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SLI problem, blank screen on load, dvi & vga

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Last response: in Windows 7
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September 24, 2010 4:02:10 AM

Hello all!

I've been around this forum lots and lots but haven't ever posted, mainly because I've just been on my phone. I have not had a computer for a while as I was saving to build a new one. I've finally got it built and everything works perfectly! I'm very excited. Except for one minor problem. Though after countless searching, I haven't been able to find my EXACT problem, though there have been many other similar situations. So I thought since all of those questions received great helpful answers, maybe someone would have some insight for what I am experiencing. Before I start, I'll list my specs.

-EVGA P55 SLI Motherboard
-Intel Core i5 760 2.8ghz
-G. Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 (PC3-12800) 2 x 2gb
-Corsair TX 850w Power Supply
-XFX 9600GT + Apollo 9600GT (Nvidia)
-Windows 7 64-bit

First off, my computer is built correct (done it many times before no worries!) and works great but it only works with one video card. Actually, it's more like the monitor. Realistically, I'm pretty sure it works fine with both but I am having a bit of a problem getting the video to show up after the "Starting Windows" loading screen. I know this is an extremely common problem and I understand that its a matter of the DVI & VGA conflict. To get an idea, the problem I have come across is that my 2 9600's are different brands. They should work in SLI fine but they have different ports. The XFX has 2 DVI ports and the Apollo has 1 DVI and 1 VGA. The Apollo 9600 has to go in the second PCI-E slot though because of its size. The fan is much bigger on it and with my motherboard, the slots are very close together, not the greatest for SLI but i knew it would work because the cards are fairly small compared to some of the new GTX cards. They fit perfectly great though if I put the XFX in the first slot because then the other card with the big fan has nothing touching it. Problem is, the SLI only works if I put the Apollo in the first slot and connect straight into its VGA port. When I do that though, the fan won't come on because it is basically touching the other card. I definitely wouldn't want to leave it like that, they'd both get too hot and maybe even ruined. I think when its in the second slot, the computer is still making VGA the default and so even when I plug my monitor into the XFX in the first slot with a DVI-to-VGA adapter it still wont go to the welcome screen and you've heard it before, the computer still runs with a blank screen for a while and the fans slow down. And if I try to connect my monitor into the 2nd card with the VGA slot, nothing shows up because its in the second slot i guess? Not sure about how that works. I'm pretty new to SLI setup.

Currently, I am using the XFX in the first slot and the other one isn't in the computer. Using that very same adapter, I am able to plug my monitor into the DVI port and it runs fine. The same goes for the Apollo if I use it by itself and plug into its VGA slot with my monior. My question to all you beautiful people is if there is any way for me to boot up my computer with both cards in the slots where they need to be to fit correctly and any possible solutions.

I hope I've been clear enough, feel free to ask anything I didn't specify! Thank you all very much!
a b $ Windows 7
September 24, 2010 6:08:12 AM

the cards output to both ports simultanesly, the monitor picks the input you're using, or you select the input with monitor OSD, whichever
Using different models of Nvidia cards to run SLI is bad. For SLI to work correctly, you must have two same model cards. Brands do not matter and clock speeds do not matter as long as they are the same model. if the clock speeds are different, it defaults to the slower card, use the DVI port if at all possible

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September 24, 2010 8:10:54 PM

The cards are the same model they are both 9600 GT 512MB. They are 2 different brands though which shouldnt matter, one just has a bigger heatsink and fan and it has a dvi and a vga port instead of 2 dvi's like the other card. Plugging into the dvi port with an adapter for my monitor still doesnt work. I have 3 different adapters as well and i can confirm they all work like they should so i know that isn't the problem.
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a b $ Windows 7
September 24, 2010 8:50:15 PM

yes it should work, does each card work in either slot
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September 24, 2010 9:07:58 PM

Both cards work fine in either slot, the computer loads up when the cards are switched and I plug straight into the one with a VGA port but when I have the one with 2 DVI ports in the first slot, it doesn't work.
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a b $ Windows 7
September 24, 2010 11:52:31 PM

thats wierd
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September 25, 2010 1:19:10 PM

I know, that is why I've been posting on here trying to figure out a solution haha. I have yet to figure out something that works, is there any way you can force it to output from a certain port on the video card? Anyone else having a similar problem? I'll never buy 2 different brands of the same card again for SLI but i couldnt find the one i already owned anywhere.
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