View Full Version : Problem: CANNOT GET SYSTEM GOING with 2 PCI Express 6800 Ultras & ASUS A8N-SLI

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Ewle Ebonlore
12-11-04, 01:29 AM
**PROBLEM FIXED UPGRADED ASUS BIOS to Beta Version 1003-003**

I got my ASUS A8N-SLI motherboard in today and installed it along with my 2 PCI Express 6800 Ultras that I got a month ago. (See the old front page link I got from NVNEWS)

I formatted, installed a fresh copy of XP SP2, and the lastest NVIDIA drivers.

I fired up EQ2 in SLI mode. Guess what? The game crawled at 1-5 FPS and crashed my system repeatedly!

I thought well maybe it was the drivers so I uninstalled the 67.02 beta drivers and installed the current nvidia release drivers.

Still no luck. 1 FPS and the game blue screens.

I then try to software disable SLI in the drivers and play. I do so and reboot. Still the game crawls and then crashes out.

I pull the 2nd card out and flip the SLI daughterboard and rebooted to play.

Everything runs just fine. Just as fast as my old 6800 ultra AGP.

Staring at the developed for NVIDIA logo on the EQ2 splash screen I begin to wonder how could ANY engineer at NVIDIA release SLI in this condition?

SLI is horribly broken! I'm stuck with a $600 paperweight of a second graphics card until NVIDIA can release drivers that work!

All that money spent and not even a sticker that says SUCKER on it!

System Specs:
2 x EVGA PCI Express 6800 Ultras
ASUS A8N-SLI Motherboard
AMD FX-55 Retail
2GB PC3200 Corsair DDR (2x1GB)
RAID 0 74GB Raptors
Audigy 2 / 7.1 Surround
Viewsonic VP201s LCD

If anyone from ASUS/EVGA/NVIDIA would like to contact me directly I'd love to hear your recommendations on how to fix this!

Ewle Ebonlore
Demon Queen of Ebonlore

12-11-04, 01:30 AM
Yipes... is there any BIOS updates for your mobo?

Ewle Ebonlore
12-11-04, 01:34 AM
No updates for the ASUS MB or PCI Express 6800 cards from EVGA.

I had allot of problems with the EVGA 6800 Ultra AGP I got 3 months ago that were resolved by a BIOS update for the card.

This was one of the first things I checked after changing drivers. I got cards #14 and #15 off the assembly line a month ago so I figured they might of had a BIOS update out for it.

12-11-04, 02:02 AM
Sounds like a unique problem with your rig. Ive read reviews calling sli extremely stable even after hours of running in full load and extremely fast gameplay. I would have to assume that you are doing something wrong with your setup or have faulty hardware. Bummer dude, hope you can sort it out.

12-11-04, 02:08 AM
Unfortunately beta 67.02 driver did not support SLI, use official 66.93 driver that full support SLI.

Also you never mentioned what power supply you use?

I noticed here a new motherboard A8N-SLI Deluxe Beta BIOS 1003.002 released on 8 Dec, here no description what it fixed.

12-11-04, 02:17 AM
WOW... sorry to hear that.
But I've found over the years this stuff
happens when u jump on bleeding edge tech
as soon as it's released.
Lord knows I've did it MANY times
over the years.
Just hold tight. U will get a fix in a bit. :)
U will be glad when it's up and going. ;)
U R going to have one bad ass rig.

I did read a review some where that had
a problem much like yours.
They did get it fixed though.

12-11-04, 02:31 AM
I read the manual I downloaded. Wow you got Athlon FX 55 so I guess you have a power supply less than 500W, in the manual it state you require a 500W or higher power supply for a heavy duty system with Athlon FX and 2 x 6800 Ultras.

Maybe you didnt enabled SLI mode from motherboard BIOS under Advanced menu?

12-11-04, 02:54 AM
I would try first each card alone to make sure that the Graphics cards are not defected.
And tell us more about your PSU, most of the 6800 series problems are due to poor PSU.

Good luck (xmasmile)

12-11-04, 03:22 AM
We at nV News do sympathize and are sorry to hear of your problems/fustration but we are not in anyway a gateway for CS to the companies you mentioned. You can contact them directly and ask about the problems you are facing. That is eVGA and ASUS. NVIDIA has nothing to do with end products except driver issues as they sell the GPUs/Chipsets etc to the AiB or OEM partner and it is them who make the card and sell it to you.

Members here in this forums can try and help you but since you are a a select few who has this sort of setup, our members help, responses would be very minimal.

eVGA has a vibrant forum community which I think is also populated by eVGA reps. So you can probably get better results on their forums.

ASUS i think has shut down their forums so an email to them is your best bet with regards to any questions you might have.

There are a few suggestions given to you in the posts above by members which would try out to eliminate some possiblities.

