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SLI poor performace

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June 17, 2009 11:59:33 PM

I have 2 evga gtx 285 running in sli which I thought would be better than one, but now im second quessing myself.Downloaded fraps and in far cry 2 with res at 1600x900 8xaa and max settings im getting an average of 35 fps. with only one card same setting I get an average of 45 fps. does this make any sense? also crysis ware head res 1600x900 8xaa max setting with 2 cards i get 18 fps on average...wtf. with one card same everything 25 fps average. something is wrong here. Can anyone tell me what im doing wrong here or advice. the fps should be much higher according to numerous benchmark results.

specs. factory clocks for gpus
q6600 clocked at 3.0ghz
8gb ram 800mhz
evga 750i mother board
1000w psu

should be fine I think. At a loss here googled my problem..not much help.contacted evga...not much help.what about tom's? I wonder.

More about : sli poor performace

a c 272 U Graphics card
June 18, 2009 12:05:41 AM

Two GTX285's at that resolution is pointless overkill and most likely just swamping the CPU, I would also question the running of 8 gig of RAM on a 750i mobo.
June 18, 2009 12:41:33 AM

would you recommend go down to one card and 4 gigs of ram?
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a c 272 U Graphics card
June 18, 2009 12:48:35 AM

Either that or get a better monitor so that you can game at 2560 x 1600, and 2 sticks of RAM always seem to work better on an Nvidia chipset so unless you have 4gig sticks I'd say try it with just two, and you are using a 64bit OS aren't you?
a b U Graphics card
June 18, 2009 12:53:46 AM

actually, i would recommend getting a new monitor (1920x1200) and going down to 4GB of memory (or maybe even a 30" aka 2560x1600 res, though those are really expensive)
June 18, 2009 2:41:55 AM

just got this monitor as a gift :(  oh well I will upgrade it though. yes 64bit vista ultimate, is that bad? ram-2 or 4gb? i think i will try 2gb mousemonkey seem to know what he is talking about.

another not: why would my gpus down clock to 301/600/100 after running windows experience(I know this tool in windows means nothing but Im having problems with my gpus and are troubleshooting as we speak)
June 18, 2009 3:04:35 AM

update: gpu downclock after i run a benchmark also and i sure when i play a game to. I use evga precision to monitor these numbers.An evga rep is calling now between his help and yors at toms i hope we can solve this issue. hey if i have to go down to one card know anybody who wants a cheap evga gtx 285 vanilla 1gb?
or for that matter x2 2gig stick of xms2 corsair 800mhz 5-5-5-18 ram ddr2?
June 18, 2009 3:39:08 AM

ok basicly what I was told was if your running 1 card use physics.if your running 2 card in sli dont use physics and change the 3d setting for sli in the nvidia controll panel to split, so everything is evenly split acrossed both cards.enabling physics while running sli will low your performance unless you get a third card dedicated to physics and use the other 2 for sli scaling - per evga. its a catch 22. and the reason the gpus down clock is to save energy, thats what there suppose to do according to evga.

So with that said what to do? any opinions
June 18, 2009 3:59:29 AM

Turn off physx and try different sli rendering modes. AFR 1 or 2 usually works best.
June 18, 2009 4:37:20 AM

i will try this and report back thank you
a c 272 U Graphics card
June 18, 2009 8:35:19 AM

And you are going to need 4GB of RAM if you are running Vista64, but I would still only use two sticks of 2GB each.
a b U Graphics card
June 18, 2009 9:36:57 AM

I would consider returning the new GTX 285 and then selling the first GTX 285 and with the cash, I'd say goodbye to SLI problems and celebrate by buying a GTX 295.
a c 272 U Graphics card
June 18, 2009 9:56:01 AM

I have just been having a play and this what I'm getting with SLi'd 8800GT's and physx disabled in the Nv control panel.

And with physx enabled.
a c 272 U Graphics card
June 18, 2009 10:10:32 AM

hundredislandsboy said:
I would consider returning the new GTX 285 and then selling the first GTX 285 and with the cash, I'd say goodbye to SLI problems and celebrate by buying a GTX 295.

