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SLi setup crashes (SLi newbie)

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by the_man550, Apr 24, 2010.

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  1. the_man550

    the_man550 Thread Starter

    Nov 30, 2007

    I just recently got myself another 8800gtx for a low price to run in SLi. It's the first time I attempt to run SLi. I bought the new card 2nd hand, and received a bunch of dust with a little graphics card here and there. I believe there was fur from half a cat in there as well.
    Removed the worst by blowing, installed. Temperatures horrible, not stable in ATiTool for more than 30 seconds.
    I go rambo, remove the stock cooler to check the thermal paste, find some kind of old spider web (VERY dry thermal paste). I add some of my brand new paste, blow the dust out from the heat sink and yet again install. Yipie, temperatures down almost 15 degrees, stable in ATiTool for at least 25 minutes (figured it was stable by then). I've even tried running a combo of FurMark+ATiTool which stress the card as far as it gets. Load temps are rather high, lower 80s, but it still runs stable. Normal load temps (gaming) are higher 60s, idle 50.
    What I wrote above was meant to say that I believe the reason for the instability I'm noticing with my SLi setup is not hardware related, or at any rate not by GPU instability.

    The first card is a BFG 8800GTX OC2, newly received after a RMA. Second card is a MSI NX8800. Both are factory overclocked, however I've put them down to stock for now until I get SLi working. Accomplished through software overclocking.
    They run different bios versions, but from what I've heard and what Nvidia states that doesn't matter.
    Please note that the only card I'm willing to experiment with is the MSI one, as I still have lifetime warranty on the BFG which I intend to keep.

    Now, finally the problems.
    I can boot up just fine. Both GPU-z and Nvidia control panel says that SLi is activated. Stress tests work fine, albeit only stress a single GPU (the MSI one, topmost). Anyone know how to stress both?
    Anyhow, as soon as I do anything SLi related (gaming) I get artifacts and then immediately crash. I sometimes don't even get artifacts. By crash I mean total system lockup. If I wait about a minute, a popup appears which states that the Nvidia driver has been deactivated and that I should restart the computer. Once in a while the games might be stable for up to a minute, but it eventually crashes. Most of the time I can't even get through the menu before the above mentioned symptoms start to appear. The few, short times it does work, my performance is fabulous.

    I greatly appreciate any input, and I'm sorry that this post became so long.

    Thank you!
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