SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use, for this mobo?

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SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use, for this mobo?

Postby 386_junkie » 2018-4-15 @ 11:10

In sorting some of my projects... I have one that is a bit far flung for me and I'm on the fence if I'm going to have a go and execute it myself or pass it on for someone else to have a chance.

As said, it is a bit far flung and outwith my normal scope... I tend only to fumble around with 386 / 486 hardware, though this system is a PCI-E system.

My question though is this...

if you could choose to have two PCI-E graphics cards running SLI on the below motherboard... which two would it be? ... and why?


EDIT (15/04/18)

Didn't realise there may be limitations to the graphics cards able to run on the system. The motherboard is a GA-K8N Pro-SLI shown below: -
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Re: SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use!?

Postby BinaryDemon » 2018-4-15 @ 14:44

Seems like a super vague question, I'd would want to know more about the motherboard and possible CPU's it would be running with so as not so suggest something extremely out of balance.

BUt here's some ideas:

Cheap, common config, slightly retro: 2x 9800GT's. Evga recently had it's Bstock 9800GT's on sale for $18 FS, and if history is any indicator will likely do it again this Wednesday.

Interesting: 2 Quadro's that support SLI and have an unusually memory configuration. Some examples: FX5500 (1gb 7900gtx) FX5600 (1.5gb 8800gtx), FX5800 (4gb GTX285), I could keep going but cost is increasing. You get the idea.

Cheap and modern: 2x GTX460. This combo is cheap and will get you DX12 support, although I doubt it would play any DX12 game with acceptable framerates.
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Re: SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use!?

Postby meljor » 2018-4-15 @ 21:14

2x dual cards for quad sli.
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asus p5a, k6-3+ @ 550mhz, voodoo2 12mb sli, gf2 gts, awe32
asus p3b-f, p3-700, voodoo3 3500TV agp, awe64
asus tusl2-c, p3-S 1,4ghz, voodoo5 5500, live!
asus a7n8x DL, barton cpu, 6800ultra, Voodoo3 pci, audigy1
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Re: SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use!?

Postby squiggly » 2018-4-15 @ 21:26

If you could have ANY two cards why wouldn't you just get the latest and greatest? What are you limited by?
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Re: SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use!?

Postby 386_junkie » 2018-4-15 @ 22:38

Hey guys,

Excuse my ignorance... PCI-e is new technology to me.

The motherboard the system is using is a GA-K8N Pro-SLI: -

https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA ... -rev-10#ov

From the manufacturers site: -

"NVIDIA nForce4 SLI offer blistering graphics performance with the ability to bridge two NVIDIA SLI-ready PCI Express™ graphics cards! The SLI design takes advantage of the increased bandwidth of the PCI Express™ bus architecture, features hardware and software innovations within NVIDIA GPU (graphics processing unit) and the NVIDIA nForce4 chipset.
"

Any idea's as to which PCI-e cards would best be paired together? I assume they both have to be the same as each other.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use, for this mobo?

Postby squiggly » 2018-4-15 @ 23:12

Define "best".
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Re: SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use, for this mobo?

Postby 386_junkie » 2018-4-15 @ 23:42

squiggly wrote:Define "best".

Compatible with, and the ability to take full advantage of the motherboard SLI feature... the end result, maximising the performance increase from the upgrade.
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Re: SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use, for this mobo?

Postby BinaryDemon » 2018-4-15 @ 23:51

What’s your goal? Gonna build something period specific? Honestly SLI wont get you the best performance, an Athlon X2 4800 is going to bottleneck anything moderately powerful. In this case a single semi-modern card would result in the best performance, SLI just adds additional overhead. But if it’s just for fun I think SLI 9800gt’s would work well.
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Re: SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use, for this mobo?

Postby cyclone3d » 2018-4-16 @ 05:45

You could always get something like a Radeon 4870 and a Nvidia 9800GTX+/GTS250.

Run them side by side and you could have a hybrid PhysX setup.

What OS are you planning on running? What games do you want to play with this setup?
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Re: SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use, for this mobo?

Postby dr_st » 2018-4-16 @ 08:21

BinaryDemon wrote:What’s your goal? Gonna build something period specific? Honestly SLI wont get you the best performance, an Athlon X2 4800 is going to bottleneck anything moderately powerful. In this case a single semi-modern card would result in the best performance, SLI just adds additional overhead. But if it’s just for fun I think SLI 9800gt’s would work well.

^^^This

SLI is only useful in the following situations:

* To get the absolute best performance from top-of-the-line hardware, where even the fastest single GPU is not enough
* If you purchased a specific GPU at a time (due to budget constraints) and now want to upgrade the performance of the existing setup (for example you can get another GPU of the same type cheaply)

In all other cases, it is better to just get a single, more powerful card.
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Re: SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use, for this mobo?

