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Let's talk seriously about SLI


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Hello dear friends.
I apologize in advance if this topic has already been discussed more than once. I do not often visit your resource.
I would like to talk about using the SLI mode in this game.

Foreword:
I will note right away that I am not a beginner in the use of multi-GPU systems. I used them until the end of 2017. I know the features of setting up games for work on two video cards. Previously, there was not a game in my collection that I could not run in SLI. However, 3 years have passed, and 2021 has come. Many people know about the Nvidia inspector profile. There is a lot of information on the Internet about this, thanks to this, even a child will understand the topic. Unfortunately, I noticed that nvidia's policy aimed at ousting multi-GPU technology from the market has a result. Some modern games differ too much in terms of the architecture of the graphics engine, from their old "brothers", which is why there simply do not exist driver profiles suitable for their normal operation. And nvidia inspector is just a tool for "custom" enumeration of profile elements from ready-made options. That is, if the required element is not found in nature, then the nvidia inspector will not help here.

On this topic:
Just a couple of days ago, I began to use two 1080Ti. I noticed that out of the box SLI does not work in this game. I've tried using "Sli Compatibility Bits (DX10 + DX11): 0x080222F5" on driver 441.87 and driver 461.72. If on the 441.87 driver without setting through the inspector, SLI works on 40-40%, while the frame rate is lower than on one video card, then on the 461.72 driver, regardless of the prescription of 0x080222F5, the second video card works very weakly, although it is clear that the SLI works. Performance with this option remains at the level of a single video card.
Question. So how do you get ARC to fully utilize two video cards?

I've heard this game has been played beautifully in SLI mode before. I find it hard to believe that now it just doesn't work, and no one cares at all.
My system spec: 7800X (6 cores - 12 threads on 3500MHz); 32GB RAM on 3200MHz in quad-channel; 1080Ti SLI

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My advice is to forget about dual-GPU altogether. I still buy motherboards that'll support it out of habit, but I don't think I'll ever run such a setup again. Even in the heyday of Crossfire/SLI there were always issues keeping the thing running right. You had to have the right hardware, drivers and a game that properly supported it. With so little support for it now, I can't imagine it's still worth doing.

On the single GPU side, an RTX 3080 will run Ark in 4K at 60-90 fps with little trouble and no hassle. You won't have everything on Epic, but I can't imagine you'd do that with a dual 1080ti setup either.

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Actually, I was very surprised by the performance level of 1080TI in SLI. Before that, I have never seen the second card give an increase of 80-100%. And with 1080Ti it is. I suppose that if 1080Ti worked in this game as they could, then the performance would not be much worse than 3080. Of course, on two cards it is always worth remembering about AFR lags, but if the frame rate is high, they are not be a problem.
I just can't understand why the ARK refused from the SLI? Why are "tricks" not working with the inspector now? After all, the game does not use Direct12. API, engine and more - nothing has changed, but SLI no longer works. It could not be broken in the nvidia driver, which means it was done by the ARK developers. What for? The game has never been very popular, it is not new. It is constantly supported with patches, but SLI was broken at the same time. What for?

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From when I was using sli (two 760s so not different performance bracket by far) I remember trying anything I could find and nothing really helped yeah the second card worked but no more than the 40 ish percent mentioned. I ended up finding out it was probably due to the unreal engine which apparently doesn't like sli in general. Either way I never got it working and upgrading to a 1070 was the best move I ever made definitely not going back. Also it's worth noting sli causes weird rendering issues with fire in ark, I've experienced it and if you watch any of syntac's newest videos you can see what I mean and he's running dual 2080tis

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I seem to have found some solution. Reinstalled the latest driver as a clean install. SLI works. Installed "Sli Compatibility Bits (DX10 + DX11): 0x080222F5" - the frame rate has not changed.
The interesting thing is that now there are AFR lags. This is normal for SLI systems. In places where the frame rate drops below 30, AFR lags are already clearly visible. However, their presence confirms that the SLI mode is working.
What do we have now! In places where the central processor copes with the load (for example, in a clean forest where there are no buildings), both video cards are loaded by 80-90%, which gives a higher frame rate than one card. In places where there are many dynos and buildings (on the main base), there is already a very large load on the central processor, from which the load on both cards evenly drops to 30-25%, which is why the FPS drops sharply, and AFRs appear. lags. Moreover, in places where two cards work at 30-25%, one card worked at 60-50%, and the overall frame rate was almost the same (on a single card it was even slightly higher).
That is, where there is no heavy load on the central processor, 1080p alone could cope, but now there is a higher FPS. And where the FPS was low at one 1080, it was low due to the fact that the processor could not load one video card. The FPS did not increase with two video cards, and even dropped a little, in addition, AFR lags appeared, which significantly reduced the comfort when playing.
It turns out that playing at 1080p by 1080 from SLI mode with a weak central processor is more harm than good.
By the way, before socket 2066 I had a computer on socket 1366, where an older xeon 5670 processor was installed. It also had 6 cores and 12 threads, was less efficient in general, but had a noticeably higher frequency. So, in the same - processor-dependent - moments of the game, the minimum frame rate was higher, and the workload of the video card was higher. This confirms once again that the game has no problems with SLI, the game has problems with the use of CPU resources.