Maybe you can contact (via email or forums) the websites who have reviewed/reported on SLI setups to eliminate possibilties of where your system is not correctly configured or parts defective etc. These include, Anandtech, toms, Hexus, HardOCP, bit-tech,beyon3d from the top of my head.

Ewle Ebonlore
12-11-04, 03:35 AM
I run a 660W Enermax Power Supply.

I loaded the leaked 70.90 drivers and was able to play just fine in SLI mode for about a minute then the computer froze and eventually crashed due to a display driver fault.

Going to swap the video cards around next to make sure the second card isnt defective.

I'm all over EVGA/ASUS/NVIDIA about this one on their boards/email too.

12-11-04, 03:43 AM
K dude, I do know that Hexus mentioned that getting their beat ASUS SLI boarda nd SLI rig running was not plain sailing. They had a few stabilty issues apperently.

12-11-04, 03:45 AM
Dude, i also remeber K8s have problems with certain Corsairs memory modules. Please check up on that too, it might be causing instabilty?

Ewle Ebonlore
12-11-04, 03:48 AM
The 2nd card works perfectly with no faults flying solo.

Seems to only be when I attempt to turn SLI on does the display driver freeze and crash after a brief time in game.

12-11-04, 03:52 AM
I agree with the ram, my FX-53 system did not like my ram AT ALL. caused so many headaches, lucky its easy to test. Basicly check the timeings on the ram, and theck the voltage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ewle Ebonlore
12-11-04, 03:52 AM
I've been running the same FX-55 and the memory on an Abit 939 board for the past month before this so I doubt it's the memory.

The system runs fine with either one of the cards flying in solo mode.

Only when SLI is turned on in the 66.93/67.02/70.90 drivers does the system crash almost immediately when you start playing.

12-11-04, 03:53 AM
IIRC, one of the SLI reviews had problems with the Asus SLI bridge and they got a ribbon cable SLI connector from Nvidia that fixed all problems. Something about the Asus bridge not connecting with all the contacts on the SLI connectors.

Found it.


12-11-04, 03:53 AM
Ewle, I think maybe you missed the very important part of the manual, I missed read the SLI configuration part in page 6 - 6, stated "6. Connect a 4-pin ATX power cable to the EZ Plug labeled EZ_PLUG on your motherboard." and here is a warning note "Make sure to connect a 4-pin ATX power cable to the EZ Plug, otherwise the system will be unstable". The warning note explained your symptom, guess you didnt plug the cable on the motherboard.

Ewle Ebonlore
12-11-04, 03:58 AM
Nope the 4 pin molex connector is connected to the MB along with the 24 pin ATX and 4 pin 12 volt

Ewle Ebonlore
12-11-04, 04:00 AM
Broke of the room air cirrulator fan and testing to see if it's a heat issue.

The cards were quite toasty in there.

12-11-04, 04:03 AM
There's also the chance that the driver just doesn't support SLI correctly for Everquest 2. Have you tried other games titles, or have you tried creating a new driver profile for EQ2 and seeing if you can set Multi-GPU rendering in there, if the driver doesn't have one?

Ewle Ebonlore
12-11-04, 04:12 AM
Been running for about 15 minutes now in SLI mode with the 70.90 drivers with the room fan going full blast.

Looks like the issue is heat disipation.

Going to run some more test with the room fan and without.

The Lian Lian 1000 case has an extreme amount of air flow but the ASUS MB chipset gets extremely hot under the 2nd card even with it's little fan and heat sink.

2nd card was quite toasty when I pulled it last time. Pretty poor board design to put the MB chipset right below the 2nd SLI port slot.

Ewle Ebonlore
12-11-04, 04:26 AM
Turned off the fan and rebooted.

30 seconds into playing locked and bluescreened.

Cover was off the case too.

GPU cores are only 60 and 56 C too.

Not sure what to do next. Only seems to crash with 2 cards running in SLI even with the case side off.

12-11-04, 04:38 AM
Hmmm your PC case need air conditioning, without the big fan air conditioning, you will need PC Air Conditioning found in other thread http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=41792 this will solve your problem. (xmasmile) Or... buy liquid cooling. (santa2)

12-11-04, 04:52 AM
Yeah, that was the thing, I always worried about. I mean, 1 6800U is getting hot and then 2...Buy NV5 Silencers for your card or a complete liquid cooling system. That should be enough (I hope..)

12-11-04, 04:54 AM
I hope you get it sorted.
I have just bought a similar setup : FX55/ 2x XFX 6800GT/Asus Nforce 4 Sli Deluxe - i was very concerned about powering these components so i opted for a OCZ 520 powerstream PSU. If something f**ks up i'll be very pissed off indeed, all this **** don't come cheap.
Good luck