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Serious SLI problem, I think I have tried everything?

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  • Graphics Cards
  • SLI
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 30, 2005 9:16:35 AM

Hi. (sorry for the long post, but im desperate)
One week ago I bought new hardware (SLi motheroard, 2 7800gt 256 graphic crads, AMD 64 dual 3700 processor). Assembly went fine, and when I boot up my computer for the firts time I got the: "Your computer is ready for SLI", so I activated it. Now to make a very long story short I only get the performance of one card eventhough SLi is detected and enabled.

I compared my FPS using EVE online and the same drivers as a user on another forum. He had a slightly better processor (no dual core though) and got between 150-210 FPS when docked at a station, I get around 40 FPS, thats not right.

The really irretating thing is that I ran 3dmark05 with 81.95 drivers and got a really good score of around 10000. But I installed the 81.98 drivers and the score was cut down by 50%. Eventhough I rolled back the drivers I cant seem to get back at around 10000.

This is what I have done so far:
- Bridge between cards are in place.
- EZ plug is connected on the motherboard.
- Selector card is in place and set to Dual.
- I have tried 81.95, 81.98 and 82.12 (Beta) but nothing changes.
- I have tried to install them in safe mode, after I have used Driver Cleaner Pro, nothing happens
- I have enabled Single GPU rendering, Multi GPU rendering, Auto selection.
- I have reinstalled XP (thinking there was some driver conflict), nothing happened.
- I have flashed BIOS to the latest version, but...nothing happens.
- I have tried with two cards and one, same performance.
- The cards have swaped places, but that didnt do anything...

The guys over at the 3dmark forum thought that my drivers were detecting SLI but for soem reason it they weren't producing the right amountof performance.

Its so incredibly frustrating to have had them working, and now I cant get back to that :( 

A friend recommended me to these forums, I really hope you guys can help me, I dont know what to do anymore.


----------------
My computer:

Mobo: A8N-SLI
Bios: A8NSB014
Powersupply: 540 W
Processor: AMD dual core 64 +3700
Graphic Cards: 2 7800 GT 256mb (PointofView)
RAM: 4x 512 DDR 400
2 Hard drives
1 DVD reader
1 DVD burner

More about : sli problem

December 30, 2005 11:16:31 AM

hi there have you tried it without the bridge connector and tried unplugging the EZ plug? im running the Premium version of that board at the moment and you only need to plug in the EZ plug if your PSU does not have the 24 pin plug.

And the new Nvidia drivers allow you to use SLI without the Bridge connector so try it without that.

also have you tried different games? try and lend FEAR of someone if you dont have it and run a few benchmarks, with sli enabled you should get much greater performance, check to make sure vsync is disabled in the game and in the drivers of the card.
December 30, 2005 2:53:32 PM

Quote:
hi there have you tried it without the bridge connector and tried unplugging the EZ plug? im running the Premium version of that board at the moment and you only need to plug in the EZ plug if your PSU does not have the 24 pin plug.

And the new Nvidia drivers allow you to use SLI without the Bridge connector so try it without that.

also have you tried different games? try and lend FEAR of someone if you dont have it and run a few benchmarks, with sli enabled you should get much greater performance, check to make sure vsync is disabled in the game and in the drivers of the card.


Hi thanks for your answer.
I have tried without the bridge, dont remember which driver version iused though, might give it a try again.

"you only need to plug in the EZ plug if your PSU does not have the 24 pin plug"

Hm im not really sure, how do I know if my PSU have a 24 pin plug? You mean that big plug :) 

Do you mean the latest official drivers 81.98 or the beta drivers (82.12).

