SLI vs. CrossFire: Are Multi-GPU Configurations Worth it in 2023?

Multi-GPU setup hey there! So, you’re curious about SLI and CrossFire, huh? Well, let’s dive into the world of multi-GPU configurations and find out if they’re still worth it in 2023. We’ll explore the pros and cons, performance gains, compatibility issues, and the current state of the industry. So, grab a cup of coffee, get comfy, and let’s get started!

What is SLI and CrossFire?

SLI (Scalable Link Interface) and CrossFire are technologies developed by NVIDIA and AMD, respectively, that allow you to connect multiple graphics cards together to work in parallel, boosting your gaming or rendering performance. With SLI, you can link up to four NVIDIA GPUs, while CrossFire allows you to connect up to four AMD GPUs.

The Pros and Cons of Multi-GPU Configurations

Before we discuss whether multi-GPU configurations are still worth it, let’s weigh the pros and cons:


  • Increased Performance: The primary benefit of SLI and CrossFire is the potential for increased performance in games and graphics-intensive tasks. When configured properly, multi-GPU setups can deliver significantly higher frame rates and smoother gameplay.
  • Future-Proofing: Investing in a multi-GPU setup can provide some level of future-proofing. As newer games and applications are released, having multiple GPUs can help ensure that your system remains capable of handling demanding tasks.
  • GPU Rendering: Multi-GPU configurations excel in GPU rendering tasks, such as 3D modeling, video editing, and video animation. These workloads can utilize the combined power of multiple GPUs to reduce rendering times significantly..


  • Compatibility: Not all games and applications are optimized to take advantage of SLI or CrossFire. Some titles may not support multi-GPU configurations at all, or their performance gains may be minimal.
  • Heat and Power Consumption: Running multiple GPUs in SLI or CrossFire can generate more heat and increase power consumption. This may require a beefier power supply, and additional cooling solutions, and could lead to higher electricity bills.
  • Driver Support: Sometimes, driver updates can cause compatibility issues or introduce bugs specifically related to multi-GPU configurations. This can result in crashes, graphical glitches, or even decreased performance.

Performance Gains: Are They Worth It?

Okay, let’s talk about performance gains. Are they still worth it in 2023? Well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag.

In the past, SLI and CrossFire setups were hailed as the ultimate solution for squeezing out every drop of performance. However, the landscape has changed. Game developers have shifted their focus to optimizing for single-GPU configurations, and newer graphics cards are becoming more powerful than ever before.

While there are still games that benefit from multi-GPU setups, their numbers have dwindled. In some cases, a single high-end GPU can outperform a multi-GPU configuration due to better driver optimization and game engine support.

Additionally, new technologies like NVIDIA’s DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) and AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution offer alternative ways to improve performance without relying on multiple GPUs. These technologies use AI and upscaling algorithms to enhance image quality and increase frame rates.

Compatibility and Industry Support

Compatibility is another critical aspect to consider. As mentioned earlier, not all games support SLI or CrossFire, and the number of titles that do is decreasing. Game developers are more likely to optimize their games for a single powerful GPU rather than focusing on multi-GPU support.

Both NVIDIA and AMD have scaled back their emphasis on multi-GPU configurations in recent years. NVIDIA, for example, removed official SLI support from its lower-end graphics cards, focusing instead on its high-end offerings. AMD has also shifted its focus towards single-GPU solutions, with CrossFire support becoming less prominent.

As a result, industry support for multi-GPU configurations has waned. Game developers and hardware manufacturers are now prioritizing technologies like ray tracing, AI-based rendering, and software optimizations that can deliver impressive performance gains on a single GPU.

The Future of Multi-GPU Configurations

Looking ahead, it’s essential to consider the future of multi-GPU configurations. While their popularity has declined, it doesn’t mean they will become obsolete.

Emerging technologies like real-time ray tracing and VR (virtual reality) may benefit from multi-GPU setups. These demanding applications require significant computational power, and combining multiple GPUs can potentially provide the necessary performance boost.

However, it’s worth noting that manufacturers are exploring other alternatives. For instance, NVIDIA’s recent introduction of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards, with their powerful Ampere architecture and DLSS capabilities, aims to deliver exceptional performance on a single GPU without the need for SLI.

Additionally, advancements in cloud gaming and streaming services might change the landscape entirely. With the rise of services like Google Stadia and NVIDIA GeForce Now, the focus is shifting towards remote rendering and streaming, reducing the reliance on local multi-GPU configurations.

So, Are Multi-GPU Configurations Worth it in 2023?

Ultimately, whether multi-GPU configurations are worth it in 2023 depends on your specific needs and use cases. Here are a few key takeaways to consider:

  • For gaming: In general, the performance gains from multi-GPU setups have diminished, and the number of games supporting them is decreasing. Investing in a high-end, single-GPU solution with technologies like DLSS or FidelityFX Super Resolution may provide better value for gaming purposes.
  • For GPU rendering: Multi-GPU configurations can still offer significant benefits in GPU rendering tasks, reducing rendering times and improving productivity. If your work involves 3D modeling, video editing, or animation, and the software you use supports multi-GPU rendering, it may be worth considering.
  • Future considerations: The industry is moving towards optimizing for single-GPU solutions and exploring alternative technologies like ray tracing and AI-based rendering. Keep an eye on emerging trends and advancements that may render multi-GPU setups less relevant in the future.


While multi-GPU configurations have played a significant role in the past, their relevance and value have diminished in recent years. The industry focus has shifted towards optimizing single-GPU solutions, and alternative technologies are emerging to enhance performance without the need for multiple GPUs. Assess your specific needs, consider current industry trends, and weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether a multi-GPU configuration is worth it for you in 2023.

About Henzon

Henzon, affectionately known as "The Hardware Guru," is our go-to guy for everything related to PC components and custom builds. His dedication to this craft is so profound that he once spent three days straight building a PC inside a life-sized replica of R2-D2. When he's not busy crafting the perfect PC, Henzon can be found binge-watching obscure sci-fi movies or playing retro video games from the 90s. With Henzon on our team, we're confident that our readers will never be left in the dark about the latest in PC hardware.

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