Overclock.net banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 126 Posts

·
Power Squid
Joined
·
9,609 Posts
Discussion Starter #1


What is Nvidia SLi technology?
SLi technology allows the use of multiple Nvidia graphics cards in a single computer system with a motherboard equipped with an nForce SLi media and communications processor (MCP).

Do you need to have dedicated hardware in order to run SLi?
Yes. You will need an nForce based motherboard with two PCI-Express 16x graphics ports and two matching GeForce graphics cards which are "SLi Ready". Alternatively, if you have an Intel Skulltrail motherboard, or any motherboard using an Intel X58 chipset, you can also run SLi.

Is it possible to run SLi on a non-nForce based motherboard?
It is possible, but will only work with older SLi capable cards. You would have to make sure that the motherboard has two PCI-Express 8x slots, so most Intel 965 and 975 based boards will work. You would also have to obtain the hacked 85.96 drivers, which means that you won't be able to run any newer cards in SLi. At the moment you cannot run "hacked SLi" on any cards that came out after the 7900 series, so that relates to the 7950 cards and the entire 8 series that was released after. With this in mind, and the fact that it isn't offically supported by Nvidia, it's not recommended to go for a setup like this.

What graphics cards support SLi technology?
Most of Nvidia's PCI-Express graphics cards starting from the 6600 GPU can be run in SLi. However, it is always best to check before you buy that your graphics card is "SLi Ready". You can find the current list of Nvidia GPU's that support SLi here.

When two cards are run in SLi does the memory count as being doubled?
No, you do not add the memory of two cards in SLi together as both cards store the same data and textures that are being rendered simultaneously.

Can I mix and match graphics cards with different GPU's?
No. Both cards that are to be run in SLi must have matching GPU's. For example, a GTX480 cannot be paired with a GTX580.

Can I mix and match graphics cards from different manufacturers?
Yes. The latest ForceWare drivers allow pairing of cards from different manufacturers. For example, you can safely pair an XFX 8600GTS with an EVGA 8600GTS.

Can I mix and match graphics cards if one of them is overclocked by the manufacturer or has been volt modded to attain higher clocks?
Yes. When using two graphics cards with differing default core and memory clocks, the faster of the two cards will lower its clocks to match the speeds of the lower card.

When I overclock in SLi will it apply to both cards?
Yes. Though you will only see one slider bar for the core and one slider bar for the memory, any alterations you make to the clock speeds of core and memory will be applied to both cards simultaneously.

Can I mix and match graphics cards with different sizes of memory?
This is not recommended, so it would be better if you could consider the answer as a "no", but it is possible using CoolBits. Though at the end of the day, if you currently own an 8800GTS 640MB you should purchase a second 8800GTS 640MB. However, when using CoolBits (value set to 18), you can force both of the cards to use the lower of the two memory sizes and operate together in SLi mode. When dissimilar memory sizes are enabled to work together the effective memory size for each card becomes the smaller of the two memory sizes. So an 8800GTS 640MB paired with an 8800GTS 320MB would operate the same as 8800GTS 320MB SLi.

Enableing CoolBits;

Step 1. Click on your Start Menu in the Windows Task Bar and select Run. When the command box opens, type "regedit" (without the quotes) and press OK. With the registry editor open, go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \\SOFTWARE \\NVIDIA Corporation \\Global \\NVTweak (expand the menu using the "+" expansion buttons to locate this menu item). Click on "NVTweak" in the menu. Next, right-click on the empty space inside right window and choose "New>DWORD value". Name the value "Coolbits" (without the quotes).

Step 2. Within the Registry Editor, right click on Coolbits and choose Modify. Change the Value data to "18" (without the quotes) and click OK. Exit the Registry Editor.


Can SLI technology work with AGP or PCI cards?
No. SLi technology is exclusive to the PCI Express bus due to its superior bandwidth and support for isochronous data transportation.

Can I run multiple monitors when using SLi?
Yes, but you will need the latest Forceware drivers, available from nvidia's homepage. Only drivers from 180.48 onwards will allow you to run multiple monitors when SLi is enabled. IF you don't have the latest drivers you'll have to disable SLi in nVidia control panel in order to get multiple monitors to work.

What operating systems are supported with SLi technology?
SLi technology supports 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7, as well as 32-bit and 64-bit Linux (IA-32 and AMD-64/EM64T).

I have three of these cards, only two are in SLI, can I use the third one for PhysX?

No.It seems that when the drivers detect three identical cards (even if they aren't Tri-SLI capable), it doesn't let you use the third card only for PhysX because they figure what is the point if you'd rather do Tri-SLI and GPU PhysX. This applies wither or not your cards are Tri-SLI capable or not. It is possible that a driver bug causes this. You'll need a different card to have dedicated PhysX support.

Useful Websites

www.nvidia.com
www.slizone.com
www.nzone.com
LL
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,746 Posts
Good FAQ, except you're incorrect about ALL GPU's being SLI capable since the 6-series. Particular low end models (ie. 7300LE/SE/GS) are incapable of SLI and some low-mid range models are only capable of software SLI, which blows.

Just a little thing to add
Good overall though!
 

