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GTX460 SLI Problems

Associate
Joined
31 Jan 2007
Posts
59
I've recently purchased a couple of MSI GTX460 1GB Cyclone cards to run in SLI.
All seemed fine at first for a couple of days but now things ain't going so well.
Temp-wise the top card was running hot at around 90-95c under heavy use with the bottom card hitting about 60c. Obviously this was a little to hot so I bought a couple of Antec spot fans to help out. Then things started to go wrong. The PC would crash randomly when playing BFBC2. I'm aware of the driver issues with this game but it ran fine for a couple of days. It would then crash whenever it felt like it. Windows 7 crash reported a problem with the nvidia drivers with error code 43.
I've tried uninstalling the driver and cleaning it up with Driver Sweeper and reinstalling it but to no avail.
At this point I upgraded the PSU to the Corsair 850w HX to see if it was a power issue but alas no, the issues just seem to get worse.
I'm now running on one card and it seems stable. Both cards seem fine on their own but as soon as I run them in SLI the random crashes start.

I'm out of idea's on what to try next... is it a hardware or driver issue? Should I send them back and try a different set of 460's ones with exhaust coolers instead of the open design of the Cyclones?

Any advice would be appreciated.
 
Soldato
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Could be a driver problem or maybe a Vbios problem with the card making SLI incompatible on your particular mobo model or something.
I don't think there is anything you can do your self such as driver sweeper etc, but the manufacturer may be able to offer you a new bios that may or may not hep matters.
These 460's seem to be having allot of problems with specific hardware setups, I think Rroff may have picked up on SLI and Asus don't always play nice together, so perhaps he can help you further.

Edit:
With regards to the temps, yes they are hot, but I wouldn't have thought they were hot enough to cause instability issues, just look at the temps the 480 runs at.
 
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Soldato
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Are you 100% certain the cards on their own are perfectly fine?

With temps the top card is getting I wouldn't be surprised when in SLI the temps are just to much for it and it crashes out, with the cards you have the top one is going to get real hot as it's getting no cool air to intake, it's intaking all the hot air from the card below and that heat is not dissipated out the case like with a blower type fan. Only solution would be to put the lower card in a PCI-E slot further away from the main card, I'm not sure of your mobos pci-e slot speeds so this maybe a no goer.

Edit, With the amount of heat the top card is taking it may not just be the core getting too toasty, memory chips and voltage regulators when too hot can cause instability and crashing, the code you got is related to a hardware failure.
 
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Associate
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31 Jan 2007
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59
I'd say I'm 90% sure they're both fine. I've not done extensive testing to be honest but I will tomorrow afternoon. I thought the temps may have caused instability at first but there are issues when they're running at idle temps which are approx 40-45c top and 30-35c lower.
The other pci-e slot is a no goer due to space and I think speed.
 
Soldato
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Damage may have already been done to the card taking the brunt of the heat from the lower card, give each card a thorough good work out and report back.
 
Associate
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i thought the MSI cylones were best at cooling or am I mistaken? I was going to purchase two of these cards for sli and the same motherboard
 
Associate
Joined
31 Jan 2007
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1 card is fine krisab however 2 cards in my experience is not so good. It may depend on how much room you have between the cards and in my case its about 3mm. As they're an open fan design the don't exhaust the heat out of the case. If you have room between the cards for some air flow you should be ok.

However, with that said....

I'm going to retract my statement about being 90% sure...

Card 1 in both PCIe Slots Kombustor Stability Test = 46 FPS average and 61c Max temp

Card 2 in both PCIe Slots =

Card2Slot12Fail.jpg


Nope those white squares are not part of my wallpaper. It also appears my PC has travelled back in time... pretty sure it's not new years eve 2001.
 
Caporegime
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18 Oct 2002
Posts
33,188
I wouldn't instantly assume it was only the temps killing the card, it could have been basically DOA, IE arrived with a faulty something or other that was just a timebomb waiting to go, but could obviously be the temps. Were you running them in 16x/16x mode on that mobo? Do you have space to run the second card in the last slot(assuming the mobo in sig is the one you're using now and its got 3pci-e slots)?

I would, honestly with any setup except tri sli, run in 16x/8x/8x mode and just have the big gap in the middle.

