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3way SLI problem, Need urgent help!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 11, 2008 11:36:53 PM

Hi, I just joined this site to get help on this issue. So I recently finished building my new PC, here are the specs:

EVGA 780i mobo
Quad Core Q9550 @ 2.83 GHz
3x XFX GTX 280 XXX edition in 3way SLI
8GB DDR2-800 (4x2 OCZ platinums)
1x 300GB Velociraptor 10k RPM
1250w PSU (Coolermaster)
30" Samsung Syncmaster 305t Plus (2560x1600)
Driver: 178.24, the latest gtx 280 driver on nvidia.com
Windows Vista Home Premium 64-Bit

These 3 GPUs set me back about 1500 clams, but I did it because of athe reviews I saw.So I set up the 3 gtx 280s. I made sure they're seated perfectly, and connected the 3way sli bridge, and nothing is loose. Well, after I get my PC set up and download the latest drivers, I go over to the nvidia control panel and enable 3way SLI, and restart my PC. I install 2 games, crysis and age of conan and test my performance.

Crysis: 1920x1200, all settings on very high,DX10, 8x AA= 17 fps avg

Age of Conan: 2560x1600, all settings on high/ultra high if permitted, 16xAQ=20 fps avg

If you still dont get the problem, have a look at these: http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-...-review-te... and http://www.driverheaven.net/reviews.php?re...9&pageid=1...

Clearly a lot is wrong here. With 3 of these kids in 3 way SLI, I should be running crysis at those settings at 40+ fps, and I shouldnt even have to limit it to 1920x1200. And age of conan shouldnt be anywhere close to 20 fps. I'm pretty sure my 3 cards arent being read, because these are about the same fps reviewers got with one of these gtx 280s.

I'm really frustrated at this, so could somebody please help me solve this issue? What am I doing wrong? Did I forget something? etc.

Thank you
November 11, 2008 11:54:10 PM

Is that you with a new name ultimateslayer? If it is you should listen to the advice you got before.
November 11, 2008 11:56:56 PM

In case you need more info,Heres what I mean: http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-280-review-te...

Thats just 1 gtx 280 on crysis and its getting 21 fps average at very high settings on 1920x1200, and give or take 1 fps, thats exactly what I'm getting. Now if you look back on the other triple gtx 280 guru3d review, you'll see they get avg fps in the high 30s at 2560x1600 with very high image quality settings and AA enabled. Plus, they're reviewing the regular GTX 280s, I have the XFX XXX editions which are OC'd to 670MHz, unlike their 602 or 621 versions.

Anyone know? I'm really sick of this, in between my cpu dying, push pins on my heatsink breaking, RAM not working, and much more, I think I'll just send it all in and buy an alienware if I cant get this working properly
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November 12, 2008 12:01:46 AM

Sounds to me like you should send it in and get a custom build. Not alienware though.
November 12, 2008 12:07:03 AM

roadrunner197069 said:
Sounds to me like you should send it in and get a custom build. Not alienware though.


After months of figuring out what to order, trying to build this thing, and RMAing nearly everything they sent me, I dont want to return unless its 100% impossible for me to run 3way SLI, which it shouldnt be because I dont see anything I did wrong
November 12, 2008 12:09:32 AM

Also, I tried looking for the drivers used in those reviews, and after hours I finally found them. When I installed them and had to restart my system though, it just said I already had the latest drivers and I still have 178.24. Also, since this is the newest driver, I dont think thats the problem... unless this one doesent support triple sli or something.
a b U Graphics card
November 12, 2008 12:12:30 AM

reinstall drivers i guess. those results are strange with my 2 gtx260 oc in sli playing @ 1680x1050 all very high and 16aa i get range of 30-40fps.

buying from alienware or any other manufacture will charge you double. in my opinion i would reinstall vista all together and start from scratch. rma the cards if you believe one isnt working properly. also oc cpu 2.8ghz wont feed enough power to 3 gtx280.
November 12, 2008 9:47:23 AM

