GTX 480 SLI performance

Hi,
I recently got my second gtx 480. So running in two way sli configuration. Using evga x58 sli mono, intel i7-930, mushkin redline ddr3 triple channel memory x2 (12gb total) and corsair hxt-1000 psu.

I'm not very happy with the SLI performance. In Hitman Absolution it does not produce much increase. In Crysis 2 it is running below 15fps when lots of objects/aliens are visible, getting to 25fps when not many objects are visible. This was with Geometric Details set to ultra. Other settings did not make any difference. Changing Geometric Details to low increases the FPS to about 25-30 in the same scene.

Tried with running the physics on GPU and then on the CPU but this does not improve the performance.

Why is the performance so poor? Ow can't diagnose this? Which settings would produce the best quality and performance in my case?

P.S. I'd prefer to ru under 2560x1600 resolution if possible. 1920x1200 is still acceptable.

Thank you,
Ruben
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  1. ^
    Umm why? GTX 480 SLI is as good as GTX 590...

    @OP: Did you try overclock your CPU? Did you check the GPU usage in the games listed?
  2. Driver version?
  3. samuelspark said:
    Driver version?

    Drivers are recent: 306.97.
  4. Sunius said:
    ^
    Umm why? GTX 480 SLI is as good as GTX 590...

    @OP: Did you try overclock your CPU? Did you check the GPU usage in the games listed?


    I look to the Task Manager and the CPU is not used much at all. So the OC should not improve much.

    How can I diagnose what is the bottleneck?
  5. rubenhak said:
    Hi,
    I recently got my second gtx 480. So running in two way sli configuration. Using evga x58 sli mono, intel i7-930, mushkin redline ddr3 triple channel memory x2 (12gb total) and corsair hxt-1000 psu.

    I'm not very happy with the SLI performance. In Hitman Absolution it does not produce much increase. In Crysis 2 it is running below 15fps when lots of objects/aliens are visible, getting to 25fps when not many objects are visible. This was with Geometric Details set to ultra. Other settings did not make any difference. Changing Geometric Details to low increases the FPS to about 25-30 in the same scene.

    Tried with running the physics on GPU and then on the CPU but this does not improve the performance.

    Why is the performance so poor? Ow can't diagnose this? Which settings would produce the best quality and performance in my case?

    P.S. I'd prefer to ru under 2560x1600 resolution if possible. 1920x1200 is still acceptable.

    Thank you,
    Ruben



    First, update to the newest beta drivers, should be 310.70 as I write this, they should help with hitman.


    Then also go here:

    http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=371865


    Good luck!
  6. rubenhak said:
    I look to the Task Manager and the CPU is not used much at all. So the OC should not improve much.

    How can I diagnose what is the bottleneck?


    I meant GPU usage, not the CPU. You can check it with MSI afterburner.
  7. maxalge said:
    First, update to the newest beta drivers, should be 310.70 as I write this, they should help with hitman.


    Then also go here:

    http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=371865


    Good luck!


    Still does not help. My second GPU is only used for about 10%. SLI settings set to default.
  8. Sunius said:
    I meant GPU usage, not the CPU. You can check it with MSI afterburner.


    Well, when I overclock the GPU the FPS does increase a bit but this is not my complaint. I don't like the fact the my second card is not in use. Hitman Absolution benchmark produces 23 - 35 FPS 1920x1200, MSAA 4x, Quality: Ultra. Disabling SLI produces almost same result. Running beta nvidia driver which was supposed to use SLI profile for hitman.
  9. Man, can you check for the GPU usage? How do you suppose I can help you if you refuse to do even do the basic troubleshooting?
  10. Yes download afterburner and check your GPU usage.
  11. Sunius said:
    Man, can you check for the GPU usage? How do you suppose I can help you if you refuse to do even do the basic troubleshooting?


    That is what I meant. The usage of second GPU does not exceed 10%. Checked with afterburner and nvidia inspector. Should have been more clear about this.

