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GTX 580 SLI performance?

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October 8, 2011 3:07:14 AM

I'm running two EVGA GTX 580s, an i7 960 at 3.6GHz, and 6GB of Corsair Dominator memory (clocked to 1500MHz.)

In the Mafia II benchmarks (all settings maxed out completely, DX11, 1920x1080 resolution) I get an average of 52 frames. My friend, with the same settings and resolution, gets an average of 31.5 frames with a single GTX 460 superclocked edition. Something doesn't seem to add up...two 580s only get an additional 20 frames over a single 460? This leads me to suspect that the cards aren't performing at peak optimization.

Also, I get an average of 60-80 FPS in the BF3 beta, which is during combat, etc. (Friend with 460 gets an average of 30.)

I simply feel that my cards aren't performing as they should. Any feedback, or am I overreacting? If it isn't performing as it should, what are some possible fixes? I used driver sweeper, and reinstalled the latest NVIDIA drivers (280.26.) This did not change performance, as I was simply reinstalling drivers, and not upgrading.
a c 251 U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 3:51:26 AM

There are newer drivers out and they are for the BF3 game (285.38) , it is a beta driver for the beta release of BF3. You are right about the performance the two 580's should be wiping the floor with the one 460. Have you checked the Nvidia control pannel and made sure they are in sli. Also is the sli bridge that connects the two cards making good contact and pushed in all the way. Have you installed the Evga precision software and made sure both cards are listed and working.
a c 164 U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 3:53:34 AM

My take, not sure whats going on honestly. Remember that the OC'd GTX460s can perform around the speed of the GTX470. So its not quite a GTX460 getting half the frames of the GTX580 in SLI. Also remember that SLI doesn't scale perfectly. The second game seems ok to me but the first seems a bit off.

Is your SLI setup getting enough power? Try removing the side panel and pointing a fan at the GPUs in case your getting a thermal problem.
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October 8, 2011 3:57:38 AM

What PSU are you using?
October 8, 2011 4:17:43 AM

I'm using a Rosewill 850W. It's never given me problems.
a c 164 U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 5:43:57 AM

Which one? Most people who go for a GTX580 SLI setup use 1kW PSUs. I'm not sure a rosewill is up to the task, though they do have some good models. If you are using any adapters, its probably a power issue.
October 8, 2011 5:48:06 AM

I'm not using adapters; however, I suppose PSU wattage could be a factor.
a c 164 U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 6:44:16 AM

Quote:
Which one?


Which rosewill do you have?
a c 164 U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 10:33:54 AM

Review of your PSU.

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

So it can output its full 768W on its 12V rails. A GTX580 has a TDP of 250W, so two of them together is 500W. Your 960 has a stock TDP of 130W, and overclocked might be up to 175. If we add another 200W for the CPU and board, ram, drives we get a system draw of around 700W.

That's pretty close to your PSUs limit, but the testing shows it should handle it. I'd try my fan idea and see if its a thermal issue.

October 8, 2011 10:48:34 AM

I don't see why this could be happening either. Just got my single card setup running. Same frames in BF3 with my one card (watercooled/OC) and I am currently downloading mafia 2 from steam. So I could get you some numbers soon. I want to eventually have 2 GTX 580's. My PSU is 1220W. Slightly overkill, but I have heard about 580s in SLI. What is the south bride? If it is not top of the line, you may only be running the second one at half the speed. There is nothing to do about that except get a better Mobo. Only possibility I can add...

Good luck
October 8, 2011 11:49:40 AM

For the tenth time I am going to state that a power supply doesn't just degrade performance. If the power supply was at fault, you'd be getting blue screens and random crashes and component damage.

Please don't buy a new PSU because people always recommend buying a PSU and then the OP gets pissed off cos it doesn't help I've seen this about 100 times on the Tom's forums.

Welcome to the world of value. A gtx580 just isn't particularly good value because something like a GTX460 which is way less than half the cost is way better than 50% of a 580, and is far more overclockable.

You could probably overclock those 580s a little and get a bit more value for money mthinks but the fact is that you've paid a very high cost for not that much of a performance premium when you put it into perspective as you have.
a c 164 U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 12:02:55 PM

Are you sure?

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-580-gf1...

Quote:
The company claims its GPUs have had thermal monitoring for many years (though that doesn’t explain why its 196-series driver sent a number of G92-based boards to an early grave earlier this year). Now, the current and voltage of each 12 V rail is being monitored as well. Should power levels exceed spec, the GPU throttles performance.