I have fear and will try it, how high are your FPS in that game?
Related resources
December 30, 2005 3:03:20 PM

a 24 pin plug is this, this picture show a 24 pin plug that can be changed into a 20pin(hence the bit on the left hand side).



i mean the latest official drivers, and im not sure im gonna go benchmark FEAR now :D  , but try it on your system with one card then with two...i know its time consuming and a pain in the arse but itll be a good way to find out if SLI is working.
December 30, 2005 3:07:30 PM

Quote:
a 24 pin plug is this, this picture show a 24 pin plug that can be changed into a 20pin(hence the bit on the left hand side).



i mean the latest official drivers, and im not sure im gonna go benchmark FEAR now :D  , but try it on your system with one card then with two...i know its time consuming and a pain in the arse but itll be a good way to find out if SLI is working.


Yeah thats the one, thanks for your quick reply, il have a go at it.

Just wondered if you remembered your Fear FPS :)  no need to test it on my account.

Thanks
December 30, 2005 3:16:25 PM

just did it anyway

everything on MAX, soft shadows on and 4x fsaa and 16x Anisotropic filtering i got,

min = 23
average = 37
max = 82.

9% below 25FPS
62% between 24 and 40 FPS
29% above 40FPS

not bad the benchmark option is in the performance -> test settings
December 30, 2005 3:19:34 PM

Quote:
just did it anyway

everything on MAX, soft shadows on and 4x fsaa and 16x Anisotropic filtering i got,

min = 23
average = 37
max = 82.

9% below 25FPS
62% between 24 and 40 FPS
29% above 40FPS

not bad the benchmark option is in the performance -> test settings


Great, thanks alot. Ill give that a try. Everything so far points to the fact that I only getthe power of one card :(  But ill run the benchmark and compare with your results.
December 30, 2005 3:22:35 PM

erm you do know im using the GTX right not the GT? o also i forgot have you plugged in the extra 6 pin psu connectors into the gfx cards? i did that with my GTX but it gave my an error saying it didnt have enough power and that it would underclock itself to the correct setting(pretty nifty safety feature) so imagine that you would of gotten the same, so just check the cables.

PCI Express GFX connector :) 
December 30, 2005 3:37:19 PM

Quote:
erm you do know im using the GTX right not the GT? o also i forgot have you plugged in the extra 6 pin psu connectors into the gfx cards? i did that with my GTX but it gave my an error saying it didnt have enough power and that it would underclock itself to the correct setting(pretty nifty safety feature) so imagine that you would of gotten the same, so just check the cables.

PCI Express GFX connector :) 


Yeah those are connected as well. There are 2 normal 4 pin connecters at the end of teh 6 pin, at first I had only connected one of those 4 pins to the PSU, it didnt give me any errors though, which was kind of strange?

I've never built my owncomp before, just some basic swapping GF cards and adding memory etc. Is it possible to connect the 4 pin cables wrong, to me there is only one way they can go?
December 30, 2005 3:51:38 PM

Well didnt work.

I disconnected my EZ plug and at startup I justgot a warning telling me to replug the cable.

And when i removed the bridge I also got a warning that SLI wouldnt work at maximum capacity. On the other hand it doesnt work at maximum capacity when i have the bridge on so I dont know.

Feels like I have done some obviuos misstake, it should not be this hard to get this to work...
December 30, 2005 4:26:17 PM

no i shouldnt be this hard,

Quote:
There are 2 normal 4 pin connecters at the end of teh 6 pin, at first I had only connected one of those 4 pins to the PSU


you have connected a plug into both of the 4 pin connnectors havnt you?

i dont know what else can be done as far as i can tell everything should work just fine. theres only one more thing mabye one card is faulty try each in the first PCI express slot just to make sure. sorry mabye someone else round here has the same problem and has fixed it just ask around.
December 30, 2005 4:34:28 PM

Quote:
no i shouldnt be this hard,

There are 2 normal 4 pin connecters at the end of teh 6 pin, at first I had only connected one of those 4 pins to the PSU


you have connected a plug into both of the 4 pin connnectors havnt you?

i dont know what else can be done as far as i can tell everything should work just fine. theres only one more thing mabye one card is faulty try each in the first PCI express slot just to make sure. sorry mabye someone else round here has the same problem and has fixed it just ask around.