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Yes you are right. Now it makes sense to assemble a computer with SLI only for enthusiastic purposes. Or for 4K in old games.
By the way, yesterday I did some work with ARC. SLI in ARK gives an increase in frame rate - 70-75%. This, in my opinion, is not bad. However, the game is very poorly optimized for CPU usage. The game does not distribute the load on the cores, and often loads only one or two cores. In total, we have that when the 12 stream processor is loaded by 25%, the processor can no longer cope with the game, the video chip load delivers up to 20-30%, and the FPS falls below 30.
Honestly, now I don't even know if I should leave the second card on for this game, since the increase in performance is visible only in those moments where one 1080Ti did just fine :)

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On 3/7/2021 at 7:24 AM, SamueL125 said:

Yes you are right. Now it makes sense to assemble a computer with SLI only for enthusiastic purposes. Or for 4K in old games.
By the way, yesterday I did some work with ARC. SLI in ARK gives an increase in frame rate - 70-75%. This, in my opinion, is not bad. However, the game is very poorly optimized for CPU usage. The game does not distribute the load on the cores, and often loads only one or two cores. In total, we have that when the 12 stream processor is loaded by 25%, the processor can no longer cope with the game, the video chip load delivers up to 20-30%, and the FPS falls below 30.
Honestly, now I don't even know if I should leave the second card on for this game, since the increase in performance is visible only in those moments where one 1080Ti did just fine :)

Yes, game only uses few cores efficiently. Thats if you are playing single player, you may want to start dedicated server on same machine and connect to that for increased performance as the server will use other threads from client. Client doesnt have to do everything any longer.

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  • 1 month later...

Let's talk about SLI again :) I haven't played games in the past couple of months. Instead, I tweaked the SLI for the games in my library. Yes, indeed, at the moment there is not much sense from the SLI. Although... Thanks to SLI, I was able to reduce the load on a separate GPU, so now my system is quiet. Like this! Suddenly!
Needless to say, SLI is dead. There are still many games that already have or can be matched with a SLI profile. There are about 80% of such games in my collection. Unfortunately, among these games, almost everyone uses Directix 11 or lower. I found only 4 games that are "able" to SLI on Directix 12, and one of them is a benchmark :) Besides, I found out that the performance of SLI 1080TI is not enough to "play" in RTX. It is also interesting that the owners of 2080TI found themselves in the same situation. Their video cards "can" RTX, but they also cannot work in SLI on Directix 12. That is, if there was at least some sense in buying two 1080TIs, then two 2080TIs are practically useless.
I collected and created my system for an enthusiastic purpose, so I do not regret anything.
This was the answer to the question of what SLI is needed for in our time.

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Finally I started playing two 1080Ts in SLI in ARK. I figured out for a long time how to run a game on a multi-GPU system. However, it turned out that in this game mode there are not only "flame problems" that many have noticed. There is a more serious problem. The problem due to which there is no flame at all. Now I will try to explain in more detail.
The game has something like "physical effects sprites". As I understand it, this is a fairly simple and primitive engine tool. With its help, we see sparks from fire, sparks from electricity, the effect of getting grains from berries, the effect of pouring water from a tap. So that's it. The problem is that when using SLI, very often this tool does not work. It seems as if these effects were simply turned off. That is, there are no sparks in the game (but there is fire and smoke), water does not flow from the tap (but the sound of water is heard), and more. I will not describe in detail, but I did a LOT to sort out the problem, but in two days I did not even find its cause. I went through all the driver and game settings, I tried exactly half of all the existing SLI profiles for the nvidia profile inspector (only half, because I realized that this was not the problem), I replaced the game user profile with a new one to reset the settings files. I watched the behavior of the game after rebooting, after launching other applications... I still do not understand what the problem is. It appears randomly. An interesting feature of the problem is that it arises at the start of the ARK application itself. It is useless to change the settings and restart the save while in the game. If the problem appears, it may disappear only after restarting the game. Sometimes it is repeated 2, 3, 5 times in a row. Sometimes it happens the other way around - the game starts up 5 times normally, and the next time a problem occurs.
For two days I have tried not all the ways to solve the problem and I will still try to solve it.
And yes, I wrote a message to technical support, but I don't think they will help me.

PhisX_bug.jpg

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