NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti NVLink SLI Scaling Explored

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GeForce RTX 2080Ti NVLink SLI - Our Summary: NVLink SLI Vs Previous Gen

Performance Summary: NVIDIA's new NVLink-based SLI multi-GPU technology seems to have lots of potential, though we are still in the early phases and the technology isn't being fully utilized with current applications. In reality, multi-card scaling has been a point of contention for many enthusiast gamers, as many love their multi-card builds, even though performance scaling upside has diminished recently, both in terms of performance and support from developers. Enthusiasts have felt the sting of diminishing returns for SLI, and Crossfire as well for that matter, but it's exciting to see a breath of new life given to multi-card configurations. That performance comes at a cost and right now it's steep with two RTX 2080Tis coming in at $1200/ea and an NVLink bridge at roughly $70 - 90.00 (less obviously, if you go with RTX 2080s).


NVIDIA has given enthusiasts a reason to be excited about SLI with NVLink, though again, it's a more forward-looking view. As games come out utilizing DLSS and DXR/RTX, we should really start to see what the RTX/NVLink marriage can do. As of right now, this is the pregame show, but we look forward to see how the performance evolves over time and even how it scales on other platforms.

Is NVLink SLI worth it? That is actually a question that only you can answer, based on your personal setup and use case. Do you have a configuration that can really let these cards stretch their legs? 4K is becoming mainstream, with prices for standard 60Hz 4K displays falling into the $300 range. This means that the ability to exercise what a single GeForce RTX 2080 Ti can do is widely available to the enthusiast gamer. Pair these cards up and some of the toughest games at 4K with Ultra settings can push well north of the 60 fps mark, and if you are looking at something like 8K or even spanned 4K then the case for NVLink SLI becomes stronger. We realize some will say that 1080p or 1440p SLI performance is not scaling in most cases, but at this point in the evolution of PC gaming if you are looking to buy a NVLink setup at over $2400+ dollars and still game at 1080p, you're going at it the wrong way.

After seeing the performance this setup can offer and considering the future potential this new interconnect promises, then GeForce RTX cards in SLI may be for you if you've got the budget.

With NVLink and the possibilities all of that additional bandwidth offers, NVIDIA has give enthusiasts a reason to be excited for SLI again. We just have to see how NVLink pans out in the days ahead to see if NVIDIA's vision for the multi-GPU interconnect is really worth it for enthusiast gamers.
 

  • Amazing performance potential
  • Scaling great in some scenarios
  • 4K Ultra Deus Ex is playable
  • Future potential with DLSS and RTX
  • Breathes new life into SLI
  • Seriously pricey
  • No guarantee of future developer multi-GPU support

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