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SLI-ing two GTX 460s and the Benchmark score

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 2, 2011 10:11:09 AM

I just finished my first SLI build and ran Futuremark's 3D Benchmark. Would you mind taking a look at the score and letting me know if it seems about right?

http://3dmark.com/3dmv/3614990?show_ads=true&page=%2F3d...

I'm not really sure what it should be, I just want to make sure everything is acting as it should. According to Benchmark the score is low. Here's how my machine compared to similar machines:
http://3dmark.com/healthcheck/3dmv/3615004

Both 460s are Galaxy 768mbs.

Thanks in advance.
November 2, 2011 11:50:04 AM

You're fine, that PC health check stuff is BS, it said the same thing about mine. Similar systems that got a higher score are probably running at slightly higher clocks.
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November 2, 2011 2:33:47 PM

So would upgrading to sli 1gb gtx460 see a significant improvement for a 1080 monitor? I only have ONE 1080 monitor and a 17" Dell monitor. How does SLI use the memory on both graphics cards? I know 768mb is small for a 1080 screen but if you have sli wouldn't the cards share the load?
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November 2, 2011 2:49:47 PM

Ok, thanks, I'm using this for BF3 and was thinking with SLI I'd be able to do Ultra no problem but while sometimes it is 60fps in the singleplayer campaign it drops to ~23fps in areas.
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November 2, 2011 2:51:24 PM

BF3 still has SLI/CF problems from what I've heard.
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November 2, 2011 2:59:36 PM

:(  Hmmm I hope that gets fixed.
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November 2, 2011 4:12:27 PM

go figure. I'll run those benchmarks when I get home malmental. I am going to try rolling back drivers as well to see if there is a better driver version.
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November 2, 2011 4:30:21 PM

i doubt you will get better performance in bf3 by rolling back (if you use versions prior to the recent beta drivers you will likely get zero performace in bf3 but if you try please let us know how you get on)

another thread in this forum suggests 1080p bf3 @ ultra requires more vram than 1gb per card and suggests doing 1080p ultra with less than 4xmsaa or disable AA and it should fly - ill be doing some testing when home and will post back here with results in about 2 hours if you're interested

ignore the gpu clocks in sig below - ill be running at 815 & 4000

chaz
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November 2, 2011 6:54:27 PM

How does vram work in SLI?

I'm not even sure how SLI in general works, does each card take a portion of the screen?
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November 2, 2011 7:00:24 PM

SLI uses alternate frame rendering, meaning that both GPUs take turns every frame.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternate_frame_rendering

"Alternate Frame Rendering (AFR): One graphics processing unit (GPU) computes all the odd video frames, the other renders the even frames. (i.e. time division)"
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November 2, 2011 7:06:05 PM

VRAM is not additive in SLI because each GPU works in parallel. Each GPU must render the entire scene, so if a game requires 500mb of VRAM, each GPU must hold that 500mb of memory in their VRAM.
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November 2, 2011 7:17:15 PM

So if I got two 1gb gtx460s would I see a significant improvement, all other factors being the same?

Oh, and is it better to let my CPU do physix calculations of the gpu? I figure the 2600k is prob twiddling its thumbs looking for something to do.
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November 2, 2011 7:36:19 PM

At least 1GB. If you're primary game is BF3 running full ultra at 1080p you may even need more in certain scenarios.
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a b Î Nvidia
November 2, 2011 8:31:57 PM

@ Malmental,
Whether in SLI or single card solution, this amount of VRAM is lagging specially in 1080P and in a game like BF3.
In SLI, the amount of VRAM is mirrored between GPUs they don't share it.
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November 2, 2011 8:39:29 PM

so would it be worth the extra $60 or so I would have to pay for a 1gb 460 (supposing I can sell my current cards for $100 each. Or perhaps I should look into xfire 6850 or 6870s
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a b Î Nvidia
November 2, 2011 8:51:21 PM

@ Mal & OP, yes almost 1 GB is fine for 1080P but it doesn't always go that way....

Due to technologies such as AA, MSAA, AF, QSCAA.. those really feed on the VRAM depending on the game. Besides, the higher the resolution in games, the more VRAM there should be since more textures need to be loaded.

See this link, it shows up some games scaling and how much VRAM it does consume, don't get those numbers as facts but it's pretty close
http://www.overclock.net/graphics-cards-general/780310-...
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November 2, 2011 8:52:42 PM

Why are you limiting yourself to only dual card solutions? For BF3 the way to go is a single fast card imo. A GTX 570 is roughly the same price as 2x 6850s and you get 1.25gb of VRAM which will be enough for BF3 at 1080p.
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a b Î Nvidia
November 2, 2011 8:54:47 PM

gmcizzle said:
Why are you limiting yourself to only dual card solutions? For BF3 the way to go is a single fast card imo. A GTX 570 is roughly the same price as 2x 6850s and you get 1.25gb of VRAM which will be enough for BF3 at 1080p.

