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MSI Cyclone 460 1gb in SLI. Some interesting results...

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 27, 2010 5:24:33 AM

I had asked here before I ordered my second Cyclone what slot I should use on my EVGA X58 758 mobo. The 758 has 2 x16 slots side by side and a third 8x slot below. Here is a link to the other thread I started: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...

Anyway, I received the second Cyclone yesterday. I installed it in the side by side 16x slot. I then ran some tests. Furmark use to hit the mid 50s to 60c mark with a single card. In side by side SLI the top card was hitting 90c and the lower one 60c while running Furmark. I swapped cards around just to make sure one wasn't defective. Sure enough I got the same results. The top card was running 30c warmer in sli than it did by itself.

I started to think about it and it sorta makes sense. With only one card installed it was running @30c hotter than the system temp. Now that there is another card dierctly below it running at 60c it is now running 30c above that @90c. I know the GTX460 is rated up to 104c but I feel anything above 80c, especially at stock speeds (725 core), is way to high.

I have plenty of airflow in my Antec 902 case. I am testing with all fans including the Cyclone's set to 100%. I also have a side window fan installed blowing cold air directly onto the Cyclone's.

Anyway after testing this a few times I decided to move the second card down to the lower 8x slot. I read many reviews that showed the 8x bandwith won't hurt performance with today's current cards. I ran Furmark for a few minutes and sure enough each card is now running at approxiamtely the same temps, @60-62c. I am going to run Furmark for longer just to make sure but it is immediately obvious that the Cyclone's like some space inbetween cards.

I am now running benchmarks. I am typing this on a different pc. I only have 3dmark06 and Heaven currently installed. I have ran them each three times with the cards installed side by side 16x/16x and spaced out 16x/8x. I am actually getting slighlty higher scores with the 16x/8x setup! I know there are many more benchmarks to run but this at least shows I am not losing performance by using the 8x slot.

Needless to say I plan on keeping them seperate. 16x/8x doesn't seem to hurt performance at all and the top card is now running significanlty cooler.
a c 376 U Graphics card
October 27, 2010 5:37:06 AM

Yeah, that all makes sense. With no gap the bottom card is cutting off the airflow to the top card's fan causing higher temps. A PCIE 2.0 slot shouldn't limit cards of this caliber at all really when running at x8 so moving it down is the way to go.
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October 27, 2010 5:40:58 AM

I am sure it is old news. I was just posting my results in case someone else here cares. I researched this to death but I couldn't find any concrete information since every system is different and there are so many different versions of the GTX 460 available. I thought the Cyclone would handle being side by side well because of the open cooler design. That is obviously not the case.
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October 27, 2010 5:48:51 AM

3dmark06: 16x/16x-21625/21526/21556 16x/8x-21743/21698/21705

Heaven: 16x/16x-1721/1722/1722 16x/8x-1722/1727/1724

System specs: EVGA X58 758, i7 950, Kingston 1600 8-8-8-24, 2 Samsung F3 1tb in raid-0, 2 MSI Cyclone GTX 460 1gb in SLI. Stock speeds.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
October 27, 2010 6:46:33 AM

The interesting part to me was that even with what sounds like great case air flow and a card with good open cooling you still got temps of 90c just at stock speeds. Good info for people picking out a motherboard. Essentially if you want to OC current cards in SLI/crossfire you simply need a board that has 3 PCIEx16 slots or a larger than standard gap between 2.
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October 28, 2010 6:01:10 AM

jyjjy said:
The interesting part to me was that even with what sounds like great case air flow and a card with good open cooling you still got temps of 90c just at stock speeds. Good info for people picking out a motherboard. Essentially if you want to OC current cards in SLI/crossfire you simply need a board that has 3 PCIEx16 slots or a larger than standard gap between 2.


I agree that the Cyclone's need space to stay cool. I was hoping that since they have an open cooler design that wouldn't be the case. Unfortunately they do require fresh air to remain cool.

From all the reviews I have read and my own results using 16x/8x compared to 16x/16x, 16x/8x does not hurt performance at all. In fact in my results 3dmark06 was a bit faster at 16x/8x. If course the results I got I close enough to fall within the margin of error. Regardless it is farily obvious that 16x/8x on the EVGA X58 758 does not hurt performance at all. Of course YMMV but I am staying with that setup since now both cards don't go over 60c while running Furmark. The top card running over 90c is not acceptable to me. Especially at stock MSI Cyclone speeds and voltage.

