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Is it possible to have 2 cards in SLI mode, 1 card non-sli - 3 total

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  • Graphics Cards
  • SLI
  • Geforce
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  • Product
Last response: in Graphics Cards
November 24, 2009 4:55:01 AM

Okay, so here is my situation.

Currently I have 4 x Samsung SyncMaster 2343bwx's on a quad mount running out of 2 x Geforce GTX 275's (non-SLI because I cant have more than 2 on SLI mode) on a P6T Deluxe V2 motherboard.

So here is my question. I have a Geforce 7950 OC card laying around somewhere and I wanted to know if I were to (downgrade????) to the P6T V1 board (which supports 3 x PCI-Express 16 slots), would I then be able to connect the Geforce GTX 275's in SLI mode and then connect my other two monitors in the Geforce 7950 card?

So to sum it up...
Is it possible to have 3 graphics cards (2 cards in SLI mode, 1 card non-sli) and then connect 4 monitors to it?



*********************************
UPDATED
*********************************

Heres my computer specs

Motherboard
- P6T v1 Motherboard with 3-Way SLI support

Processor
- 4.2Ghz i7 920 Processor
*overclocked with liquid cooling system*

RAM
- 6 x 2GB OCz Gold 1600mhz DDR3 RAM

Video Cards
- 2 x Nvidia Geforce GTX 275's in SLI mode (1 monitor per card)
*overclocked*
- 1 x Nvidia Geforce 8800 GTS (for monitor output of 2 of 4 monitors)
*overclocked*

Hard drives
- 3 x WD Caviar Black 640GB hard drives on RAID 0 for OS and installs
- 1 x WD Caviar Green 1.5TB hard drive for backup
- 2 x WD Caviar Black 1TB hard drives on RAID 10 for media storage

Monitors
- 4 x 23" Samsung 2343bwx monitors
*2048 x 1152 resolution each on a 2x2 custom quad mount*

Cooling
- Thermaltake ProWater 850i Liquid Cooling System for CPU
- 3 x Delta 120mm 2900RPM 120CFM Airflow fans
- CoolerMaster Full-sized Tower
- Stock case fans


Windows Experience Index is:

Processor: 7.8 (right now, the only way to get to 7.9 is with a 25 multiplier, which is only on the 965 and 975 extremes)
Memory: 7.9
Graphics: 7.9
Gaming Graphics: 7.9
Primary Hard Disk: 6.5 (no SSD's yet, but screw that, takes 4 x SSD on RAID 0 to get 7.9)

I will benchmark once I am done stablizing this configuration on 3D Mark

************************************
However, heres my conclusion
************************************

You CAN, indeed, run 2 Geforce cards in SLI mode and have an additional card for additional monitor outputs.

However, I was unable to receive high WEI scores until I switch over to the 8800GTS

WEI is crap however, I use that because I had nothing else installed at the moment. WEI also doesn't account for SLI and Crossfire technology.



More about : cards sli mode card sli total

a c 376 U Graphics card
November 24, 2009 5:02:52 AM

I'm not sure about that but you may want to consider ebaying your current cards and getting one of the new ATI cards with "eyefinity"
November 24, 2009 5:14:56 AM

Yeah i looked into that before, but the functionality already works with Geforce, and I don't need any more monitors. I just want to utilize the power of both my high end cards and use my lower end card as a monitor reader... instead of wasting a GPU and Dedicated memory of a GTX 275 on just two monitors and contributing nothing towards graphic capability or benchmarks.
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
November 24, 2009 5:34:43 AM

This is an interesting question, even i would like to know if three cards can be combined.
a b U Graphics card
November 24, 2009 5:58:19 AM

people do SLI + Physics - cant see how this differs
a c 224 U Graphics card
November 24, 2009 4:37:29 PM

Quote:
but the functionality already works with Geforce


Uhhh, no it doesn't because that's why your asking. If it did work you wouldn't be asking right now. I agree with apache, should be possible. The only issue you'll run into is if you have vista. You can only load one driver for ALL your GPUs. While they might share drivers in common right now, you will reach the point where the 79xx won't use the same driver as the GTX275. If you run XP/7 you won't have this issue.
November 24, 2009 4:58:09 PM

jyjjy said:
I'm not sure about that but you may want to consider ebaying your current cards and getting one of the new ATI cards with "eyefinity"

