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final build step: SLI won't enable: Exhausted troubleshooting

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May 19, 2008 8:37:12 AM

Alright I just want a second opinion before I tear my hair out. Penny for thoughts... this rig was working perfectly with a single card


Vista SP1 32 bit
ECS 8800GTS 320mb, and 640mb
ECS kn3sli2
Athlon x2 5200

- both cards show up in device manager
- no option to enable SLI in NVIDIA control panel
- both cards I good: I ran them standalone fine


Troubleshooting steps taken thus far:
- uninstalled driver from device manager
- bought DriverCleaner.NET (since drivercleaner pro isn't officially vista)
- rebooted into safe mode, ran driver cleaner on NVIDIA, and nvidia control panel
- rebooted and installed the new driver


NVIDIA Vista 32 bit Drivers tried so far (all obtained from 3dGuru.com):
- 175.70
- 175.16 WHQL
- a WHQL made by EVGA (169.32)



I BSOD'd on the last one so at this point I need advice as to where to go from here, since I am out of troubleshooting ideas. Should I just keep trying drivers? F it and just go buy an XFX/ECS/BFG 8800gtx? Go buy a 9000 series?

Thanks!
May 19, 2008 8:58:40 AM

could be wrong, SLI works only with Identicle cards. Those cards are the same chip but the memory on the card may have to be the same also? Someone correct me if i am wrong.
Also is the SLI bridge connected on the cards? common mistake for first time SLI builds.
IMO instead of saying "F it" and going to buy a 8800GTX, i would buy a 8800GTS 512MB.
May 19, 2008 10:22:36 AM

I'm afraid bushmastertd is almost certainly correct....


if you do give up, don't get an 8800gtx just get a 512 gts
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May 20, 2008 12:32:19 AM

Thanks guys - the bastard salesman lied to me hehe. My fault to trusting a supposed "expert"
May 20, 2008 4:20:24 AM

Bzzzrt! Wrong-o!

According to nVidia, you CAN run 2 cards in SLI, with different amounts of memory - as long as they have the same GPU version (which you do). From the SLIZone:
>>
Graphics Memory: If you have two 128MB graphics cards running with SLI, each card operates with 128MB of memory (not 256MB). If a game recommends 256MB of memory, each card needs to have 256MB of memory. If you get two of the same model of graphics card, and one is 128MB, the other 256MB, your SLI graphics solution will operate (if you use Coolbits) with 128MB effective graphics memory.
<<

So the salesman wasn't lying...you have some other problem.

Go back and re-install the WHQL version drivers.

In the nVidia Control Panel, make SURE that Advanced View is selected.

Select the Manage 3D Settings item in the left pane, to show the 3D Setting category page.

Select the "Set SLI Configuration" item

What options does it show you there?

Cheers & GL,
-3Gun
a c 168 Î Nvidia
May 20, 2008 1:41:35 PM

3Gun said:
Bzzzrt! Wrong-o!

According to nVidia, you CAN run 2 cards in SLI, with different amounts of memory - as long as they have the same GPU version (which you do). From the SLIZone:
>>
Graphics Memory: If you have two 128MB graphics cards running with SLI, each card operates with 128MB of memory (not 256MB). If a game recommends 256MB of memory, each card needs to have 256MB of memory. If you get two of the same model of graphics card, and one is 128MB, the other 256MB, your SLI graphics solution will operate (if you use Coolbits) with 128MB effective graphics memory.
<<

So the salesman wasn't lying...you have some other problem.

Go back and re-install the WHQL version drivers.

In the nVidia Control Panel, make SURE that Advanced View is selected.

Select the Manage 3D Settings item in the left pane, to show the 3D Setting category page.

Select the "Set SLI Configuration" item

What options does it show you there?

Cheers & GL,
-3Gun

As far as I'm aware 3Gun you are wholly correct, however there are cases where the BIOS of certain cards prevent this, I think the XFX 7800GTX had this issue and thus it was not possible to SLI a 256 one with a 512 one despite what Nvidia said. Then again I could be talking out of my arse.
!