FAQ "Will these two cards work in SLI?" SLI: What works with what?
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[size="4"][color="#9acd32"][b][u][img]http://i47.tinypic.com/5x38e1.png[/img][/u][/b][/color][/size] Hello and welcome to the NVIDIA Forums! The purpose of this guide is to clarify the requirements needed for two or more NVIDIA GPUs to work together in SLI mode. There is often much confusion and misinformation on the topic. I have tried to be a clear and straight forward as I can be, so if anything does not make total sense to you and you still require assistance or advice with figuring out if your planned SLI configuration will work correctly, please do not hesitate to create a new thread and ask. If you wish to learn more about how SLI works, please check out Exitos's amazing guide: [url="https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/532913/nvidia-sli-technology-a-canine-39-s-guide/"]NVIDIA SLI Technology: A Canine's Guide[/url] - [u]Quick Definitions[/u][color="#9acd32"][u] [/u][/color]--"SLI" or "2-way SLI" is the name of a configuration using two individual nvidia graphics cards. EG 2x 8800GTX --"3-way SLI" is the name for a configuration that uses three individual nvidia graphics cards. EG 3x GTX275. You may also see it referenced as "Tri-SLI". --"4-way SLI" is the name for a configuration that uses four individual nvidia graphics cards. EG 4x GTX580 --"Multi-GPU" is for systems that use two identical GPUs on a single graphics card. EG GTX590 --"Quad-SLI" is for systems that use 2 individual graphics cards that use "Multi-GPU" configurations. EG 2x GTX590 [color="#9ACD32"][b] [/b][/color] [img]http://i48.tinypic.com/148di4z.png[/img] [color="#9acd32"]- [u]Two or more SLI capable GPUs[/u][/color] [i](These are easily spotted by the SLI connector(s) on the top of the card, where the SLI bridge connects.)[/i] [i] [/i]-- 8 Series: 8500GT or better -- 9 Series: 9500GT or better -- 200 Series: GTS250 or better -- 300 Series: OEM Only -- 400 Series: GTS450 or better -- 500 Series: GT545 or better -- 600 Series: GTX650Ti or better -- 700 Series: Any (including GTX Titan) [i]Note: Although some cards in the 6 and 7 series can do SLI, these cards have been omitted due to age.[/i] [i]Note: GPUs with an AGP interface CANNOT use SLI. SLI is only possible on GPUs that use a PCI-e interface.[/i] [i]Note: Support for SLI may be unavailable on older cards (6 series, 7 series, lower 8 series) with newer driver sets.[/i] [color="#9acd32"]- [u]All graphics cards must have an identically named GPU[/u][/color] [i](This means the simplified model name for the GPU. An EVGA GTX480 Hydro Copper FTW Edition is simply a GTX480 in terms of SLI.)[/i] [i] [/i]-- You can [i]only[/i] SLI together an Identical GPU with identical GPU. GTX680 with a GTX680. GTX560 with GTX560. 8800GT with 8800GT. Etc. The [i]only[/i] exceptions to this rule are the 9800GTX, 9800GTX+ and GTS250, which can work in SLI with each other - assuming the other requirements are met. [i] Note: Be careful with the extensions on GPUs. The extensions denote a totally different GPU. EG the GTX460SE and GTX560Ti are not SLI capable with the GTX460 and GTX560 respectively. [/i] [i][color="#ff0000"][b][u]IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO CHECK THIS WITH THE GTX460 - THERE ARE 4 VERSIONS OF IT (GTX460 1GB / GTX460v2 1GB / GTX460SE 1GB / GTX460 768MB)! THE SAME VERSION IS REQUIRED FOR SLI![/u][/b][/color] [/i] [color="#9acd32"]- [u]All GPUs must have the same amount of VRAM and an identical Bus Width[/u][/color][color="#9acd32"][u] [/u][/color]-- You [i]cannot[/i] use a "256MB" version with a "512MB" version or "1GB" version with a "2GB" version in SLI or a 1GB 192 bit bus with a 1GB 256 bit bus Etc. [i]Note: It [b]used[/b] to be possible to enable SLI on cards with differing VRAM (EG 8800GTS 640 and 320) via the "coolbits" mod. However, this mod will not work with newer cards or newer drivers.