I think it safe to say that if you are running a SLI setup on an EVGA X58 758/759/760 mobo it is best to give them some air and seperate them utilizing the 16x/8x slots. I imagine that is the case regardless of the type of video card you are using.
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a c 595 U Graphics card
October 28, 2010 5:38:31 PM

The reference type coolers that exhaust heat outside the case seem like a better bet for SLI when there is minimal space between the PCIe slots. Yet another factor to consider when building your rig.
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a b U Graphics card
October 28, 2010 6:09:58 PM

beekermartin said:
3dmark06: 16x/16x-21625/21526/21556 16x/8x-21743/21698/21705

Heaven: 16x/16x-1721/1722/1722 16x/8x-1722/1727/1724

System specs: EVGA X58 758, i7 950, Kingston 1600 8-8-8-24, 2 Samsung F3 1tb in raid-0, 2 MSI Cyclone GTX 460 1gb in SLI. Stock speeds.



According to these results you got bigger numbers with the 8x slot occupied. I would not worry about the 8x speed. You can't saturate even that one with the gtx460.

Use the first and 3'rd PCI-E slot.

Have fun.
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October 28, 2010 6:30:27 PM

ionut19 said:
According to these results you got bigger numbers with the 8x slot occupied. I would not worry about the 8x speed. You can't saturate even that one with the gtx460.

Use the first and 3'rd PCI-E slot.

Have fun.


That is what I am doing! Thanks.

According to everything I've read no current video card can "saturate" the 8x bandwith. That may change in the future but for my current setup 16x/8x works well.

There might be a better cooler design for side by side SLI but I imagine every cooler design benefits from having the cards spaced apart.
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October 28, 2010 6:36:23 PM

How were you able to find out that PCI-E 8x would not bottleneck a GTX 460?

Does that mean that even today's powerful cards has not yet fully utilized the full 16x bandwidth.... 4GB/s or so...
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October 28, 2010 7:12:01 PM

I ran benchmarks and posted my results above. There are plenty of reviews out there that tested the different speeds of PCI E. 1x 4x 8x 16x. The difference between 8x and 16x is @1percent.
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October 28, 2010 7:17:15 PM

Wow, never knew we are still to approach the full bandwith x16 has... Really nice to know.

I wanted to SLI my GTX 460 but i was worried because my board will split the x16 to two x8 when i SLI that it would bottleneck the GTX 460.

I guess its time to SLI mine with no worries then... But just temps.
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October 28, 2010 7:25:48 PM

No worries with 8x for sure. Just google 16x versus 8x and read all about it. I imagine one day 8x might hinder performance but not anytime soon. Even then it will marginal.

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a c 595 U Graphics card
October 28, 2010 9:03:20 PM

Hardocp.com has several great articles where they compare SLI in x16 vs x8, even vs x4. In NONE of the configurations did they find any significant performance decrease.
"The results are actually a bit shocking to us to be honest. We weren’t so surprised that in the previous evaluation x8/x8 did not cause any differences at 2560x1600 but did at 5760x1200. However, we thought certainly at x4/x4 PCIe 2.0 mode there would be some kind of a bottleneck at 2560x1600, but the results have proven otherwise. Even with all the data that GTX 480 SLI is pushing across the PCIe bus, x4/x4 is NOT a bottleneck in a single display setup at 2560x1600 with AA enabled."
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/08/25/gtx_480_sli_p...
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a c 376 U Graphics card
October 29, 2010 3:31:44 AM

An important thing to realize is that PCIE 2.0 ports have double the bandwidth of 1.0/1.1 ports. So this discussion applies to newer motherboards only.
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a c 595 U Graphics card
October 29, 2010 4:08:59 AM

jyjjy said:
An important thing to realize is that PCIE 2.0 ports have double the bandwidth of 1.0/1.1 ports. So this discussion applies to newer motherboards only.

The rest of that Hardocp.com quote for reference:
" Even with all the data that GTX 480 SLI is pushing across the PCIe bus, x4/x4 is NOT a bottleneck in a single display setup at 2560x1600 with AA enabled. The only game to show us any difference was AvP, but it did not affect the gameplay experience. Therefore, if you are on an aging PCIe 1.X system at x8/x8 mode (equivalent to PCIe 2.0 x4/x4) on a single display fear not, you are not holding back the performance of GTX 480 SLI or we guess with any CrossFireX or SLI configuration."
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a c 376 U Graphics card
October 29, 2010 5:08:17 AM

Often the second slot is just x4, on a 1.0 system that will actually limit things.
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