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Would SLI 970 or a single 980 be better for secondlife?


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I am goign to be upgrading my GPU in the near future and can't seem to figure out is getting two GTX 970 in SLI or getting a single 980 would be better for secondlife?

Currently On the main land were I am 80% of the time with max setting and shadows on I get around 20 fps with 64 Draw distance, shadows off I get around 30 fps.

I am a heavy power user and content creator, I some times have 2-3 accounts logged on at the same time as well.

Current specs:

CPU: AMD FX-8350

RAM: 16 GB 1866

GPU: GTX 760

SSD: 120 GB

HDD: 1.5 TB

PSU: 700W

OS: Windows 8.1

Tripple 1080p monitors.

Edit: Not sure what happend to cause the first bit of text to be tiny and to the left.

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I concur with Cody.  When I built my computer for SL (years ago, mind you), I was completely unaware of the limitation which SL viewers have as far as SLI goes.  So, I bought myself a 1 Gig GTX 295, thereby shooting myself in the foot.  As the article to which Cody linked states, x90 cards are two cards built into one unit using SLI.  The problem with mine was that the 1 Gig of memory was split evenly between the two cards and a half a gig of memory was simply crap for SL, even way back then.  I'd have been much better off buying a single GPU card for a lot less money, but that was the one thing I didn't diligently research when compiling the components I intended to use.  Okay, I'm rambling...

Anyway, my suggestion is as such: If SL is really the only graphics intensive application you'll be running (by which, I mean games that make use of SLI), go for the single card.  Regardless of the set up you choose, just make sure that you have enough memory on a single card to do the job.  I believe 1 Gig is suggested, but I'd shoot for two if I were you... that way you've got some overhead for any other programs you might wish to use in conjunction with SL.  I've currently got 3 Gigs, which is probably overkill, but wth... it was on sale for as cheap as the same one with only 2 Gigs.

One more thing... I have no idea really, but, I'd be surprised if you got that much of a performance boost out of SL with the 980 as opposed to the 970, even if you had only one.  I say this only because a single 970 should be able to run SL on ultra settings, with all the bells and whistles, at a decent frame rate.  So, if SL is your main concern, I see no reason why you couldn't get away with a single 2 Gig 970... unless, of course, you're just dead set on getting the latest, greatest or simply want to establish some bragging rights.

...Dres

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Shadoskill Heckroth wrote:

 
Edit: Not sure what happend to cause the first bit of text to be tiny and to the left.

Yeah, but that's pretty cool. I wonder if you'd be able to Edit that post, choose the "HTML" tab, and let us see what made that happen. Not sure I'd ever use it for anything, but intrigued nonetheless.

[EDIT: Oh, wow, it worked even when I just blockquoted your message. Stuff about "lia-quilt-column" from the CSS is working when embedded in the message. Huh. Very cool.]

As to the SLI thing, I'll concur with everybody else that it's a waste of money especially for Second Life use (but it's pretty cost-ineffective anyway). And I'll agree with Dresden that you're unlikely to see all that much improvement in a 980 over a 970, especially as you say you're a power user and content creator (as opposed to a gamer, who might be more focused on any tiny ephemeral advantage in framerate).

(To be honest, if you have money that you're eager to spend on a better graphics experience, I'd suggest committing those multiple 1080p displays to the landfill, replacing them with a nice 4K monitor. In fact, if it were me, I'd do that before even upgrading that 760, which isn't really that bad compared to having to use multiple monitors.)

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While it's true that available memory in SLI is limited to that of one of the two cards, and Sl doesn't, in fact, have any built in support for it, it's also true that you may not need any built in support to get some very nice gains by simply adding another card to your existing one. As someone who has ran SL and went from a single card to SLI with the same card, I can tell you that forcing SLI mode through the nVidia control panel applet does indeed get you some nice gains in SL. In my case it was anywhere from 30% - 60% performance boost depending on the situation/location. It wasn't any additional rendering power because the slave card only handles offloaded tasks and texture work from the master card, but that process is still much faster than only having a single card do all the work by itself. It's also worth noting that SLI no longer requires each card to be identical models.. any faster card will automatically run at the speed of the slower one but you can still take advantage of any extra cores / shader units / etc.. that a faster card might have. The real downside to SLI is power and heat. It can tax even a top of the line power supply (high watt and DUAL 12v rails recommended for stability), and the extra heat generated can be a royal pain in the a$$ if your case doesn't have great airflow and fans.

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  • 3 weeks later...

jonhnnyroleplay wrote:

Your limitations consist of ISP speed, your OS type, amount of RAM, CPU, GPU, and what viewer you are using.

My observation is that the principal limitation for those associated with SL lies in the interface between digits and keyboard, controlled (or not) by their wetware RPU.

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As an owner of a gtx 970 I can surely say that while I can hold a steady 30 fps with shadows on, it use to be a bit higher.

I would recommend a gtx 980 or a 780ti. Both cards are solid but it won't remove the fact that sl is old and runs pretty poorly.

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I too have a gtx970, core i7 and 16g RAM

fps can vary anywhere between 10-30. Shadows and alphas really drag it down. Some sims, however, i have ever seen frame rates as low as 2-3 fps fust because of the amount of alphs in the sim (I would presume)

But, the 970 barely works and doesn't get hot. I had a 760 before, and there really is no difference performance wise on SL, but the 970 runs much much cooler

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  • 2 weeks later...

My MSI GTX 970 you can use afterburner to set up custom fan speed/temperature profile, so if you want it cooler its easy to set up the way you want if you don't mind the extra fan noise,

Mine idles at about 34 degrees C and in SL hits  50 - 51 degrees with the defult MSI settings.

Coil whine can be fixed in most cases by tweeking the gpu votage a bit.

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