Quantcast SLi Guide (Installing, Troubleshooting + Increasing Performance)

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  1. #1
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    Default SLi Guide (Installing, Troubleshooting + Increasing Performance) *UPDATED*

    NEW GUIDE (SLI and NON-SLI)

    This guide is written for people who are getting poor performance from their computer, or for people who want to try some new drivers to get a few extra 3dmarks. This guide used to be written for SLI users primarily but this new updated guide will be written for both so people with older Alienwares (or any other computer for that matter) or the M15x can install drivers with ease. For the record this guide was written on a Vista system so while most steps will similar, there might be one or two errors.

    Before you start
    1) What kind of bad performance are you having? Is it *A* because you cannot enable SLi without the computer crashing? Or is it *B* because your performance in games is just not what they should be / Single GPU runs faster than SLi setup?

    -If your problem is *A*, follow **Guide A**
    -If your problem is *B*, follow **Guide B**

    **Guide A**

    1) Check your drivers. To do this, right click on your desktop. Look on the bottom left of the window for "System Information", and click that. In the white text area, it will say "Forceware Version: 1xx.xx" (In my case this would say "Forceware Version: 169.25")

    2) Now that we know what drivers you have, we can proceed to select a new set of drivers. I used to recommend drivers but now that the school year has started I cannot recommend drivers week to week. Here is how to get the newest drivers possible though. First, go to www.laptopvideo2go.com and you will be on the home page of course. Next, change the drop down menu from version to date to get the newest ones possible. Check off the system that you have (XP 32 or 64bit, Vista 32 or 64bit). If you own a M15x, M9750, or M17x, (or any older Aw laptop) you will know if you have 64 bit as AW did not ever sell a 64 bit operating system on any of the laptops listed.

    3) There are two files that you must download for the driver you choose. First, you must download the driver. Second, you must download the modded INF file.

    4) Once these files are done downloading, you can extract the driver. I would make a folder with the driver name on it and extract it to that folder, because some drivers from this site extract in the folder you currently have open. This has bugged me a few times when I extract something and my desktop fills up with files

    5) Now that the driver is extracted, DON'T install it yet, we have to prepare our notebook.

    6) First, we should download driver sweeper, which will delete any remaining driver information that the uninstall misses, very handy tool. To download this, go to --> Driver Sweeper Setup

    7) We have to uninstall our current drivers. (( Start : Control Panel : Click Classic View on the left : Device Manager : Display Adapters : Right Click the top 7950GTX : Click uninstall driver : Check in "Delete the software software for this device". )) After this is done, restart your computer, then we want to run driver sweeper.

    8) (( Go to Start : All Programs : Driver Sweeper. Click Nvidia chipset, and hit the single arrow ">" to move it to the other side. )) Do the same thing with the Nvidia Display as well. Now that those are both over on the right side, click the broom, and wait for it to finish (should be very quick). Now that this is done, restart your computer.

    9) We are going to install the new drivers now. Remember that INF file we downloaded? We need to drag and drop that INF file into the driver folder so it overwrites the older INF file. This will let you install the driver without any problems. If you are using Vista, just click the Setup.exe file in the driver folder, and do a regular install, clicking continue anyway and restarting the computer when the drivers are installed (it may take awhile to restart). If you are using XP with SLi, follow these steps of this SLi guide written by Grey728 + Chaz. HERE or read the text below
    Quote:
    7. Install 1 card only. When the driver asked you to install and you click 'Continue Anyway' Do this only once!
    8. Cancel install for second card. This cancels out install process
    9. Reboot
    10. GO to Devicde Manager, and select 2nd card that didn't install. (Most likely called 3D Hardware and not recognized as a video card, I can't remember exact name)
    11. Update driver and select folder you unpacked in step 4.
    12. When the driver installs, click "Continue Anyway"
    13. Reboot and done!
    10) Thats it, you have installed new drivers for your system. You can use laptopvideo2go.com to find/install other drivers if you do not like these.

    11) If errors such as: Flickering on non native resolutions / Screen turning black when SLi is enabled are gone, and you are still experiencing game slowdowns, follow part B to optimize your SLi drivers.

    **Guide B**


    This is a continuation of "Guide A" if you still don't have good performance, but the main issues such as flickering/black screen/blue screen are gone.

    1) Make sure SLi is enabled

    This may sound dumb, but after installing new drivers, I sometimes forget to turn SLi on. (( Right click on your desktop : Nvidia Control Panel : Set SLi Config. tab : Enable SLi technology : Hit apply. ))

    After you have enabled SLi, it will ask you if you want to close the needed applications. Hit "yes" and then don't click anything for 30 seconds. Some programs will close, the screen will go black. After it goes black, it will come back on again, and you will see a black screen with the "-" in the upper left hand corner. After that your desktop should come back, and it will ask you "do you want to keep these settings" click yes.

    2) Make sure SLi performance mode is on the right setting.

    By default, my card was set to "Single-GPU" I believe this means that only 1 GPU does the rendering, which I didn't want. This is something that I didn't notice until Brks pointed it out to me. (( Nvidia Control Panel : Manage 3D settings : Global Settings tab : SLi Performance Mode --> "Force alternate frame rendering 2" )). This will make it so that every other frame will be rendered by one card, and the other frame will be rendered by your other card. I have tried multiple modes, and I find this mode to be the best for stability/performance.