    What else can I check to troubleshoot this?
  12. Try disabling hyperthreading in BIOS. Then, check the CPU usage again in task manager. Hyperthreading doesn't allow windows correctly detect CPU usage.
  13. Sunius said:
    Try disabling hyperthreading in BIOS. Then, check the CPU usage again in task manager. Hyperthreading doesn't allow windows correctly detect CPU usage.


    Will do that in the evening, but this still will not explain why second GPU was not in use.
  14. If the CPU is near maxing out, it isn't fast enough to give instructions to the graphics cards.
  15. Sunius said:
    If the CPU is near maxing out, it isn't fast enough to give instructions to the graphics cards.


    Ok, will provide some screenshots today. Should I use Hitman Absolution Benchmark or you can recommend some other test to check the performance?
  16. Sunius said:
    If the CPU is near maxing out, it isn't fast enough to give instructions to the graphics cards.


    Ok, will provide some screenshots today. Should I use Hitman Absolution Benchmark or you can recommend some other test to check the performance?
  17. Hitman Absolution Benchmark will do nicely. Just don't forget to disable hyperthreading.
  18. Turned off the HT. CPU usage around 65%. GPU1 usage: 100%, GPU2 usage: 20%. Here is the screenshot attached.

  19. Just what I thought. Looks like the CPU is unable to cope with the load. I'd suggest overclocking it, and doing it will help significantly.
  20. I'm getting a regular 39-40FPS with Hitman Absolution with a GTX 550Ti with couple settings lowered. DON'T go off the built-in Benchmark numbers as they seem to be way off from what MSI Afterburner's Riva Tuner shows. Riva Tuner shows a constant 40 FPS during the bench mark test while the bench mark's numbers claims it was 20! Also running the Beta driver 3.10.70 since yesterday which helped with a crash in the 1st mission when you use instinct and press "X" (360 controller) to slow-mo kill the 4 guys.

    Here's my settings from the benchmark file:
    Graphics Settings:

    ResolutionWidth = 1920
    ResolutionHeight = 1080
    Refreshrate = 60
    Fullscreen = 1
    ExclusiveFullscreen = 1
    VSync = 0
    Monitor = 0
    Adapter = 0
    Aspectratio = 0
    WindowPosX = 320
    WindowPosY = 180
    WindowWidth = 1280
    WindowHeight = 720
    Stereoscopic = 0
    Stereo_Depth = 2.000000
    Stereo_Strength = 0.020000
    WindowMaximized = 0
    FocusLoss = 0
    UseGdiCursor = 0
    Gamma = 1065353216
    MSAA = 1
    ShadowQuality = 4
    TextureResolution = 1
    TextureFilter = 2
    SSAO = 1
    LPV = 1
    Tessellation = 1
    MirrorQuality = 3
    FXAA = 1
    LevelOfDetail = 4
    Bokeh = 3
    QualityProfile = 5
  21. Sunius said:
    Just what I thought. Looks like the CPU is unable to cope with the load. I'd suggest overclocking it, and doing it will help significantly.


    Could you please explain this. The CPU usage was around 70% with short peaks in the beginning and the end of the benchmark. At the same time the seconds GPU was almost not in use. Why do you say that CPU is the reason of the low FPS? All I see is that SLI is not used optimally.
  22. Let's say it like this. The game uses 3 cores at most. The graph looks like it uses all of them, but it is due to windows distributing the tasks among the CPUs.

    70% of 4 is 93% of 3. That means your CPU is almost maxing out. If it's maxing out indeed - overclocking will certainly help.
  23. Sunius said:
    Let's say it like this. The game uses 3 cores at most. The graph looks like it uses all of them, but it is due to windows distributing the tasks among the CPUs.

    70% of 4 is 93% of 3. That means your CPU is almost maxing out. If it's maxing out indeed - overclocking will certainly help.


