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EVGA GTX 460SC x2 SLI running slower than it should?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 16, 2011 11:22:39 PM

First off, system specs.

EVGA X58 SLI3 mobo
Intel i7 930 @ 2.80GHz w/ Cooler Master V8 cooler
8GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 1333MHz (9-9-9-24)
EVGA GTX 460SC 768mb x2 in SLI
Cooler Master Silent Pro M1000W PSU
1TB WD Cavair Black HDD
Cooler Master HAF-932 Case

I've been trying to figure this out for two weeks. I rescently build a new PC, and because I already had an EVGA GTX 460SC 768mb I just ordered a second one and put them in SLI. Now, according to reviews and stuff I read, and the charts here on tom's hardware this setup should do really well. It set the SLI 460s above the 480SC. A friend of mine also built a machine, and he put a single GTX 480SC in it. He is also running an i7 930 but he is at 3.0GHz or so.

When I run benchmarks like Heaven or 3DMark06 my scores are much lower than they should be. 3DMark gives me something like 19000 when charts say at least 24,000-25,000 and Heaven with stock settings, no AA and like normal tessellation gives me a 1593. My friend with the 480 gets 1680 or something like that with everything completely maxed, except AA which is only on 8x.

Now, I also see things like this in games like Metro 2033, and I just loaded up Shogun 2 and I'm lagging out in it with the graphics on ultra, and the damn game doesn't even have DX11 right now.

I will run any tests you guys recommend if it will help, but I really just need some feedback. I talked to EVGA about it, but the guy said the only thing he figured is that the CPU could be bottlenecking it. However, it makes no sense that my friend can run the same CPU with an almost identical clock and annihilate my setup when my GPUs should be faster than his single card.

Any thoughts?

a b U Graphics card
March 16, 2011 11:24:41 PM

Well, it is probably a memory bottleneck, 768MB does not cut it.
What resolution are you running at? 1920*1080 will lag as you will run out of VRAM.
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March 16, 2011 11:30:01 PM

plznote said:
Well, it is probably a memory bottleneck, 768MB does not cut it.
What resolution are you running at? 1920*1080 will lag as you will run out of VRAM.


Shouldn't it have something like 1500 since it's two cards? Sorry if that's a dumb statement, I'm new to SLI.

Seems like I tried a different resolution and got the same result, but yea I'm running at 1920x1080.
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Related resources
March 16, 2011 11:33:09 PM

Your cpu is bottlenecking. Get it above 3Ghz and watch it improve
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March 16, 2011 11:35:04 PM

Shorvok said:
Shouldn't it have something like 1500 since it's two cards? Sorry if that's a dumb statement, I'm new to SLI.

Seems like I tried a different resolution and got the same result, but yea I'm running at 1920x1080.

the memory ain't your problem but remember in sli ram don't get shared. Both gpus use their own ram.
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March 16, 2011 11:51:53 PM

Liu kang baking a pie said:
the memory ain't your problem but remember in sli ram don't get shared. Both gpus use their own ram.


But if the GPU ram was a problem wouldn't the chart scores be the same as mine?

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March 16, 2011 11:56:40 PM

Shorvok said:
But if the GPU ram was a problem wouldn't the chart scores be the same as mine?

No you wouldve had hiccups glitches etc

You mentioned it doesn't change when dropping the resolution which means your cpu is bottleneking. That means your gpus are running away from your cpu.
Now overclock it to above 3Ghz. If you don't have a aftermarket cooler I suggest your get one first.
The 212 hyper or the Zalman performa cooler ranging from 25usd to 35 usd will be more than enough.
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March 17, 2011 12:07:02 AM

Liu kang baking a pie said:
No you wouldve had hiccups glitches etc

You mentioned it doesn't change when dropping the resolution which means your cpu is bottleneking. That means your gpus are running away from your cpu.
Now overclock it to above 3Ghz. If you don't have a aftermarket cooler I suggest your get one first.
The 212 hyper or the Zalman performa cooler ranging from 25usd to 35 usd will be more than enough.



