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Author Topic: 8600GT SLI based system Q's  (Read 12566 times)

Totenkampf

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8600GT SLI based system Q's
« on: October 31, 2007, 12:05:47 PM »

Hello, I haven't upgraded in a while and wanted to get a good bang-for-the-buck system so I did a little research (too little) and bought an AMD XP X2 6000+ CPU / Gigabyte 570-SLI Mobo / 2GB DDR2-800 CAS4 RAM / 2x EVGA GeForce 8600GT / 512MB GDDR2.  I intended to run the video in SLI and hoped it would be a good value system, but my performance sucks pretty badly, like less than 4k on 3DMark06 on a system with a Seagate STA2 3GB/s HDD and Vista Ultimate x65 installed.  I have seen similar systems on the Futuremark site which are posting around 9k (with 4GB RAM on Vista).  I was hoping someone had feel for a few things and could help a brudda out:
   I am using my old PSU which was a top notch (in 2003) Vantec Stealth 420w, could this be too little juice?  I have read too little power may cause the GPUs to ramp down?  If so, how much wattage / brand PSU would you recommend for a system like this with two GPU cards and two optical as well as SATA 2 HDD?
   I am using onboard audio, I know 3DMark doesn't use sound so that's not a problem with regard to my low scores, but would a dedicated card still be a good idea?  SB X-Fi a good low budget choice?
   The 8600GTs I have don't even have a SLI connecter on board for the bridge, so I am wondering if these are ramped up 8500s.  I intend to bitch to the place I bought them from and see if they will take em back for possibly a single 8800GT / 512MB GDDR3 and the difference in cash, is this new card the sweet spot for SLI performance right now?  Is the 40 bucks price difference from the base 600mhz to the 700mhz SSC worth it?
   Is Vista Ultimate x64 the way to go or should I blow this away and reinstall XP Pro?
   I don't intend to OC, are the stock CPU fans for AMD sufficient since the things pretty robust?
   I was having problems with the SLI enable button disappearing when I installed the newest GeForce drivers, but I also had the EasyTune utility installed.  I ramped back and unistalled ET and they came back, anyone else have this problem?  Is it safe to install 7.15.11.6375 for SLI?
I haven't gamed in a while and Company of Heroes literally melted my RAdeon 9700 Pro down when I tried to play it at 1600 x 1200 with med detail, lol!

Antec SOHO Tower with Vantec Stealth 420w PSU
AMD Athlon XP2 6000+ Windsor CPU
Gigabyte 570-SLI (GA-M57SLI-S4) Mobo
2x 1GB G.Skill PC6400 CAS4 RAM
2x EVGA 8600GT 512MB GDDR2 in SLI (I think)
On Board Sound
Seagate ST3250410AS SATA2 3 Gb/s HDD
Vista Ultimate x64
ALL Stock Speeds, no OC

GeForce Driver 7.15.11.5824
3DMark Score 3930

TIA, Jeff
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urgannagru

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Re: 8600GT SLI based system Q's
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2007, 01:03:29 PM »

that is strange, my 8600s definitely had a place for the connector bridge, and it works great. good luck on getting them refunded.

i use vista 64 and im loving it and hating it at the same time. if you never plan on buying another operating system until you get another computer, then someday dx10 support might make vista worth it. for now, dx10 does absolutely nothing as far as i can tell, and youre probably just as well off with xp. when i get home i will hopefully remember to benchmark my vista64 system and see how it does comparatively.

stock cpu fans arent as much of a joke these days as they used to be (though i still prefer aftermarket). if you buy the right one you can get the thing nearly silent, even on air.

my SLI stuff works fine, i just have the drivers, im not sure what ET is/does.

PS: I keep aero turned off. that will of course make a huge difference in performance.
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Totenkampf

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Re: 8600GT SLI based system Q's
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2007, 03:25:29 PM »

urgannagru, i almost wonder if my cards are repackaged 8500s since that and the 7200s dont use the bridge connector and instead bridge thru the mobo (as I have been told).  I would love to see your 3dMark06 scores to compare if your rig is similar.  What nVidia driver are you using and how do you turn off aero whatever that is?  I would like to keep Vista and buy another 2GB of RAM if I can get decent performance from my system when I up to the 8800GT.  I am also wondering if I made a stupid mistake by trying to save money on my mobo, i may consider a newer one if there are any good suggestions.
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urgannagru

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Re: 8600GT SLI based system Q's
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2007, 03:42:06 PM »

well my system is core2duo instead of amd (though admittedly i would have liked to go the other way) and is only 1.8ghz, but i'll post stuff when i get home (im still at work right now).

i just have whatever the most recent drivers are for the 8 series, official and downloaded from nvidia.com rather than from the manufacturer. i dont know the number offhand. (one of my MMOs that i play has a message that my drivers are out of date whenever they are, so i update then)

http://vistafaqs.com/viewfaq.aspx?faq=88
that isn't how i turned off aero, but im guessing its just as effective and quicker.

if you do go with 4gb ram, you need to run a 64bit os anyways.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2007, 03:44:35 PM by urgannagru »
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Totenkampf

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Re: 8600GT SLI based system Q's
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2007, 10:25:29 AM »

3dmark not in SLI
4339
in SLI
7004
forceware version 163.69

Wow, your system is killing mine, is my CPU supposed to be faster?  My CPUScore in 3DMark was 2137.  I must have something going on wrong.  Should turning Aero off affect the 3DMArk scores that drastically?  I think my card is a real dog among 8600GTs and it does have GDDR2 (athough 512mb of it).  One main question, how are you turning SLI on/off?  I installed the drivers that came with my card (158.24) and I can go to the nVidia Control Panel and select SLI enabled.  I have upgraded the driver to 163.69 three times and every time I do this, the SLI enabled part of the menu in the control panel disappears.  Device Manager shows two cards (although it shows the second one to be PCIe-8) but I have no way of assuring myself that SLI is enabled.  My FPS gets cut in half as well ( ~8fps on return to proxycon)
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urgannagru

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Re: 8600GT SLI based system Q's
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2007, 03:18:15 PM »

I just turn on SLI like you said in the nvidia control panel. I haven't had any issues so far. Your CPU should be much faster than mine I believe.

I don't know that vista's aero interface would have that huge of a difference, but i do remember reading somewhere that it (with dx10) offloads some of the desktop features to the GPU. My motherboard runs them at pcie-8 when in SLI, so the performance gain isn't coming from that either.

The only thing that I can think of is that my ram is 1066 (PC8500) which is a faster frequency and might allow the entire system to run at that speed (i think if you have ram that runs slower than the CPU / system bus then it slows the system down a bit, at least that is my limited understanding on the subject)
I would get confirmation on that before buying anything though, since I'm not 100% sure
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