GeForce GTX 1070 2-way SLI review

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Final Words & Conclusion

Final Words & Conclusion

First off let me state that I  still need to re-do the 1080 SLI benchmarks, hence you have not seen them everywhere in this 1070 SLI review. It has been the busiest summer ever really. Right with that said, some funky things remain to be going on with SLI and Pascal. In certain scenarios the cards scale fantastic, in others things will be way more difficult. Mostly up-to 2560x1440 you'll be hard-pressed to see an actual viable perf difference, and that would be the result of the dreaded CPU or more specific CPU driver overhead bottleneck (two cards require a lot more CPU cycles from the CPU hence you sometimes even see negative scaling in say 1080p). However if you are an Ultra HD gamer, that's where the benefits kick in big-time. Now Hitman and Tomb Raider (2016) we test specifically in DX12, both titles have been excluded as they do not scale.

For the titles in this preliminary article that did work, scaling is pretty okay once you get to the higher resolutions; but you need to be at least at 2560x1440 and preferably at Ultra HD as only there scaling makes sense. In some tests like Mordor 5K that's where the SLI setup really starts to shine. Our recommendation, with a single monitor setup up-to say 1920x1080 to 2560x1440 you'd be more than okay with just one card. Now, if you have that nice Ultra HD monitor with a 3840x2160 resolution or a three monitor surround screen setup, that's where a 2nd card would actually make sense.  Processor power then. We use a X99 / Core i7 5960X Extreme processor clocked at 4400 MHz. With multi-GPU gaming these faster clocked 6-core puppies do show an increase in performance. You do need to wonder though if the 10~15% performance increase in lower resolutions really justifies that money, but obviously if you can afford two cards in SLI, you probably will go for the best and fastest infrastructure as well. That would be X99 with a nice 6 or 8 or more recent 10-core processor.



Noise & Heat

Depending on your configuration the temperature target protection of the reference GeForce GTX 1070 founders edition cards hover in the 80 to 85 Degrees C at maximum. We used MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X edition with the TwiNFrozr cooler. Temps sit just above the 70 Degrees range with an exception at 74 C that we have seen. If you go SLI, a AIB card with proper cooling is preferred and recommended over the founder editions as not only will it cool better and be more silent, you'll prevent throttling at that 80 Degrees C marker as well.

In closing

As we have seen often, multi-GPU remains to be challenging especially with high-end and enthusiast class cards. There's a lot CPU limitation in the lower resolutions that will effect SLI scaling, in 1080P for example that mostly is negative scaling due to driver overhead. And as such imho SLI is mostly advised with Ultra HD screens or multi-screen configurations. We do have to say that over the previous driver things improved a bit, the GTX 1070 does make much more sense money wise (in SLI) over the 1080 SLI obviously. We are still running into issues with multiple games like Anno 2205, Doom and in DirectX 12 Rise of the Tomb Raider (DX12) and Hitman 2016 (DX12). This is unfortunate and something any multi-GPU will run into at one point with certain games. Currently I am performing some tests in-between HB and regular SLI bridges. This article was tested with a new HB bridge, but compared to the older ones we cannot detect any FPS differences or significant enough frame pacing differences, even at 4K and running  framerates towards 200~300 FPS. They might matter more with triple screen 4K output though. 

That's it for this update. 

 - H

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