    Ok, this is starting to make sense. How would you recommend me do to the OCing? using Dummy Overclock in the BIOS or manually dealing with bus, multiplier, uncore, vcore, memory core, etc? Its been a while I didn't to that and not sure I can handle this properly.

    What would be the safe OC settings for my setup? Can I overclock from windows (vs from BIOS)? Some instructions would be extremely helpful!
  24. Don't use the auto tools: they set the voltage too high. As do it from BIOS. It's much better.

    I am not really experienced at overclocking i7-9xx, but I suppose your multiplier is locked?

    Do you have an aftermarket cooler?
  25. Sunius said:
    Don't use the auto tools: they set the voltage too high. As do it from BIOS. It's much better.

    I am not really experienced at overclocking i7-9xx, but I suppose your multiplier is locked?

    Do you have an aftermarket cooler?


    How much should I increase the voltage if I would like to OC it to 3.5Ghz from 2.8 stock? The multiplier can be changed in bios.

    The cooler is aftermarket tall cooler with two push-pull 120mm fans attached on the sides. So the cooler should be able to cool te CPU
  26. Sunius said:
    Don't use the auto tools: they set the voltage too high. As do it from BIOS. It's much better.

    I am not really experienced at overclocking i7-9xx, but I suppose your multiplier is locked?

    Do you have an aftermarket cooler?


    How much should I increase the voltage if I would like to OC it to 3.5Ghz from 2.8 stock? The multiplier can be changed in bios.

    The cooler is aftermarket tall cooler with two push-pull 120mm fans attached on the sides. So the cooler should be able to cool te CPU
  27. As little as you can. Experiment with it. Use prime95 to check stability.

    http://files.extremeoverclocking.com/file.php?f=205
  28. I have two sets of Mushkin Redline 998805 (3x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800 6-8-6-24 1600MHz 1.65V. How should I keep the settings of the memory when overclocking the CPU? should I keep latency stock or increase it? How about the voltage?
  29. I have two sets of Mushkin Redline 998805 (3x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800 6-8-6-24 1600MHz 1.65V. How should I keep the settings of the memory when overclocking the CPU? should I keep latency stock or increase it? How about the voltage?
  30. I have two sets of Mushkin Redline 998805 (3x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800 6-8-6-24 1600MHz 1.65V. How should I keep the settings of the memory when overclocking the CPU? should I keep latency stock or increase it? How about the voltage?
  31. Sunius said:


    With default settings the bios shows my memory to run on 1033mhz, though it is rated to be 1600mhz. I I tried to get closer to 1600mhz for memory, and also specified exact timing numbers. CPU over locked to 3.7ghz, multiplier set to 20. Running pretty cool and stable. Memory at around 1400mhz. Voltages set to next higher setting (except the vtt or something similar which I let to be +100mW.

    Any comments on this? Something I should do differently?
  32. So this are the test results. Test includes hitman absolution at 1920x1200, msaa 4x, settings to ultra.

    1) no over clocking, 23-31 FPS. CPU usage 70%, gpu1 100%, gpu2 20%.
    2) over locked to 3.7ghz. Same results.
    3) over clocked CPU to 3.7ghz, gpu over clocked to 890mhz, gpu memory to 1ghz. Same CPU/gpus utilization. FPS increased to 31-36. Though system froze with black screen in the end. I guess gpu overclock was not successful.
    4) stock clock, resolution changes to 2560x1600. FPS drop to around 15-20.

    Does not feel like the CPU is the bottleneck. If it was then I would be able to get similar FPS when increasing the resolution since pixels are totally processed on the GPU.

    Got a feeling that my second GPU is only doing PhysiX calculation and that is why the usage of GPU2 is very low. Also none of the MSI Kombustor tests could utilize both GPUs.

    Any ideas what to do next?
  33. Looks nice. I'd suggest stress testing it for at least 2 hours with prime95.

