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Thread: SLI Compatability Question

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    SLI Compatability Question

    Well I just purchased a GIGABYTE K8NXP-SLI and 1 XFX GEFORCE 6800 GT, I was planning on later on possibly getting another 6800 card. well i haven't even recived the merchandise (ground shipping) but I happened upon the cash to buy another 6800 and probably wont get another chance for along time so..... anyway my question is this, does it matter what brand or what features a card has to make it compatable or will any brand of 6800 gt work with another? I know this is a stupid reason but with the price of these things I would like to get all the perks and that includes different software bundles (why do I need 2 copies of the same stuff)

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    It's recommended that you buy two cards of the same make, model and revision as SLi relies on the cards being exactly in sync with each other and any differences can prevent it from working correctly, so yes you'd be better off buying now really

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    Yes. Load balancing is critical and if the cards are not close enough in functionality even the same make and model card can cause problems.

    After having tested many SLI rigs I've determined that they are nice toys but really not worth the money. There is nothing that runs on an SLI rig that won't run on an X850 XT PE or 6800 Ultra just as well. Why pay the extra electricity and introduce all that extra heat into your case? Why torture your PSU?

    Looks pretty darn neat but it's not very sensible, especially when you consider all of the slots the things take up.

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    Prize winning member. rajagra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StormPC
    There is nothing that runs on an SLI rig that won't run on an X850 XT PE or 6800 Ultra just as well.
    Unless, of course, the SLI rig uses 2 6800 Ultras!

    EDIT> Oh yeah, flexibility. 2 dual-DVI cards = 4 monitors.
    Last edited by rajagra; 17-03-2005 at 05:09 PM.
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    plus you get the additional flexibility offered by SLI.

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    Which flexibility would that be? Not being able to use any of your PCI slots for expansion or being forced to power your PC with a tiny nuclear reactor? Sounds REAL flexible!

    Most SLI rigs struggle to outbench my old X800 XT PE. In fact, most SLI rigs are only useful in DX9 games. Even then the X850 XT PE comes close and in some case whips up on a pair of 6800 Ultras pretty good.

    SLI is not worth the realestate it occupies at present which is why everybody is moving to SLI on a single card. Then it may become practical. Right now it's just weird and cool. Not very useful.

    How many sets of eyes do you have that a single monitor is not enough?

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    Quote Originally Posted by StormPC
    Most SLI rigs struggle to outbench my old X800 XT PE. In fact, most SLI rigs are only useful in DX9 games. Even then the X850 XT PE comes close and in some case whips up on a pair of 6800 Ultras pretty good.
    Only an extra 5000 3dmarks in 05 eh? not much difference, no...

    How many sets of eyes do you have that a single monitor is not enough?
    Use multiple monitors, then you can talk. 2 monitors is VERY useful, much better than one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StormPC
    Which flexibility would that be? Not being able to use any of your PCI slots for expansion or being forced to power your PC with a tiny nuclear reactor?
    Nuclear fission should be encouraged within the home environment so I see this as a great plus point.

    Quote Originally Posted by StormPC
    How many sets of eyes do you have that a single monitor is not enough?
    I currently use two sets of eyes, first set as primary and the second slaved for tricky peeking around corner applications. Until you have tried multiple eyes I would suggest that you calm down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Butcher
    Only an extra 5000 3dmarks in 05 eh? not much difference, no...


    Use multiple monitors, then you can talk. 2 monitors is VERY useful, much better than one.
    You can't beat an aircooled X800XT by 5000 points in 3DMark2005 without some serious cheating/LOD tweaks. I doubt you could beat a single 6800GT aircooled score by 5000. I'm still waiting for your compare. Why have you not posted it?

