Nvidia NVLink vs. SLI Multiple GPUs – Which One is Worth It?

NVLink is generally considered to be a more powerful and efficient interconnect technology compared to SLI, which is mainly designed for gaming. But, NVLink is also more expensive and requires specialized hardware. The value of NVLink or SLI is determined by the intended use case and budget.

Are you debating whether to use Nvidia NVLink or SLI multiple GPUs to improve your gaming performance? It can be difficult to choose between the two, especially when you’re not sure which one is worth it.

In this blog post, I’ll discuss the differences between Nvidia NVLink and SLI Multiple GPUs and explain which one is worth it for gamers. I’ll also explore the pros and cons of each option so that you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you.

So let’s get started!

What is NVLink And How Does It Work?

Nvidia NVLink

NVLink is a technology developed by Nvidia. It enables high-speed communication between multiple GPUs, as well as between a single GPU and the CPU. It’s based on Mesh Networking, which is a type of topology in which infrastructure nodes are connected without a hierarchy.

NVidia NVLink Animation
Source: Nvidia

How does it work?

It works by giving two compatible graphics cards a physical connection. This connection lets them talk to each other faster and improves rendering performance.

Why do people choose NVLink?

Here’s why people choose NVLink.

1) Helpful For Game Developers

With NVLink, game developers can now use multiple GPUs to create a more powerful graphics setup. It makes it easier for them to create a better experience for gamers. This new connection type makes it possible for two or more GPUs to share the same data set. It allows for better performance than what could be achieved with a single GPU.

2) Connect GPUs Directly

Unlike SLI, which requires the use of a master card to connect multiple GPUs, NVLink can be used to connect two GPUs directly. It eliminates the need for a master card. By enabling NVLink, users can gain an improvement over SLI by allowing the GPUs to access the same memory, resulting in better performance.

3) Solves Issues of Scalability With SLI

Additionally, NVLink solves the issue of scalability with SLI. It allows users to connect many GPUs without having to worry about bandwidth and compatibility issues. This is especially beneficial for those using multiple Nvidia graphics cards. They can get the maximum performance out of their system.

How NVLink Will Enable Faster, Easier Multi-GPU Computing

Nvidia Multi-GPU Computing

In the end, NVLink is a great way to improve the performance of your gaming setup. Compared to traditional SLI, it offers better performance and scalability. With NVLink, you can easily connect multiple Nvidia graphics cards and get better results from your system.

What Is SLI And How Does It Work?

Nvidia SLI

SLI stands for Scalable Link Interface, and it is a technology developed by NVIDIA that allows you to use two or more graphics cards in one system.

Its purpose is to improve performance by splitting the workload between multiple GPUs. SLI makes it possible to connect two or more Nvidia graphics cards to get better performance than a single GPU.

SLI works by allowing the two GPUs to communicate with each other and split the workload.

SLI working diagram

Nvidia SLI Working

How To Install It?

The process of enabling SLI is relatively straightforward.

  • First, you need to make sure your system has enough PCI slots to connect the multiple GPUs.
  • Install the most recent drivers for each graphics card, and then turn on SLI using the NVIDIA Control Panel.
  • After that, the cards will be linked together, and you can start taking advantage of the extra power from the second card.

Why Do People Choose SLI?

Here’s why people choose SLI.

1) It fixes problems

NVLink fixes many problems that came up when using multiple GPUs with SLI. Because it lets users connect multiple GPUs at once, which increases bandwidth and decreases latency. This further improves the performance of games running on multiple GPUs.

2) Best for Game Developers

Game designers often suggest using SLI with multiple GPUs to get better performance than a single GPU can offer. This is because SLI lets two or more GPUs run at the same time, which gives better performance than a single GPU.

Overall, SLI is an effective way to use multiple GPUs in one system and get better performance than a single GPU can deliver. Users can get better performance and graphics by turning on SLI and connecting two or more graphics cards.

But NVLink is an even better option for people who want a multi-GPU setup. Since it lets data move between GPUs faster and can make a noticeable improvement over SLI.

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How Nvidia’s NVLINK Boosts GPU Performance?

NVLink boosts performance

Nvidia’s NVLINK technology is a big step forward because it lets people with more than one GPU connect them and get better performance than they could with just one GPU. With this technology, game developers can use more than one GPU for gaming, which is a big improvement over SLI.

With NVLINK, two GPUs can be connected in a master-slave configuration, which allows the master card to control the processing of tasks. This significantly boosts GPU performance, since the master card can access data from both GPUs and more efficiently send the instructions to the slave card.

By enabling NVLINK, users can connect multiple GPUs together for faster computing, better rendering, and higher fidelity gaming experiences. NVLINK solves the difference between SLI and NVLINK as it offers better performance than what would be achievable with SLI.

Nvidia graphics cards equipped with NVLINK will have an upper edge in the GPU market, especially among gamers and those who need to process large amounts of data.

Pros and Cons of SLI and NVLink

Pros and Cons of SLI and NVLink

Here are some pros and cons of SLI and NVLink.

Pros and Cons of SLI

  • Easier to implement and use than NVLink as it is more widely supported by game developers
  • Connect multiple graphics cards to provide better performance
  • The master card does not need to be an NVidia graphics card
  • Typically requires two GPUs of the same make and model
  • Drivers can become unstable when using two GPUs
  • Does not offer as significant an improvement over a single GPU as NVLink

Pros and Cons of NVLink

  • Significantly faster communication between two NVIDIA GPUs
  • Enabling NVLink can solve data transfer issues between two GPUs
  • Offers an improvement over SLI in terms of performance
  • Limited use since only certain Nvidia graphics cards support NVLink
  • Cost of implementation and installation may be higher than with SLI
  • NVLink can only connect multiple NVIDIA GPUs, making it less versatile than SLI

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Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing between Nvidia NVLink vs SLI multiple GPUs for your gaming setup, it really depends on your needs and budget. NVLink is better than SLI because it has faster data transfer rates and more ways for GPUs to talk to each other.

If your Nvidia graphics card has NVLink, you can connect multiple GPUs to make games and game development run faster.

  • If you are looking for better performance, NVLink is a great option for you.
  • However, if you are trying to save money, SLI could be a better solution for you.

In the end, you should choose between NVLink and SLI based on your needs and preferences.