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neogenesisrevo

Working - 2x 1080TI SLI in UNRAID!

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Posted (edited)

Hey everyone! After months of testing and learning, I finally managed to have 2 of my 4 1080TIs run in SLI. The information on how to do this has actually been online for a while but a bit scattered about (at least that was my experience).


Overview of Steps

1) Achieve GPU pass-through

2) Mod the Nvidia Drivers to allow SLI in our VM

3) Use Nvidia Profile Inspector to get much better performance

 

Edit Update

After utilizing a few other VM optimizations, specifically CPU pinning, my SLI performance DRASTICALLY improved. My FPS in SLI went from the mid 40s to 70+ (I used a few different benchmarks such as the unigine benchmarks and also from personal experience playing ESO).
When I started trying to get SLI to work in Unraid, I noticed that just passing through 2 GPUs to a single VM already resulted in very noticeable gain in performance. I am still tinkering with Nvidia Profile Inspector, so things might change. If they do, I will post an update.

 

GPU pass-through

My VM options:
Bios: OVMF
Machine: Q35.1
Sata for ISO drivers and VirtIO for Primary vDisk


Follow the instructions in this Spaceinvader One video. Afterwards, pass through your 2 GPUs and they should appear in windows.

 


Nvidia Drivers Mod

Note: If you have any difficulties with this next part, you are better off asking for help here on the DifferentSLIAuto forum thread.

 

So to my understanding motherboard manufactures must license the right to allow SLI on their boards from Nvidia. The reason we haven't been able to achieve SLI in Unraid is due to the fact that our VM's "motherboard" info simply not qualifying as a Nvidia approved motherboard for SLI. Luckily there has been a hack available for a while that allows SLI to be enabled for not only any motherboard but also any GPUs (aka, the GPUs don't even need to be the same model).


This is what worked for me:
I used Nvidia Driver version 430.86. If you use the same version, then these instructions SHOULD work for you.

  1. