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Is my q6600 bottlenecking my 2 9800 gtx in SLI or is my SLI not set ??

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May 9, 2008 12:06:02 PM

I've been going over and over this for a couple days now and I can't figure it out. Here's my issue. I've got 2 9800 gtx in SLI and can't seem to yeild any performance benifits out of them. In 3dmark06 my score in 12000 with 1 or both 2 running. Seems too low for one card to be honest. In Crysis I do see minor benefit in fps when doing in game counts but the looped time demo there is a small drop actually. I'll post this which I posted in another forum if you guys wouldn't mind reading it for me.

First I did a benchrun with SLI again
For 3dmark I got a whopping 11803...ouch
sm2.0 - 4377
sm3.0 - 5783
cpu- 3366

Obviously that sucks big time for 2 9800 in SLI.

I then took out one card and did another run.
The score was 11325
sm2.0 - 4500
sm3.0 - 5209
cpu- 3285

I then put the card in to PCI-E slot three and it booted up fine but told me that if I'm not running SLI to put it back into slot one. So I did cause I figure it knew better than me and didn't seem to wanted to do anything else anyway. Seemed normal though.

I swapped that card out for it's handsome twin and he put out an A for effort score of....forgot my drumsticks....
-11215
sm2.0 - 4437
sm3.0 - 5169
cpu- 3265

So as you can see these two cards pretty much tied for last place out of a 2 man sprint.

I then tried my Crysis benchmark. And played the opening sequences in SLI and with each card individually.

SLI did give me a small boost in certain areas. For the Assault Harbour scene in 1680x 1050 all setting on high no AA it gave me a 10-15 fps boost in the opening scene where the guys are sitting around chatting about how cool the suit is and in general gave me a few extra boosts or 5-10 frames here and there with many scene pushing virtually the same count.

I then did the opening scene of the game and was getting 50 to 60+ fps at the same res and detail level but with 4xAA turned on. Essentially getting AA for free from what I was getting before. On the Assault run I essentially free 4xAA over the single card scores.

So the SLI is making a difference just not as much as I'd expect considering how low the score with one card is to begin with.

I'm thinking I'm bottlenecked by the q6600 at stock perhaps.

Other interesting notes.

-3dmark refuses to acknowledge my 2 cards
-crysis benchmark heading shows MGPU. It recognizes both cards.
-Nvidia control panel recognized both cards but tells me I have 512 meg of video memory. Maybe it won't combined the total for both cards.
-SLI visual indicators often look bored. Bars go from full length to maximum shrinkage like Castanza just getting out of a cold pool.
-I redid a 3dmark run with the cards rearranged and got 12097 (total), 4368 (sm2), 6205 (sm3), 3269 (cpu)


My system is
q6600
xfx 780i SLI motherboard
2 9800gtx
4GB OCZ DDR2 800
PC P&C 750w PSU
Window Vista Ultimate 64bit

and I just got the newest driver for my cards.
May 9, 2008 12:20:49 PM

Hmm that's interesting to say the least. I would've though you could get 13000 from one 9800GTX...

I know my Q6600 @ 3.2Ghz and my 8800GT with a slight OC gets around 11,800 so something is up with whats going on in your setup. I know my OC'd CPU helps but 3dmark is based more on GPUs and not CPUs.

Check your bios settings to make sure you have full bandwidth going through both PCI-E slots.

Maybe try a slight OC on your Q6600 and see if it helps improve your score. I can't imagine a Q6600 being a bottleneck but stranger things have happened.
a b U Graphics card
May 9, 2008 12:21:21 PM

I can not tell you whats wrong, but even for 1 GTX that 3Dmark score is low, with my old E2160 @ 3.2ghz my 8800GTS 512 got 11707 after being ran immediately after installing the card and the driver with 0 tweaks, upgraded to 3110 and with both @ stock it got 12387.
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
May 9, 2008 12:27:15 PM

The Q6600 could be a bottleneck @ stock speeds, so yes an OC would definitely alleviate/show it. I've noticed my SM2 and SM3/HDR scores go up with each higher OC i do on my cpu. which tells me @ stock speeds my 3110 is bottlenecking my GTS



