[H]: "NVIDIA's SLI Shortchanges Gamers?"

Discussion in '3D Hardware, Software & Output Devices' started by digitalwanderer, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    Thanks Brent, I still prefer my dark conspiracy theory better though... [​IMG]





    ;)

    I've been seeing a lot of replies here and at EB saying stuff along the lines of Hard is being alarmist and making a big deal about something that has been known about for months.....the only thing is that I sure as heck didn't know about this limitation to SLI before I read the [H] article and I'm pretty sure it's new news to a lot of people reading it today.

    All I've been hearing about SLI is about how it is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but you have to pay out of the bunghole to get it. Now it's looking like if you shell out top dollar you don't get the advantages from it except for some select titles.

    THAT counts as news to me.

    Thanks Brent, good article. :)

    Y'mean that just because nVidia lists the games as SLI compatible doesn't necessarily mean that the games will utilize both cards? That seems moronic or evil-sneaky. :?
     
  2. jb

    jb
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    Well yea I think there is a small problem. If I go out and spend 600+ to get an SLI system and I can not use it in the game I play, then there is a HUGE problem. When will NV provide support? Soon? I dont like it when any company says "soon". Fact is we don't know when it shows up. And there in lies the problem....
     
  3. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
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    The list from ET was looking at the XML files of app profiles in the current drivers they had, not what was from the nZone list.
     
  4. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    Ah, thanks for correcting me Dave. :oops:
     
  5. Geeforcer

    Geeforcer Harmlessly Evil
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    I am not sure I completely follow. If the game support is disabled by default unless the game in listed in the XML file, why is it necessary to explicitly disable the SLI support via the XML file? Wouldn’t that be redundant?
     
  6. nelg

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    The only thing I found funny about the article was Kyle’s addendum. IIRC, Kyle made much to do about the “out of the boxâ€￾ (remember bi/tri linear) use of video cards, with the opinion that the vast majority of users would not bother (know how?) to change settings. Now he says this.
    without comment on the likelihood the average user is not going to make their own application profiles.
     
  7. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
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    Its so that you can't enable it at all, at least in that set of drivers - i.e. the game has been tested by NVIDIA they have seen that neither AFR or SFR are compatible and so they disable support entirely. In these instances you will either never see support, NVIDIA has to write a game specific workaround to enable support or the game has to be patched to stop the behaviour (but the profiling system doesn't really have a method for catching game version numbers, unless the exe name is different).
     
  8. Tim Murray

    Tim Murray the Windom Earle of mobile SOCs
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    no. nono. see, the out of the box comment would apply when you're using a single video card, but I don't think you have to worry about the users of something where you're looking at spending upwards of $600 on it.
     
  9. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    So the expensive stuff doesn't have to work well out of the box? :|
    (BTW-I think I agree with you, I'm just playing devil's advocate for fun)
     
  10. Dr. Ffreeze

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    All,

    Well, this totally kills the appeal that SLI has for me until it just works out of the box as I was led to believe (or led myself to believe). I play many older titles and I would hate to think that $400 to $750 of video cards are only being utilized 50%. Too many times I have bought sweet hardware that promised some new feature that never got industry support or never was enabled in the drivers as promised. It's hard, but I need to buy hardware on how it works right now on the apps that I use right now.

    /bummed
    Dr. Ffreeze
     
  11. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
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    I'm surprised more here haven't already realised that this was the case since we have discussed it numerous times in numerous threads here. IMO this is the the area where I would put caveats on SLI users at the 6600 GT level, thinking they will automatically get a performance boost by adding a second board - that just since a given (although its pretty safe in most of the high profile titles). I think this is all well and good at the 6800 GT/Ultra level as the enthusiasts shoud be going into it it with their eyes open and they aren't exactly going to be lacking in performance for the titles that don't get any benefits in the first place.

    This, of course, also applies to the GigaByte & ASUS dual 6600 GT boards that we've seen, in that where there is no SLI support for the title only one of the chips on the board will be rendering.
     
  12. trinibwoy

    trinibwoy Meh
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    SLI is far less attractive with its limited application but how come so many people here are now getting this profile info? It's been splattered all over numerous sites and forums (including Geeforcers comprehensive list). Nvidia should really have let the cat out the bag during SLI pimping season though but that wouldn't have been shrewd I guess.
     
  13. Ichneumon

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    So what does this do to that SLI board that has 2 6600GTs on the same board?
     
  14. Bouncing Zabaglione Bros.

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    It means you only get the performance of one 6600GT for any game not in the list.
     
  15. Diplo

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    There's only a problem if a) you spent 600+ for a system you had done no research on and b) the game you bought would significantly benefit from SLI. There are very few games out at the moment that would really benefit from SLI and that don't have it (major games like Far Cry, Half Life 2, Doom 3 etc. are all supported even at this early stage), given that even a single 6600GT can chew through the most demanding games at good frame rates. As for older games, well, they simply don't need the benefits of SLI.
    Nvidia have always been pretty reliable at improving their drivers and including support - a lot of people said 'PureVideo' acceleration would never happen, but it did. Given that nearly all major game producers collaborate with Nvidia in pre-production I would be pretty certain that the majority of games will be supported.