Frankly ANY speed increase from the second card being in a 16x slot instead of an 8x slot will be very marginal, and the increased cooling to the top card will allow a way higher overclock, or simply, stability, which will more than make up for the 1% speed drop in an 8x pci-e slot.

Of course, if theres no room in your case to put the card in the bottom slot that changes things.

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/articles/2010/05/23131923474l.JPG

I'm also assuming that its the top two same coloured slots that run at 16x mode and the bottom can only do 8x mode.
 
Soldato
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Check the battery on motherboard isnt dead as well. Time should not be reset by gfx cards!

Your bios settings may now be at default settings which may or may not be related.
 
Associate
Joined
31 Jan 2007
Posts
59
I bought them from different places a month apart. So I can only really return one.
It's the most recent one which is buggered so I'll send that back.
I can't sufficiently air cool these cards in SLI with my current set up so I'll have to do one of the following.
Get another Cyclone and watercool them both.
Sell the other Cyclone and buy a couple of other 460's with blower coolers.
Get a single 480 or the ATI equivalent.
 
Soldato
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I always prefer going single card setups so I would go a 480, if you can wait a month or so ATI will have their new cards out so that's another possibility.
 
Associate
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I wouldn't instantly assume it was only the temps killing the card, it could have been basically DOA, IE arrived with a faulty something or other that was just a timebomb waiting to go, but could obviously be the temps. Were you running them in 16x/16x mode on that mobo? Do you have space to run the second card in the last slot(assuming the mobo in sig is the one you're using now and its got 3pci-e slots)?

I would, honestly with any setup except tri sli, run in 16x/8x/8x mode and just have the big gap in the middle.

Frankly ANY speed increase from the second card being in a 16x slot instead of an 8x slot will be very marginal, and the increased cooling to the top card will allow a way higher overclock, or simply, stability, which will more than make up for the 1% speed drop in an 8x pci-e slot.

Of course, if theres no room in your case to put the card in the bottom slot that changes things.

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/articles/2010/05/23131923474l.JPG

I'm also assuming that its the top two same coloured slots that run at 16x mode and the bottom can only do 8x mode.

You're correct. I was running them in 16x/16x mode and no I don't have room unfortunately on the bottom PCIe slot with this case as the PSU is too close.
Thanks for the info and advice though it's useful to know and I may try it if I decide to get another case. (which I may do infact because as good as the Sniper looks its side panels are an absolute bitch to remove and reseat)

Check the battery on motherboard isnt dead as well. Time should not be reset by gfx cards!

Your bios settings may now be at default settings which may or may not be related.


The option to load the defaut bios settings appeared when I booted up with the dodgy card so without any thought I just said yes. I've loaded up the OCUK overclock profile when I rebooted so its ok now.
 
Soldato
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Oxfordshire
I bought them from different places a month apart. So I can only really return one.
It's the most recent one which is buggered so I'll send that back.
I can't sufficiently air cool these cards in SLI with my current set up so I'll have to do one of the following.
Get another Cyclone and watercool them both.
Sell the other Cyclone and buy a couple of other 460's with blower coolers.
Get a single 480 or the ATI equivalent.

Watercooling is very expensive and just not worth it, particularly with 460's.
480 has it's heat issues as well and will run at about the same temp as your faulty 460.
Personally I would get a refund for the dodgy card and keep your current 460 for a bout a month and a bit, and then pick up a 6850/70 as they should be faster than 480 & 460SLI and most probably cooler.
 
Caporegime
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
33,188
I bought them from different places a month apart. So I can only really return one.
It's the most recent one which is buggered so I'll send that back.
I can't sufficiently air cool these cards in SLI with my current set up so I'll have to do one of the following.
Get another Cyclone and watercool them both.
Sell the other Cyclone and buy a couple of other 460's with blower coolers.
Get a single 480 or the ATI equivalent.

Can you take a pic of the cards together installed, also are you sure you can't put the 2nd card in the 3rd pci-e slot?

From the specs it looks like you have a coolermaster storm case, I have no idea why you can't cool them, did both cards run at 90C if installed as the top one? The one that died might simply have had very poor contact with the core which caused him temp and it dying, its odd for a top card to run 30C hotter frankly, exhausting does NOT make that much difference, at all, in a decent case.