-I redid a 3dmark run with the cards rearranged and got 12097 (total), 4368 (sm2), 6205 (sm3), 3269 (cpu) said:


-I redid a 3dmark run with the cards rearranged and got 12097 (total), 4368 (sm2), 6205 (sm3), 3269 (cpu)

Mine @ Stock 678/972(gpu) Yours
3DMark Score 12387 3DMark Score 12097
SM 2.0 Score 5894 SM 2.0 Score 4368
SM 3.0 Score 5620 SM 3.0 Score 6205
CPU Score 2768 CPU Score 3269

@ 3.6ghz @ 748/1000(GPU)
SM2 6478
SM3 5986
CPU 3312
Total 13761
May 9, 2008 12:27:36 PM

deuce271 said:
Hmm that's interesting to say the least. I would've though you could get 13000 from one 9800GTX...

I know my Q6600 @ 3.2Ghz and my 8800GT with a slight OC gets around 11,800 so something is up with whats going on in your setup. I know my OC'd CPU helps but 3dmark is based more on GPUs and not CPUs.

Check your bios settings to make sure you have full bandwidth going through both PCI-E slots.

Maybe try a slight OC on your Q6600 and see if it helps improve your score. I can't imagine a Q6600 being a bottleneck but stranger things have happened.


I looked through my bios but couldn't find the option to alter my PCI E slot speed. Are you familiar with the XFX 780i type bios. Even my manual makes no mention of it. BTW my CPU score was by far the lowest in the test at ussually just around 3200 points if that's any indication of anything.
a b U Graphics card
May 9, 2008 12:34:09 PM

Those benchmarks are what I would expect from a single stock 9800gtx, and a Q6600, not overclocked. Perhaps a little on the low side, but in the ballpark. There is something wrong with your setup somewhere when you go to SLI, Its not your q6600.
Unless it is not being detected correctly by the BIOS?.......but still, when going to SLI your score should show much more improvement over 1 card than it is doing now.
May 9, 2008 12:39:18 PM

Your SLI board will have dual 16X PCI-E channels so you don't need to set anything in the bios to enable. At stock speeds for a Q6600 which is the same chip I have, should score a little bit more than that but depending on your tweaks that may be about right.

Make sure all 4 cores are enabled in your bios. Than make sure your SLI is set to enable in the Nvidia control panel because I don't think it is. If it is, you can also custom add it 3Dmark06 and force SLI just to make sure. There is also a Nvidia tweak I believe its coolbits available at guru3d downloads will let you turn on the SLI monitor so you can visually "SEE" if your SLI is working in games. Big green semi transparent load balancing bar appears on the left side of your screen, showing the SLI usage.

With a similar setup I get 18084 in 3DMark06 with dual 8800GTX Oc'ed, 9800GTX's are over rated.
May 9, 2008 12:43:50 PM

My cards are installed in pci e ports 1 and 3. I tested both port and got an image in both cards and in both ports. Device manager detects both cards. Nvidia Control panel detects both cards. Crysis benchmark detects MGPU setting. My SLI is enable in control panel, bridge is firmly in place. I don't know what else to check for to see if my sli is enabled. All signs point to yes. Could it be Vista?? I'm thinking of RMAing for 9800gx2. Save myself the sli hassle. Not that it ussually is.....
a b U Graphics card
May 9, 2008 12:44:19 PM

Wow surprising I just did a search and compare on a Stock Q6600 and a 9800GTX
11218 3DMarks
SM 2.0 Score 4209
SM 3.0 Score 5273
CPU Score 3443

Your CPU score is little lower, nothing much if you had anything other than your AV running while benching(Teamspeak/MSN would lower my cpu score by 1-200 points) Drivers can make scores lower too. especially the new beta thats for 3DMark Vantage.
May 9, 2008 12:45:59 PM

Visual indicator show SLI working but the bars expand and contract wildly. Often look idle.
May 9, 2008 12:52:15 PM

Goose your cpu... Lets see what she can do !!!!
May 9, 2008 12:56:28 PM

Make sure your cards are running at the speeds they are meant to be running at using a program like rivatuner.
May 9, 2008 1:00:14 PM

randalldaigle said:
Visual indicator show SLI working but the bars expand and contract wildly. Often look idle.