    For high end games like Crysis, brks did a test. If you are experiencing poor performance with games like crysis, change "Force alternate frame rendering 2" to "Split Frame Rendering"

    3) Make sure that your vitrual memory is working correctly (eightd wrote about this).
    Quote:
    1. Control Panel => System and Maintenance => System => Advanced System Settings (Left side or just the System Properties Dialog)

    2. Advanced Tab = > Performance (Settings Btn) => Advanced Tab => Change...

    3. Uncheck "Automatically Manage...." and Select Custom Size. Mine is set to Init. = 200, Max = 10000
    4) Will add when more things come up

    **Goodies Guide**


    This section is to let you guys in on goodies that are pretty helpful in some cases. I do not know many as of now, but I can always add more.

    1) Change Flat Panel Scaling

    I found this and I am very happy with it. Usually when I run 3dmark06, the screen stretches across my whole display, which makes everyone "fat". This setting will make it so that it will put it in 4:3 aspect ratio which will leave black boxes on either side of the screen. This is also helpful if a game is not compatible with a certain resolution and you don't want to stretch the screen.

    Go to (( Nvidia Control Panel : Change Flat Panel Scaling tab : Click "Use Nvidia scaling with fixed-aspect ratio" : Click apply ))

    2) Set the desktop to its native resolution

    Maybe you were playing with your resolution for your desktop, and accidentally set it to a lower resolution and didn't realize it. This would make things a little less quality, and would waste that real estate you paid for This is easy to fix though with Nvidia control panel.

    Go to (( Nvidia Control Panel : Change Flat Panel Scaling tab : Click "Change to native resolution" : Click apply ))


    Special Thanks To:
    Chaz
    Grey728
    eightd
    brks

    ***Complete (may add new content at any time)***

    Update History:
    01/01/08 - Added brks' suggestion for Split Frame Rendering (SFR) *#2 in Guide B*
    01/01/08 - Added more drivers (169.09 for XP32/64, 167.43 Vista/XP) *#2 in Guide A*
    03/08/08 - Quoted EightD's drivers.
    05/26/08 - Removed EightD's drivers and submitted the new 174.74 drivers.
    06/03/08 - Added the 175.63 Tweakforce Drivers.
    11/19/08 – Re-wrote and added to guide
    Last edited by Stone825; 19th November 2008 at 11:57 AM. Reason: Added new stuff

  2. #2
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    Default Re: SLi Guide (Get more out of your SLi setup)

    Great Guide! Worked for me. Got 8200 for 3dMark06.
    Last edited by KockM; 29th December 2007 at 12:57 PM.
    M14x R2 - i7-3610QM - NVIDIA Geforce 650M GT 2GB - 8GB RAM - 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD - 09/24/12
    M11x R2 - i5-520UM - NVIDIA Geforce 335M GT 1GB - 4GB RAM - 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD - 10/21/10

  3. #3
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    Default Re: SLi Guide (Get more out of your SLi setup)

    Just updated to the 169.21 for XP and my performance from stock to these has jumped like 50%. Its unreal how well Crysis runs now. I am running on most high settings and a few medium, and I have no lag.
    M14x R2 - i7-3610QM - NVIDIA Geforce 650M GT 2GB - 8GB RAM - 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD - 09/24/12
    M11x R2 - i5-520UM - NVIDIA Geforce 335M GT 1GB - 4GB RAM - 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD - 10/21/10

  4. #4
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    Default Re: SLi Guide (Get more out of your SLi setup)

    !!Sticky that!!

    great guide Stone825!
    Alienware m17x R3
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: SLi Guide (Get more out of your SLi setup)

    Thanks everyone. I'm writing another section "Part B" soon which will give a few hints to people that are still not getting the performance that they are looking for. It will be done soon.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: SLi Guide (Get more out of your SLi setup)

    Finished the guide. May add more

    Oh Chaz would you mind if I posted this in the guides section of this forum. Please don't move it though, as I wrote it primarily for M9750 users, but I'm sure anyone can use this info.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: SLi Guide (Get more out of your SLi setup)

    Part B Rocks! Thanks Stone! May I asking what virtual memory does?
    Last edited by zeppelin420x; 29th December 2007 at 02:21 PM.
    The Computer: Alienware m9750
    The Peripherals: Bawls, Nostromo SpeedPad, Razer Deathaddar, AKG 701s, Zune
    The Game: Oblivion 'Game of the Year Edition'

  8. #8
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    Default Re: SLi Guide (Installing, Troubleshooting + Increasing Performance)

    Fantastic guide Stone, sticky granted. I changed the title for you, let me know if you need anything else.

    If you don't mind I would like to link this into the Driver Update Guide in the Gaming forum.
    Lead Moderator for TechnologyGuide Communities
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: SLi Guide (Installing, Troubleshooting + Increasing Performance)

    Great guide stone825 and thanks for the mentions. I advise everyone new to SLI setups to have a good read of this guide - it's an excellent start point to getting your rig rough and ready for todays games.
    ..::: AlienWare Area-51® m9750 :::..

    17" WideUXGA 1920 x 1200 LCD
    Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T7400 2.16GHz 4MB Cache 667MHz FSB
    Dual 512MB NVidia® GeForce™ Go 7950 GTX - SLI
    2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SO-DIMM at 667MHz
    169.09 ForceWare Nvidia drivers on XP SP2
    3DMark06 score - 8540

    My guides:
    Applying AS5 to your M9750

  10. #10
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    Default Re: SLi Guide (Installing, Troubleshooting + Increasing Performance)

    Thanks Stone. I've had the best success with the 94.23 stock Alienware drivers so far - but when I get home from work I'll try this guide out. Hopefully I get an increase in performance
    Alienware Area-51 m9750
    Windows XP
    T7600 2.33Ghz C2D
    2GB DDR2 RAM
    Dual 512MB 7950 GTX SLI
    400GB RAID0 HDD's
    Blu-ray Writer

 

 
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