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New Toy ... Much Joy

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Just got a second 460GTX 768 card for SLI. Popped them into a 980a mobo and man, this thing is a whole new creature

I read about the 460GTX having excellent scaling ... and so far, it does.

If you're thinking about giving SLI a try I'd say give it a whirl

My question is:

the MSi 980a chipset mobo (very good mobo IMO) has three PCI-e graphics slots that are slot 1 x 16, the other two are x8

Can I use PCI-e x 8 slot 3 instead of slot 2 when running 2-way SLI ?

It's important to me because slots 1 & 2 are close together so the main SLI card runs hotter than in single mode and therefore, the fan ramps up and the system is no longer almost silent (45C max @ 45% fixed fan speed vs 71C max @ noisy fan speed)
post #2 of 7
To answer your questions, you should be able to.
    
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post #3 of 7
Absolutely. Only a 2-3% dip in performance.
post #4 of 7
Try it and see. There are some boards out there (the x58 SLI by evga is one) that will not allow you to use slot 1+3 for 2-way SLI, but that is more the exception than the rule.

Also ... do you have a long enough SLI bridge?
    
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xeon X5675 6-core @ 4.1ghz (1.29v, 20x205 +ht ) rampage iii extreme msi rx470 gaming X (the $159 budget king) 3 x 2gb corsair xms3 pc12800 (9-9-9-24-1T@1600MHz) 
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
ok, I tried it and it works great - I personally don't see a performance difference while gaming, except both GPU's run much cooler. I'll have to use a nibbler tool to cut a vent hole in the base of the case, put a fan screen or something over the opening to protect the 460GTX fan in case I forget the vent hole is there and move the case and ... ouuuu that would hurt
post #6 of 7
The 3 PCIe slots work in x16/x16/0 or x16/x8/x8.
So, putting 2 cards in slots 1 and 3 would have them working in x16/x8 but this only has minimal performance loss (1-2%) according to a few reviews and also has been found by you. No big deal!
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by windfire View Post
The 3 PCIe slots work in x16/x16/0 or x16/x8/x8.
So, putting 2 cards in slots 1 and 3 would have them working in x16/x8
MSI Tech Support said the following in an email I just received:

MSI Tech.
01/19/2011
"Dear customer, if you only use slot 1 and 3 it will be X16/X16. Thanks!
The three PCIE x 16 lanes will be x16 / x16 / x0 or x16 / x8 / x8."

Regarding X16/X16 vs X16/X8 ... as windfire said, there are test reports
and a very good one is over at [H]ard|OCP:

Quote:
Gameplay Performance Summary

Gameplay performance can be summed up very easily and directly. We experienced no differences in the gameplay experience between x16/x16 SLI or CFX compared to x16/x8 SLI or CFX. There were measurable differences, differences that some people might pick apart and declare a clear "winner," but we don't see it this way at all. For gamers, the differences are so minuscule that the delta simply does not matter. The fact is you have to run at insanely high graphics settings just to detect the one to three frames per second differences we documented. With lesser resolutions and quality settings the difference in frame rates becomes so small that it is not detectable. Then in some instances we actually saw the x16/x8 configuration run faster. We don't have any big explanations for you on that, but the results were repeatable.
http://hardocp.com/article/2010/08/1...16x16_vs_x16x8

"... in some instances we actually saw the x16/x8 configuration run faster."

Imagine that
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