Postby 386_junkie » 2018-4-16 @ 11:00

BinaryDemon wrote:What’s your goal? Gonna build something period specific? Honestly SLI wont get you the best performance, an Athlon X2 4800 is going to bottleneck anything moderately powerful.


I have a system... the goal was to upgrade it to it's limits.

With Socket 939, pulled from Tom's Hardware, it seems these are the two best CPU's: -

-AMD Athlon FX-60 Dual Core @ 2.6Ghz
-AMD Opteron 185 Dual Core @ 2.6Ghz (best Overclocker @ ~3.2ghz)

Assume the system has either of these, would you still say the CPU will be a bottleneck for anything moderately powerful?

Thanks
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Re: SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use, for this mobo?

Postby 386_junkie » 2018-4-16 @ 11:02

cyclone3d wrote:What OS are you planning on running? What games do you want to play with this setup?


Which OS is period specific?

The only game I had in mind, for now... (and asuming I even had time to play it) would be Fallout 3 / New Vegas.



dr_st wrote:SLI is only useful in the following situations:

* To get the absolute best performance from top-of-the-line hardware, where even the fastest single GPU is not enough
* If you purchased a specific GPU at a time (due to budget constraints) and now want to upgrade the performance of the existing setup (for example you can get another GPU of the same type cheaply)

In all other cases, it is better to just get a single, more powerful card.


Ok, I didn't realise the system itself may not be top-of-the-line regards to PCI-e.

What i'm trying to ascertain is... with a Socket 939 system, with the fastest CPU available to it, where in the range of PCI-e cards would suit best? ... would the system support more a mediocre PCI-e card, or would it be able to support a high end PCI-e card?

Thanks
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Re: SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use, for this mobo?

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2018-4-16 @ 11:32

Authentically best option would be Quadro FX 4400 SLI (GeForce 6800 Ultra 512mb) or Quadro FX 4500 SLI (GeForce 7800 GTX 512mb).
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Re: SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use, for this mobo?

Postby dr_st » 2018-4-16 @ 11:50

386_junkie wrote:Ok, I didn't realise the system itself may not be top-of-the-line regards to PCI-e.
You're missing the point.

What's the most powerful GPU today? Say it's the GTX 1080 Ti? Well, if you want performance on a level beyond what a single 1080 Ti can provide, you buy two (maybe even three) and put them in a SLI setup. This gives you the absolute best performance, assuming the rest of the system will not bottleneck them.

As soon as you leave the bleeding edge - SLI loses its value. For example, suppose a GTX 1080 is about twice the performance of a GTX 1060? Well, in most practical cases (there may exist some corner situations), it's better to just get a single GTX 1080 than a pair of GTX 1060 in SLI.

Unless it's like my other example - you bought a GTX 1060 because you didn't want to pay for a 1080, then 1-2 years later you feel like upgrading performance, and can get another 1060 cheaper than an 1080 (obviously) and don't want to bother with swapping out and selling your existing card.

That's it. Setting up SLI for an older platform has little practical value - it's only for the fun of experiencing something different.

386_junkie wrote:What i'm trying to ascertain is... with a Socket 939 system, with the fastest CPU available to it, where in the range of PCI-e cards would suit best? ... would the system support more a mediocre PCI-e card, or would it be able to support a high end PCI-e card?
You are talking about a 12-year old platform, whether the fastest CPU is an outdated-arch dual-core, yes? Obviously the current top-of-the-line cards will be severely bottlenecked. Heck, you are talking about PCIe 1.0, whereas today's platforms are PCIe 3.0 (4 times faster bus).

So if you really want SLI for the fun of it, something retro, almost period-correct and inexpensive is perhaps the 9800GT that BinaryDemon suggested, or one of the Quadro setups suggested by The Serpent Rider.
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Re: SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use, for this mobo?

Postby Srandista » 2018-4-16 @ 13:15

dr_st wrote:As soon as you leave the bleeding edge - SLI loses its value. For example, suppose a GTX 1080 is about twice the performance of a GTX 1060? Well, in most practical cases (there may exist some corner situations), it's better to just get a single GTX 1080 than a pair of GTX 1060 in SLI.

Unless it's like my other example - you bought a GTX 1060 because you didn't want to pay for a 1080, then 1-2 years later you feel like upgrading performance, and can get another 1060 cheaper than an 1080 (obviously) and don't want to bother with swapping out and selling your existing card.

You're right, just one technical note. 1060 is not SLI compatible ;) Today you have to use 1070 or higher tier cards.

dr_st wrote:That's it. Setting up SLI for an older platform has little practical value - it's only for the fun of experiencing something different.

Well, I wouldn't necessarily agree. The thing is, back then, SLI/CF was hugely popular, both companies was investing into it in multiple ways (releasing cards with 2 chips on board, dealing with issues like microstutter, often updating drivers or separate profiles for multiGPU configurations), and people were using them quite often. Today, SLI/CF is pretty much dead, Nvidia is not even supporting SLI on 1060 and below cards, also they're not supporting more then 2 cards in SLI and so on.

