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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2020, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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NVLInk (NOT SLI)

Recently, I have rebuilt my rig with used parts. I went from a x58 platform with a xeon 5690x 6c 12t, to a x79 platfrom with a xeon e5 2697v2 12c 24t 30mb Cache. I am an Engineer, so I figured the I would go with more cores and cache for CAD software and rendering.

I bought (2) MSI RTX 2070 SUPERS and then an ASUS ROG RBG NvLink 4 Slot Bridge ( I could not find the MSI bridge ) My mobo an ASUS P9X79 DELUXE has PCIE 3.0 x16 slots in locations that require me to use the 4 slot, the other PCIE 16x Slots do not the fully 16x capacity. ( You can see the pins only go up to 8x in the 16x lane. )

I did some digging on the NVLink, for i knew right of the get go it is not the same type of interface as SLI. My understanding is NVLink is the same type of platform the Quadro Cards have used, and every sales rep at each computer store I went to, told me it was told it was not recommended to buy (2) RTX 2070 SUPERS as for the "SLI" did not have the performance gains than previous generations. After a month of time went buy with only one RTX 2070 SUPER of normal use and benchmarking, I couldn't take it anymore. I had to have two!

So how is it? HOLY SMOKES! The performance gain has been incredible! In 3DMark has shown results of almost 100% gains on the graphics scores! Frame rates for DX11 Skydiver are went from 180-200 to 400+!
DX12 Time Spy are when from 60-75fps to 120-140fp! Time Spy Extreme 4K went from 30fps to 60fps. For the price of 1100 for both cards and the bridge. I would say these results would be equal to if not the same as a RTX 2080 Ti which is still hovering in the 1300-1400$ Range.

I will follow up with results and provide photos. Now, I am curious about the bandwidth of the bridge itself. ( The ASUS ROG is 40GBs ) some of the nvidia ones for the Quadro cards are 50GBs to 100GBs. I am wondering if finding a compatible with the higher bandwidth would even allow for more.

What do you think? Are there any more items or test you would do with these two cards to show what type of gains and performance increases you would do?

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2020, 09:06 AM
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The gains are gone when you don't play 3dmark, that's why you were told not to buy it. Only people that should be using nvlink /sli are those with 2080tis or rtx titans. You have to remember these are gaming cards, in the last 3 years maybe 3-5 new games support nvlink/sli and the scaling is rarely incredible. There are a few exceptions but those are rare.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2020, 09:21 AM
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I'd avoid it at pretty much all cost but that's primarily because I don't care about bench mark scores much these days.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2020, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Well if you would like to see performance gains for CAD software, I can write up a report. However, might not be to exciting, buts that's what my intent is on this machine.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2020, 10:20 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Mckayman View Post
Well if you would like to see performance gains for CAD software, I can write up a report. However, might not be to exciting, buts that's what my intent is on this machine.
I'd like to see that. It would nice to be see the usefulness of NVLink outside of artificial benchmarks. It would be nice to see some actual games benchmarks as well.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-28-2020, 07:41 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by nycgtr View Post
The gains are gone when you don't play 3dmark, that's why you were told not to buy it. Only people that should be using nvlink /sli are those with 2080tis or rtx titans. You have to remember these are gaming cards, in the last 3 years maybe 3-5 new games support nvlink/sli and the scaling is rarely incredible. There are a few exceptions but those are rare.
I agree - and I've only been doing SLI starting with 1080's (then 1080 Ti's, Titan Xp's, failed to hack Titan V's NVLinks into working, and now Titan RTX). When it helps, it is usually pretty nice (the only two games I play that come to mind are Witcher 3 and most recently Jedi Fallen Order) but most games won't utilize the second card. This is especially true with DirectX12 titles since that API requires explicit game programming to use multiple graphics cards. In DX11, as long as the game can do full screen mode you *should* be able to get SLI going for it. The games that Nvidia has already made SLI profiles for are the best ones to use it with though - chances are if Nvidia hasn't managed to create an SLI profile for a game - there's probably a good reason for it.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-28-2020, 07:44 PM
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benchmarks show epic gains.

games rarely do, and many users end up fighting with it more than not, if they play a wide selection of titles. certain genres have support, like simming, for example, but all in all, in the grand history of mGPU, as of right now, for 90% of gamers, they should consider it dead.

