A few years ago, adding multiple cards in an SLI configuration often resulted in significant problems when gaming. For some games, multiple cards worked wonders, while at the same time on another game you saw lower frame rates than you did if you were just using one card. Over the past couple of years, SLI driver support and performance has massively improved, and almost every current game will see significant increases through adding a second card.
In this guide, we show you how to set up an Nvidia SLI configuration.
First off you should remove any previous drivers from your system. To do this, find your way to the ‘control panel’ and then click uninstall a program. There should be a list of various different Nvidia drivers on this list, ranging from Sound Drivers to 3D Vision drivers. If you start by removing ‘Nvidia Graphics Driver’, it should remove most of the others on its own. After this, remove any other remaining Nvidia program. You should now use a driver sweeper such as this one, and then clean all traces of the Nvidia drivers off your system.
You can now download and install the latest drivers from the Nvidia website. We chose the ‘Express’ option when installing for simplicity, but if you don’t want the sound drivers, or 3D vision, then feel free to choose ‘Advanced’ and uncheck them from the list. After this has finished installing, you can now restart the computer as instructed.
You should now turn off your computer and install the second graphics card into the system. Leave the SLI Bridge off for the time being, and we’ll just test to make sure that Windows recognises the second card. After turning your computer on, hopefully a message will pop up saying ‘Your device is ready to use’. If it doesn’t, just double check in device manager (press the Start and type in ‘device manager’ if you’re unsure how to find it), and under ‘Display Adapters’ double check both of your cards are accounted for. You can now turn off the computer, install the SLI Bridge and turn the system back on again.
Now you’re back into Windows, press start, and type ‘Nvidia Control Panel’ and open it. Alternatively, in the bottom right tray icons, the Nvidia control panel should be shown in there. Under ‘3D settings’, you should see ‘Configure SLI, Surround and PhysX’. Click this, and change SLI configuration to ‘Maximise 3D Performance’ and then click apply.
You can see our AMD CrossfireX Guide here.
If you have any problems, feel free to ask over on the OC3D Forums.