The only time I have seen them do that is when either 3Dmark06 benchmark is initializing and the cards are settling themselves or when a game preview video is starting up, than they will bounce for a bit but once your game or benchmark begin, the load balance should be steady only with slight variations in and out as the load changes within the scene. This tells me there is something wrong with your SLI hook up. (note they should be green almost from top to bottom from the center out with slight fluctuations on the top and bottom from the center when under full SLI, your are just not working)

You might try to reload your drivers because your SLI indicators should not expand and contract wildly once in game or in the benchmark. There will be variances but not extreme. There is also the possibility one of your cards is defective but I would try a driver reload first. The load balance is cool to look at and will show you which games use SLI more than others.

SLI is not that big a deal and you have done all the right things.
a b U Graphics card
May 9, 2008 1:51:42 PM

warezme said:


With a similar setup I get 18084 in 3DMark06 with dual 8800GTX Oc'ed, 9800GTX's are over rated.



I gotta put my 2 cents in here, you are so right. The 9800's are bit of a disappointment.

May 9, 2008 2:14:30 PM

Your cpu score is a little low but your SM scores are very low for a 9800GTX especially the SM 2.0 score. I am able to get that with a 8800GTS 640. Sounds like driver issues/conflicts. Remove, clean and reinstall new drivers or roll back to an older set. I don't have a 780 board so I can't help you there.
May 9, 2008 3:16:00 PM

Hrm, I've got a Q6600 on a 780i board myself and a single 9800GTX. Is it even worth running that card in SLI with that processor?
May 9, 2008 3:37:27 PM

Yes it is bottlenecking.

I do not have geforce cards. I have 3870x2 cards, and the higher I go on my processor, the more shader performance I get with my quad.

it is safe to say that there currently is no CPU on the market that will not bottleneck quad gpus, unless of course you are using liquid nitrogen or phase change at ridiculous clock speeds.

May 9, 2008 3:44:31 PM

I'm gonna OC it this weekend. I bought the Thermalright Ultra 120, few nice noctua 1200mm fans and plan to take it to 3.4-3.6 if it can hold stable, which is should. I'm at work now so I can't test but thanks for more suggestions fellas! I appreciate it tons.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
May 9, 2008 3:46:59 PM

i dont understand how it could be bottlenecking when a q6600 stock with 2x8800gtx rapes those scores and plays crysis 2560x Very High at 40-50 FPS
May 9, 2008 4:03:05 PM

Q6600 at stock speeds is a huge bottle neck for 3dmark06 at default settings with those video cards. To max those cards out in 3dmark06 at default settings you would probably need 3.8Ghz - 4Ghz.

The higher in resolution you go the less the processor will become a bottleneck, which is why you probably get a few more fps in crysis in SLI mode. Overclock the processor to 3Ghz which should be easy for that processor and run 3dmark again, i bet you pick up another 1,000 - 2,000 points
May 9, 2008 4:09:58 PM

<<<<few nice noctua 1200mm fans and plan to take it to 3.4-3.6 >>>

Holy Bat crapman, thats a big fan lol. I know its a typo, but it brought to mind the image of the rad fan from a car mounted to the side of case.
a b U Graphics card
May 9, 2008 4:42:46 PM

This seems pretty stupid and obvious, but maybe make sure the PCI-E 4-pin power connectors are attached to both of your video cards if they require them? lol just throwing this out since nobody else mentioned it.

I'm running a lowly X1950 Pro 512MB video card, so I definitely can't comment on the GPU performance in 3dMark06. However, my Q6600 on a 680i mobo nets me a 5k score for CPU in 3dMark06. Course that's probably due to my OC of 3.3Ghz.

