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> Multi-GPU Video Cards' Dirty "Secret", I found out the expensive way
SsZERO
Posted: May 9 2011, 07:37 PM
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Thought this tidbit is something worth sharing for those of you who plan to do some intense PC gaming and want the best hardware. You may be tempted to build an SLI/Crossfire system with two or more video cards, or you may be lured into buying a multi-GPU card. The high framerates with your favorite game make it seem worthwhile...or perhaps you just need the power to drive an eyefinity-type setup.

Whatever your reasons may be, I'd like to share with you a problem that plagues ALL multi-card and/or multi-gpu systems when it comes to 3D gaming...and that problem is "micro stuttering".

No matter how fast your card is, there is always a chance that you will experience micro stutters with multi-GPU systems. The reason is simple - the stutter occurs when one GPU finishes before the other, and having to wait for the other to complete its portion of the frame. This manifests within your game as a short pause, and it can get quite annoying in any fast-paced game.

As you crank up the visual settings, resolution and effects, this problem can become more apparent - but you almost never hear about it on any of the review sites and you most likely wouldn't learn about it until you shell out the cash for your own multi-GPU hardware and experience it for yourself.

So what is the solution? Basically, none. You have to live with it until there is a better implementation of multi-GPU rendering. I experienced this with a Radeon HD 5970 and finally decided to switch to an Nvidia GTX 580. While the 5970 posts slightly higher benchmark figures, the GTX 580 has no stuttering issues whatsoever since it is a single-GPU card. Gaming on the GTX 580 is much smoother than the 5970, so this is something to think about when you are speccing out a new gaming system.


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