Crossfire Vs. SLI

What is the difference between Crossfire and SLI?

We get asked this question a lot, and to put it simply, they are both re-branded multi-GPU solutions, one of which is from AMD and the other from NVIDIA.

So, let’s take a look at each of the different technologies and their limitations:

AMD CrossFire™

What is AMD CrossFire™?

CrossFire™ is a technology which can combine up to four GPUs to speed up the rendering of 3D graphics. In CrossFire™ all display outputs are connected to the primary (master) card and outputs on the slave card are disabled. Please note that CrossFire™ only works in full screen mode.

What are the system requirements for AMD Crossfire™?

  • 2x or more AMD Radeon HD2000 series of greater graphics cards that are within the same family model number. E.g. 2x AMD Radeon HD6770.
  • AMD Crossfire supporting motherboard.
  • At least one AMD CrossFire interconnect bridge for each additional graphics cards.

What happens when graphics cards with varying memory speeds are paired together?

Overall performance will be adjusted to match the memory speeds and engine clocks of the lower clocked card.

See a list of AMD CrossFire ready GPUs here.


What is NVIDIA® SLI™?

SLI™ is a technology that allows you to intelligently scale graphics performance by combining multiple NVIDIA graphics solutions in an SLI-Certified motherboard. Using propriety software algorithms and dedicated scalability logic in each NVIDIA graphics processing unit (GPU), NVIDIA SLI technology delivers up twice the performance (with 2 cards) and 2.8x the performance (with 3 cards) compared to a single graphics solution.

What are the system requirements for NVIDIA SLI?

Your PC must be equipped with an SLI-Certified Motherboard and 2 or 3 SLI-Certified GeForce GPUs. It’s also recommended to use a SLI-Certified power supply and chassis for maximum stability.

What’s in the technology?

SLI features an intelligent communication protocol embedded in the GPU, a high-speed digital interface to facilitate data flow between the two graphics cards, and a complete software suite providing dynamic load balancing, advanced rendering, and compositing to ensure maximum compatibility and performance in today’s latest games.

NVIDIA say that games can be played at a 80% performance improvement with SLI (sometimes 100%).

SLI also offers a number of advanced features. For PhysX games, SLI can assign the second CPU for physics computation, enabling stunning effects such as life-like fluids, particles and destruction.

Check out a list of NVIDIA GeForce GPUs that support SLI here.

Still Confused?

If you’re still a little confused, then check out this video from vloggers ‘Techquickie’ who sum up the technologies perfectly:

Click here to take a look at our full range of GPU’s.

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