Really pushing ATI cards juts because he has an nvidia card
1 the display port adapters need to be an active adapter which cost around 100 US dollars which for some people is like half of what they spent on the card or more and gaming in eyefinity requires all the monitors to use the same resolution it's not except from this. Anyways he would have to buy one of the special ones with only display port because currently the cards only support 2dvi or 1dvi 1 hdmi and 1 display-port monitor he has 4 not 3

More on topic

I don't see why not ofc sli gaming is still limited to 2 monitors but you can easily just have 2 on another card. Nvidia uses unified drivers so i assume as long as the 3rd card is part of the unified driver it shouldn't run into any troubles.

191.07 WHQL
Release Date:

2009.10.05
Operating System:

Windows Vista, Windows 7
Language:

English (U.S.)
File Size:

99.8 MB

products supported
GeForce 200 series:
GTX 295, G210, GTX 275, GTX 280, GTX 285, GTS 240, GTX 260, GTS 250, GT 220

GeForce 7 series:
7900 GTX, 7500 LE, 7900 GS, 7050 PV / NVIDIA nForce 630a, 7550 LE, 7025 / NVIDIA nForce 630a, 7600 GT, 7950 GX2, 7800 GS, 7050 / NVIDIA nForce 630i, 7300 GT, 7150 / NVIDIA nForce 630i, 7300 GS, 7800 SLI, 7950 GT, 7600 GS, 7300 SE / 7200 GS, 7600 LE, 7900 GT/GTO, 7350 LE, 7050 / NVIDIA nForce 610i, 7100 GS, 7100 / NVIDIA nForce 620i, 7800 GTX, 7300 LE, 7100 / NVIDIA nForce 630i, 7650 GS
a c 332 U Graphics card
November 24, 2009 5:02:23 PM

IzzyCraft said:
Really pushing ATI cards juts because he has an nvidia card
1 the display port adapters need to be an active adapter which cost around 100 US dollars which for some people is like half of what they spent on the card or more and gaming in eyefinity requires all the monitors to use the same resolution it's not except from this. Anyways he would have to buy one of the special ones with only display port because currently the cards only support 2dvi or 1dvi 1 hdmi and 1 display-port monitor he has 4 not 3

More on topic

I don't see why not ofc sli gaming is still limited to 2 monitors but you can easily just have 2 on another card. Nvidia uses unified drivers so i assume as long as the 3rd card is part of the unified driver it shouldn't run into any troubles.

+1, So long as the 7950 is not dedicated to physx it should work, although I have not tried it myself
November 24, 2009 7:24:35 PM

4745454b said:
Quote:
but the functionality already works with Geforce


Uhhh, no it doesn't because that's why your asking. If it did work you wouldn't be asking right now. I agree with apache, should be possible. The only issue you'll run into is if you have vista. You can only load one driver for ALL your GPUs. While they might share drivers in common right now, you will reach the point where the 79xx won't use the same driver as the GTX275. If you run XP/7 you won't have this issue.


If i get an ATI... i still have the same issue...
I only get the power out of the first card... everything else is worthless...

Mine works right now... im just looking for a way to get more juice out of it.

So yes... it actually does work =P

and BTW Maxtrox is coming out with a video card that can output up to 8 monitors at once. So........

IzzyCraft said:
Really pushing ATI cards juts because he has an nvidia card
1 the display port adapters need to be an active adapter which cost around 100 US dollars which for some people is like half of what they spent on the card or more and gaming in eyefinity requires all the monitors to use the same resolution it's not except from this. Anyways he would have to buy one of the special ones with only display port because currently the cards only support 2dvi or 1dvi 1 hdmi and 1 display-port monitor he has 4 not 3

More on topic

I don't see why not ofc sli gaming is still limited to 2 monitors but you can easily just have 2 on another card. Nvidia uses unified drivers so i assume as long as the 3rd card is part of the unified driver it shouldn't run into any troubles.