Jealousy is a cruel mistress.
June 18, 2009 11:25:07 AM

I am running t sticks of 2gb now and it seem to work the same a bit of a higher score with the windows experience though.(not that that means anything) I noticed you ran the far cry 2 benchmark. My results with v-sync on or off at 1900x900 8xaa max settings with or with out sli is 60 fps max 30 fps lowest and 40 fps average.
June 18, 2009 11:28:24 AM

now mousemonkey what sli mode are you running...normal,split frame or alternative 1 or 2. I was told to play with these settings to get better performance and also the whole turning of physx when running 2 cards in sli is bull.I see no difference visual,performance or fps. The only thing I can say is before troubleshooting crysis warehead was getting on 17 fps...wtf? now for what ever reason it about 25 fps. setup is now the same minus 4gb of ram.
a c 272 U Graphics card
June 18, 2009 11:43:15 AM

I run SLi mode in normal for the most part but I turn AA off. The only time I've needed to play with split frame or alternate is when a game doesn't support SLi and I've forced it. And Crysis Warhead gaining 8 fps with half the system RAM, who'd would've have thunk it. ;) 
June 18, 2009 4:07:17 PM

so to sum everything up would you say im running ok with performance or no?
currently running 4gbs 800mhz now both cards are back in the system and sli enabled. i guess i will leave physx on cuz it doesn't make a difference in performance in my case.games seem to run fine,but crysis lags a little. is this normal with my config?

q6600 at 3.0ghz
4gb 800mhz ram
750i sli mainboard
gtx 285 sli
vista ultimate x64
7200rpm hdd
1000w hx1000

I just saw another guy here that has pretty much the same setup. jdigital1983 (seems like an ass though, judging from his posts) wouldn't even bother asking.

MOUSEMONKEY - Thanks for your input and I trust your judgement, so with that said what would you do here?
a c 272 U Graphics card
June 18, 2009 4:24:46 PM

You're running about right, If I were you I would seriously consider getting a better monitor to get the best out of those cards and put the spare 4gig of RAM to one side or sell it to a friend as for gaming it really is not necessary and don't judge your system by using Crysis as a marker (badly coded POS IMHO), leaving PhysX on will make no difference as you have noted, it's the AA you should be wary of as that has always been the fps killer and that isn't going to change any time soon. Thank you for your confidence in me, I hope I haven't let you down. Happy gaming.
June 18, 2009 8:41:41 PM

no you havent and thank you much. please check this thread every once and a while as i will continue to troubleshoot and post results. your advice is welcome as i try for perfection with my rig.

thanks again
a c 272 U Graphics card
June 18, 2009 8:58:39 PM

Sure thing. :) 
June 18, 2009 10:32:25 PM

o.k. tried everything I can think of still the same performance.the only thing i haven't tried is unistalling and reinstalling the lastest nvidia drivers, but i can remember how. Driver sweeper is what i used last time but i can remember the step.( is it unistall the gpu driver then boot safe mode and reinstall or boot safe mode unistall then reinstall. I know theres a thread here on it but I cant find it.would you be so kind as to jog my memory on this one?
a c 272 U Graphics card
June 18, 2009 10:48:20 PM

Have you gone back to one card or are you running SLi?
a b U Graphics card
June 18, 2009 11:00:00 PM

who the hell recomends 2-4gb over 8gb????
a c 272 U Graphics card
June 18, 2009 11:08:28 PM

I did, want to fight about it?, me you handbags at dawn in the supermarket carpark.
June 18, 2009 11:46:47 PM

currently my rig is setup as it was befor i started,SLI both cards.I have only seen a 5 fps increase with anything I try.Im at a loss with this other than reinstalling drivers, besides I rather then be in the rig then get damaged somewhere else. I also dont see an performance increase using 4gb of ram or 2gb.there is all 8gb in now for same reason as the cards.however when swaping all this hardware around my ram score in vista experience rating bull program went from 5.5 with 8gb to 5.7 with 8gb.....i dont know either.