    Multiple monitors are used for two purposes basically. To make up for the fact that your monitor is too small to display all of the information you need to at one time so you wish to double the width capability. In this case a larger monitor is much preferred to two smaller ones. They are also used to run multiple programs with outputs to seperate screens. This can be done much better with two or more computers, not just two monitors but two of everything. I don't use two monitors, I use 6. Only one per computer though because that's all I need. Since I can only "monitor" one at a time myself all it really does is save me having to use a switch to switch between computer systems. Does this qualify as using multiple monitors?
    Last edited by StormPC; 21-03-2005 at 01:03 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StormPC
    Multiple monitors are used for two purposes basically. To make up for the fact that your monitor is too small to display all of the information you need to at one time so you wish to double the width capability. In this case a larger monitor is much preferred to two smaller ones.
    There are times when you need several programs on screen at once. For example I once had the dreadful task of keeping records of web-based problem tickets by copying the data into Excel. With 2 displays it was easy. Web page on one screen, Excel on the other. Highlight all the text, drag and drop.
    But with a single screen it was beyond a nightmare, it was near impossible. Just highlighting the desired text was a chore, you had to click the start point, then drag down and hope the auto scrolling didn't overshoot. Then drag the text into the other window - which I had to have previously positioned properly, if not I'd have to start again.
    What took me 3 seconds with dual screens took at least 30 seconds with one screen. And I had to do hundreds of these things.
    So the need for more screen area is real enough. You are of course right to say that one larger monitor is much preferred to two smaller ones. But 2 large monitors are more preferable still. And some people do genuinely need them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rajagra
    There are times when you need several programs on screen at once. For example I once had the dreadful task of keeping records of web-based problem tickets by copying the data into Excel. With 2 displays it was easy. Web page on one screen, Excel on the other. Highlight all the text, drag and drop.
    But with a single screen it was beyond a nightmare, it was near impossible. Just highlighting the desired text was a chore, you had to click the start point, then drag down and hope the auto scrolling didn't overshoot. Then drag the text into the other window - which I had to have previously positioned properly, if not I'd have to start again.
    What took me 3 seconds with dual screens took at least 30 seconds with one screen. And I had to do hundreds of these things.
    So the need for more screen area is real enough. You are of course right to say that one larger monitor is much preferred to two smaller ones. But 2 large monitors are more preferable still. And some people do genuinely need them.
    Fair enough I suppose, but few people would actually benefit from having more than one monitor rather than a single larger one. TV production is another case where it could be desirable, but again this is a very specialized application and often requires many monitors and extensive inboard and outboard hardware. Amiga and Mac toasters come to mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StormPC
    Fair enough I suppose, but few people would actually benefit from having more than one monitor rather than a single larger one.
    True. With 2 screens it can be a real pain forcing the system to work exactly the way you want (e.g. maximising a window, does it fill one screen or both?) you can do it, but there's usually some compromise that has to be made. It can be surprisingly annoying.
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    Quote Originally Posted by StormPC
    How many sets of eyes do you have that a single monitor is not enough?
    I'm new here & insufficiently qualified to take the pee but I can think of a couple of situations where 2 is better than 1. Autocad springs to mind and flightsims another, 1 as external view another as cockpit. I have only one set of eyes but they can scan faster than I can hit the K/B to change view and back again.
    I think you've missed the point though, I can run 2 monitors even with my ageing TI4200 (soon to be upgraded) but, unless I have got it seriously wrong, SLI for me is about buying an affordable card now e.g. 6600GT and later adding another when I kill my wife and claim the insurance, or whatever.
    Also, do you have an addiction to the smiley? I am sure you are a very nice person but it just makes you seem pompous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rajagra
    True. With 2 screens it can be a real pain forcing the system to work exactly the way you want (e.g. maximising a window, does it fill one screen or both?) you can do it, but there's usually some compromise that has to be made. It can be surprisingly annoying.
    I've noticed ATIs drivers seem to handle it much better than nvidia's...

    Also i'd like to point out that SLi currently does not support multiple monitors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Butcher
    Also i'd like to point out that SLi currently does not support multiple monitors.
    (Does quick check.) Hey, looks like you're right. I have to disable SLI and reboot to get multiple monitors. At least you don't have to open up the case, but it's still a shame. I wonder if you do need to move the SLI jumpers to get all 4 screens running?
    I can live with one 2405 per PC tbh.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rajagra
    (Does quick check.) Hey, looks like you're right. I have to disable SLI and reboot to get multiple monitors. At least you don't have to open up the case, but it's still a shame. I wonder if you do need to move the SLI jumpers to get all 4 screens running?
    I can live with one 2405 per PC tbh.
    Oh that is soooo NOT COOL! I have just put together my new watercooled rig, with a lovely Lan Party NF4 SLI-D MoBo with a Gainward 2600pcx Ultra Gfx card in there, and I had planned to have 3 screens when I eventually get another ultra card. (Yes, the more desktop realestate the better!!, just for monitoring temps on the other screen while you play games is reason enough for me!) It makes logical sense to me though, if the cards are linked together to produce one image on one screen, you cant expect to have 4 displays. It would be nice to think a "cmos save" or whatever they're calling it could allow fast switching with different bios settings, but from my few quick glances at the manual, I think the jumpers will need changing every time you want/don't want SLI. However, these cards support dual displays each, so I'm thinking perhaps even in SLI mode you could have 2 displays, perhaps as a single virtual screen?
    Also, the jumpers themselves only reassign the pipelines on the PCI bus, in SLI you'd have x8 & x8 or in single card mode, x16 & x2.. So, leaving the jumpers set to sli, and removing the sli bridge should be a quick way to get multi monitors working?

    p.s, nice forums, just joined
    Last edited by McGreggor; 27-03-2005 at 08:34 AM.

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