The main point of SLI or doubling up on GPU performance in recent years was that there were not any single cards that could manage a comparable performance level. Say you take a pair of GTX 680’s and put them in SLI. You might get a 40% boost in performance, but if you lived in 2014 (which many of us did) that was what you had to do. NVIDIA actually made a dual 680 card and called it a GTX 690. It was a beast (in 2014) but by today’s standards it is pretty yawn-worthy.
By today’s standards it would fall somewhere between a GTX 1060 and a GTX 1070. Although the 690 is a single card it actually does run in SLI mode, and games that do not support SLI did not run very well on it.
Ironically after looking up the specs of the 690, I realized that I have the single card version of that in my NVIDIA gaming PC. I picked up a GTX 770 Founder’s Edition last year on ebay for $115. The 1536-core GTX 770 was just a reworked GTX 680. And I can attest to the fact that it is not very fast (about halfway between a GTX 1050 Ti and a GTX 1060.) So two of those stuck together would be what you see in the photo above.
Exhaustive Techpowerup benchmarking seems to indicate that most games in 2018 actually lose performance when the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti are used in SLI. However for games that support SLI the performance is tangible.
In games that scale with SLI, the GTX 1080 Ti showed a 43% boost by using two cards, while the 2080 and 2080 Ti showed about a 55% boost, which actully is pretty impressive. The improved SLI performance with RTX is due to the increased bandwidth created by the new NVlink SLI connector.
Notable games that showed significant FPS improvement with SLI at 4K:
- These stats apply only to the RTX 2080 Ti
- GTA 5 178 vs 105
- Battlefield 164 vs 98
- F1 2001 174 vs 103
- Far Cry 5 105 vs 88
- Ghost Recon Wildlands 70 vs 48*
- Shadow of War 98 vs 66
- Deus Ex Mankind 75 vs 51*
- Rainbow Six 185 vs 124
- Rise of the Tomb Raider 130 vs 69
- Sniper Elite 158 vs 86
- Witcher 3 141 vs 82
*Note that the only games that dropped below 60fps with a single 2080 Ti at 4K were Deus Ex and Ghost Recon. All games were set to the highest possible detail levels.