NVLink vs SLI – What’s the Difference?

If you are worrying about the PC performance while gaming or video editing, you can come across multiple GPU settings on the system. Multiple graphics card terms come when a single graphic card on the system is not able to handle all the work. In these situations, you can interconnect more than two GPUs with each other to enhance their work abilities. 

They provide efficient performance while doing high-ending tasks on your system without any interruption. You can attach more than two graphics cards with each to enhance their performance on the system. It will help you a lot to go with high-rated games and other tasks on your PC. In this article, we are going to discuss two multiple graphics card terms in the market, NVLink VS SLI.

Let us learn which differences both of these technologies have which make them differ from each other.

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What is SLI?

What is SLI

The idea of connecting GPUs to get a better performance rate was introduced in the 1990s by 3DFX which was called SLI. in this multiple GPUs technology, graphic cards were embedded in a PCB. Later on, many other companies introduced SLI with better performance and features for the users. 

Work Mechanism:

In this Multi-graphic card term, all the GPUs are connected and one of them is termed as a master Graphic card, and the others work as slaves. These slavery GPUs send their output to the master graphics card which after combining sends to the screen. You can attach two or more graphics cards to the SLI bridge to lessen the workload of one GPU and get high-rated output.

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Types of Bridges in SLI

In the SLI GPU interconnection line, we find three types of bridges to handle the workload:

  • Standard SLI bridge has a 400 MHZ pixel clock speed to handle the screen resolution of 1920×1080 to 2560×[email protected] Hz and a bandwidth of 1GB/s. 
  • The LED bridge is best for those monitors which come with 2560×1440 or 4K resolution. It can work with high-clock speed monitors. 
  • High Bandwidth Bridge is the fastest bridge in SLI that was introduced by Nvidia and can handle 5K resolution on the screen. You can attach more than two graphics cards to this bridge.

These bridges in SLI technique can transfer more data at high speed while working on intense tasks. These GPUs can perform complicated calculations at higher speeds. You can connect up to 4 GPUs in SLI. but with increasing the GPUs in SLI, power consumption also increases. 

Best GPUs for SLI:

Here are the GPUs which support SLI:

  • NVIDIA Titan XP
  • GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
  • GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER
  • GeForce RTX 2080
  • RTX 3090 SLI
What is NVLink

After the introduction of SLI, Nvidia introduced a better multi-GPU technique for gamers which is known as NVLink. NVLink works faster and better than SLI because graphic cards are connected in an interconnect method. That is why NVLink gives better performance than SLI.

Work Mechanism:

The NVLink technology is considered the best Multi-graphic interface as it has higher bandwidth. In this interface, you connect the graphic card in series and all the workload is divided among these GPUs. In this way, the capability of the GPU becomes doubled when you interconnect more than two GPUs on NVLink. Work power and memory also become double by connecting multiple graphic cards.

NVLink network topology work mechanics where there is no master and slave GPU. All GPU nodes are interconnected to each other to divide the workload equally. This interconnection enhances the work power and speed of GPUs while gaming and other tasks. 

Here are some Nvidia graphic cards that support NVLink:

  • NVIDIA RTX A4500
  • Quadro RTX 5000
  • NVIDIA RTX A5500 
  • Quadro RTX 6000
  • Quadro GV100
  • NVIDIA RTX A5000
  • NVIDIA RTX A6000 
  • Quadro RTX 8000

Do you want to know which is better; NVLink or SLI? To know the answer to this question, we need to make a comparison of both of these multi-graphics configurations. Let us check out the differences among these configurations to know which is better:


In SLI configuration, most of the workload is on the master GPU that transfers the output to the image screen. But in LVLink, the workload is divided among all GPUs. That is LVLink gives higher performance than SLI.


The SLI bridge cannot transfer too much data because the bandwidth is not too high. But in NVLink the bandwidth is up to 160GB or more because it also doubles when you connect two GPUs. SLI offers only 2 GB bandwidth while the NVLink offers up to 200 GB bandwidth which is many times higher than SLI.


In SLI configuration, only the MasterCard handles the memory-related work due to which the data transfer rate is not too high. But in the NVLink the memory also doubles with the interconnection of graphic cards.

Interconnecting Configuration:

When we talk about the interconnecting configuration of both SLI and NVLink, we find that NVLink is better than SLI. This is because the GPUs are connected in a series method topology in which all the GPUs have equal access to the workload. They do the tasks equally by having equal access. But in SLI, one main GPU works as a master card that performs all output-related tasks on the screen.

Clock Rate:

Another main difference between SLI and NVLink is the clock rate which makes the NVLink more efficient while working. They offer a faster bridge than SLI with a higher clock rate on memory.

By knowing the difference stated above, we come to know that NVLink has more advantages than SLI. It is better than SLI in terms of bandwidth to memory. The NVLink offers a higher data transfer rate and higher bandwidth than SLI. so it is better for professional gamers to attach to their system.

In NVLink, you have to provide more power than SLI as all GPUs are on work in this configuration and need equal power to work.

Final Words:

When the work potential on your GPU is going too high, you can attach multiple graphics cards to your system. In the market, you will find SLI and NVLink GPU configurations to enhance the performance of your system and video card while gaming. NVLink is better in all aspects than SLI and you should buy it if you are a professional gamer.

NVLink is better in all aspects such as bandwidth, data transfer rate, memory and performance.

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Hello, I'm the blogger and author of this blog. I have been in the industry for more than 10 years. Since I began testing and reviewing graphics cards for custom PC builds, I have tested and reviewed hundreds of them. As a result of my knowledge and experience, I believe I will be able to help you choose the card that really fits your budget and needs.

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