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9800GT SLi setup problem in windows 7

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 8, 2010 11:20:03 PM

Hello, I finally decided I would at least try out the 9800GT's in SLi. So I went up to micro center, bought the card, installed it, and.... nothing.. its not finding the SLi system. I can get it to recognize both cards, and can use them both as seperate adapters. I am running on an X58 board that is definitely SLi capable. I have uninstalled and reinstalled the latest nVidia drivers and nTune software, but cannot find anything relating to SLi, nor does windows show a message like nVidia said it should "found SLi capable system". I am running win 7 64 bit.
one card is a 9800GT 512Mb PNY EE edition
the other is a 9800GT 1GB BFG EE Edition.
What am I missing?
Thanks in advance for any help.
Edit: don't know if it matters, but my board is an ASRock X58 Extreme
March 10, 2010 12:53:27 AM

bump. i'm still having this issue. can't figure anything out. Let me know if more info is needed. Again, the cards are two different manuaftuers and two different memory sizes, but i had understood that it was possible to SLI these, but it would down clock/ decrease the memory to that of the lesser card(i'm fine with that, i got a great deal on the 1gb)
Another update: I did try another SLi bridge, and it didn't fix the problem
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a c 271 U Graphics card
a b $ Windows 7
a c 171 Î Nvidia
March 10, 2010 3:22:57 AM

Do you see anything like this in the Nv control panel?
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March 10, 2010 12:30:19 PM

no, i only get the option to enable Physx, which I have enabled. There is no mention of SLi on the side or inside the window. I do have control panel set to Advanced view.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
a b $ Windows 7
a c 171 Î Nvidia
March 10, 2010 3:04:08 PM

Which slot do you have the second card in? Is there any options in the BIOS to enable dual cards? I have not used an X58 board so I'm just chucking questions out there I'm afraid.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
March 10, 2010 6:03:35 PM

Swap the cards around to test for a dud second make sure your drivers are close to date but not the very latest.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
March 10, 2010 6:04:40 PM

Which slot is the bottom card?
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a c 271 U Graphics card
a b $ Windows 7
a c 171 Î Nvidia
March 10, 2010 6:26:32 PM

According to the manual you have to use the blue slots for SLi or Crossfire.
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March 11, 2010 3:47:54 AM

hello, thank you for the responses, sorry I could not respond sooner, it was a late day today... Anyways, my board has 3 slots, the blue ones are the x16 lanes and the bottom orange one is x4. I am using the top two (blue). I have swapped the cards, which did not fix anything. I have confirmed that both cards work on both slots, and I have used two different bridges. If there is an option somewhere, I am missing it. Half the reason for me choosing X58 was its excellent Xfire/SLi abilities and now I can't even figure it out! :??: 
About the drivers thing.. I do have the latest ones right now(196.21) what is the point of getting older ones?
I have found other people having this same problem on here and other forums and mostly their problems have either gone unresolved or were figured out but they didn't post what they did!!
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a c 172 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
March 11, 2010 11:46:41 AM

kyledoo said:
hello, thank you for the responses, sorry I could not respond sooner, it was a late day today... Anyways, my board has 3 slots, the blue ones are the x16 lanes and the bottom orange one is x4. I am using the top two (blue). I have swapped the cards, which did not fix anything. I have confirmed that both cards work on both slots, and I have used two different bridges. If there is an option somewhere, I am missing it. Half the reason for me choosing X58 was its excellent Xfire/SLi abilities and now I can't even figure it out! :??: 
About the drivers thing.. I do have the latest ones right now(196.21) what is the point of getting older ones?
I have found other people having this same problem on here and other forums and mostly their problems have either gone unresolved or were figured out but they didn't post what they did!!



Why slightly older drivers is due to users complaining of issues and nvidia has pulled them due to bugs.
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March 13, 2010 9:09:35 PM

So I thought of something else.. power. I think this might be the issue. I am running an i7 920 with no overclock, 3gb of ram, 2 7200 rpm hard drives, and the two cards. My PSU is 530W with 2 12v rails, one 20A and the other 17A. Is this enough power for the setup? If not, then would something like a 4870/4890 perform ok with that power supply? I know eventually I will need another power supply, but I was hoping to NOT spend $300 on this upgrade...
Newegg power calculator says I should be using at least a 640w. I just think it is kinda weird that it won't even give the option to enable, since I assume at idle, I would be drawing nowhere near 500 watts.
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a b U Graphics card
March 13, 2010 9:51:36 PM

I doubt it's the power it's more then sufficient, 9800 GT EE editions wont use the full 75w from the PCI-E lane for sure. Even if they did the 530w should provide enough power unless ofcourse it's some off-brand POS.