[/i] [color="#9acd32"]- [u]An SLI Bridge[/u][/color][color="#9acd32"][u] [/u][/color]-- You need to use the correct SLI Bridge for all SLI, 3-way, 4-way and Quad SLI configurations. [color="#9acd32"]- [u]Only one type of SLI card team per system[/u][/color][color="#9acd32"][u] [/u][/color]-- You cannot have 2 different pairs of cards in SLI in the same system. [i](EG 2x GTX285s + 2x 9800GTXs)[/i] [i]Note: Using two EVGA GTX275 Co-Ops (or similar multi-GPU cards) falls under this category. The GTS250s will be unable to be used in SLI in tandem to the two GTX275s. [/i] [color="#9acd32"]- [u]OEM system exceptions[/u][/color][color="#9acd32"][u] [/u][/color]-- On some OEM systems (Dell / Alienware in particular) you may be unable to SLI the existing OEM graphics card with a standard retail version of the card due to graphics card or motherboard BIOS restrictions. [i] Note: This issue is particularly present with Dell GTX260s and GTX460s. [/i] [i] [/i][i] [/i] [img]http://i48.tinypic.com/rm69lk.png[/img] [color="#9acd32"]- [u]Manufacturer[/u][/color][color="#9acd32"][u] [/u][/color]-- You [i]can[/i] mix and match any manufacturer of nvidia GPUs. EVGA works fine with Asus etc. [color="#9acd32"]- [u]Clock speeds[/u] [/color] -- You [i]are[/i] able to use different clock speeds on each GPU working in SLI. An "overclocked" card will work with a "plain" card just fine. [i]Note: On very old drivers this feature may be unavailable.[/i] [color="#9acd32"]- [u]Number of CUDA Cores (GTX260 only)[/u][/color][color="#9acd32"][u] [/u][/color]-- The GTX260 has 2 versions. One has 216 cores, the other has 192. They [i]are[/i] able to work in SLI together so long as all other requirements are met. [color="#9acd32"]- [u]BIOS Version[/u][/color][color="#9acd32"][u] [/u][/color]-- You can use as many different BIOS versions between the cards you have in SLI as you like. [img]http://i47.tinypic.com/2q31ytk.png[/img] [color="#9acd32"]- [u]Motherboard[/u][/color][color="#9acd32"][u] [/u][/color]-- Your motherboard will need to specifically support SLI for SLI to work. Just having two PCI-e slots or being able to use AMD CrossFire does not guarantee that your motherboard has SLI support. Consult your motherboard manual or manufacturer website for this information. [i]Note: Common motherboards that usually support SLI are the Intel P55, X58, P67, Z68, Z77 and X79 chipsets as well as the AMD 990FX chipset. LGA775 and other AMD motherboards also support SLI when equipped with an nvidia chipset or are specifically licensed.[/i] [i]Note: Any PCI-e slots you plan on using for SLI need to operate in 16x or 8x mode. 4x and 1x mode are not supported. [/i] [color="#9acd32"]- [u]Power Supply[/u][/color][color="#9acd32"][u] [/u][/color]-- You will need to ensure that your systems power supply is capable of supplying enough wattage and amperage to each graphics card. Power requirements can be found on the nvidia website. [i]Note: Keep in mind that if you plan on overclocking you need to allow headroom on your PSU. Power draw will increase by large amounts with higher overclocks.[/i] [color="#9acd32"]- [u]Case & Airflow[/u][/color][color="#9acd32"][u] [/u][/color]-- Make sure your case is physically big enough to house all the cards you wish to use, as well as being able to provide sufficient airflow. Having great ariflow is incredibly important if you plan 3-way / 4-way SLI on air. You may want to consider liquid cooling if you plan to run 3 or 4 GPUs. [color="#9acd32"]- [u]CPU[/u][/color][color="#9acd32"][u] [/u][/color]-- To get the most out of SLI, you will often need to overclock your system to be able to increase its data throughput to the GPUs. CPU bottlenecking is especially prevalent in high end 2-way, 3-way, Quad and 4-way SLI configurations and may result in lower than expected GPU usage. Last but not least, please check out Exitos's amazing guide: [url="https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/532913/nvidia-sli-technology-a-canine-39-s-guide/"]NVIDIA SLI Technology: A Canine's Guide[/url] if you wish to further understand how SLI works. Last Updated September 16 2013
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Hello and welcome to the NVIDIA Forums!