NOW THEN .... if you're into benching. go flipping ham. most benchmarks have near perfect scaling. for gaming though, have fun with troubleshooting nearly inherent stutter(minimum FPS tanking) & latency injections, and have fun trying to figure out why the hell you aren't getting above 50% utilization, even with the bits and driver swaps, while everyone else (usually without proof) claim they're having a "perfect" experience (again, on the gaming side of things).

NVLINK tech itself is still not being utilized on a game engine rendering level though. it's all sli still.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-28-2020, 08:33 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Kalm_Traveler View Post
I agree - and I've only been doing SLI starting with 1080's (then 1080 Ti's, Titan Xp's, failed to hack Titan V's NVLinks into working, and now Titan RTX). When it helps, it is usually pretty nice (the only two games I play that come to mind are Witcher 3 and most recently Jedi Fallen Order) but most games won't utilize the second card. This is especially true with DirectX12 titles since that API requires explicit game programming to use multiple graphics cards. In DX11, as long as the game can do full screen mode you *should* be able to get SLI going for it. The games that Nvidia has already made SLI profiles for are the best ones to use it with though - chances are if Nvidia hasn't managed to create an SLI profile for a game - there's probably a good reason for it.
As more games utilize Vulkan and DX12 we'll see less SLI profiles. AMD already stopped supporting crossfire since the developers can make use of mgpu themselves.

https://developer.nvidia.com/explici...ing-directx-12

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Background

Since the launch of SLI, a long time ago, utilization of multiple GPUs was handled automatically by the display driver. The application always saw one graphics device object no matter how many physical GPUs were behind it. With DirectX 12, this is not the case anymore. But why start doing something manually that has been working automatically? Because, actually, for a good while before DirectX 12 arrived, the utilization of multiple GPUs has not been that automatic anymore.

As rendering engines have grown more sophisticated, the distribution of rendering workload automatically to multiple GPUs has become problematic. Namely, temporal techniques that create data dependencies between consecutive frames make it challenging to execute alternate frame rendering (AFR), which still is the method of choice for distribution of work to multiple GPUs. In practice, the display driver needs hints from the application to understand which resources it must copy from one GPU to another and which it should not. Data transfer bandwidth between GPUs is very limited and copying too much stuff can make the transfers the bottleneck in the rendering process. Giving hints to the driver can be implemented with NVAPI or by making additional Clear() or Discard() calls for selected resources.

Consequently, even when you didn’t have explicit control over multiple GPUs, you had to understand what happened implicitly and give the driver hints for doing it efficiently in order to get the desired performance out of multi-GPU setups. Now with DirectX 12, you can take full and explicit control of what is happening. And you are no longer limited to AFR. You are free to invent new ways of making use of multiple GPUs that better suit your application

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-28-2020, 09:49 PM
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I've been running NVLink on 2080 Tis for over a year now (sig link), and so far, I have not had any problems...mind you, I don't play quite as many games as others seem to. What is exciting though is that NVidia (rather quietly) added CFR / checkerboard rendering support last November to the RTX line.


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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-28-2020, 10:50 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by skupples View Post
benchmarks show epic gains.

games rarely do, and many users end up fighting with it more than not, if they play a wide selection of titles. certain genres have support, like simming, for example, but all in all, in the grand history of mGPU, as of right now, for 90% of gamers, they should consider it dead.

NOW THEN .... if you're into benching. go flipping ham. most benchmarks have near perfect scaling. for gaming though, have fun with troubleshooting nearly inherent stutter(minimum FPS tanking) & latency injections, and have fun trying to figure out why the hell you aren't getting above 50% utilization, even with the bits and driver swaps, while everyone else (usually without proof) claim they're having a "perfect" experience (again, on the gaming side of things).

NVLINK tech itself is still not being utilized on a game engine rendering level though. it's all sli still.
Yeah idk I've never had any issues with it at all in any game - either it works or it doesn't. Haven't noticed any stutter/latency/etc but I also don't play hundreds of games, probably less than 50. The few where I've really wanted SLI do scale quite well (Witcher 3 and Jedi Fallen Order come to mind).

Quote: Originally Posted by J7SC View Post
I've been running NVLink on 2080 Tis for over a year now (sig link), and so far, I have not had any problems...mind you, I don't play quite as many games as others seem to. What is exciting though is that NVidia (rather quietly) added CFR / checkerboard rendering support last November to the RTX line.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX5pNpVMShA
Yeah same boat for me - don't play a huge variety of games and it either works or just isn't supported at all. I still need to try enabling that checkerboard rendering though to see if it helps in something like World of Warcraft.

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