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Crossfire card in SLI board. Possible?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 10, 2005 9:11:39 PM

I came across a situation while helping a customer upgrading his system.

My customer bought an MSI P4N SLI-FI motherboard. It has:
• NVIDIA ® nForce4 SLI Intel Edition Chipset
- HyperTransport link to nVidia MCP04 south bridge
- Supports 2 PCI Express x16 and 1 PCI Express x1 interface
• Two PCI Express X16 slot (supports PCI Express Bus specification v1.0a compliant)
Normal mode: Primary PCI-E slot is compatible with PCI Express x16
Secondary PCI-E slot is compatible with PCI Express x1
SLI mode: Primary PCI-E slot is compatible with PCI Express x8
Secondary PCI-E slot is compatible with PCI Express x8

He also bought an ATI X800 CrossFire Edition 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card.

He's a novice in these technology so he bought these without prior researchs.

Here's my problem. Put together all the pieces without any problem. Boot up Okay. Then when it comes to the part where I have to install an OS. Troubles arises. I can be able to boot up from the installation CD and the CD can recognizes my SATA drive withouth any problems. When it dones with the first phase of the installation which is formatting the drive and copy the neccessary files for the install it reboots right?
Yes, indeed but when the system tries to get back into the installation afther the first reboot, it keeps on rebooting and rebooting and rebooting.

At first I thought the problem is a hardware conflict problem so I took apart all the unneccessary parts including the second DVD burner, 2 RAID drives, and I also checked all cables and wires. Seemed alright to me! Tried the installation again and still the sytems kept rebooting...

Help me out guys and gals! What do you guys think? To me I think the trouble lies with the graphic card. Since the graphic card uses ATI chipset and the board uses NVidia chipset not to mention the SLI and CrossFire differences.

Please give me as much info on this as possible. Greatly appreciate your helps!
December 11, 2005 3:33:17 AM

If you have another PCI-e video card, try it in that PCI-e slot. That should narrow the problem down pretty good.

You can also try plugging the video card into a PCI-e 1x/4x slot. PCI-e 16x cards are backwards compatible w/ all PCI-e slots.

-mpjesse
December 11, 2005 8:50:13 PM

Does it reboot back into the blue screen thing or does it show the XP logo and keep rebooting?

The problem I had was forgetting to set the HD as my first boot device after the first phase of the installation - it was going round in loops driving me mad, where it kept going back into the blue formatting installation screen. One I realised this, my mate (whose PC it was that I was installing XP onto) was pissing himself with laughter! :oops: 

If it's the latter of the two problems then I'm pooped. :?
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a b U Graphics card
December 11, 2005 9:47:21 PM

Quote:
To me I think the trouble lies with the graphic card. Since the graphic card uses ATI chipset and the board uses NVidia chipset not to mention the SLI and CrossFire differences.


Nah, they work fine unless you are trying to use the Crossfire or SLi in a competing board, then the drivers will block it. However you're using a single card, so no that's not it.

First thing to make sure is that the SLi controller card is set to "normal" mode so the primary PEG slot is 16X and the other is 1X. While you 'can' run in 8X + 8X mode, unless you know what you're doing stick with "normal" mode not SLi.

However that said, considering your issues I doubt even that will cause the problems you are experiencing. This sounds more like a failed install actually where it's also having trouble with the HD or chipset, and really you should check on MSI's site and see whether anyone else experienced this problem as it's far ahead of graphics drivers that you're crapin out.
a b U Graphics card
December 11, 2005 9:51:23 PM

Quote:
You can also try plugging the video card into a PCI-e 1x/4x slot. PCI-e 16x cards are backwards compatible w/ all PCI-e slots.


Not without flipping the card outside your case.

I wouldn't recommend doing that, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who doesn't know how a PCIe card is supposed to fit into the 1X slot (BTW there's no 4X slot on that board 2 PEG slots 2 1x slots) as they'll likely damage their card or board if they aren't careful.

Only treu 1X boards like Matrox's are made to fit correctly inside your rig using the 1X slot.
a b U Graphics card
December 12, 2005 4:49:53 AM

They'll work with an open-ended x4 slot but not with an x1 slot, I don't know why unless it has something to do with adding power pins when you add data pins.
!