    Of course, if you don't believe Nvidia or are uncertain then you have the rather simple option of not buying an SLI system. It's a choice you can make. Personally I don't think SLI is really worth it, at least not for the moment, but I wouldn't be too worried about support if I did buy a system.
     
  16. jvd

    jvd
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    IT sounds like if some games can't work at all under this sli set up nvidia really dropped the ball .


    They also should have had alot of profiles for popular (not just the mega games ) games from at least all of 2004 .


    Hopefully they will add more soon
     
  17. Fodder

    Fodder Stealth Nerd
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    Last I heard WMV acceleration was still broken in NV40/45-based cards.
     
  18. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
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    OK, here is a list of the predefined (NVIDIA set) SLI rendering modes as of the 66.93 drivers - remember that 1 is AFR, 2 is SFR and 4 is Single board only:

    Code:
    Trees of Pangaea                       00020201
    HDRLighting                            00400001
    Medal of Honor                         1
    Quake3                                 1
    Doom 3                                 1
    AquaMark 3                             1
    Code Creatures                         1
    City of Heroes                         1
    Serious Sam SE                         1
    Star Wars Jedi Knight Academy          1
    Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast 1
    Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic  1
    IL 2 - Sturmovik: Forgotten Battles    1
    Return to Castle Wolfenstien           1
    Ground Control 2                       1
    Age of Mythology                       1
    Armed and Dangerous                    1
    Warhammer 40k Dawn of War              1
    Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Ter1
    Painkiller                             2
    Battlefield Vietnam                    2
    Colin McRae Ralley 4                   2
    Sims 2                                 2
    Max Payne 2                            2
    Unreal 2                               2
    Tribes Vengeance                       2
    Shadermark 2.1                         2
    Battlefield 1942                       2
    Battlefield 2                          2
    Tron 2.0                               2
    Spellforce                             2
    AquaNox 2                              2
    Shadermark 2.1                         2
    3DMark05                               2400401
    Tomb Raider                            2C10401
    Half-Life 2                            3C00401
    Call of Duty                           4
    Call of Duty MultiPlayer               4
    Splinter Cell                          4
    MS Flight Simulator 2004               4
    Comanche 4                             4
    Dungeon Siege                          4
    Lock On                                4
    Contract Jack                          4
    Dark Age of Camelot: Trials of Atlantis4
    NHL 2005                               4
    Prince of Persia                       4
    Perimeter                              4
    Tiger Woods 2005                       4
    Kohan 2                                4
    Silent Storm                           4
    TOCA Race Driver 2                     4
    Star Wars Battlefront                  4
    Rome Total War                         4
    Need for Speed Underground             4
    Hitman Contracts                       4
    MVP Baseball                           4
    Madden 2005                            4
    Soldiers Heroes of WWII                4
    Joint Operations Typhoon Rising        4
    Leisure Suit Larry                     4
    Tony Hawk's Underground                4
    Myst 4                                 4
    Conan                                  4
    America's Army                         4
    Thief 3                                4
    Halo                                   400001
    Jedi Academy                           400001
    Jedi Academy MultiPlayer               400001
    3DMark03                               400001
    PCMark04                               400001
    Unreal Tournament 2003                 400001
    Unreal Tournament 2004                 400001
    Unreal                                 400001
    X2 The Threat                          400001
    Far Cry                                4C00002
    3DMark01                               c00001
    In those drivers there was a fair split between AFR and SFR, but a large number of games have it disabled entirely. There are a number of strings there that don't appear to correspond to any of the modes - I think these a specific lookup string that correspond to codes within drivers for certain workarounds.
     
  19. Geo

    Geo Mostly Harmless
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    I got 47 1s, 2s, and "funkies". I counted the "funkies" becuase clearly some of those games have been benchmarked with SLI and show improvements, so I'm counting them all.

    That would be roughly 16 profiles per month for a new high-profile initiative. And that assumes they weren't working on them any signficant amount of time pre-release. Somehow that still has an aroma to it to me.

    I guess the good news is that all the hundreds of games not on this list can have the user-defined profiles setup manually, as I understand it, and we haven't seen any "Oh my God, look at this CRAP!" screenshots have we?

    Interestingly, one of the review excerpts above refers to getting rid of the profile requirement entirely "early" this year. I didn't get that impression from the NV response to the [H] article tho.

    Dave put his finger on the really at-risk group up above --the 6600GT SLI folks. A lot of sites have been pushing that configuration, from what I can see.
     
  20. Tim Murray

    Tim Murray the Windom Earle of mobile SOCs
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    WILL SOMEONE JUST MAKE A NEW PROFILE ALREADY AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS?! maybe change one of those 4s to a 1 or a 2? somebody has to have an SLI rig for review at the moment.

    thank you.
     
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