Can you tell me what brand/model the power supply is?
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March 13, 2010 9:58:09 PM

AsAnAtheist said:
I doubt it's the power it's more then sufficient, 9800 GT EE editions wont use the full 75w from the PCI-E lane for sure. Even if they did the 530w should provide enough power unless ofcourse it's some off-brand POS.

Can you tell me what brand/model the power supply is?

its a raidmax.. not the greatest, but apparently it tested pretty well, one of the reasons I bought it.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
March 13, 2010 11:52:13 PM

Power calculators are like looking into a crystal ball, As for raidmax only on old comps from don't require much power. You need however a new psu that is a higher quality like antec or enermax. I use an antec ea650 however it isn't perfect.
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March 14, 2010 3:13:24 AM

nforce4max said:
Power calculators are like looking into a crystal ball, As for raidmax only on old comps from don't require much power. You need however a new psu that is a higher quality like antec or enermax. I use an antec ea650 however it isn't perfect.

but would it simply not being high enough quality cause an option not to be preset? Crashes, reboots, glitches, etc. I can see, but not the whole option being disabled. Any other ideas? on the board it says SLi Certified...
I know i've asked this before, but should my setup work with one card being slightly different(vRam)?
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a c 271 U Graphics card
a b $ Windows 7
a c 171 Î Nvidia
March 14, 2010 3:20:42 AM

I have had the situation where there was not enough power available so although the enable SLi option was available no matter how many times it was tried it would never allow it, the screen would just blink on and off a few times, so it could well be a power issue.
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March 14, 2010 3:37:07 AM

Mousemonkey said:
I have had the situation where there was not enough power available so although the enable SLi option was available no matter how many times it was tried it would never allow it, the screen would just blink on and off a few times, so it could well be a power issue.

If I could get that option to show up and I got those results, I would go out and buy a new PSU. I am hoping one of my friends will let me use his to test my card, he has 75A on the 12v, and if it doesn't work with that, its a different issue I assume.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
March 14, 2010 12:05:45 PM

kyledoo said:
If I could get that option to show up and I got those results, I would go out and buy a new PSU. I am hoping one of my friends will let me use his to test my card, he has 75A on the 12v, and if it doesn't work with that, its a different issue I assume.



It is worth a shot however I would go ahead and get a better unit from a reputable brand. People should NEVER get cheap when it comes to a psu I learned the hard way like every one else.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
a b $ Windows 7
a c 171 Î Nvidia
March 14, 2010 12:21:54 PM

In another thread the OP was having a similar problem which they appeared to have fixed by replacing the PSU for a meatier one but alo updating the BIOS as the X58 boards need a licence by way of a "cookie" in the BIOS, maybe yours might be corrupted some how?
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a c 172 U Graphics card
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March 14, 2010 3:02:00 PM

Mousemonkey said:
In another thread the OP was having a similar problem which they appeared to have fixed by replacing the PSU for a meatier one but alo updating the BIOS as the X58 boards need a licence by way of a "cookie" in the BIOS, maybe yours might be corrupted some how?


That is worth a shot plus some people have fooled the forceware to enabling sli on some older intel 775 x48 boards but that is a thread for another time. It is risky but go ahead and update your bios.
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March 14, 2010 6:36:41 PM

nforce4max said:
That is worth a shot plus some people have fooled the forceware to enabling sli on some older intel 775 x48 boards but that is a thread for another time. It is risky but go ahead and update your bios.

Ok, I updated my bios and still nothing.. I'm about ready to just take it back and bite the bullet on a different card...
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a c 172 U Graphics card
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March 14, 2010 10:15:57 PM

kyledoo said:
Ok, I updated my bios and still nothing.. I'm about ready to just take it back and bite the bullet on a different card...



Try a different psu. Your unit may not be good enough as mousemonkey had said. I have two 9800gt s my self in sli and I had to use a antec ea650.
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March 14, 2010 10:24:59 PM

I would use gpu-z to check the cards, I'd be curious to see screenshots from both. Maybe one of them(the older one) is not exactly the model you think it is ?
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March 15, 2010 2:12:10 AM

" alt="" class="imgLz frmImg " />
" alt="" class="imgLz frmImg " />

theres the 2 cards in gpuz
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a c 271 U Graphics card
a b $ Windows 7
a c 171 Î Nvidia
March 15, 2010 2:21:27 AM

I notice you are using a very old driver, the 196.34's work just fine with no heating or OC issues.
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March 15, 2010 2:32:26 AM

Mousemonkey said:
I notice you are using a very old driver, the 196.34's work just fine with no heating or OC issues.

I have tried it with the last 3 drivers and it didn't work, so I rolled it back.
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March 15, 2010 4:05:25 AM

notty22 said:
Found a thread , where Asus x58 owners were having trouble with sli option disappearing with a realtek network driver update installed. They rollback driver and solve issue.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/276750-33-problem-win...