The purpose of this guide is to clarify the requirements needed for two or more NVIDIA GPUs to work together in SLI mode.

There is often much confusion and misinformation on the topic. I have tried to be a clear and straight forward as I can be, so if anything does not make total sense to you and you still require assistance or advice with figuring out if your planned SLI configuration will work correctly, please do not hesitate to create a new thread and ask.

If you wish to learn more about how SLI works, please check out Exitos's amazing guide: NVIDIA SLI Technology: A Canine's Guide



- Quick Definitions
--"SLI" or "2-way SLI" is the name of a configuration using two individual nvidia graphics cards. EG 2x 8800GTX
--"3-way SLI" is the name for a configuration that uses three individual nvidia graphics cards. EG 3x GTX275. You may also see it referenced as "Tri-SLI".
--"4-way SLI" is the name for a configuration that uses four individual nvidia graphics cards. EG 4x GTX580
--"Multi-GPU" is for systems that use two identical GPUs on a single graphics card. EG GTX590
--"Quad-SLI" is for systems that use 2 individual graphics cards that use "Multi-GPU" configurations. EG 2x GTX590




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- Two or more SLI capable GPUs
(These are easily spotted by the SLI connector(s) on the top of the card, where the SLI bridge connects.)

-- 8 Series: 8500GT or better
-- 9 Series: 9500GT or better
-- 200 Series: GTS250 or better
-- 300 Series: OEM Only
-- 400 Series: GTS450 or better
-- 500 Series: GT545 or better
-- 600 Series: GTX650Ti or better
-- 700 Series: Any (including GTX Titan)


Note: Although some cards in the 6 and 7 series can do SLI, these cards have been omitted due to age.
Note: GPUs with an AGP interface CANNOT use SLI. SLI is only possible on GPUs that use a PCI-e interface.
Note: Support for SLI may be unavailable on older cards (6 series, 7 series, lower 8 series) with newer driver sets.


- All graphics cards must have an identically named GPU
(This means the simplified model name for the GPU. An EVGA GTX480 Hydro Copper FTW Edition is simply a GTX480 in terms of SLI.)

-- You can only SLI together an Identical GPU with identical GPU. GTX680 with a GTX680. GTX560 with GTX560. 8800GT with 8800GT. Etc.

The only exceptions to this rule are the 9800GTX, 9800GTX+ and GTS250, which can work in SLI with each other - assuming the other requirements are met.
Note: Be careful with the extensions on GPUs. The extensions denote a totally different GPU. EG the GTX460SE and GTX560Ti are not SLI capable with the GTX460 and GTX560 respectively.
IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO CHECK THIS WITH THE GTX460 - THERE ARE 4 VERSIONS OF IT (GTX460 1GB / GTX460v2 1GB / GTX460SE 1GB / GTX460 768MB)! THE SAME VERSION IS REQUIRED FOR SLI!


- All GPUs must have the same amount of VRAM and an identical Bus Width
-- You cannot use a "256MB" version with a "512MB" version or "1GB" version with a "2GB" version in SLI or a 1GB 192 bit bus with a 1GB 256 bit bus Etc.
Note: It used to be possible to enable SLI on cards with differing VRAM (EG 8800GTS 640 and 320) via the "coolbits" mod. However, this mod will not work with newer cards or newer drivers.


- An SLI Bridge
-- You need to use the correct SLI Bridge for all SLI, 3-way, 4-way and Quad SLI configurations.


- Only one type of SLI card team per system
-- You cannot have 2 different pairs of cards in SLI in the same system. (EG 2x GTX285s + 2x 9800GTXs)
Note: Using two EVGA GTX275 Co-Ops (or similar multi-GPU cards) falls under this category. The GTS250s will be unable to be used in SLI in tandem to the two GTX275s.


- OEM system exceptions
-- On some OEM systems (Dell / Alienware in particular) you may be unable to SLI the existing OEM graphics card with a standard retail version of the card due to graphics card or motherboard BIOS restrictions.
Note: This issue is particularly present with Dell GTX260s and GTX460s.






Image
- Manufacturer
-- You can mix and match any manufacturer of nvidia GPUs. EVGA works fine with Asus etc.


- Clock speeds
-- You are able to use different clock speeds on each GPU working in SLI. An "overclocked" card will work with a "plain" card just fine.
Note: On very old drivers this feature may be unavailable.