    Also, set memory to its rated speeds.
  34. Didn't see your second post. Hmm. Could you download GPU-z and show me screenshots of both cards?
  35. rubenhak said:
    Drivers are recent: 306.97.

    those are NOT the recent drivers!

    GeForce 310.61 Beta Drivers: An Essential Upgrade For All Hitman: Absolution & Planetside 2 Players

    THAT is why you are having a problem.

    edit: you are using driver that do not have a SLI profile for the game here is even a later release:
    GeForce 310.70 Driver

    in the release notes:
    NVIDIA SLI Technology – Adds or updates the following SLI profiles:
    Hitman: Absolution – added SLI profile
  36. Sunius said:
    Looks nice. I'd suggest stress testing it for at least 2 hours with prime95.

    Also, set memory to its rated speeds.


    Ran prime95 for 5mins. it was good. Will run it for some more in the evening.

    It is pretty hard to reach to 1600Mhz for memory and at the same time keep the multiplier high. Is there some calculator available where I can specify the target CPU and Memory frequencies and it would give me possible options of bus, multiplier and memory clock ratios?

    Will show the screenshots of GPUs and CPU later today.
  37. Sunius said:
    Looks nice. I'd suggest stress testing it for at least 2 hours with prime95.

    Also, set memory to its rated speeds.


    Ran prime95 for 5mins. it was good. Will run it for some more in the evening.

    It is pretty hard to reach to 1600Mhz for memory and at the same time keep the multiplier high. Is there some calculator available where I can specify the target CPU and Memory frequencies and it would give me possible options of bus, multiplier and memory clock ratios?

    Will show the screenshots of GPUs and CPU later today.
  38. Anonymous said:
    those are NOT the recent drivers!

    GeForce 310.61 Beta Drivers: An Essential Upgrade For All Hitman: Absolution & Planetside 2 Players

    THAT is why you are having a problem.

    edit: you are using driver that do not have a SLI profile for the game here is even a later release:
    GeForce 310.70 Driver

    in the release notes:
    NVIDIA SLI Technology – Adds or updates the following SLI profiles:
    Hitman: Absolution – added SLI profile


    After my original post I did upgrade to beta 310.70 drivers. Does not help.

    Is there something I need to tweak in SLI settings to make use of the SLI profile? Right now I have the quality settings to be set to "Let the application to decide...."
  39. rubenhak said:
    After my original post I did upgrade to beta 310.70 drivers. Does not help.

    Is there something I need to tweak in SLI settings to make use of the SLI profile? Right now I have the quality settings to be set to "Let the application to decide...."

    well crap, i thought i hit the bullseye for you because i recall a similar post on guru 3D forums.

    i wish i could help you making sure the SLI is set up properly for though i don't/can't go though the available options in the NV control panel since i have a single card (and a physX ATM).

    the million dollar question is, does your frame rate go up when you disable SLI in the NV control panel?
    if so then something is flonky with your SLI profile.
  40. Anonymous said:
    well crap, i thought i hit the bullseye for you because i recall a similar post on guru 3D forums.

    i wish i could help you making sure the SLI is set up properly for though i don't/can't go though the available options in the NV control panel since i have a single card (and a physX ATM).

    the million dollar question is, does your frame rate go up when you disable SLI in the NV control panel?
    if so then something is flonky with your SLI profile.


    Got some good news. Looks like my SLI Profiles were not configured properly. So I went to nvidia control panel and turned on "Use my advanced 3D image settings".
    In "Manage 3D Settings\Global Settings" restored to "Base Profile". In "Program Settings" selected the hitman absoution and experimented with "SLI Rendering mode".

    1) SLI Rendering Mode=NVidia Recommended. Second GPU not used. 1920x1200 produces 23-32 fps.
    2) SLI Rendering Mode=Force alternate frame rendering 1. Both GPUs utilizing 50%. fps dropped to 15-20 fps.
    3) SLI Rendering Mode=Force alternate frame rendering 2. Both GPUs utilizing 100%. fps raised to 42-52 fps.
    4) SLI Rendering Mode=Force alternate frame rendering 2. Both GPUs utilizing 100%. 2560x1600 bumped up to 27-36 fps.

