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SLI 9800gtx+ with GTS 250?

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October 20, 2010 10:10:29 AM

Hi Guys!

I just recently picked up a second hand Gigabyte 9800gtx+ (1gb) and I want to sli it. However as you could well imagine its not easy to find 9800gtx+'s (1gb) especially ones made by Gigabyte. I read a thread on some other forum earlier today that said not only is it capable but you can get better performance from sli'ing a 9800gtx+ with a GTS 250 as apposed to 2x 9800gtx+. First and most importantly I want to know if these two cards can actually be put together and if so has anyone done it and experienced optimum performance?

Thanks!

More about : sli 9800gtx gts 250

a b Î Nvidia
October 20, 2010 10:43:52 AM

What is the the make and model of your Mobo?
October 20, 2010 10:58:08 AM

Well i'm yet to buy my motherboard but I was probably going to get the "ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus NVIDIA nForce 775"? I know its an older socket but if i had the money to buy a newer socket sli motherboard and new processor I would have just bought a much better graphics card and ran it solo.
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October 20, 2010 11:19:12 AM

Yeah I did see that one earlier but everyone seemed to have a different opinion on the matter, I was somewhat hoping that by now someone on this forum had tried it or knew for certain if it could work. I was also going to ask it probably wouldn't be too hard to find another 9800gtx+ if it wasn't made by Gigabyte, or perhaps get a regular 9800gtx and overclock it a tad? does that sound like a better idea?
a b Î Nvidia
October 20, 2010 11:33:00 AM

Well, I found this other forum where they discussed the same thing and it seems to work even without the flashing of the 9800 to 250..... so it will work I guess :) 
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardwarecanucks-f-...
That's the link to the article but the next article from there on is actually not found :(  so will still look around and let you know, but I guess, Logically and practically a lot of people have done this, and they seem to have had no problems with it......
And heres a quote from Mansmind of the OC forums
"9800 GTX+/GTS 250 SLI OC
Before anyone asks, I didn't get either of these cards with the idea in mind of either overclocking them, or benchmarking with them. I bought the 9800 to put in a new system because it's a decent card for not a lot of $. I just happened to have a GTS 250 lying around at the office, so thought I would bring it home and play.

I guess you could say I've got the bug, I built my first system from scratch a month ago, and started playing with overclocking the system about 3 weeks ago, so I have a lot to learn still.

I've read several times that you should really have 2 of the same GPUs for SLI, although that seems to be dated news. Either way, I put them together in SLI configuration and they seem to work fine at stock speeds. It's not a huge boost in performance... 15% at worst and 25% at best in FPS.

The fun began when I started trying to overclock the cards. I'm using Precision Tune for the adjustments and Furmark for tuning (without links either between the GPUs or the core/shader clocks). The best SLI overclock I've got that's "stable" is:

9800 - 845/2025/1250 stock 738/1836/1100
250 GTS - 740/1750/1020 stock 675/1500/900

While it may be stable in just about everything, it gives me fits in 3DMark Vantage. I start seeing artifacts, primarily in the water...actually only in the water (1st test scene). To get rid of it I have to back off the core clock on the 9800 to around 830...that's the only change. Even then I still see them from time to time but it's not consistent.

While benchmarking, I had one heck of a time even getting some of them to run. 3DMark06 and AquaMark3 (still can't get this one) especially. Yes I've applied the patches and deleted dlls, etc. I did get 3dm06 resolved.

I'm not sure how, or even if.. running in SLI affects the overclocking ability of cards, but in this case it certainly does. Just for kicks I disabled SLI and ran on the 9800 GTX+ alone.

I was able to get the core clock up to 855 and remain stable (860 locked). I haven't pushed the shader yet, and I almost know I can take the memory up above 1250 easily enough...probably 1300 or so (I did this even in SLI mode).

Disabling SLI made a significant difference in benchmark rankings in comparison with like systems. I suppose that is expected since when using SLI it lists me as 2x 9800 GTX+ which I'm certainly not.

Excuse my wordiness, but I wanted to get the process I've gone through out there in the hope that one of you with far more experience than I have can answer some questions:

1. Seems to be a bad idea to mate these two cards if you're going to try to push them, correct? That being said, running at stock speeds does give you some improvement.

2. Suppose I get rid of the GTS 250 and buy a much better GTX 480? Would I be able to run that in SLI with the 9800 GTX+ or would I run into the same issues? If so, would I be better to just get another 9800 GTX+?

3. Anyone know of any OC'ing tricks I could try with the 2 cards I already have that may give me more stability?

4. I have a feeling if I could get a little more voltage to the 9800 I could take it up some more. According to GPUz it's running at 1.20v max. Any way of changing this short of flashing the BIOS?


Before I forget, here's my system info (I need to put this in my sig):

i7-930 @4.2 on air
12GB Corsair DDR3 1600
Asus P6TD Deluxe
Corsair HX 1000 PSU
6 WD Caviar Black 1TB HD's 2 in Raid 0, 4 in Raid 10
Coolermaster HAF 932 case

If you have any thoughts, comments, or advice I would appreciate hearing it.

Thanks"
a c 168 Î Nvidia
October 20, 2010 2:19:22 PM

@Jaydizz91, from what I understand the 9800GTX/+ and GTS250's can be SLi'd but the memory sizes have to match, unlike some combo's that will just ignore the unused RAM this combo won't, so as long as you use two 1GB cards or two 512MB cards you should be OK.
October 20, 2010 4:22:44 PM

Okay thanks for the help guys I really appreciate it. There's a cheapish gts 250 on ebay going for $60-70 so I'll try snap it up and let you know how it goes :) 

Edit - i just realised my 9800gtx+ is 10.5inches long while the gts 250 is 9 inches. does that mean the sli bridge will not be able to connect the two together? :o !
a c 168 Î Nvidia
October 20, 2010 4:25:45 PM

Jaydizz91 said:
Okay thanks for the help guys I really appreciate it. There's a cheapish gts 250 on ebay going for $60-70 so I'll try snap it up and let you know how it goes :) 

Edit - i just realised my 9800gtx+ is 10.5inches long while the gts 250 is 9 inches. does that mean the sli bridge will not be able to connect the two together? :o !

No, the SLi fingers will still line up as it's the back end of the cards that is longer.
October 20, 2010 4:32:07 PM

Alright thanks mousemonkey i've never ran an sli setup before excuse my stupidity! :) 
October 20, 2010 5:07:02 PM

No need to feel stupid, I recently started using crossfire and found it not to be clear and fell that SLI is similar in not being clear.
a c 168 Î Nvidia
October 20, 2010 5:11:34 PM

deweycd said:
No need to feel stupid, I recently started using crossfire and found it not to be clear and fell that SLI is similar in not being clear.

I've read and seen for myself that crossfire can be a pain to set up but SLi has always been a doddle setting up in my experience, the only time I've seen issues arise is when a weak PSU is being used.
a b Î Nvidia
October 20, 2010 8:17:53 PM

SLI is pretty darn simple to setup so long as you match the two cards. I hear people having issues with Crossfire all the time. But honestly, SLI goes like this:

Install two physical cards. Connect the SLI Bridge between cards. Turn on PC. Install latest nVidia Forceware drivers. Activate SLI mode in nVidia Control Panel (it's basically a check box you click). Done.
October 21, 2010 3:39:22 AM

Awesome! thanks for the instructions Jerreece :)  much appreciated.
!