Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get about SLI and Crossfire at Micro Center:
Q: What are SLI and Crossfire?
A: SLI and Crossfire are technologies that allow you to use multiple graphics cards (GPU’s) to enhance the display performance of one or more monitors.
Q: What’s the difference between SLI and Crossfire?
A: While there are a few differences between SLI and Crossfire, the main thing to know is that SLI is NVIDIA and Crossfire is AMD.
Q: Can I SLI or Crossfire with 2 different GPU’s?
A: No, all the GPU’s in your SLI or Crossfire configuration must be the same. For example, a NVIDIA GTX 1070 can only SLI with another NVIDIA GTX 1070.
Q: Can I have more than 2 GPU’s in SLI or Crossfire?
A: Yes. You can have as many as 4 GPU’s in SLI or Crossfire if your motherboard and processor can support them. Three and four -way configurations can add a lot of rendering power for 3D applications. Video Games will see some improvement with 3-way SLI over 2-way but will not benefit from 3-way Crossfire.
Q: How can I tell if my motherboard supports SLI/Crossfire?
A: Some boards will show support for SLI, Crossfire, or “multiple GPU’s” on the box, but the best way to tell is to check the manufacturer’s website.
Q: How many displays can I run in SLI/Crossfire?
A: SLI and Crossfire will support a maximum of 2 monitors, however you can add additional monitors by installing GPU’s that are not part of your SLI/Crossfire configuration. These additional GPU’s must be different from the GPU’s in you SLI/Crossfire configuration. For example, if you have 2 GTX 1070 cards in SLI, you can support additional monitors on a GTX 980, but not another 1070.
Q: Do I need special hardware for SLI or Crossfire?
A: SLI requires an SLI Bridge, which directly connects the GPU’s to each other. AMD Crossfire does not require any extra hardware.
Q: What is Alternate Frame Rendering(AFR)?
A: AFR is when frame rendering is cycled through multiple GPU’s. If you have 2-way SLI or Crossfire, each card would render every other frame (only odd or even) letting the other card handle the rest. This gives the card twice as much time to render and can help prevent tearing, stuttering, or blurring especially when there’s a lot of motion.
Q: What is Split Frame Rendering?
A: Split Frame Rendering is when 2 or more cards are used to render part of each frame. This allows for sharper images at extremely high resolutions but is less advantageous when there’s a lot of motion as it can increase tearing.
Q: What is Antialiasing?
A: Antialiasing is any of a few techniques used to smooth out jagged diagonal lines. Jagged lines (aliasing) occur because square pixels cannot create smooth curves. At higher resolutions this effect is easily masked, but at lower resolutions your GPU may have to disguise the jagged lines by adding shading effects to blend the lines. With multiple GPU’s, each card can handle a portion of the antialiasing, or one card can be dedicated to antialiasing while another card renders the rest of the frame