The other issue I can see is, do you have many fans set to exhaust in your case because lots of people set the Corsair watercooler to intake the air to get slightly better temps. Theres really no need but if you've got very little exhuasting then thats a clear problem. however the storm sniper, if thats your current case, can take side fans and a fan at the bottom. It depends on the current setup but that case, frankly, should have no issue cooling 2x480gtx's next to each other, let alone two much lower power 460gtx's.

If you've got the Corsair as an intake, then you might have very hot case temps, likewise, if you don't have any extra intake/extraction elsewhere, its a recipe for disaster and exhausting 460gtx's could easily have a problem aswell.

That case, + ANY 2 460gtx's should have not a single issue with cooling.

I have 5850's in xfire, neither with standard blowers, in xfire both the top and bottom card run COOLER than a single 5850 with the exhausting fan, why, because exhausting coolers are significantly worse. Single card, blower type cooler, overclocked and overvolted 85c load, two cards, with proper coolers on, a LOT more heat in the case, the best cooler keeps it under 45C load at a higher clock, the less good cooler(asus CU type) gets to around 60C under load.

My guess would be simply, faulty cooling on the 460gtx causing those temps and the death, a very possible extra reason is lack of intake/exhaust in the case, but the case is MORE than capable of providing that, quietly with no watercooling, and very easily.

EDIT:- just saw the latest reply(was typing when you posted), I didn't make it clear, that case should still have absolutely no issue cooling two cards next to each other, you can also through creative attaching probably create a little more space by angling both cards apart a bit, so the top one angling slightly up out the slot and the bottom one down, they really shouldn't have big issues, though as I said, if theres just very little exhaust there could be issues.

Most cases have the psu at the top and provide a normal exhaust along with the back fan. With the PSU at the bottom its cut out the loop and with the Corsair if you have it on what seems a common setup of intake at the back to get lower cpu temps(which is rarely required as massive cpu overclocks are just, well, stupendously easy on any kind of cooling now) then you've got next to no exhaust.

Couple of fans on the side right at the graphics cards should pretty much sort any type of dual card setup around, Corsair on exhaust, top fan on exhaust, maybe add the bottom fan aswell(I assume its just infront of the PSU you can add one) and I'd be very surprised if it couldn't handle any dual card sli/xfire setup around.
 
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Associate
Joined
31 Jan 2007
Posts
59
I'll take a pic tomorrow and try the bottom slot again (the sli bridge cable is too short so that was another reason why I didn't bother with it).
As for the fan set up... I opted for the windowed version on the Sniper case which doesn't have a side intake. So currently there are 2 intake fans. 200mm on the front and 140mm on the bottom and 2 exhaust fans. 2x 120mm Enermax cluster fans on the Corsair H50 in a push-pull config and the top 200mm fan. It's not set to intake as you feared.

The cpu temps are fine with an idle of 35c average and 70c max under heavy load.

I've read on the OMG I Just Got My 460 thread of someone running the same cards who experienced similar temps to mine. He's using the spot fans effectively though and knocked 10c off his temps. He does have more room between the cards though.

http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showpost.php?p=17308801&postcount=1802

The bottom 140mm seems to be rather ineffecive though so I'm thinking of replacing that with either another enermax 120mm or a better 140mm.

The asus sound card is sat directly above the top gfx card so that could be moved to another slot to help out.

The photo's tomorrow will probably give you a better idea of what's going on.

Thanks for all the help so far it's very much appreciated. :)
 
Associate
Joined
20 Aug 2010
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1,517
i have a msi 460 sli setup and with my old £25 casecom case i got 60c on the top gpu and 57c on the bottom gpu. i had 1 120mm fan blowing on them and they didn't have a gap between them. now i have a haf x and it has a big 200mm fan that directs air onto them and the temps are great. 50c on the bottom one and 53c on the top one. this is with them overclocked to 800/1600/4000mhz and being stress tested by kombustor.
i've posted this info so you know how cool the cards could/should be. i dont think its your case as like i say even in a cheap case they were cool enough. definately send the damaged card back though and maybe try a different setup.:)
 
Associate
Joined
31 Jan 2007
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59
Here's my airflow

airflow.jpg


As you can see the bottom PCIe slot is a no go as the case isn't big enough to fit it. I'd need 1 more expansion slot for it to fit.
 
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