    Can you guys explain this SLI Rendering Mode. When should I favor mode 1 vs mode 2?
    Also I though that with the recent driver I would not need to tweak those settings and those would get applied automatically.

    What else can I tweak to get maximum performance and quality?
  41. Sunius said:
    Didn't see your second post. Hmm. Could you download GPU-z and show me screenshots of both cards?


    Screenshot of GPUs and settings in Nvidia Panel
  42. rubenhak said:
    Got some good news. Looks like my SLI Profiles were not configured properly. So I went to nvidia control panel and turned on "Use my advanced 3D image settings".
    In "Manage 3D Settings\Global Settings" restored to "Base Profile". In "Program Settings" selected the hitman absoution and experimented with "SLI Rendering mode".

    1) SLI Rendering Mode=NVidia Recommended. Second GPU not used. 1920x1200 produces 23-32 fps.
    2) SLI Rendering Mode=Force alternate frame rendering 1. Both GPUs utilizing 50%. fps dropped to 15-20 fps.
    3) SLI Rendering Mode=Force alternate frame rendering 2. Both GPUs utilizing 100%. fps raised to 42-52 fps.
    4) SLI Rendering Mode=Force alternate frame rendering 2. Both GPUs utilizing 100%. 2560x1600 bumped up to 27-36 fps.

    Can you guys explain this SLI Rendering Mode. When should I favor mode 1 vs mode 2?
    Also I though that with the recent driver I would not need to tweak those settings and those would get applied automatically.

    What else can I tweak to get maximum performance and quality?

    well at least ya got something going for ya!

    there is a program call nvidia inspector that can tweet the drivers better. just do a bit of googling for it and how to mange a few settings. though it doesn't get discussed here on THG forums and no offense to tom's or the forums memebers; you may want to do a little surfing around the guru 3D forums there is a nvidia drivers sections and a game specific forum to help do a little fine tweaking.

    some home users have the drivers working better than nvidia themself . . :??:
  43. Anonymous said:
    well at least ya got something going for ya!

    there is a program call nvidia inspector that can tweet the drivers better. just do a bit of googling for it and how to mange a few settings. though it doesn't get discussed here on THG forums and no offense to tom's or the forums memebers; you may want to do a little surfing around the guru 3D forums there is a nvidia drivers sections and a game specific forum to help do a little fine tweaking.

    some home users have the drivers working better than nvidia themself . . :??:


    I already tried to use nvidia inspector but I've got a feeling is that the more I tough it the more I screw things up. Either my version of nvidia inspector is crappy or it is the way it works but when I change the settings either they do not get applied at all or not getting applied partially.
  44. I'm so glad you have solved it. Basically, when doing SLI, they can do two things: have each GPU render every second frame (that's alternating rendering) OR they can have each GPU render half of each frame. It could be that Hitman doesn't support the latter and that's why it didn't work properly.
  45. rubenhak said:
    I already tried to use nvidia inspector but I've got a feeling is that the more I tough it the more I screw things up. Either my version of nvidia inspector is crappy or it is the way it works but when I change the settings either they do not get applied at all or not getting applied partially.

    i understand, i am somewhat blindly stumbling around NI myself. the biggest tweak i have been trying is to get Sparse Grid Anti Aliasing going in Crysis 2 to keep my frame rate above 50 when i have my overclock going; which so far the highest successful is 855/2000 @1.038 volts.

    you are clicking on "Apply Changes?" and i thought i read to keep it open/running while gaming but, i really am not sure about that. if you get something going just remember to export your profile so when you update the drivers, you import it back in so you don't start from scratch again.

