Do I need a motherboard with dual x16, or dual x8 PCIe slots for SLI GeForce GTX 560's?

Do you need a dual x16 PCIe board for SLI, or are x8 ports good enough?

Question by Severus from Romania | Answered by in Motherboards on

Hello Tweakers,

I am building a new desktop pc wich will have a 2 way SLI setup on it, and was wandering about if it is worth getting a mobo that can run these two cards at x16 both or just x8 both. I am casual gamer and wanted to know if it will make much difference in gaming if the cards run at x16 or x8. The cards are at moment Msi's gtx 560 ti 2gb.

Thank you for your time, cheers!

This is another great question, Severus! I wouldn't really recommend specifically going out and buying a board that is capable of running multi-GPUs in x16 mode, as the performance benefits really aren't that great.

Do I need a motherboard with dual x16, or dual x8 PCIe slots for SLI GeForce GTX 560's? |

If we were talking PCIe 3.0 hardware, and some multi-monitor, multi-GPU gaming, maybe... but even then, we're talking less than 10-percent improvements across the board, most like 4- to 5-percent improvements. If you haven't already bought the GPUs (you say you're buying a new desktop PC) then I would save the money and get a board that doesn't cost that much (all boards have a single x16 port at least) and spend the money from the two GPUs on one single, faster GPU.

This way, you could get something like a ZOTAC GeForce GTX 670 for just $399.99 from Newegg. GeForce GTX 560's are still around $170 each, meaning a single GPU is only a bit more, but you do gain more performance from a single GPU, and less troubles with scaling and game compatibility, as well as not needing to worry about SLI for now.

Then, when you're ready for SLI, your motherboard will handle dual x8 ports, and you can throw another GTX 670 in it for some serious horse power.

Image is courtesy of Tech Support Guy, I thought it explained it well showing the bandwidth and all.

Last updated: Nov 3, 2020 at 07:10 pm CST

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