GTX 285 x2 SLI issues

I'm kind of in a bind. I have a pair of EVGA GTX285's from about a year and a half ago (or a little more), and one of them is on the gimp. Rather than just yank one and run at roughly 1/2 performance, I'm trying to figure out what the best solution might be for either an upgrade, or at least something to keep me running at a similar performance level, without going out and spending another 500-600 bucks.

However, in my digging around, I haven't been able to find a way to do any kind of meaningful comparison of my current setup vs. what is available now at non-bank-breaking prices. Also, I've dug around trying to find a direct replacement, but I don't believe EVGA is making that card any more.

Does it make sense to replace both cards with a single card (maybe something like an ATI 5858 or 5870)? Or might I be better off trying to find a similar GTX285 card from another manufacturer to pair with my remaining EVGA one? Is it even really feasible to pair up two non-identical cards in SLI, and not run into a bevy of problems?

Anyway, any insight or help into this issue would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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  1. Dershum said:
    Is it even really feasible to pair up two non-identical cards in SLI,

    Yes, I've done it many times.
  2. How well does it work? I assume that both cards simply function at the "speed" of the lesser card? Also, what kind of limitations are there? Would i have to do a GTX285 with another GTX285, or could I use a different 200 level card (or even a 400 for instance).

    Thanks again!
  3. You have to SLi the same GPU's so a GTX285 will only work with another GTX285, you might be able to use a GTX280 but I wouldn't go down that road if I were you as BIOS re-flashing may be required.
  4. Were you not able to find another GTX285 at a decent price? They are the previous generation so you should be able to find them at a good discount.
  5. deweycd said:
    Were you not able to find another GTX285 at a decent price? They are the previous generation so you should be able to find them at a good discount.


    The hard part is finding them at all. As of right now, Newegg only has ONE GTX285 available (by Gigabyte) at around $250. I haven't checked any of the other usual suspects yet however.
  6. Mousemonkey said:
    You have to SLi the same GPU's so a GTX285 will only work with another GTX285, you might be able to use a GTX280 but I wouldn't go down that road if I were you as BIOS re-flashing may be required.


    Just so I'm clear, are you recommending a bios reflash (of the motherboard I assume) regardless of if I get a 2nd 285? Or is this something I might have to do if I tried to pair two non-matching cards together?

    This is actually the 2nd motherboard that I've used with these two cards. The first was an EVGA board (can't remember exactly the model), but it had major issues that I couldn't manage to get around, so I switched to an Asus p6-t. However, I had these same problems with both boards, which is why I think it's the video card and not the board.
  7. Dershum said:
    Just so I'm clear, are you recommending a bios reflash (of the motherboard I assume) regardless of if I get a 2nd 285? Or is this something I might have to do if I tried to pair two non-matching cards together?

    This is actually the 2nd motherboard that I've used with these two cards. The first was an EVGA board (can't remember exactly the model), but it had major issues that I couldn't manage to get around, so I switched to an Asus p6-t. However, I had these same problems with both boards, which is why I think it's the video card and not the board.

    The BIOS re-flash I was talking about is the graphic card BIOS, not something for the faint hearted as if you get it wrong then you will end up with a bricked card, which is why you should just concentrate on getting another 285. The cards being from different AIB's does not matter, I have SLi'd a few cards from different AIB's and they have had different clock speeds and it's always worked just put the faster card in the primary slot.
  8. Mousemonkey said:
    The BIOS re-flash I was talking about is the graphic card BIOS, not something for the faint hearted as if you get it wrong then you will end up with a bricked card, which is why you should just concentrate on getting another 285. The cards being from different AIB's does not matter, I have SLi'd a few cards from different AIB's and they have had different clock speeds and it's always worked just put the faster card in the primary slot.


    Awesome...thanks for the clarification. I think I'll probably try to find a 2nd 258, but it seems like they're pretty thin on the ground.
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