I need to find a new approach or a new set of things to try. again the goal is to get the rig at top performance...or as close as possible.
June 18, 2009 11:49:44 PM

no fighting with the monkey.
a c 272 U Graphics card
June 19, 2009 12:39:02 AM

Unless those posters come back with a genius one post solution I will give them less credence than I give WEI, which gives marks out of seven on Windows 7 by the way and it still means bugger all. That aside, back on topic.

At this point I am the kind of person who would strip the rig down to the bare minimum required I.E. CPU@2.4, 1 graphic card, 2 sticks of RAM and a clean hard drive, after checking RAM voltage is @2.0v I would then install the OS followed by chipset and audio drivers and then a graphic driver version that I know works with whatever card I have in the system, and this is where the fun starts as I don't know what driver you started out with or what kind of performance you got with it. Once I get the rig running in a 'base mode' as it where I tend to run a few benchies to establish stability and set a baseline to work from and compare to, only then do I start adding secondary cards more RAM and OC's. Whilst I am aware that you may not be able or willing to do this I would hope that you can see some methodology in my madness.
June 19, 2009 12:48:28 AM

I am willing to take your suggestion and can do so with ease. you said check to see that ram is @2.0v....? my ram is rated 1.9 but says 1.8 on the stick...? everything else will take time and that I have.If you dont mind I will post my progress and what I have done and found during this process.
June 19, 2009 12:50:55 AM

By the way nice web link I will have to use that :) 

Ohhh! what benchmarks do you run to check your stability if you dont mind me asking? I would like to do the same.
a c 272 U Graphics card
June 19, 2009 1:32:44 AM

The JDEC standard for DDR2 RAM was 1.8v but not all RAM likes to run at that and some boards do not even go that low, I've had OCZ Platinum sticks that wouldn't run on less than 1.95v and were a bit flaky even then but at 2.0v they were solid and the Corsair XMS sticks that I am using in the Quad rig now run well @1.94v, whilst in the SLi rig I use OCZ Reapers and they are quite stable @1.85v which is the lowest the settings go down to. Most if not all DDR2 can run @2.0v - 2,2v so I like to start at 2.0v and once I'm happy that things are stable I will back the voltage off until I hit instability or run out of adjustment.

The obligatory 3d '06 & Vantage because they spit numbers at the end and if you run the full suite of tests the GPU can get quite toasty without getting to the near melting point that something like Furmark takes it to and recently I've started using the Terran Conflict demo as it too spits out numbers which can be used later for baseline comparisons. Orthos and super PI take care of stress and speed testing on the CPU.

And by web link I'm assuming you are referring to my suggestion[:mousemonkey] to Google.
June 19, 2009 2:12:36 AM

apache_lives said:
who the hell recomends 2-4gb over 8gb????


Sometimes nvidia boards have troubles with CPU overclocking while running four sticks of RAM.

OP: Did you try running the 2nd card by itself to verify that it's not damaged? Another quick fix you could try is downloading rivatuner and resetting your game profiles back to default. I had my crysis profile corrupt before and SLI would not bring any performance increase until I reset the profile. Reinstalling drivers did not fix my problem, but fixing the profile did.
June 19, 2009 2:18:46 AM

efeat yes tried each card seperatly and both are good. dont use rivatuner I use evga precision.
June 19, 2009 2:33:56 AM

While it's true he is playing at a res that doesn't take full advantage of 2 GTX 285's, he should not be having worse performance with two if them. I have suffered this problem with various SLI setups and have just had to experiment with various drivers and driver installation methods. Sometimes it required me to disable then re-enable sli. ETQW was such a headache in that regard, FC2 as well. A motherboard upgrade also aided me. So, there are two separate problems. One, I think is driver related. As others have pointed out, the second problem is more of a bang for buck problem, as in, why are you using two GTX 285's for such a small res? Processor is at decent settings.
June 19, 2009 2:47:00 AM

3.0ghz isnt that fast to feed 2 GTX 285. but for the RES he is using ... man you dont need a SLI GTX285.