191.07 WHQL
Release Date:

2009.10.05
Operating System:

Windows Vista, Windows 7
Language:

English (U.S.)
File Size:

99.8 MB

products supported
GeForce 200 series:
GTX 295, G210, GTX 275, GTX 280, GTX 285, GTS 240, GTX 260, GTS 250, GT 220

GeForce 7 series:
7900 GTX, 7500 LE, 7900 GS, 7050 PV / NVIDIA nForce 630a, 7550 LE, 7025 / NVIDIA nForce 630a, 7600 GT, 7950 GX2, 7800 GS, 7050 / NVIDIA nForce 630i, 7300 GT, 7150 / NVIDIA nForce 630i, 7300 GS, 7800 SLI, 7950 GT, 7600 GS, 7300 SE / 7200 GS, 7600 LE, 7900 GT/GTO, 7350 LE, 7050 / NVIDIA nForce 610i, 7100 GS, 7100 / NVIDIA nForce 620i, 7800 GTX, 7300 LE, 7100 / NVIDIA nForce 630i, 7650 GS



This helps... thanks a lot... im using Windows 7 so i should be fine...
but yeah i will try to purchase a P6T 3-way SLI capable board and try it on that... if it works out... i'll make sure to let everyone interested know.... if not, ill explain the error.

Anyone think i will run into any issues tho? such as enabling SLI while only 2 cards are capable of actually SLIing?
a c 224 U Graphics card
November 24, 2009 10:54:49 PM

Quote:
If i get an ATI... i still have the same issue...
I only get the power out of the first card... everything else is worthless...


I must be missing something as that statement makes no sense. What do you mean by power out of one card? Here is what you do. Buy the 5870 is possible, 5850 if you have to. Sell your GTX275 cards. Plug three of your monitors into the 58xx and enable Eyefinity. You now have something that has almost all the speed of your current SLI setup, none of the SLI headaches/hassles (micro stuttering or games that don't scale with SLI), and you have your game up on three screens. You could even use that second PCIe slot to run an Nvidia card so you can have PhysX if you wanted. Eyefinity was made with you in mind friend.

If your bound to hang onto Nvidia and not use the better tech out there, I suggest enabling SLI first. Only have the two GTX cards plugged in at first. Once you have SLI enabled and working, shut down and plug in your 7950GT. I'm not sure of the state of multi monitors and SLI right now, but if you have one monitor plugged into the GTXs and two more on the 7950 you'll have one left over. If you do things "my" way you'll have three monitors (center, left, right) plugged into the single 58xx, with the fourth plugged into the 7950. You'll still have room for one more monitor. As referenced above I suggested selling all three Nvidia cards so you can buy a single 9500GT so you can use physX as well.
November 25, 2009 2:40:45 AM

Okay... So yes... I get a card with way more processing power, but i loose the RAM, and a lot of it, also lose the bit rate, if anything, I would sell my cards to get 2 of those cards... but I am waiting for the new series of nvidia cards to come out before I make any decisions. But basically, the setup that I have works for what I use them for. I don't game, I do graphic design, programming, 3d modeling and LOTS AND LOTS of multitasking, so the RAM is a must have. But yes, I do see your point, I am loosing out on the 1600 steam processors and the faster RAM... but for non-gaming use... my current setup is still better for 1 x 58xx Radeon.

But here is a question for the ages

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
P6T Deluxe V2

VS

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
P6T LGA

is it just me, or is the cheaper P6T also the BETTER ONE?? WTF!
a c 130 U Graphics card
November 25, 2009 2:52:18 AM

3 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (at x16/x16/x1 or x16/x8/x8 mode)

3 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (at x16/x16/x4 mode)


The x4 mode will bottleneck a card.


November 25, 2009 3:23:12 AM

Still better.
The bottlenecked card is just for monitor output for me.
a c 224 U Graphics card
November 25, 2009 10:59:00 AM

Quote:
but i loose the RAM, and a lot of it, also lose the bit rate, if anything, I would sell my cards to get 2 of those cards... but I am waiting for the new series of nvidia cards to come out before I make any decisions.