- Number of CUDA Cores (GTX260 only)
-- The GTX260 has 2 versions. One has 216 cores, the other has 192. They are able to work in SLI together so long as all other requirements are met.


- BIOS Version
-- You can use as many different BIOS versions between the cards you have in SLI as you like.



Image
- Motherboard
-- Your motherboard will need to specifically support SLI for SLI to work. Just having two PCI-e slots or being able to use AMD CrossFire does not guarantee that your motherboard has SLI support. Consult your motherboard manual or manufacturer website for this information.
Note: Common motherboards that usually support SLI are the Intel P55, X58, P67, Z68, Z77 and X79 chipsets as well as the AMD 990FX chipset. LGA775 and other AMD motherboards also support SLI when equipped with an nvidia chipset or are specifically licensed.
Note: Any PCI-e slots you plan on using for SLI need to operate in 16x or 8x mode. 4x and 1x mode are not supported.


- Power Supply
-- You will need to ensure that your systems power supply is capable of supplying enough wattage and amperage to each graphics card. Power requirements can be found on the nvidia website.
Note: Keep in mind that if you plan on overclocking you need to allow headroom on your PSU. Power draw will increase by large amounts with higher overclocks.


- Case & Airflow
-- Make sure your case is physically big enough to house all the cards you wish to use, as well as being able to provide sufficient airflow. Having great ariflow is incredibly important if you plan 3-way / 4-way SLI on air. You may want to consider liquid cooling if you plan to run 3 or 4 GPUs.


- CPU
-- To get the most out of SLI, you will often need to overclock your system to be able to increase its data throughput to the GPUs. CPU bottlenecking is especially prevalent in high end 2-way, 3-way, Quad and 4-way SLI configurations and may result in lower than expected GPU usage.


Last but not least, please check out Exitos's amazing guide: NVIDIA SLI Technology: A Canine's Guide if you wish to further understand how SLI works.


Last Updated September 16 2013
This is the best and most easy to understand FAQ on this subject I've seen around here. I think this needs to be sticky'ed.
This is the best and most easy to understand FAQ on this subject I've seen around here. I think this needs to be sticky'ed.

Image

#2
Posted 06/25/2010 06:36 PM   
It most definitly need's sticky'ed.
Good Job Raptor.
It most definitly need's sticky'ed.

Good Job Raptor.

#3
Posted 06/25/2010 09:37 PM   
2nd thread I've seen in as many days that deserves a sticky.. Comon mods, join the winning team :).
2nd thread I've seen in as many days that deserves a sticky.. Comon mods, join the winning team :).

#4
Posted 06/25/2010 09:58 PM   
Neat. Now I have an excuse to use this.

[center][img]http://puppy.soterial.com/EyeLogo.png[/img][/center]

Short, sweet, easy on the teeth, and now it's sticky. A sort of digital cinnamon roll.
Neat. Now I have an excuse to use this.



Image




Short, sweet, easy on the teeth, and now it's sticky. A sort of digital cinnamon roll.

GeForce Technical Marketing

#6
Posted 06/26/2010 01:07 AM   
OH OH and the puppy Mods seal of approval.

Good work Raptor.
OH OH and the puppy Mods seal of approval.



Good work Raptor.

In Memory Of Chris Arthington "One Cool Cat"

#7
Posted 06/26/2010 01:40 AM   
[quote name='Exitios' post='1078196' date='Jun 26 2010, 01:07 PM']Neat. Now I have an excuse to use this.

[center][img]http://puppy.soterial.com/EyeLogo.jpg[/img][/center]

Short, sweet, easy on the teeth, and now it's sticky. A sort of digital cinnamon roll.[/quote]

Awesome!

First ever stickied post :)
[quote name='Exitios' post='1078196' date='Jun 26 2010, 01:07 PM']Neat. Now I have an excuse to use this.



Image




Short, sweet, easy on the teeth, and now it's sticky. A sort of digital cinnamon roll.



Awesome!



First ever stickied post :)
I think it should be added that SLI support was droped for the 8600's
I think it should be added that SLI support was droped for the 8600's

Using Left over CPU coolers to keep phones cool since 2012.

Image

#9
Posted 06/26/2010 01:56 AM   
[quote name='Lordred' post='1078205' date='Jun 25 2010, 09:56 PM']I think it should be added that SLI support was droped for the 8600's[/quote]

You and I are on the same exact wave length. I was just posting to say that.