I'm using a Cooler Master V8 CPU cooler. Keeps its temps pretty low right now.
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March 17, 2011 12:14:56 AM

Shorvok said:
I'm using a Cooler Master V8 CPU cooler. Keeps its temps pretty low right now.

alright then your set that's a good cooler. Did you add the led fans to it?

Now what you do is you aim for 3Ghz first. That's a very mild oc that cpu can do 3.5 easily.
So if you get to 3Ghz then you test the game again. then compare it to what you got on stock. You'll see a performance boost and the two cards should start to shine a bit. Everytime you push the cpu up you can see how the performance increase.
But remember to run a stability test first before you get onto the games. 3.5Ghz should be more than enough
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a c 172 U Graphics card
March 17, 2011 1:37:41 AM

Liu kang baking a pie said:
the memory ain't your problem but remember in sli ram don't get shared. Both gpus use their own ram.


You are a noob and your statement flies in the face of what has been known about sli for the past 5-6 years. Once in sli the data is mirrored between both gpus resulting in the same available memory as before sli. This is to synch the data such as textures, geometry, and frame data before it is completed for display. Completed frames are then sent over the bridge to the card/gpu that is the primary for completed rendering then sent out to the displays.
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March 17, 2011 2:09:56 AM

nforce4max said:
You are a noob and your statement flies in the face of what has been known about sli for the past 5-6 years. Once in sli the data is mirrored between both gpus resulting in the same available memory as before sli. This is to synch the data such as textures, geometry, and frame data before it is completed for display. Completed frames are then sent over the bridge to the card/gpu that is the primary for completed rendering then sent out to the displays.

Congratulations your a fine example of a person copy and pasting stuff but have no clue what they have just said.
In SLI mode, each graphics card uses its own frame buffer memory to render a 3D applications. They can't use one anothers. Unless you discovered a new way. Sell it to the highest bidder you might win a facepalm or two
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a c 172 U Graphics card
March 17, 2011 2:15:25 AM

Liu kang baking a pie said:
Congratulations your a fine example of a person copy and pasting stuff but have no clue what they have just said.
In SLI mode, each graphics card uses its own frame buffer memory to render a 3D applications. They can't use one anothers. Unless you discovered a new way. Sell it to the highest bidder you might win a facepalm or two


They do not, every thing is a direct copy between all gpu in sli/crossfire and has been that way since the 3DFX era. A simple wiki search and searching around else ware will prove me right. In the graphics era I know what I am talking about.
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March 17, 2011 2:22:03 AM

nforce4max said:
They do not, every thing is a direct copy between all gpu in sli/crossfire and has been that way since the 3DFX era. A simple wiki search and searching around else ware will prove me right. In the graphics era I know what I am talking about.

The graphics memory is NOT doubled in SLI mode. If you have two 128MB graphics cards, you do NOT have an effective 256MB. Most of the games operate in AFR (alternate frame rendering). The first card renders one full frame and then the next card renders the next frame and so on. If you picture SLI working in this way it is easy to see that each frame only has 128MB of memory to work with.

http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_ask_mmm013.html
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a c 172 U Graphics card
March 17, 2011 2:25:48 AM

Liu kang baking a pie said:
The graphics memory is NOT doubled in SLI mode. If you have two 128MB graphics cards, you do NOT have an effective 256MB. Most of the games operate in AFR (alternate frame rendering). The first card renders one full frame and then the next card renders the next frame and so on. If you picture SLI working in this way it is easy to see that each frame only has 128MB of memory to work with.

http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_ask_mmm013.html


You have confused your self, read again. Mirror does not mean added.
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March 17, 2011 2:35:51 AM

What? My first statement said they do not share the memory. Each use their own? so I think your confused. That last article I linked clearly states they don't share it. So WTF are you on about?
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March 17, 2011 2:39:21 AM

Well flame-war aside, I fiddled with overclocking my CPU. I got it up to 3.4GHz and I really haven't noticed a performance increase in game. In the benchmark it went up a bit from:


FPS:
63.1
Scores:
1589
Min FPS:
4.0
Max FPS:
141.2


It got up to:

FPS:
64.8
Scores:
1633
Min FPS:
26.7
Max FPS:
144.3



The minimum FPS increase is noticeable, but I'm not really sure how much the CPU is doing. I guess I can shoot for 4.0GHz and see what it does, only problem is I'm new to overclocking, never needed to do it before.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
March 17, 2011 2:46:25 AM

Liu kang baking a pie said:
What? My first statement said they do not share the memory. Each use their own? so I think your confused. That last article I linked clearly states they don't share it. So WTF are you on about?



Each gpu in crossfire and sli is sent the same data before the scene or frame is built the completed data is then sent over the sli/crossfire link. How long have you been around? I have been around since 2003 but didn't make my account till 2009. I spend a lot of my time doing research and have over the years watch it progress. I also do a lot of research into vintage hardware and how it worked. The programing aspect of crossfire and sli requires that each card's memory be a complete copy of the main card which the data is sent over the pci-e interface from the cpu and ram to both cards at once. Without this frames can not be completed in proper sequence for fluid game play or rendered scene. The max is 4 gpus that can be used in DX9 on up. openGL has different limitation. 3DFX era only required the texture data be mirrored while other data can be unique. The modern era there is no unique data except for the completed frame. There is more to sli and crossfire than just hardware there is software involved.


I don't like people like who who butt heads with every one else who have already been established.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
March 17, 2011 2:50:24 AM

Check the ram timings to see if they are close to stock or a decent setting for that build. High timings very easily reduce throughput of the total system i/o resulting in a terrible bottleneck. It is the primary reason why 775 was discontinued after all those years. See if the system is stable with tighter timings on the ram such as 7,7,7,20 (example)
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March 17, 2011 3:57:29 AM

Is it possible that one of the cards could be bad?

My friend is using the exact same RAM I am and there's no problems for him.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
March 17, 2011 12:25:21 PM

OK try each card on its own and see how it performs. Also try to swap them around as that may have a minor impact on performance. What are the clocks on the cards?
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March 17, 2011 10:27:19 PM

nforce4max said:
Each gpu in crossfire and sli is sent the same data before the scene or frame is built the completed data is then sent over the sli/crossfire link. How long have you been around? I have been around since 2003 but didn't make my account till 2009. I spend a lot of my time doing research and have over the years watch it progress. I also do a lot of research into vintage hardware and how it worked. The programing aspect of crossfire and sli requires that each card's memory be a complete copy of the main card which the data is sent over the pci-e interface from the cpu and ram to both cards at once. Without this frames can not be completed in proper sequence for fluid game play or rendered scene. The max is 4 gpus that can be used in DX9 on up. openGL has different limitation. 3DFX era only required the texture data be mirrored while other data can be unique. The modern era there is no unique data except for the completed frame. There is more to sli and crossfire than just hardware there is software involved.


I don't like people like who who butt heads with every one else who have already been established.

WTF are you talking about. Did you read what the OP said? He thought he had 1500mb ram. That's why I said that!
Then first off all read a bit slower and try to understand what you've just read.

when the cpu pass the graphic calculations to the gpu it gets saved on their memory buffers. That means gpu one can't access gpus 2 ram vice versa. When their done with their work they will save it on buffers on their ram again.

I didn't but heads with you. I have no clue what your on about or you just have a bad case of pms. And I've been around life for a long time sonny. But no hard feelings think its just a misunderstanding that's it

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March 17, 2011 10:32:15 PM

Shorvok said:
Is it possible that one of the cards could be bad?

My friend is using the exact same RAM I am and there's no problems for him.

your cpu is bottlenecking. On stock it can't keep up with the two gpus. only way to resolve it is to overclock your cpu to 3Ghz and above. The no performance change when dropping the resolution is a big clue. If it was the gpu then the fps wouldve increased when you dropped the resolution and lower the settings.
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