If 386_junkie want to experience SLI/CF first hand, go on, it was interesting times back then. I also plan to put 2 cards into my next build, just for fun, just waiting on motherboard with 2 full fat PCIe x16 slots. And most likely I will have to buy new PSU, because cards back then wasn't really that power efficient like today, and with 2 of them in rig... Well you just don't want to use some crappy 350W PSU, unless you want to see some fireworks :)
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Re: SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use, for this mobo?

Postby 386_junkie » 2018-4-16 @ 14:33

dr_st wrote:
386_junkie wrote:Ok, I didn't realise the system itself may not be top-of-the-line regards to PCI-e.
You're missing the point.

I did say to excuse my ignorance with this technology.

I understand bottlenecks... maybe I didn't communicate well enough that I understand the system has limitations, but rather what would give the best graphics solution before the rest of the system became the bottleneck.

dr_st wrote:Setting up SLI for an older platform has little practical value - it's only for the fun of experiencing something different.

Of all the threads written... in this entire Vogons forum, how many of these computer systems truly serve any practical value?

Is there any practical value to build or restore a 486?


dr_st wrote:You are talking about a 12-year old platform, whether the fastest CPU is an outdated-arch dual-core, yes? Obviously the current top-of-the-line cards will be severely bottlenecked. Heck, you are talking about PCIe 1.0, whereas today's platforms are PCIe 3.0 (4 times faster bus).

I usually only talk about 28-year old platforms (386's)... this is the most modern system I have, very high end and top-of-the-line for me! :D

Outdated - very much so
dual-core - yes
bottlenecked - obviously


dr_st wrote:So if you really want SLI for the fun of it, something retro, almost period-correct and inexpensive is perhaps the 9800GT that BinaryDemon suggested, or one of the Quadro setups suggested by The Serpent Rider.

I did not mean to cause trouble... only to find this answer.

It is appreciated, thank you.
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Re: SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use, for this mobo?

Postby agent_x007 » 2018-4-16 @ 15:58

GTX 1060 doesn't support SLI (DX12 PCI-e multi GPU support is needed for it).

If you want good SLI for this platform, I recommend 2x GTS 450 or 2x GTX 650 (Ti).

Why :
1) Power usage and GPU temps are non-issue (single 6-pin since those are low TDP cards)
2) Best from cheapest longevity (8800/9800 a.k.a. "bakin' adventures 101")
3) Good performance with FX-60/Opteron 185 (even stock)
4) Win XP compatible (900 series and later aren't)
5) Available in single slot design
6) DirectX 12 support (you will need a bit more modern platform however, since Socket 939 doesn't support DX12/Windows 10)

Regardless, just like other said - single GPU will be better.
You don't need the exact same card for SLI to work.
Simply get two of the same model with the same clock* speeds.
*If you can't you can mod vBIOS of one of the card to change default clocks.
I'm not sure if NV driver can do it for you...
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Re: SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use, for this mobo?

Postby dr_st » 2018-4-16 @ 17:21

Srandista wrote:Well, I wouldn't necessarily agree. The thing is, back then, SLI/CF was hugely popular, both companies was investing into it in multiple ways (releasing cards with 2 chips on board, dealing with issues like microstutter, often updating drivers or separate profiles for multiGPU configurations), and people were using them quite often. Today, SLI/CF is pretty much dead, Nvidia is not even supporting SLI on 1060 and below cards, also they're not supporting more then 2 cards in SLI and so on.
Well, obviously I haven't been keeping track of the developments. :) That does, sorta, prove the point - there is little practical (ugh, I'm getting tired of this word) value in supporting SLI/CF in mid-range GPUs, since a single, twice-as-powerful GPU, gives you the same performance, without having to deal with micro-stutter, special optimizations, profiles and other stuff like this, which serves to complicate the already complicated video drivers.
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Re: SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use, for this mobo?

Postby candle_86 » 2018-4-16 @ 17:26

To give you an idea, i ran some tests and I can rerun them and catalog what I was seeing, but on my 939 rig (x2 4200 @ 2.5), I went from a single 7900GTX to SLI 7900GTX and it saw a boost, i then inserted an 8800GT and scores went down in some games by 5-8% thats fine, I then added my 2nd 8800GT and scores increased to at most 2-3% faster than the 7900GTX Sli, same story when I inserted a GTX280, it preformed the same as the 8800GT SLI setup. This was tested at 12x10 and 1080p, the old 939 just isn't strong enough to really do SLI 7900GTX or a single 8800GT
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Re: SLI PCI-e... which 2 cards would you use, for this mobo?

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2018-4-16 @ 19:17

Old SLI and Crossfire are at least interesting to tinker with. They are not limited to AFR only modes like GeForce 8800+ / Radeon 2900+.
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