Ok, I'm done. Your making no sense at all. You are better off keeping the GTX cards, but not for the reasons you listed and only if your programs support CUDA. In most cases you are talking about 2D things, which don't take as much memory as you think. RAM yes, CPU Power yes, but not GPU ram. I would take the first choice, avoid 4x slots.
November 25, 2009 3:26:31 PM

I have the first choice... but I cant connect all three cards in that one because the bottom two PCI express slots are right next to each other.
December 3, 2009 7:12:06 AM

Okay so here's what I concluded.

I took out my P6T Deluxe V2 board and replaced it with the 3-Way SLI capable P6T (non deluxe v1) board.

My card setup in the last board with 2 x GTX 275's after overclocking ran a 7.9 on Windows 7 rating system with SLI enabled and only 2 monitors enabled.

My card setup in the NEW board with 2 x GTX 275's and a Geforce 7950 on PCI-E x1 electrical with a 4 monitor output only got a 6.0 out of 7.9 on the Windows 7 rating.

So, I tried to run a few tests to see what was up and did the following

Re-ran assessment with 2 monitors - Graphics score - 6.0
Disabled Geforce 7950 card - Graphics score - 7.2
Overclocked both GTX 275 boards to an even higher spec they were on the P6T Deluxe V2 0 - 7.2

So I was never able to obtain the same graphic score with this new board setup. So I guess I was better off without the 3rd board for monitor output.

If anyone has any ideas on how or why I am getting these results or how I could get the graphics rating back to 7.9 but be able to enable all 4 monitors, let me know =D

If this doesn't work then I will try out 4745454b's suggestion and try a Radeon 5970 and see if I can pull a 7.9 out of that with 4 monitors


(YES I KNOW THAT WINDOWS EXPERIENCE TEST IS NOT A TRUE BENCHMARK, BUT ITS EASY FOR TESTING)


*********************
UPDATE
*********************

Okay, so I'm dumb and forgot that both monitors I was using for the test were on the same card. I switched one monitor over to the other GTX 275 so there was one on each - when I did that, I was able to get a 7.9 on the Windows test with only 2 monitors enabled.... But I'm still stuck on what to do about the other 2 =[[

a c 224 U Graphics card
December 3, 2009 9:08:08 AM

Put the 7950 back in and run the other two monitors off of it. I'd run a real benchmark as well. (meaning fraps and your favorite game)
December 3, 2009 2:19:31 PM

4745454b said:
Put the 7950 back in and run the other two monitors off of it. I'd run a real benchmark as well. (meaning fraps and your favorite game)


Thats how it is setup right now. No matter how I do it, if I don't have the card disabled in Device Manager I don't get past 6.0
December 3, 2009 3:26:17 PM

To be a little more clear I'll say this

SLI(GTX 275 (1 monitor) + GTX 275 (1 monitor)) * overclock + 7950 (2 monitors) = 6.0
SLI(GTX 275 (2 monitor) + GTX 275 (0 monitor)) * overclock = 7.2
SLI(GTX 275 (1 monitor) + GTX 275 (1 monitor)) * overclock = 7.9
SLI(GTX 275 (1 monitor) + GTX 275 (1 monitor)) * overclock + 7950 (0 monitors) = 6.0

So unless the 7950 is disabled all together... its 6.0

***********************************
UPDATED
***********************************

SLI(GTX 275 (1 monitor) + GTX 275 (1 monitor)) * overclock + 8800 GTS (0 monitors) * overclock = 7.9
SLI(GTX 275 (1 monitor) + GTX 275 (1 monitor)) + 8800 GTS (0 monitors) = 7.9
a c 224 U Graphics card
December 3, 2009 4:38:35 PM

Quote:
I'd run a real benchmark as well. (meaning fraps and your favorite game)


What does 6.0 really mean? WEI means d!ck.
December 3, 2009 10:51:24 PM

Problem solved with the WEI scaling...

I switched out the 7950 with a 8800 GTS and now I get 7.9's no problem with all four monitors...

and 4745454b, I know I know, I should be using Frap to benchmark... but I have a problem. I don't have a single game installed on this computer hahahahahaha

I'll run 3D mark soon.
December 4, 2009 1:36:24 AM

3D Marked at

CPU: 53498 (I think because Phy-X)
Graphics: 25857