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MSI NX7800GTX SLI Review - Page 3 of 14

ACCESSORIES

The photograph below contains the accessories that were included with the NX7800GTX. Since most standard ATX power supplies are not equipped with the new PCI-Express 6-pin connector, a converter cable with dual Molex connecters, pictured at the top left, can be used to power the NX7800GTX. The remaining hardware accessories include a multi-purpose cable that supports Video-In/Video-Out and HDTV connections, TV-Out cable, and two DVI to VGA adapters.

MSI NX7800GTX Bundle
Click Image to Enlarge

A couple of installation guides and a case badge are supplemented with a CD that contains NVIDIA VGA reference drivers for Windows 98/ME/XP/2000, MSI Utilities (3D!Turbo, D.O.T, GoodMEM, LiveUpdate, LockBox, SecureDoc, and WMInfo), Adobe Acrobat Reader, E-Color 3Deep, Microsoft DirectX 9, MediaRing Dialer, Norton Internet Security 2005, Showshifter, and ThinSoft BeTwin.

MSI also includes the full version of The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay - Developer's Cut. In The Chronicles of Riddick you play the role of Riddick, who is voiced by Vin Diesel, while trying to escape from prison. The game features voiceovers by Cole Hauser, Kristen Lehman, Ron Perlman, Willis Burks and Xzibit.

The Chronicles of Riddick
Click Images to Enlarge

The Chronicles of Riddick's 3D engine was developed with OpenGL and features per-pixel shading, dynamic lighting, and real-time shadows and receives a significant boost in performance with SLI.

INSTALLATION

I installed and tested a single NX7800GTX and then installed the second NX7800GTX and tested both graphics cards using SLI single-GPU and SLI multi-GPU rendering modes. Instructions on installing an SLI configuration are normally covered in the motherboard documentation, but I used the following approach suggested by BFG Technologies.

I am setting up my SLI system, should I put both BFG SLI ready cards in at once or one at a time?

You should check with the documentation that came with your motherboard to be certain. We suggest installing the top (closest to CPU) card first, then the OS and drivers. Once the system is up and stable, shut it down and switch the SLI/Single mode selector card on the motherboard (refer to system manual) to SLI or Dual.

Insert the second card and the SLI connector across the top of the two cards. Boot the system and go into the BIOS to check for any SLI settings and make sure they are set to auto or SLI. After the systems boots, the second card will be detected and the drivers installed and the system will need to be rebooted.

Once Windows loads, you will see an “SLI capable system” message. Click on this message and select the “Enable SLI multi-GPU” checkbox, then “Apply” and “OK”. The system will reboot and you will see an “SLI has been enabled” message.

Enjoy!

The image below illustrates the applets that are available on NVIDIA's ForceWare driver control panel.

Driver Control Panel Applets

The following Window will appear when the multi-GPU applet in the driver control panel is selected and a single SLI-capable graphics card has been installed.

Single Graphics Card

After the second graphics card has been installed, the message below will appear. This message is also shown when SLI single-GPU rendering mode is enabled after clearing the "Enable SLI multi-GPU" checkbox, as shown in the subsequent screen shot.

SLI Detected - Single-GPU Rendering Mode

When the above message is clicked, or the SLI multi-GPU applet is selected from the driver control panel, the following Window will appear. If the "Enable SLI multi-GPU" checkbox is present, the ForceWare drivers will have detected that SLI is properly configured.

SLI Detected - Enable Single-GPU or Multi-GPU

Clicking the "Enable SLI multi-GPU" checkbox will enable SLI multi-GPU rendering while clearing the checkbox will enable SLI single-GPU rendering. After a reboot, the following message will appear after Windows loads. Note that NVIDIA is planning to eliminate the reboot that currently takes place after enabling single or multi-GPU rendering in the Release 80 ForceWare drivers.

SLI Detected - Multi-GPU Rendering Mode

At this point, SLI multi-GPU rendering will be enabled. Clicking on the above message will link to NVIDIA's SLIzone web site.

Next Page: Load Balancing, Documentation, and Profiles

Last Updated on September 16, 2005


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