The NIC here is a Realtek RTL8168D/8111D Family PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet NIC running on NDIS version 6.20 drivers. I tried rolling back, uninstalling, reinstalling, and still nothing
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March 15, 2010 5:30:49 PM

If the graphics cards have different memory sizes there are extra steps you need to take to get SLI to work. The instructions are on the nvidia site's SLI faq section. I think you need to run a program by coolbits? Hope this helps.
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Best solution

March 15, 2010 5:35:30 PM

Can I mix and match graphics cards with different sizes of memory?
When purchasing a second graphics card, you should try to match the memory size so that you are ensured full value and performance from your purchase. However, while it is not recommended, NVIDIA does offer the flexibility to run graphics cards with different sized memory by using CoolBits. Using CoolBits (value set to 18), you can force both of the cards to use the lower of the two memory sizes and operate them together in SLI mode. When dissimilar memory sizes are enabled to work together using CoolBits, the effective memory size for each card becomes the smaller of the memory sizes. Instructions to enable this feature can be found here.

http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_coolbits.html

Just found it :) 
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a c 172 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
March 15, 2010 6:36:56 PM

The CoolBits program is a novel little trick indeed but I will tell you straight up I always never mix cards that have dissimilar vram sizes. However it should still run good luck.
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March 16, 2010 3:03:35 AM

WOW THANK YOU SO MUCH!! That was the problem! I can't believe i couldn't find anything on that... i mean if thats what needs to be done then they should put a better link to it somewhere... oh well i'm happy I got it enabled. However, right now it actually is doing worse in benchmarks while in SLI mode. I have only tested one game so far and its an MMORPG. with a single card on max settings i got around 40 fps, now with the SLI i am getting around 50. Is this pretty much what is to be expected? It is kinda up in the air right now if I will be keeping the SLI though, because I came across someone selling a 4890 within my price range, so if that is still available, I will be returning the 9800 and picking up the 4890. Otherwise, there are some decisions that have to be made as well as some tweaking that needs done. I am really glad I had the experience of trying SLI though, I just think that the scaling needs to be better (I should see at least a 50-75% boost after adding the 2nd card, not 25%) before it will be right for most people. On a side note, apparently the 5000 series scale pretty well in crossfire, so I think the technology is getting there. One thing is for sure though, a single 4890 will kick any Nvidia's(and any ati except the 58xx and 59xx)'s ass...
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March 16, 2010 4:45:15 PM

You are right Kyledoo,

A Nvidia 2 card SLI setup should produce a 100% increase in performance, most of the time. The SLI works better at higher resolutions. I'm sure there is a list published by nvidia telling what to expect performance increase-wise, on a game by game basis. One thing to try is make sure the 1 GB card is the main sli card, i.e the one the monitor is plugged into. The latest drivers also help.

There is a new card coming out by nvidia, a fermi series that looks seriuosly good. But it really is what you prefer and are happy to pay the money for that counts.

Link about Fermi cards.
http://www.pcgameshardware.com/aid,696377/G300-Fermi-Nv...

Cheers
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March 16, 2010 9:13:05 PM

Bawsnia said:
You are right Kyledoo,

A Nvidia 2 card SLI setup should produce a 100% increase in performance, most of the time. The SLI works better at higher resolutions. I'm sure there is a list published by nvidia telling what to expect performance increase-wise, on a game by game basis. One thing to try is make sure the 1 GB card is the main sli card, i.e the one the monitor is plugged into. The latest drivers also help.

There is a new card coming out by nvidia, a fermi series that looks seriuosly good. But it really is what you prefer and are happy to pay the money for that counts.

Link about Fermi cards.
http://www.pcgameshardware.com/aid,696377/G300-Fermi-Nv...

Cheers

Any idea as to how much these cards could be when they come out? right now I am looking at snagging a 4890 for less than $150 and just returning this SLi since I am within the 30 days.
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March 16, 2010 9:13:21 PM

Best answer selected by kyledoo.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
a b $ Windows 7
a c 171 Î Nvidia
March 16, 2010 9:25:53 PM

kyledoo said:
Any idea as to how much these cards could be when they come out? right now I am looking at snagging a 4890 for less than $150 and just returning this SLi since I am within the 30 days.

There is no way you would get a GTX470/480 for $150 even if you were to offer your body and soul to JJH and his minions. :lol: 
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March 16, 2010 11:00:50 PM

Mousemonkey said:
There is no way you would get a GTX470/480 for $150 even if you were to offer your body and soul to JJH and his minions. :lol: 

lol!! I have heard rumors that its going to be somewhere north of $400, any confirming or denying this? I mean if it would be something like 250ish then I could just wait awhile and upgrade then, but if its going to be more than that, the 4890 seems like the best logical economic step.
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