No one is going to comment on... oh I'll do it. Chrono you need to waste more money and buy a good heatsink, say an Xigmatek HDT-s1283 and overclock that CPU. It is holding back your system at anything below 3.6 Ghz. Also crank down the AA on Crysis, your cards are not strong enough, none are... The only other thing is to switch the first card with one of the others, if it is bad then your games are getting faulty memory and such which are totally dependent on the main card.
a c 88 U Graphics card
November 12, 2008 10:55:25 AM

I agree with invisik, start from scratch and take your time, install the latest mobo drivers and gfx drivers from nvidia.
Check your power settings in vista, set it to high performance mode , as it can be defaulted to power save mode and downclock your cpu frequency.
Also have you played around with the bios settings? Check all your settings to make sure they are optimised for your system and def oc that thing , its needs a fast cpu to push the tri sli's performance.
If you have the same problem still , I would try removing the cards and installing one card at a time and testing it with a game, remove then install the other to see if any of the cards show abnormal performance.If theres a dud then rma it as this could be the culprit. Goodluck let us know how you go
November 12, 2008 2:32:48 PM

The_Blood_Raven said:
No one is going to comment on... oh I'll do it. Chrono you need to waste more money and buy a good heatsink, say an Xigmatek HDT-s1283 and overclock that CPU. It is holding back your system at anything below 3.6 Ghz. Also crank down the AA on Crysis, your cards are not strong enough, none are... The only other thing is to switch the first card with one of the others, if it is bad then your games are getting faulty memory and such which are totally dependent on the main card.


My CPU was getting 70c-90c on IDLE with my stock intel cooler... so I bought an OCZ vendetta 2, whose push pins were broken. Now I have another one coming, and with it I SHOULD be able to OC to 3.6GHz or more, but knowing my luck so far, I wont be surprised if it all breaks down tomorrow.

Also, the cards look fine, and vista does show I have 3 of them running.

Also, before everything went to hell, I played crysis and saw the sli x3 performance bar, and my CPU usage was below 50%, always. But I was getting the exact performance of 1 gtx 280 from the benchmarks, so I know it's not working. I reinstalled drivers, got the latest mobo/gpu drivers again, still the same problems.

This is so frustrating...
November 12, 2008 3:34:44 PM

Hey man, hows it going? Just wanted to see if I can help out in some way. I saw the thread and I immediately feel your pain. I recently also built a gaming rig that really gave me some headaches. But be patient man and see what works. Making your gaming rig in the beginning, you must've known that there are many gamers out there with issues with SLI and in your case double that cuz of your Tri SLI rig =/

Well have you tried doing anything with the Nvidia Control Panel? One that helped me out with my rig (I have a 9800 gx2 VGA) is to go the nvidia control panel -> manage 3dsettings -> multi-display/mixed-gpu acceleration and set it to single display performance mode. Try that one first.

Also, one of the previous suggestions of overclocking your cpu to 3.4+ ghz does make a difference. I would've thought you would be overclocking that cpu like crazy =p Well, its your choice.

Another thing you might not want to hear, but you might want to try is to just install one video card at a time and then see if the fps makes a difference with just one card installed. Then if everything is good, go for a dual sli and test it again with each card. If that is good, do the whole tri sli thing. Again just a suggestion for testing.

Have you tried testing with the latest forceware Beta drivers (180.xx)? I'm actually using that and it works fine with my set up. See if it works for you.

Lastly, again as mentioned before, you need to put down your AAx. There is no card available in the market or commercially for us that will run Crysis with that much AAx.

Just be patient man and just tinker with it a lil bit more. You got a power house gaming rig that has a ton of potential, it just needs a little tweaking.

Later man and good luck!
November 13, 2008 3:10:52 AM

rangers712000 said:
Hey man, hows it going? Just wanted to see if I can help out in some way. I saw the thread and I immediately feel your pain. I recently also built a gaming rig that really gave me some headaches. But be patient man and see what works. Making your gaming rig in the beginning, you must've known that there are many gamers out there with issues with SLI and in your case double that cuz of your Tri SLI rig =/

Well have you tried doing anything with the Nvidia Control Panel? One that helped me out with my rig (I have a 9800 gx2 VGA) is to go the nvidia control panel -> manage 3dsettings -> multi-display/mixed-gpu acceleration and set it to single display performance mode. Try that one first.

