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The importance of graphics cards in a computer system can not be overemphasized but then a single graphics card is sometimes not enough to cater extensively to the graphics performance of most high-end games as they rely heavily on their graphics processing unit, hence the need for powerful graphics settings.
As a way out, technology has decided to grace our computer with configurations that support multiple GPUs to produce higher game settings and system performance. These graphics card configurations present themselves as SLI owned by Nvidia and Crossfire owned by AMD.
Difference Between SLI and Crossfire SLI
Scalable Link Interface popularly known as SLI is produced by Nvidia as a multiple graphics card solution that supports identical graphics cards from different vendors to function effectively while being paired with an SLI bridge. SLI requires that the cards used must have the same graphics processor with similar memory configurations, although they can have a different clock speed.
Effective utilization of SLI requires a configuration that requires motherboard manufacturers to pay a licensing fee for motherboard certification and this makes it more expensive when compared to crossfire. It supports windowed and full-screen mode and can support up to four graphics cards from different vendors with different clock speeds.
Crossfire is AMD’s solution to a multi-GPU setup that supports different graphics cards within the same architecture by connecting them via a PCI-e. It supports different graphics cards within the same architectural generation, different clock speeds, and different memory configurations.
Crossfire does not require motherboard certification, and it offers better compatibility with different motherboard settings and requirements. This flexibility is what makes it a preferred choice for a lot of motherboard manufacturers, in addition to its support for APUs and GPUs in CPUs to upgrade graphics performance.
It only supports full-screen mode and employs a split frame rendering mode which is known as scissors to complement its alternate frame rendering by assigning different frames to each card to enable it to work effectively.
SLI and Crossfire are built to allow multiple graphics cards to work together in a single system to deliver more GPU power. Both graphics card configurations allow the computer system to split and alternate the load of processing graphics-related data between multiple cards to help it render more frames within a short period.
These multi-GPU solutions are great configurations for multiple graphics card settings but they have things that set them apart from the other. Despite their unique differences, they are excellent in amplifying graphics performance and quality, and knowing what makes them different will help you choose between both of them.
SLI and Crossfire are multi-GPU solutions that are designed to support multiple graphics cards in the same computer system. They are both ideals for utilizing more than one graphics card to deliver an enhanced gaming experience, better frame rates, higher resolutions, and new technological advancement in computer configurations.