games were designed for it. This meant that development teams had to invest time, and worst of all, resources, to build the code of the game based on the future – not very possible – use of CrossFire or SLI. Let’s face it, this is an industry and if a company can get the most investing lessit will.

sli what happened

It involved thousands of euros in disbursement for a slight improvement

Of course, a modest PC could not cope with this technology “of the future” because we not only had to have a motherboard with two connections 16-pin PCI-e 3.0 — the standard at the time — but the power supply had to support two GPUs running at the same time. Put yourself in a situation, would you invest about 2,000 euros in 4 GPUs for a vaguely superior performance? It not only implies the investment of the cards, but the rest of the components had to be equal in power and capacities. The answer, let me say it myself, is a resounding noeven for those who only want to use 2 cards.

That outlay of money is something that today is much more affordable, but about 7 years ago, the average user saw it unthinkable; I saw it as something unthinkable. And it is that, in case you doubted, I threw myself into this technology thinking about the future of gaming for PC. Once I took my graphics card out of the box and saw the jumper, I did some research on how I could use it. My GPU was a R9 270x from AMD with a 2GB VRAM memory, a small and not very expensive device that my current graphics card would laugh at. I worked with it for years, until in 2016 I wanted to evolve and my idea was to acquire a GTX 1050 in order to pair it with my AMD GPU.

It turns out that what he was planning was more impossible than technology could deal with. The CrossFire and SLI required, not only that they were models of the same family —something that, forgive me for the mistake, I did not think about it much—, but the exact same model with the same amount of memory, and the same speed. If the raw GPU power wasn’t going to be doubled and you had to have two identical models, What was it for? I fell with the whole team. My ideas of turning my modest PC into a beast on a budget slipped through my fingers as I watched performance and graphics comparisons with SLI or CrossFire enabled with no noticeable improvement.

What happened to the technology?

sli what happened

The truth is that this was created not only with the idea of ​​building authentic beasts, but also to further reinforce the idea of ​​the PC as the Master Race, an argument that gained a lot of strength from the second decade of this century. Even this divided the players of this platform because, reducing it to the extreme, this was measuring who had the biggest one. The PC configuration, I mean. Over time, the difference between using 2 GPUs and just 1 has narrowed. The thing was that GPUs had evolved so much that only one of them was capable of wonders, so there was no reason to invest money in it.

Getting more FPS and better temperatures in your PC games is possible by changing the thermal pads of your graphics card

Now, the closest thing to SLI and CrossFire—which has actually been dropped since DirectX 11—is NVIDIA’s NVlink. The idea is the same but it includes a disbursement. You are no longer going to find those bridges in the boxes of your GPU, and now if you want to emulate that golden age of the most absurd Master Race you have to buy an RTX 3090 and, later, a bridge NV Link at a price of approximately 100 euros. So yes, another technology that did not have a good run.

#future #gaming #join #graphics #cards #performance


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