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Thread: Switching to SLi

  1. #1

    Switching to SLi

    I plan to switch to SLi this weekend and am looking for help/advice to make the process go smoothly.

    I currently have 1 superclocked EVGA 260, have another to join it!

    The mobo is an ASUS p5n-d.

    Any suggestions that I need to be aware of (it's my first attempt with SLi).

    Also, I'm interested in doing a test on the performance of the single card vs. the SLi installation ... any suggestions on what to use?

    TIA! :mrgreen:

  2. #2
    Master Modder Tazz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Switching to SLi

    Stepping up eh?

    Well. Installation is pretty straight forward. You're already running the one 260. So pretty much power down the system and physically turn the switch off at the back of the PSU (if it doesn't have one then pull the plug from it). Make sure the power has drained from the system (LEDs on board should go out after a few seconds).

    Seeing that you have been running this setup for a good bit as is. I would recommend (doesn't have to be done) that you pull your existing card and blow out the fan and heatsink with some canned air. Introducing a second card for SLI is going to elevate your temperatures at the cards and in the system a little bit. Taking this precaution might alleviate any heat issues right off the bat. Once you have done that, install it back in the same slot.

    You will need to make sure to pull out your mobo manual (or grab it from Asus's site). Make sure there isn't a jumper that needs to be set (shouldn't be on that board).

    Install your second card in the black PCI-E slot and then route your PCI-E cables for the card. Once the card is seated and power is connected. You might want to go ahead and clean your case fans as well. I generally blow it all out whenever I pull a rig down.

    If all is good, reconnect the power cord to the PSU (or flip the switch on if yours has it). Boot the system. Once it loads Windows it should pick up the new card (installing devices) and install the same drivers your current card uses.

    After the driver is installed, see if it gives you a popup stating that you have a SLI capable system. If it doesn't, do a quick reboot and see if it comes up this time. I have had it not show up at all. None the less once the card is in and the system is booted, the drivers are installed. Go to the Nvida Control panel and you should have a new option on the left side stating something like "enable SLI" (can't recall exactly. Click it and on the right you should have the option to enable or disable SLI.

    Doing tests can be done at anytime in either mode. Generally I run all my non-SLI tests before installing the 2nd card. But you can disable SLI on the go now (not needing a reboot) so its no big deal either way. If you want the standard benchmarks then you can give 3DMarks Vantage a go. You can also do bencmarks in most of the games today. Benchmarking in games really depends on the specific game.

  3. #3

    Switching to SLi

    depending on the game you should be averaging a 50% boost to all your benchmarks.
    just dont expect it to be doubled.. it wont happen.. ever.

  4. #4

    Switching to SLi

    Thanks for the response guys! :mrgreen:

    But i have 1 more n00bish question:

    My new card has a slightly higher clock spped than the present card. Do i put it in the primary slot or just leave it in the SLi slot, or does it make a difference?

    I kinda remember somewhere/sometime ago that depending on where a faster card was placed mattered? :?

  5. #5
    Master Modder Tazz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Switching to SLi

    That depends on if your old card is capable of running the same clocks. In general you want to put the lower clocked card in the primary slot so it down clocks the faster card. If you know your old card will run the same numbers then putting the higher clocked card in the primary shouldnt be a problem.

  6. #6

    Switching to SLi

    So how did it go Fluffy?

    I've been running my 2 BFG8800 GT OC's in SLI for a little over a year now and I've yet to have any difficulties with any games operating properly (from a GPU standpoint). Crysis? No Sweat! L4D1, simple! Batman Arkham Asylum, easy as pie! L4D2, eazy peazy lemon squeezy! Yes I stole that from Geico. Sins of a Solar Empire, boring game but ran great.
    You also get to add PhysX which may or may not be tied in to CUDA? My 2nd driver update showed both CUDA and PhysX seperately as well as SLI but now it's only SLI and PhysX so it could be integrated now? Either way they run great for me.

    I have been eyeing up the newer ATI's though . If I upgraded I'd probably just get something (1) in the 5800 (?) series. As big a leap as ATI has allegedly made over nVIDIA I don't see (ATI) Crossfire being useful let alone a necessity.

  7. #7

    Switching to SLi

    It went fabulous!

    I had a bit of a panic attack when i relized that the two cards were different in thickness, but It eventually worked out and seems to be going well! :mrgreen:

  8. #8
    Clear Coat
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Switching to SLi

    Random (kinda) off topic comment -- the new radeon seem to be scaling closer to the true double performance in crossfire... At least in the 5700 sector.

  9. #9
    Administrator crowTrobot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Switching to SLi

    There is that MSI Big Bang motherboard coming with the lucid Hydra chip for crossfire/sli hybrid setup. I wonder how effective that would be. Last I heard they are having problems with Win 7 drivers so delayed the launch until early next year.

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