***M18x - NVIDIA SLI (Driver Questions, Performance, Problems) Discussion Thread***

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by Mr. Fox, Dec 3, 2011.

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  1. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    You're welcome. And, good job! Glad you got it sorted. :) +1 Rep for the quick follow up.
     
  2. Cygoris

    Cygoris Notebook Guru

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    Looks like the good thread for me.
    The other one was locked because someone thought my problems were related to the throttling issue.
    It was not, I would have liked a less arbitrary decision.

    My performance issues remain, I don't know why my SLI is 25% slower than all the other SLI on the M18x, but it is and I'm seriously considering selling it.

    Here's what I've done so far:

    - Applied Mr Fox's solution for the throttling
    - Installing different drivers, even betas (using driver sweeper in safe mode to clean everything before installing a new one)
    - OC the cards a little
    - Windows clean install
    - Bought a pair of 1866mhz 4gb Ram
    - Checked if everything was OK with GPU Z and it's bloody perfect

    Nothing worked, even with the discrete OC from Mr Fox's batch file my 3dMark11 score barely goes beyond 7000 point, @ stock it's consistently around 6200 point.

    I don't know what to do anymore.
     
  3. Xeneize

    Xeneize Notebook Deity

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    What are your vantage scores?
     
  4. Cygoris

    Cygoris Notebook Guru

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  5. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    Cygoris, your 3DMark11 and Vantage score are almost identical to mine. There is nothing wrong with your system from what I can see. Notice your scores are in the tall orange graph bar? That's a good thing.

    Here are mine with a mild OC...

    3DMark11: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M video card benchmark result - Intel Core i7-2760QM Processor,Alienware M18xR1 score: P7186 3DMarks

    Vantage: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M video card benchmark result - Intel Core i7-2760QM Processor,Alienware M18xR1 score: P25265 3DMarks

    3DMark06: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M video card benchmark result - Intel Core i7-2760QM Processor,Alienware M18xR1 score: P24978 3DMarks

    And for comparison without an OC...

    3DMark11: P6237 (stock)

    You're not going to hit 8k in 3DMark11 or 30k in Vantage without an XM CPU. You're also not going to benchmark as high with your current CPU as an M18x with AMD 6990M CrossFire. The 580M SLI setup comes to life with an XM CPU, but without it, the 6990M CrossFire does better at benching... but, not better at much of anything else.

    I think you can find comfort in this and enjoy owning an awesome system. Your stock scores in 3DMark11 and Vantage, if they are similar to mine, are better than the vast majority. Many competing gaming systems sold by competitors (even with an XM CPU) don't score as high.
     
  6. Cygoris

    Cygoris Notebook Guru

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    That's interesting, I thought the difference between the 2960xm and the 2860qm was very small, just a couple of mhz so to speak.
    Synthetic benchs are not my only concern, my results in game are not even close to an M18x with i7 2820qm and Xfire 6990m.
    Anyway your post is comforting but I still don't know why I paid so much for a slower computer.
     
  7. DanXbix

    DanXbix Notebook Deity

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    Here's my first run with CPU = 44x all cores 0=Flex 99=short 85=long GPU's = Standard - more to come
    [​IMG]

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
     
  8. Xeneize

    Xeneize Notebook Deity

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    I agree with Mr. Fox and I think you may have what we call "GPU Performance Paranoia" :).... it's when you read all the benchmark people post not knowing that most people post benchmarks with heavily overclocked systems...

    Take for instance my scores in my signature, they are nothing like my stock speeds which are right around where yours are, a little higher on Vantage and 3DMark 2006 due to those two benchmarks being influenced by a faster CPU.

    Try OC your video card to safe settings and you'll achieve what most people get and as far as gaming, if you want a baseline, run a few of the game benchmarks and I'll do the same with stock clocks to show you where we're at.

    Trust me, chances are that there's nothing wrong with your SLI setup....
     
  9. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox BGA Filth-Hating Elitist

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    The difference between QM and XM CPU speeds is not so much the factory default clock speeds and turbo limits as much as capacity to maintain maximum speeds when multiple cores are in use for a sustained period of time. My 2760QM CPU hits 3.5GHz with one or two cores, but is incapable of maintaining 3.5GHz when all cores are called upon. The multipliers are also locked on a QM CPU so there is no real way to overclock them. You can change a few things, but not very much.

    Properly equipped with an XM CPU, the 6990M CrossFire and GTX 580M SLI setups are close with the speed crown tilting in favor of NVIDIA. With a non-XM CPU, the 6990M CrossFire setup seems to have the speed edge.

    I have been an ATI graphics user for several years and recently made the transition back to NVIDIA. The 6900M Series video cards are beasts, but they have experienced a plethora of technical issues and they have a rather diminutive feature set that makes them less attractive. If speed is what you want the most, I am sure you can get a very long line of AMD-based M18x owners that are willing to swap GPUs with you. I am not saying that to be sarcastic in any way... I'm actually very sincere in mentioning that as a real possiblity if you are unhappy with the 580M SLI performance. Or, you can keep what you have and upgrade to a 2960XM CPU when your wallet allows. (You can grab an ES or QS version from Shirley's on eBay if you're not financially able to blow a grand on the XM upgrade).
     
  10. Xeneize

    Xeneize Notebook Deity

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    Your temperatures at such high CPU OC are fantastic!
     
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