I had SLI setup in the past ( last one was SLI 9800GTX+ ) and i had few driver and mobo ISSUE, had to tweek with drivers few times. Sometimes an older one is better for a game, and the newer for the other one ...

I give a point for using 2x2gb ( 8gb is USELESS for gaming, plz read some test about it folks ). + its true that some Nvidia chipset dont like having 4 dimm installed.

A 750I chipset is 8x-8x right ? The last 8x vs 16x test ive read was using 8800gt ... but well maybe 8x isnt enough for a SLI GTX285 ?

Can run a 3Dmark06 with ONE GTX285, then SLI, and post score, or in game FPS, as you wish.
June 19, 2009 3:04:03 AM

nvidia3569 said:
efeat yes tried each card seperatly and both are good. dont use rivatuner I use evga precision.


Rivatuner has an options to restore your game profiles to default settings, evga precision does not. While it probably won't solve your problem, it's such an easy and simple process it's worth trying. You never know, you might get lucky and everything will get fixed!
a c 272 U Graphics card
June 19, 2009 11:01:08 AM

apache_lives said:
who the hell recomends 2-4gb over 8gb????

@apache_lives, It would appear that I am not the only person who has/will recommend only using two sticks of RAM, perhaps you should read this thread whilst comping down on some humble pie.
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/page-262066_10_0.html

Edited for clarity of targeting.
June 19, 2009 11:57:14 AM

WILL TRY 2 STICKS OF RAM WITH ONE CARD AND CPU CLOCK AT 3.0 WITH DIFFERENT DRIVERS AND REPORT BACK.Sorry for the caps in a hurry.
a b U Graphics card
June 19, 2009 12:30:32 PM

Try to reinstall your os.
June 19, 2009 3:42:36 PM

I kind of leaning toward the system bottlenecking.what are your thoughts on this. the cpu is 65 nano meter and the gpu is 45 nano meter will this make a difference.

Will running the cpu at 3.0ghz with 4gb ram with one card (in your opinion better a better approach)
a c 272 U Graphics card
June 19, 2009 5:04:04 PM

When I transcoded a DVD with my Q6600 @3.0 it took longer to complete than when @2.4 :??:  and that was on a P35 mobo, and when I tried it in the SLi rig I was so impressed :sarcastic:  that I sold it and bought an E8400. IMHO the Q6600 was/is the most overhyped CPU in recent memory.
June 19, 2009 10:36:45 PM

well i will continue to test different configes but I agree the q6600 was cheap at the time,now I have no choice but to stick with it for now. Transcoding a dvd is different then playing game though, isn't it? your friend google told me I was bottlenecking with the gtx 285 and the q6600 at stock. they recommended to overclock it to at least 3.0ghz and that it would help.

So to end a lengthy thread I ask you all of you. " What would you do with this that has been said and if this was your rig?

all sugestions are welcome. the reason I ask is that I am at a loss at this point. cant upgrade for a while and will be testing different setups for a while. If you have a configuration that you think would work, let me know and I will try it and provide feedback. q6600 owners could get alot of info from this thread,along with SLI user.

June 19, 2009 10:42:34 PM

boulard83 said:
3.0ghz isnt that fast to feed 2 GTX 285. but for the RES he is using ... man you dont need a SLI GTX285.

I had SLI setup in the past ( last one was SLI 9800GTX+ ) and i had few driver and mobo ISSUE, had to tweek with drivers few times. Sometimes an older one is better for a game, and the newer for the other one ...

I give a point for using 2x2gb ( 8gb is USELESS for gaming, plz read some test about it folks ). + its true that some Nvidia chipset dont like having 4 dimm installed.

A 750I chipset is 8x-8x right ? The last 8x vs 16x test ive read was using 8800gt ... but well maybe 8x isnt enough for a SLI GTX285 ?

