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SLI noob, please help!

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March 2, 2011 5:11:04 PM

Alright so I am the proud owner of a second GTX 470. I wanted to get a second one before they started disappearing, and I found a used one on Ebay for a reasonable price. My reasoning was there are a LOT of good games coming out this year that I want to be able to run, most notably BF3 and Elder Scrolls Skyrim.

So, I have got both cards installed, power cables plugged in, SLI bridge installed, and SLI enabled in the NVIDIA control panel. But now what?

I have read on different sites that there are "SLI profiles" for different games? What are those and how do I get them? Is that just referring to the different profiles you can edit in the NVIDIA control panel?

Also I have a second SLI bridge. Is there any point to having both of them connected?

Thanks!

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a b U Graphics card
March 2, 2011 5:18:33 PM
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touchdowntexas13 said:
Alright so I am the proud owner of a second GTX 470. I wanted to get a second one before they started disappearing, and I found a used one on Ebay for a reasonable price. My reasoning was there are a LOT of good games coming out this year that I want to be able to run, most notably BF3 and Elder Scrolls Skyrim.

So, I have got both cards installed, power cables plugged in, SLI bridge installed, and SLI enabled in the NVIDIA control panel. But now what?

I have read on different sites that there are "SLI profiles" for different games? What are those and how do I get them? Is that just referring to the different profiles you can edit in the NVIDIA control panel?

Also I have a second SLI bridge. Is there any point to having both of them connected?

Thanks!


The profiles are integrated into the drivers automatically, however there is a area where you can make and edit your own if you find a game is not working well in SLI, or if you want to force SLI on a game that doesn't typically support it. For more info go here:
http://www.slizone.com/page/slizone_appprofile.html
a c 539 U Graphics card
March 2, 2011 7:03:44 PM

You only need one SLI bridge. Do not connect the second. Really, after installing the latest drivers (always do that with a new graphics card), you should be up and running- plug and play.
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March 2, 2011 7:39:11 PM

Alright cool. Thanks for the replies!

In the NVIDIA control panel, is there a way for me to make it so certain games don't run in SLI mode? Most of the games I play don't really need the extra graphics power right now, so I would rather save some power and produce less heat.

Another option I have been tinkering with is lowering the speed/voltage of each card to their bare minimum, and then playing games using SLI with those settings so that I save some power and produce less heat. Has anyone had success with this? I have only experimented with one benchmark (Just Cause 2), but I was seeing ~0% SLI scaling when running the cards at their lowest speeds. When I have the cards running at stock speeds, I am seeing anywhere from 75-100% scaling. Has anyone else tried this?
a b U Graphics card
March 2, 2011 7:56:31 PM

Yea, as I said, you can design custom profiles assigned to certain games .exe files, so the game will run with 1 or 2 cards, etc.
a c 172 U Graphics card
March 2, 2011 8:48:20 PM

:|

I still remember options in the older drivers that have been gone for ages that defined which mode you wanted to run for any particular game. If you want SFR (split frame rendering) or AFR(alternate frame rendering) which is most common now days but there were often differences in performance compared the two. SFR had the work done in real time on both cards for every frame rendered and joined together by the main card. AFR has each card complete from start to finish a odd or even frame before it is sequenced together and sent out from the main card. SFR is limited to two way and is a personal choice in two way sli but AFR is more or less the default now -_- which allows for up to 4 gpus to render frames in groups of two or individually before sequenced and sent out the main card. Surround changed AFR a bit.

In short you will likely be using AFR in most games unless Nvidia has SFR set for some games depending on system configuration.
March 3, 2011 12:46:47 AM

I see. I guess I can probably google each game to see what kind of profile settings people are using for SLI, but I'm guessing NVIDIA has done a pretty good job with their drivers already.

I still want to play around with underclocking my cards and running them in SLI though. It will be a while before BF3 comes out :( 
a c 172 U Graphics card
March 3, 2011 1:17:31 AM

Yea, I want TES5 now :( 

March 3, 2011 1:32:14 AM

nforce4max said:
Yea, I want TES5 now :( 


lol 11/11/11!!! Will you be ready?
a c 172 U Graphics card
March 3, 2011 2:09:44 AM

Are you kidding I have been waiting for a few years now :s

GTX 460 + 8800gt
x4 820 w/L3 and small oc
8gb ram
4x 1tb
1x 640
1x 30gb ssd.
a c 539 U Graphics card
March 3, 2011 2:17:09 AM

I always laughed that TES4 was called "Oblivion". That pretty much described my life after it came out. It's like when "Half-Life" came out, since it caused me to live about half a life, I found the name very ironic.
March 3, 2011 2:36:29 AM

nforce4max said:
Are you kidding I have been waiting for a few years now :s

GTX 460 + 8800gt
x4 820 w/L3 and small oc
8gb ram
4x 1tb
1x 640
1x 30gb ssd.


Nice system. I've got my 2 470's, an i5 750 w/ a small oc, 4 gig RAM, and a 1TB hdd. Storage is where I wish I would have spent more with my build, but maybe ssd prices will come down...

It's hard to gauge what kind of hardware will be needed for TES V. Personally, I haven't been overly impressed with what has been shown so far in screenshots and video, but I know that's coming from the xbox version. Here's to hoping that pc gets a proper visual boost :bounce: 
a c 172 U Graphics card
March 3, 2011 9:18:59 PM

Just wait for mods to come out a few weeks once the game hits the market :) 
My system is a little on the low end these days. ddr2 ram lol. I am going to get a lot of use out of this machine though. I upgrade my main rigs over time. The ssd is for swap file only.
March 3, 2011 9:26:38 PM

nforce4max said:
Just wait for mods to come out a few weeks once the game hits the market :) 
My system is a little on the low end these days. ddr2 ram lol. I am going to get a lot of use out of this machine though. I upgrade my main rigs over time. The ssd is for swap file only.


I wish the GTX 460 had come out just a little bit sooner. Thats a really great card, and I especially like the fact that it doesn't run as hot as a 470, and it can have the same performance if you overclock it. I called EVGA and asked if I could "step up" from a single 470 to two 460's, but it was a no go. sigh...
a c 172 U Graphics card
March 3, 2011 9:44:27 PM

It is and they do run cool but they are not perfect. They really got cheap on making most of them by not fully cooling the whole card leaving nasty hot spots. I modded mine and roughly 2k hours later still going strong :) 

March 4, 2011 3:09:16 AM

Best answer selected by touchdowntexas13.
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