It was no surprise to see the beauty that is SLI scaling with the GeForce GTX 570. Ever since the release of the 400/500 series SLI performance with two cards has been phenomenal. As stated the GTX 580 might run a little quicker on CPU limitations and as such the GTX 570 seems to make a little more sense as you can save money yet be in the very same performance bracket.
So performance wise, little negative can be said about the GeForce GTX 570 setup in SLI. Heat and noise will definitely go up depending on your configuration, but remain very acceptable. If you can, please place the cards as far away from each other as possible, a special flexible SLI bridge is required for that though, like the one shown on page three of this article.
Power consumption then, well SLI never was colored NVIDIA green, but all in all the two GPUs consume roughly 410 Watt, add to that the rest of your system (processor, chipset peripherals) at say 200 watt and you'll find yourself in the 600+ Watt power consumption. If you plan to overclock CPU and GPUs, then make sure you add another 200W on your PSU requirements. Keep that in mind okay? This is the extreme high-end arena, it never has been any different. It's just that over the past years we all have become much more critical about this topic.
Scaling with the more GPU stringent monitor resolutions starting at 1600x1200 and modern games you can gain 1.6x ~ 1.9x performance with two of these cards and that really is exemplary.
To be able to operate two or more cards in SLI mode you'll need a SLI certified motherboard. Please keep this in mind at all times though, most X58 motherboards are SLI certified, and some P55 motherboards as well. Future P67 motherboards will mostly all also have SLI support BTW. And sure, that or an older nForce motherboard (which is a dying breed). But carefully make sure and check that out before opting for SLI.
Driver compatibility - the irony here is that for the first time in a long time we had SLI issues, both of them with synthetic test software. We had graphics corruption in 3DMark Vantage and 3DMark 11 was not properly supported and refused to kick into SLI mode. Though granted, this article was written BEFORE 3DMark 11 was released.
Now the question remains trivial whether or not you need SLI in this category. Unless you want the excruciating nearly unneeded framerates in your gaming experience, have an extensive e-peen, or just want to impress... really it's your call to make. High-end SLI is expensive and does not make any sense value for for money wise. But everybody knows this right? ... RIGHT?!
In all fairness there's more then just that assumption though, another reason you might want to look into SLI, and this is a very valid point: If you like to opt triple screen gaming with NVIDIA's Surround vision option, you will need a serious amount of rendering performance. Add to that if you have beefed up your game platform with 3D Vision, well that's where this feature eats away hefty on your framerate budget, that's where a SLI setup like this actually makes a lot of sense. And for surround vision, SLI is actually a requirement.
Just like our GTX 580 SLI reviews we need to warn ya... so much brute GPU horsepower needs a very muscular PC as well, as it needs to keep up with the two GPUs in tandem. Also do the right thing and go for a Kilowatt PSU, have a little extra always... at all times, even when not needed.
Overall we very much liked what we tested. The performance is grand, the GeForce GTX 570 in SLI absolutely makes sense if you have the budget for it and the thirst for raw gaming performance. Thanks go out to Gigabyte for shipping out the 2nd GeForce GTX 570. The Gigabyte card is tagged under SKU code GV-N570D5 and can be spotted in the stores at roughly 349 EUR.
More info on Gigabyte VGA products can be found here.
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