Yeah now they are connected. At first I had forgot to connect all of them. The really strange thing as I said before is taht I managed to get my 3dmark score up to 10000 which I understand is about the correct score for my setup. I just dont know what I did, and now I cant get back to that, which I find is very very strange...
December 30, 2005 5:02:43 PM

Fear benchmark results:

No bridge, Render with Single GPU

min = 12
average = 22
max = 55

62% below 25FPS
25% between 24 and 40 FPS
13% above 40FPS

No bridge, Render with Dual GPU

min = 12
average = 24
max = 62

53% below 25FPS
33% between 24 and 40 FPS
14% above 40FPS


With bridge, Render with Single GPU

min = 12
average = 24
max = 62

53% below 25FPS
33% between 24 and 40 FPS
14% above 40FPS


With bridge, Render with Dual GPU

min = 13
average = 30
max = 94

48% below 25FPS
32% between 24 and 40 FPS
20% above 40FPS
December 30, 2005 5:07:57 PM

ok those are pretty low although you do hit 90FPS max with both cards, so there working just not correctly, those single GT scores look a bit low to my but i havnt seen any other benchmarks with this card, and game.

have you checked your BIOS? its something that just popped into my head there might be a BIOS option to enable SLI with that mobo i thought it would be unessecsary cause of the SLI card thing(is that set right?)

im busy d/l your mobo manual now gonna take a look probably something allong the lines of mine "AI - Selector". but ill reply back in a bit got a slwo d/l for some reason. and yes i have nothing to do tonight just saving myself for 2moro :D 
December 30, 2005 5:20:44 PM

ok got it if you have your manual there, on page 4-34 it tells you how to set up SLI change the option from "Auto" to duel, and check that EZ connector thing in between the two cards to make sure its seated properly it could of poped out hence why it worked once but not now.
December 30, 2005 5:30:19 PM

Quote:
ok got it if you have your manual there, on page 4-34 it tells you how to set up SLI change the option from "Auto" to duel, and check that EZ connector thing in between the two cards to make sure its seated properly it could of poped out hence why it worked once but not now.


Thnks for your troubble :) 

Problem with my BIOS is that I actually dont have any SLI settings. THere is one Tab saying SLI but there are only 2 settings there:

Enable EZ warning
And another one saying something about apperture (dont know about teh spelling)

I flashed my BIOS yesterday and hoped that these settings would appear but no.

-----

Regarding FEAR fps this looked interesting (maybe im reading it wrong):
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/fear_cpu_performanc...

As far as I can see their numbers isnt that much better thank mine...
December 30, 2005 5:37:46 PM

i give up then cant think of anything else part from the EZ plug thing inbetween the GFX cards not being plugged in correctly otherwise yep sorry.
December 30, 2005 5:46:59 PM

Quote:
i give up then cant think of anything else part from the EZ plug thing inbetween the GFX cards not being plugged in correctly otherwise yep sorry.


Yeah, its so strange. Did you look at the FEAR benchmark url I sent? It looked like they had similarperformance as I have?

I just cant figure out why I got it to work before, SLI feels very unstable to me...
December 30, 2005 5:54:19 PM

yeah i had a look at those benchmarks i think it is using the second card im just not sure if its using the second card to its full potential, i dont think SLI is unstable although there seems to be a few people around here complaing about the 7800GTs in SLI and ive seen it else where im hoping a few searches around on this and other forums will give you an answer, personally hoping i dont get the same probs when i get my second GTX on the 10 jan.
December 30, 2005 6:02:32 PM

Quote:
yeah i had a look at those benchmarks i think it is using the second card im just not sure if its using the second card to its full potential, i dont think SLI is unstable although there seems to be a few people around here complaing about the 7800GTs in SLI and ive seen it else where im hoping a few searches around on this and other forums will give you an answer, personally hoping i dont get the same probs when i get my second GTX on the 10 jan.


Yeah thats what I think as well, i get every indication that SLI is setup correclty, the only thing showing otherwise is my FPS. Theo only thing i dont get is what that bottleneck could be, is ir hardware or software related...i just dont know.

Well thanks for your time!
!