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synapsis

High-5 SLI

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OK, so I have to admit, this is my first foray into SLI, and I have always been a HUGE skeptic, but the results of this "experiment" are pretty compelling.

 

I was recently in my favourite local computer store, and as always, asked my buddy who works there if he had any great deals / open box specials. As luck would have it, he had a semi-complete SLI computer which had been partially built for a customer who subsequently bailed. Being my buddy, he also let me in on the fact that they had already collected the non-refundable deposit (50%) and agreed to sell me it to me at cost minus 50%, plus another 15% off, which is their standard discount for open-box items. God bless the hook-up - this came to $304.73 after taxes (Canadian).

 

Turns out this setup consisted of a DFI NF4 SLI-DR Expert and 2 Gainward "Bliss" 6800GS 512MB PCI-E cards. The cards themselves are pretty slick - bright red, with a big, ugly cirque-de-soleil looking guy on the cooler housing and lots of heatsinks around it. And a DFI board is always good news :)

 

Since this setup had already been pre-setup and tested for SLI functionality, I simply took it home, ripped out my 250GB and plugged this in with a borrowed Athlon 3700+ and let her rip. Managing this setup was actually pretty easy through the control panel - I thought it would be much more difficult. With a little help from the forums at Guru3d.com, I even managed to push the cards from their already overclocked state to 500/1475 and unlock the extra 4 pixel pipes using RivaTuner.

 

Just for fun, I decided to run a full-out 3DMark06 test at 16x12 - HDR-R/SM3.0 Bench with AA4X and AF8X. After it completed, I sat back, literally at a loss for words. This setup scored 1422 - my old 6600GT scored in the low 200s and even my 7800GS doesn't break 1000, routinely getting high 900s. So this was nearly 700% faster than my 6600 and at least 25% faster than the 7800GS!

 

All I can say is WOW. I admit I always an SLI skeptic, but this definitely changes my mind. Considering I paid $359 + tax for my 7800GS, SLI def has a price/performance advantage (even considering my sizeable discount). I have yet to install any games and start playing, but believe me, that is definitely on the horizon!

 

However, these bastardos are LOUD, and my system temp has gone up 5 degrees after installing them. Ugh. No more silent PC, I guess.

 

Peace!

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Tried any games?
Not yet - this all went down yesterday and (late) last night. At work today and to the cottage this afternoon so won't have a chance to play any games until next week. I can't wait to rock some Half Life 2 @ 16x12 with full HDR and eyecandy!

 

Peace

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"unlock the extra 4 pixel pipes using RivaTuner"

 

That part is very interesting since the chip is not an nv40, the core on BLISS 6800GS cards doesn't physically have the last quad on the core.

 

It's either the NV41 or NV42 on those cards (NV42 is a shrunk version of NV41). As you can see if you follow the links, the transistor count is way lower than the NV40.

 

NV40: http://www.beyond3d.com/misc/chipcomp/?vie...er=Order&cname=

NV41:

http://www.beyond3d.com/misc/chipcomp/?vie...er=Order&cname=

NV42: http://www.beyond3d.com/misc/chipcomp/?vie...er=Order&cname=

 

And as you can see in the Basic Pipeline config for those chips, the NV40 have a 16/16/32 config while the NV41 & NV42 have a 12/12/24 config. It's just not possible to unlock a BLISS 6800GS since they're using NV41/NV42's. ;)

 

ps. I had a BLISS 6800GS 512MB GLH myself and I did look it all up to see if I could unlock it.. ;)

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It's just not possible to unlock a BLISS 6800GS since they're using NV41/NV42's
Rivatuner shows the following on the main page under "Target Adapter":

 

256-bit NV40 (A1,16x1,6VP) with 512MB DDR3

 

After the running the Rivatuner batch file unlock trick from Guru3d

 

The board revision on both cards is R02, so I assume newer PCB revisions of this board are NV40? Will screenie for you when I get a chance.

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Where do you find the board revision? I've been going over my board on both sides and can't find any revision info. I haven't removed the cooler though.

 

Also, getting the NV40 to run @ 500MHz sounds incredible, esp. on stock cooling and stock voltage. :S

I had a 6800GT before getting the BLISS 6800GS GLH (changed motherboard from AGP to PCI-E) and I could never get the GT (NV40) past 425MHz.

 

I have no 3mark06's @ 16x12, only at the default 1280*1024, and my BLISS 6800GS GLH scores 3357: http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm06=331439

 

A mystery though, BLISS 6800's with NV40's. The NV40's aren't manufactured anylonger so that's part of the mystery. Are your cards Golden Sample/Goes Like Hell editions? From your description it sounds like the PCB's are the same high quality ones though (red, with japanese capacitors etc. instead of the cheaper stuff usually used by manufacturers).

 

If you actually got two BLISS 6800's with NV40's running @ 500MHz, you're one lucky sob... :)

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Where do you find the board revision? I've been going over my board on both sides and can't find any revision info. I haven't removed the cooler though.
On the cooler side, it's written sideways right beside the middle row of capacitors on the right hand side. Says "R02." I'm assuming this is PCB Revision... I'll post photos as soon as I can pull one of the cards so you can compare.

 

A mystery though, BLISS 6800's with NV40's. The NV40's aren't manufactured anylonger so that's part of the mystery. Are your cards Golden Sample/Goes Like Hell editions?
I assume so - no boxes provided as this comp was pre-built.
From your description it sounds like the PCB's are the same high quality ones though (red, with japanese capacitors etc. instead of the cheaper stuff usually used by manufacturers).
My boards are red, with the ugly-faced dude on the cooler and heatisnks around it. Is yours the same? Stock clocks were 425/1000 before overclocking.

 

If you actually got two BLISS 6800's with NV40's running @ 500MHz, you're one lucky sob... :)
I may sound like a noob - but is there a chance Rivatuner is reporting incorrectly? Highly unlikely, I assume. No internet on other computer yet - will get screenshots soon.

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