Yes, always a high end GPU is better than 2 mid range GPUs in CF/SLI besides, the 6850s/70s are garbage GPUs in CF
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a b Î Nvidia
November 2, 2011 8:57:07 PM

@ OP, so if you can get rid of those 460s and you wanna SLI, get 560Ti in SLI.
A single card, i recommend the GTX 570, the GTX 580 is 20% faster and doesn't worth the price.
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a b Î Nvidia
November 2, 2011 9:01:31 PM

I'm not sure of what you're saying and i'm lazy to check up but Regardless, as i said above 1 high end GPU is better than 2 mid range in CF/SLI.

The reason i recommended GTX 560ti because anything under it are known for loving Microstuttering.

Guys i really hate it when a thread becomes that too long, i feel it's useless :) 
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November 2, 2011 9:05:10 PM

the results from my tests were stunning, i wont post the details as they were not exact replicas in terms of the tests, I played a series of games, 2 rounds on each map - 64 player server, full or as near to: operation metro, seine crossing and grand bazaar, huge fire fights as you'd expect - i switched every 5 mins between ultra preset / ultra with 2xMSAA and ultra with AA disabled

the ultra pre-set @ 1920x1080, 60Hz provided what on paper looked like acceptable fps but did feel laggy,+50 fps

the ultra settings, customised with AA disabled or 2xMSAA (rather than default 4xMSAA) were amazingly fluid and a significant improvement - I couldn't tell the difference between the eye candy as I was too focused on the firefights with zero lagg, came in at mid 80s and mid 70s fps respectively

I've found my settings and would encourage 460 and 560 / 560 Ti owners to play around with the AA settings in game whilst using the rest of the ultra settings @ 1920x1080

im off to frag some more!

chaz
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November 2, 2011 10:21:33 PM

Very encouraging CPS1974. I will cut out MSAA and AA and see what happens.

Re: 570 - yes it would be nice, however they are sitting at $350 or so. I only have $105 invested in these two gtx460s. The first I got for free. The second I got for $105. If I sold them I probably would only make about $200.
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November 3, 2011 1:31:08 AM

Best answer selected by dsiglin.
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November 3, 2011 3:00:16 AM

Ok ran the unigine and cinebench.
Here's unigine:
Powered by Unigine Engine

Heaven Benchmark v2.5 Basic

FPS: 51.3
Scores: 1293
Min FPS: 26.3
Max FPS: 122.1

Hardware
Binary: Windows 32bit Visual C++ 1600 Release Mar 1 2011
Operating system: Windows 7 (build 7601, Service Pack 1) 64bit
CPU model: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40GHz
CPU flags: 3410MHz MMX SSE SSE2 SSE3 SSSE3 SSE41 SSE42 HTT
GPU model: Intel(R) HD Graphics Family 8.15.10.2509 3862Mb

Settings
Render: direct3d11
Mode: 1920x1080 fullscreen
Shaders: high
Textures: high
Filter: trilinear
Anisotropy: 4x
Occlusion: enabled
Refraction: enabled
Volumetric: enabled
Tessellation: normal


Cinebench was 38.06 fps for opengl and CPU was 6.74pts
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November 3, 2011 10:42:40 AM

at 1280x1024 and the same settings as before I got:
FPS - 75
Score - 1888
Min Fps - 39
Max Fps - 179.5
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November 3, 2011 11:12:50 AM

Forgive my inexperience but what would be some boards that run x16 on both and is there a huge difference between x8 and x16?
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November 3, 2011 11:59:08 AM

A PCIe 2.0 GPU running at 8x will barely be any slower than a 16x. With a GTX 460 it will practically be the same with no FPS loss.
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November 3, 2011 2:27:00 PM

Im someone who was content with 30fps, I just happened to have enough money to treat myself to sli so I'm not going to complain if there is a slight advantage for x16 boards. :)  Thanks for the info though, do motherboards that have dual x16 normally tout that fact? Just wondering how I would know looking at a product on a website.
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November 3, 2011 2:32:49 PM

Yes they do, but only because the LGA 1155 boards normally have 8x/8x and those that have 16x/16x are $300+ special enthusiast ones. On LGA 1366 16x/16x is more of a standard. Most sandy bridge users agree that running 8x/8x is not really much of a bottleneck vs. 16x/16x, at least with the current generation of cards.
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November 3, 2011 3:48:07 PM

No prob :) 
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November 4, 2011 4:02:07 PM

Ok, one last question.

Would I be better getting two 1gb 460s or two 1gb 6790s or two 1gb 6850s?
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November 4, 2011 4:06:26 PM

6850 is slightly faster than a 460
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!