Also great post and I'm sure I'll be linking to it in the future.

Exitios, what about this one

[img]http://i33.tinypic.com/2zoyiz5.png[/img]
[quote name='Lordred' post='1078205' date='Jun 25 2010, 09:56 PM']I think it should be added that SLI support was droped for the 8600's



You and I are on the same exact wave length. I was just posting to say that.



Also great post and I'm sure I'll be linking to it in the future.



Exitios, what about this one



Image

Image

#10
Posted 06/26/2010 03:08 AM   
[quote name='420Ryme' post='1078221' date='Jun 25 2010, 11:08 PM']Exitios, what about this one[/quote]

Too hard to see with the white skin, and I don't identify with the dapple coats now that I've refined the theme to exclusively the black-and-rust pattern.
[quote name='420Ryme' post='1078221' date='Jun 25 2010, 11:08 PM']Exitios, what about this one



Too hard to see with the white skin, and I don't identify with the dapple coats now that I've refined the theme to exclusively the black-and-rust pattern.

GeForce Technical Marketing

#11
Posted 06/26/2010 03:42 AM   
what I think is kind of Ironic is that this sort of post is just a perfect indication of the peoples lack of doing ANY sort of search before they come in there and ask a question. There are serveral places you can easily find an answer, in these forums, on SLIzone, and on many many other websites. Quite frankly, if someone can't use google, or apparently any other search function, then I doubt they are going to bother reading this post.

It's a good post heedless, just a shame those who are asking this type of question won't bother reading it.
what I think is kind of Ironic is that this sort of post is just a perfect indication of the peoples lack of doing ANY sort of search before they come in there and ask a question. There are serveral places you can easily find an answer, in these forums, on SLIzone, and on many many other websites. Quite frankly, if someone can't use google, or apparently any other search function, then I doubt they are going to bother reading this post.



It's a good post heedless, just a shame those who are asking this type of question won't bother reading it.

#12
Posted 06/26/2010 03:52 AM   
Yea one can get to feeling like they are spinning wheels and not getting anywhere on here at times. Lets hope the new forums layout will aid all the real nOObs into finding this thread. I have my fingers crossed, I have answered that very question so many times its not funny anymore.

EG
Yea one can get to feeling like they are spinning wheels and not getting anywhere on here at times. Lets hope the new forums layout will aid all the real nOObs into finding this thread. I have my fingers crossed, I have answered that very question so many times its not funny anymore.



EG

In Memory Of Chris Arthington "One Cool Cat"

#13
Posted 06/26/2010 03:58 AM   
Seriously, if someone asks that questions this should be the answer.

[url="http://tinyurl.com/33to2ye"]http://tinyurl.com/33to2ye[/url]
Seriously, if someone asks that questions this should be the answer.



http://tinyurl.com/33to2ye

#14
Posted 06/26/2010 04:01 AM   
[quote name='DJNOOB' post='1078231' date='Jun 26 2010, 04:52 AM']what I think is kind of Ironic is that this sort of post is just a perfect indication of the peoples lack of doing ANY sort of search before they come in there and ask a question. There are serveral places you can easily find an answer, in these forums, on SLIzone, and on many many other websites. Quite frankly, if someone can't use google, or apparently any other search function, then I doubt they are going to bother reading this post.

It's a good post heedless, just a shame those who are asking this type of question won't bother reading it.[/quote]

While that's true you quite often see post's with 1000's of views and only a handful of replies, which leads me to believe not everyone post's 1st and Googles 2nd :).

P.S. It's Raptors thread not Heedless's /teehee.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':teehee:' /> .
[quote name='DJNOOB' post='1078231' date='Jun 26 2010, 04:52 AM']what I think is kind of Ironic is that this sort of post is just a perfect indication of the peoples lack of doing ANY sort of search before they come in there and ask a question. There are serveral places you can easily find an answer, in these forums, on SLIzone, and on many many other websites. Quite frankly, if someone can't use google, or apparently any other search function, then I doubt they are going to bother reading this post.



It's a good post heedless, just a shame those who are asking this type of question won't bother reading it.



While that's true you quite often see post's with 1000's of views and only a handful of replies, which leads me to believe not everyone post's 1st and Googles 2nd :).



P.S. It's Raptors thread not Heedless's /teehee.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':teehee:' /> .

#15
Posted 06/26/2010 08:31 AM   
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