If the PSU wasn't able to output what it should, the protection circuit will kick in and lower performance. This isn't happening in this case as the PSU can output what his system wants. Barely. I'm still wondering if its being throttled due to heat.
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 12:03:05 PM

lozz08 said:
For the tenth time I am going to state that a power supply doesn't just degrade performance. If the power supply was at fault, you'd be getting blue screens and random crashes and component damage.

Please don't buy a new PSU because people always recommend buying a PSU and then the OP gets pissed off cos it doesn't help I've seen this about 100 times on the Tom's forums.
.

+1
October 8, 2011 5:49:23 PM

I appreciate the replies. I'll try running the benchmark again, but with a higher fan percentage.
October 8, 2011 6:47:08 PM

Breakthrough in performance issues:

I disabled one of my 580s, and I got an even higher average in the Mafia II benchmark...with just one 580. Do you guys think that possibly one of my 580s is bad?
a c 251 U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 6:54:26 PM

TidWop said:
Breakthrough in performance issues:

I disabled one of my 580s, and I got an even higher average in the Mafia II benchmark...with just one 580. Do you guys think that possibly one of my 580s is bad?



Could very well be , try the other 580 and see what you get and have you tried the new drivers(285.38) they are specific for BF3.
a c 251 U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 6:56:11 PM

If you end up trying both cards in single setup and they both perform the same then you could have a bad slot on the motherboard. What MB are you using?
October 8, 2011 7:17:33 PM

I'm using an Asus Rampage II Extreme motherboard, and I'm pretty certain it isn't the issue. I'm going to be gone most of today, but tonight when I get back, I'm going to try taking out each 580, and testing each individual one to see if one is faulty.

With one 580 I get an average of 50FPS in the Mafia II benchmark (max settings, 1920x1080)

With two 580s I get 52FPS.

I honestly don't get this. Very confusing issue. (Do you guys think maybe it's just Mafia II? Does it even support SLI? I downloaded the newest version of EVGAs SLI enhancement patch, no difference was made.)
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 7:26:12 PM

ok here's a tip, virtual Synchronization limits the FPS to the monitor refresh rate (60 Hz) try disabling it and see if you get over 100 FPS with the SLI.
here's some bench for GTX 580s SLI, compare it with the FPS you get, and try more games (BFBC2, Metro 2033,....)
October 8, 2011 7:33:47 PM

I'm starting to think possibly it's just Mafia II running poorly. I compared benchmarks on YouTube of the Metro 2033 benchmark (he also had two 580s,) and I got 2 frames higher than him. Maybe some games just don't like SLI. If anyone could provide benchmarks to compare to, that'd be extremely helpful.
October 8, 2011 7:41:19 PM

Okay, I'll report back with some results. Also, I just ran the BF3 beta with SLI enabled. I got an average of 110-120FPS in low action times, and during lots of action I would get 75-85FPS. Just for reference.
October 8, 2011 7:42:12 PM

Also, once again, thanks to everyone for the support on the forums. I really appreciate the replies.
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 7:44:03 PM

TidWop said:
Okay, I'll report back with some results. Also, I just ran the BF3 beta with SLI enabled. I got an average of 110-120FPS in low action times, and during lots of action I would get 75-85FPS. Just for reference.

good, that seems to be normal BF3 is a demanding game
October 8, 2011 7:47:30 PM

With V-Sync turned off, my performance actually seemed to go down (SLI enabled.) A single card is still getting the same performance as SLI. (Mafia II benchmark.)
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 7:50:06 PM

so you had better try a bunch of games, maybe Mafia II is having some issues with SLI/CF as i don't see it in CF/SLi benchmarks.
and once i had the games freezing in chapter 3, 5 & 13
October 8, 2011 7:54:10 PM

I compared to myself to the Metro 2033 (from posted link) with the same settings, and I compared pretty much the same, assuming they ran the benchmark.
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 7:55:13 PM

and what was the result ?
October 8, 2011 8:17:07 PM

They reported getting an average of 65FPS (I'm not sure if they meant gameplay, or benchmark results.) I ran the benchmark with their posted settings, and I got an average of 60.5FPS. I also just ran the Unigine Heaven benchmark, and I did just as well as YouTube users. I'm starting to believe that Mafia II just hates my computer.
a c 143 U Graphics card
October 8, 2011 8:18:34 PM

so good luck with the SLI setup, you're done now everything else sounds normal :) 
October 8, 2011 10:42:24 PM

Thanks for all the help :) 
!