Can run a 3Dmark06 with ONE GTX285, then SLI, and post score, or in game FPS, as you wish.





well i fugured that after testing, but is 3.0 ghz fast enough for one gtx 285?
a b U Graphics card
June 19, 2009 10:49:48 PM

Mousemonkey said:
When I transcoded a DVD with my Q6600 @3.0 it took longer to complete than when @2.4 :??:  and that was on a P35 mobo, and when I tried it in the SLi rig I was so impressed :sarcastic:  that I sold it and bought an E8400. IMHO the Q6600 was/is the most overhyped CPU in recent memory.


I agree with a lot of your stuff mousemonkey, but not this one.

The Q6600 is the best cpu intel ever released and is probably the best cpu ever released period. I know people still buy it at an inflated price today but that doesn't stop it from being an incredible cpu. We're talking almost 30 months now since the Q6600 was released and since then there really haven't been all that many better than it really, certainly not on price/performance.

The one I have in my 2nd pc is 14 months old and cost me $201. Overclocked by 50% and never going above 56C even when stressed to the maximum. It's about the only cpu I've ever had that I truly cannot fault, too bad it's an intel. ;) 
June 20, 2009 12:55:22 AM

ok we have 2 different answers here about the q6600....so which is it? I'm still wondering what you guys think about q6600 oc'ed to 3.0 with 1 gpu and 4gb ram.
a b U Graphics card
June 20, 2009 1:04:48 AM

Oh I wouldn't buy a Q6600 now. Like I said, they are being sold at inflated prices (especially second hand).

They were awesome 1-2 years ago, almost untouchable. Now they are sorta being sold on reputation - they are still good cpu's but you can get better for your money, ie a q9450 or a phenom II 940 if you go AMD.

As you already have a Q6600, I wouldn't dream of upgrading to any other non-nehalem cpu however.
June 20, 2009 1:28:29 AM

Q6600 @ 3.0
GOOD MOBO ????
2x2gb of good ram
GTX285
GOOD PSU ????

Can yeld in the 16-18k 3Dmark06. and give some Very nice FPS with qiite high res ( 19x12) and 2x-4xAA or even more, It really depand on the game.
June 20, 2009 2:18:13 AM

hundredislandsboy said:
I would consider returning the new GTX 285 and then selling the first GTX 285 and with the cash, I'd say goodbye to SLI problems and celebrate by buying a GTX 295.


Apparantly you dont understand what a GTX295 is...
a b U Graphics card
June 20, 2009 6:58:28 AM

Perhaps I don't understand but I thought a GTX 295 is just 2 GTX 260s on one card. Kicks butt on the GTX 285 but gets slightly less framerates than 2 GTX 285s in SLI but with one card there's no SLI problems and you save about $350 that I would put towards a 26" monitor.
Besides, the OP's resolutions seems like overkill with SLI'd GTX 285s.

Apparently, you forgot to offer help or any type of input to the OP.

June 20, 2009 8:19:05 AM

hundredislandsboy said:
Perhaps I don't understand but I thought a GTX 295 is just 2 GTX 260s on one card. Kicks butt on the GTX 285 but gets slightly less framerates than 2 GTX 285s in SLI but with one card there's no SLI problems and you save about $350 that I would put towards a 26" monitor.
Besides, the OP's resolutions seems like overkill with SLI'd GTX 285s.

Apparently, you forgot to offer help or any type of input to the OP.


A gtx 295 is basically a pair of gtx 275 GPUs on one card. Even though it's one physical card, it's logically two GPUs working together, which is known as SLI. In other words, a gtx 295 is SLI on one card.

OP: Your cpu is fine for gaming. The main reason it's suggested to overclock is because a lot of games can't use 4 cores and are usually limited to 2 at most. For those games, it's like you're running a 2.4 ghz dual core, which isn't exactly blazing fast. O/Cing to 3.0 will help immensely in these cases.

As for your SLI problems, I can't help you. I've been using SLI 8800 GTs for a year now, but they've always worked correctly so I don't have much experience diagnosing and fixing them.
!