Also, one of the previous suggestions of overclocking your cpu to 3.4+ ghz does make a difference. I would've thought you would be overclocking that cpu like crazy =p Well, its your choice.

Another thing you might not want to hear, but you might want to try is to just install one video card at a time and then see if the fps makes a difference with just one card installed. Then if everything is good, go for a dual sli and test it again with each card. If that is good, do the whole tri sli thing. Again just a suggestion for testing.

Have you tried testing with the latest forceware Beta drivers (180.xx)? I'm actually using that and it works fine with my set up. See if it works for you.

Lastly, again as mentioned before, you need to put down your AAx. There is no card available in the market or commercially for us that will run Crysis with that much AAx.

Just be patient man and just tinker with it a lil bit more. You got a power house gaming rig that has a ton of potential, it just needs a little tweaking.

Later man and good luck!


Yea, I have 178.24 drivers, which are apparently the latest gtx 280 drivers. Where can I find those 180.xx betas? I have no clue.

Also, on the subject of AA, I can run it on 16xAQ at like 7fps, and if I actually set a few things to high its playable. But the only reason I was running AA in the first place was because I couldnt run it on 2560x1600 because of this tri sli issue, so I figured I'd add something else for the meantime. I'll overclock my cpu, but I'm sure tri-sli can at least RUN with this clock, I dont need the 100% performance it can give right now, I just need it running properly. Once it's running properly, I'll OC like an idiot! Temps dont scare me anymore, not after seeing my CPU run at 90c on IDLE with a properly applied cooler :o  lets just hope this new cooler works this time around

And thanks for the help, as soon as I get everything (hopefully) installed, I'll give that a try.
November 13, 2008 5:04:16 AM


Check the performance using old games, DirectX9.c !
try Battlefield 2 ! with high res, AA and AF.
or use gpu-z (freeware) and see if the system already detect active 3-way SLI.

The fps drop ?
Are those cards powered enough ?
a 3-way gtx280 is an extreme system ! with massive power consumption !
:pt1cable: 
November 13, 2008 1:23:40 PM

the_joker said:
Check the performance using old games, DirectX9.c !
try Battlefield 2 ! with high res, AA and AF.
or use gpu-z (freeware) and see if the system already detect active 3-way SLI.

The fps drop ?
Are those cards powered enough ?
a 3-way gtx280 is an extreme system ! with massive power consumption !
:pt1cable: 


I'm not going to go and buy an old game just to see 500+ fps I could get w/ 1 gtx 280 on that game. And I know its massive power consumption... and again, age of conan is DX9.1250w is more than enough to power them
November 13, 2008 4:53:01 PM

Hey man. Here is the the link were you can download the beta forceware.

http://downloads.guru3d.com/

Check it out and see if the forceware helps you out. Did you also try changing the setting of your nvidia controla panel?

I'll catch ya later man. Good luck

You gota post some SS of that monster rig you have =)
November 13, 2008 8:00:08 PM

rangers712000 said:
Hey man. Here is the the link were you can download the beta forceware.

http://downloads.guru3d.com/

Check it out and see if the forceware helps you out. Did you also try changing the setting of your nvidia controla panel?

I'll catch ya later man. Good luck

You gota post some SS of that monster rig you have =)


Yea, just having problems installing my cpu and cooler that I just got back from RMA with all these freakin wires, I've already unplugged so many on accident I dont even know where they go anymore :pfff: 

But yea thanks, I'll use drivesweeper and install those soon as I get this up.
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2008 5:11:19 PM

Hi All

Yes i Just Bought my new XFX 8800 ULTRA AND now i have 2 of them i put them in my computer for SLI and when i RUN the GPU-z IT SAYS my SLI IS DISEABLE

can anyone help me with what i have to do please
!