I'm still amazed that a Q6600 could be a bottleneck though. Could this be due to the fact that 3dMark06 isn't using all 4 cores? Or that it doesn't do so efficiently?
May 9, 2008 4:56:50 PM

It is deffinately the q6600, I will take it off your hands for say $100 and you can use that for getting a better one like a e4400 perhaps, they are super fast..
May 9, 2008 5:12:48 PM

interesting....

I have very similar settings as you
Vista64 Ultimate Stock settings Q6600/8800GTX

3dmark score - 11227

SM 2.0 score - 4628
SM 3.0 score - 4950
CPU Score - 3319
May 9, 2008 5:35:14 PM

truehighroller said:
It is deffinately the q6600, I will take it off your hands for say $100 and you can use that for getting a better one like a e4400 perhaps, they are super fast..



I appreciate your kind offer high roller haha but I think I'll hang onto and just getting my money's worth with a hefty OC!!! Thanks for the input fellas.
May 9, 2008 5:39:32 PM

I dont think it is the Q6600.... It can handle three 8800 Ultras, why would it suffer from two 9800GTX?
May 9, 2008 5:44:12 PM

The higher your clock overclock,, the better your video score will get because the cpu helps the low end of the fps. If you crank it up to 4ghz it will jump alot..
May 9, 2008 5:46:52 PM

I scored a way higher score then that with my Q6600 @ 4.17Ghz and my 8800GTS 512 @ 820/2000~/2200~ in an overclocking contest for giabyte not to long ago with my P35 DQ6 motherboard. I scored 16,400.
May 9, 2008 5:49:29 PM

You prolly only have 2 cores active of the cpu.

Mine did this when I upgraded to the Q9450 from the e6750. (680i, same bios)

Enter the bios, find the cpu area, and enable the additional two cores.

If you have Speedfan, check it, you should have 4 horizontal performance bars, one for each core. If it shows just two, bingo!

My Q @3.2, with 2x 8800 GTX's hits just over 17k on 06.
May 9, 2008 5:55:20 PM

He could look in the performance monitor of taskbar to I beleive and I beleive cpu z tells you as well how many are being used. Good point though.
May 9, 2008 7:13:50 PM

randalldaigle said:

My system is
q6600
xfx 780i SLI motherboard
2 9800gtx
4GB OCZ DDR2 800
PC P&C 750w PSU
Window Vista Ultimate 64bit

I wish people wouldn’t post XP scores! It is useless in this tread...Of course his score sucks compared to XP.

Randalldaigle might as well ignore all posts that don’t have Vista comparisons.

In Fact randalldaigle you should run Vantage and get a score that only Vista users can compare too.
May 9, 2008 7:19:22 PM

I'll check the cores setup tonight. Again thanks guys.
May 9, 2008 7:31:13 PM

You need to make sure you have the Vista updates so SLI will work. You cannot get them from windows update (althought i think they are included with Vista SP1) Go to the microsoft site or google "Vista SLI Update"

BTW Grieve my q6600 3.0ghz with a single 8800gt 3dmark06 score was 1386 on VISTA... so there is definitely something wrong here....
May 9, 2008 8:21:29 PM

.....as in 1 thousand 386?? Or 13 thousand typoed?
May 9, 2008 8:48:57 PM

Very simple my friend Randalldaigle.

If you look at the Nvidia SLI certified PSUs. http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build_psu.html the Silencer 750 is not in the list for 9800 GTX SLI 2 Card. I do own a Silencer from PCP&C and its awesome but for your extreme rig configuration a Turbokool will do it and improve your scores.

I hope this gives some light to your issues
May 9, 2008 10:35:44 PM

I have noticed that also having a higher memory frequency helps a decent amount.

But yeah, my q6600 is a bottleneck even at 4ghz with 2 3870x2 cards.
Of course it gets my shader scores to like 8k+ and 12k+ in 3dmark, but I can overclock the cards and get nothing extra out of it which tells me it's still not near enough.

If you look at some of the top benches in 3dmark you can see that even at those speeds the cards continue to react to increases in core speed.

The bottleneck is definitely understated.
We could really get some huge improvements with a better processor that will vlock higher or work with all 4 cores all the time.