    there are a few guides and discussions floating around and even some "bits" (the 0x000000 code) data sites for different games. though the amount of info made my 49 year old brain hurt just getting a handle on the different Aliasing :p

    it was a good thing to get a good overclock on the cpu too; it will allow those 480s to streach their legs without without any problems. i think/hope your set up is looking/performing a lot better than when you first came in here . . good for you!
  46. Anonymous said:
    i understand, i am somewhat blindly stumbling around NI myself. the biggest tweak i have been trying is to get Sparse Grid Anti Aliasing going in Crysis 2 to keep my frame rate above 50 when i have my overclock going; which so far the highest successful is 855/2000 @1.038 volts.

    you are clicking on "Apply Changes?" and i thought i read to keep it open/running while gaming but, i really am not sure about that. if you get something going just remember to export your profile so when you update the drivers, you import it back in so you don't start from scratch again.

    there are a few guides and discussions floating around and even some "bits" (the 0x000000 code) data sites for different games. though the amount of info made my 49 year old brain hurt just getting a handle on the different Aliasing :p

    it was a good thing to get a good overclock on the cpu too; it will allow those 480s to streach their legs without without any problems. i think/hope your set up is looking/performing a lot better than when you first came in here . . good for you!


    Yes of course I did "Apply Changes" but when I reopen the nvidia inspector I still see the original values and the profile on the top is the "Base Profile" selected.

    Is it a good idea to overclock GTX 480s too? It seems like the GPUs are the bottlenecks at this point.

    Also regarding the PhysiX would you recommend it running on GPU or the CPU?
  47. Anonymous said:
    i understand, i am somewhat blindly stumbling around NI myself. the biggest tweak i have been trying is to get Sparse Grid Anti Aliasing going in Crysis 2 to keep my frame rate above 50 when i have my overclock going; which so far the highest successful is 855/2000 @1.038 volts.

    you are clicking on "Apply Changes?" and i thought i read to keep it open/running while gaming but, i really am not sure about that. if you get something going just remember to export your profile so when you update the drivers, you import it back in so you don't start from scratch again.

    there are a few guides and discussions floating around and even some "bits" (the 0x000000 code) data sites for different games. though the amount of info made my 49 year old brain hurt just getting a handle on the different Aliasing :p

    it was a good thing to get a good overclock on the cpu too; it will allow those 480s to streach their legs without without any problems. i think/hope your set up is looking/performing a lot better than when you first came in here . . good for you!


    Yes of course I did "Apply Changes" but when I reopen the nvidia inspector I still see the original values and the profile on the top is the "Base Profile" selected.

    Is it a good idea to overclock GTX 480s too? It seems like the GPUs are the bottlenecks at this point.

    Also regarding the PhysiX would you recommend it running on GPU or the CPU?
  48. rubenhak said:
    Yes of course I did "Apply Changes" but when I reopen the nvidia inspector I still see the original values and the profile on the top is the "Base Profile" selected.

    Is it a good idea to overclock GTX 480s too? It seems like the GPUs are the bottlenecks at this point.

    Also regarding the PhysiX would you recommend it running on GPU or the CPU?

    when ever you reopen NI it will first show the base profile; it is the default. the changes you make to specific game profiles ought to be saved. any gpu(s) will be the bottleneck here are few benchies with a single 480 and:
    Hitman Absolution VGA Graphics performance review
    Quote:
    Our test setup is based on Intel X58 (MSI Big bang XPower) with 6 GB of DDR3 ( Corsair 1600 MHz) memory. The processor is a Core i7 965 clocked at 3750 MHz. This system is an equivalent to a Core i7 2600 K processor, to the frame precisely actually. We use Windows 7 64-bit SP1 all patched up.




    you seem like you are rather close to the above benchmarks. you could try a bit of an overclock on the 480s but that would really increase your power consumption & heat.

    and physX is always best to run on the GPU; the code is actually crippled to run on the cpu ( a sleazy move on nvidia's half)

    edit: this game looks pretty brutal on just about any gpu . . . you may try tweaking the video quality in the game.
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