·
Power Squid
Joined
·
9,609 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Quote:

Originally Posted by MrBungle
well thought out. good one.
To be honest, I just thought that this section could do with something like this as these same questions keep cropping up.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kidwolf909 View Post
Good FAQ, except you're incorrect about ALL GPU's being SLI capable since the 6-series. Particular low end models (ie. 7300LE/SE/GS) are incapable of SLI and some low-mid range models are only capable of software SLI, which blows.

Just a little thing to add
Good overall though!
Sorry, I'll edit that, it does appear that a select few manufacturers don't implement SLi support on their own custom versions of the 7300GPU. An example would be the Asus EN7300TC. I got my original information from here.

I also plan to add information on running SLi on non-nForce chipset based motherboards with hacked drivers after I've researched the topic a little more.
 

·
Power Squid
Joined
·
9,609 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chipp View Post
Looks good, stuck!

Woot!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,097 Posts
nice i was always wondering if my card was sli ready. and for 64.99 for a brand new one im gonna get one and see how much it helps since i have a sli mobo. thanks man rep+
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,361 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by kidwolf909 View Post
Good FAQ, except you're incorrect about ALL GPU's being SLI capable since the 6-series. Particular low end models (ie. 7300LE/SE/GS) are incapable of SLI and some low-mid range models are only capable of software SLI, which blows.

Just a little thing to add
Good overall though!
7300's are capable of SLI.
 

·
Power Squid
Joined
·
9,609 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Updated thread title from "Info: What graphics cards can I use in SLi" to "Info: What graphics cards and motherboards can I use for SLi?"

This is just to alert people that the thread contains information relateing to what motherboards are compatible with SLi, along with what graphics cards. This is to try to avoid more redundant threads about running SLi on motherboards that don't use an nForce SLi chipset.
 

·
Power Squid
Joined
·
9,609 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Due to the recent hype over the 8800GT, there have been a number of SLi related questions being asked in the Nvidia section that are already answered in this stickie. With this in mind I requested a director to change the title once again to something less specific. Here's hopeing that member's will check here first before asking the same old questions that we've all seen before.

As always, if there's anything you're unsure of or can think of anything else that should be added here please PM me or post in this thread.
 

·
Power Squid
Joined
·
9,609 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Quote:

Originally Posted by Joshn View Post
nice guide mate, maybe add a section on using multiple monitors and stuff.
An excellent suggestion, I'll add that now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,360 Posts
Quote:


Originally Posted by t4ct1c47
View Post

An excellent suggestion, I'll add that now.


maybe also add that you can install a third gfx card (aslong as its not nvidia) to run the 2nd monitor off
. so that way you can run dual monitors because the nvidia drivers don't take control and disable the outputs.

if i was looking for sli faw this would be definitely usfull

maybe link this solution or something
 

·
Power Squid
Joined
·
9,609 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I'm bumping this as many new people need to read it.

Seriously fellas, it's at the very top of the Nvidia section. Why create a new thread asking a question that's answered here?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
does anyone know of a way to run dual monitors with two 8800 GTX's and a sound card as well? I've thought about the matrox 3 head signal splitter but i dont think it will do what i want it to do. I'm also not sure if i could even use a PCI card to run the second monitor do to how big the video cards are and the fact that i use an audio card as well. Does anyone know a way to do this?
 

·
Power Squid
Joined
·
9,609 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Quote:


Originally Posted by REAPING
View Post

does anyone know of a way to run dual monitors with two 8800 GTX's and a sound card as well? I've thought about the matrox 3 head signal splitter but i dont think it will do what i want it to do. I'm also not sure if i could even use a PCI card to run the second monitor do to how big the video cards are and the fact that i use an audio card as well. Does anyone know a way to do this?

There is information available on the net that shows how to use dual monitors with SLi enabled. Of course you need a spare third PCI card to do this. However, from what I've read most people seem to be saying that you need to use an ATI card, or any other non-Nvidia card so the Forceware drivers do not take control of it. As I have come across issues in the past when running ATI and Nvidia cards in the same system I wouldn't recommend doing this.

If you're still willing to give it a go you can find a brief guide at the nZone forums.

Alternatively you could create a script that will allow you to quickly enable and disable SLi. This will save you haveing to go into the Nvidia control panel each time.

SLi "hot swap" runtime code;

To create the script simply use notepad, or your favoured text editor, and copy and paste the below code into it.

Code:
Code:
Dim WshShell
Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

WshShell.Run("rundll32.exe nvcpl.dll,LaunchMultiGpuApplet")

WScript.Sleep(500)

WshShell.SendKeys("%E")
WshShell.SendKeys("{ENTER}")
WScript.Sleep(500)
WshShell.SendKeys("{ENTER}")

WScript.Quit(0)
Be sure to change the file type drop down box from .txt to All Files, and save the file as "SwitchSLI.vbs". Once the script is created you can simply run it each time you want to enable or disable SLi.

I will be adding a proper guide on dual monitor useage in SLi systems when I have more time to research the most effective way. I'll also be reformatting the opening post of this thread to make it a little more professional and easier to read.
 
1 - 20 of 126 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top