But for now a q6600 as fast as it is, will never be enough to keep 4 gpus working. I know that much. maybe some of these future 8 core chips will improve things once all these dufuses start heavily multi-threaded stuff using all cores.
May 10, 2008 2:08:29 PM

Was my q6600. I bumped only to 2.6 (only 200mhz) and my scored jumped almost 2000 points. All cores were enabled also. Thanks again. Time to take this cpu to above well above 3 now.
a b U Graphics card
May 10, 2008 6:41:50 PM

Why is 3dmark06 so important. it is very CPU dependent, especially at default settings. It's a waste of a benchmark for SLI 9800GTX.

In actually gaming, the Q6600 is outstanding. If you OC it to 3.5GHz , it is pretty much as good as you will get for gaming.

OC the Q if you like, crank the res and eye candy, and play some games like SLI is meant to do. Leave the 3dmark shootouts to those who can't crank crysis at high with fsaa like you and I can. ;) 
May 10, 2008 9:18:41 PM

I agree with you about 3dmark. I was just using as an indication of some sort of difficulty. It definitely helped me pin point my problem.
September 27, 2009 2:34:41 PM

randalldaigle said:
I've been going over and over this for a couple days now and I can't figure it out. Here's my issue. I've got 2 9800 gtx in SLI and can't seem to yeild any performance benifits out of them. In 3dmark06 my score in 12000 with 1 or both 2 running. Seems too low for one card to be honest. In Crysis I do see minor benefit in fps when doing in game counts but the looped time demo there is a small drop actually. I'll post this which I posted in another forum if you guys wouldn't mind reading it for me.

First I did a benchrun with SLI again
For 3dmark I got a whopping 11803...ouch
sm2.0 - 4377
sm3.0 - 5783
cpu- 3366

Obviously that sucks big time for 2 9800 in SLI.

I then took out one card and did another run.
The score was 11325
sm2.0 - 4500
sm3.0 - 5209
cpu- 3285

I then put the card in to PCI-E slot three and it booted up fine but told me that if I'm not running SLI to put it back into slot one. So I did cause I figure it knew better than me and didn't seem to wanted to do anything else anyway. Seemed normal though.


Your CPU needs to be overclocked to atleast 3.6ghz if you dont want to bottleneck those cards
you should be getting at least 15k with those cards

I swapped that card out for it's handsome twin and he put out an A for effort score of....forgot my drumsticks....
-11215
sm2.0 - 4437
sm3.0 - 5169
cpu- 3265

So as you can see these two cards pretty much tied for last place out of a 2 man sprint.

I then tried my Crysis benchmark. And played the opening sequences in SLI and with each card individually.

SLI did give me a small boost in certain areas. For the Assault Harbour scene in 1680x 1050 all setting on high no AA it gave me a 10-15 fps boost in the opening scene where the guys are sitting around chatting about how cool the suit is and in general gave me a few extra boosts or 5-10 frames here and there with many scene pushing virtually the same count.

I then did the opening scene of the game and was getting 50 to 60+ fps at the same res and detail level but with 4xAA turned on. Essentially getting AA for free from what I was getting before. On the Assault run I essentially free 4xAA over the single card scores.

So the SLI is making a difference just not as much as I'd expect considering how low the score with one card is to begin with.

I'm thinking I'm bottlenecked by the q6600 at stock perhaps.

Other interesting notes.

-3dmark refuses to acknowledge my 2 cards
-crysis benchmark heading shows MGPU. It recognizes both cards.
-Nvidia control panel recognized both cards but tells me I have 512 meg of video memory. Maybe it won't combined the total for both cards.
-SLI visual indicators often look bored. Bars go from full length to maximum shrinkage like Castanza just getting out of a cold pool.
-I redid a 3dmark run with the cards rearranged and got 12097 (total), 4368 (sm2), 6205 (sm3), 3269 (cpu)


My system is
q6600
xfx 780i SLI motherboard
2 9800gtx
4GB OCZ DDR2 800
PC P&C 750w PSU
Window Vista Ultimate 64bit

and I just got the newest driver for my cards.

!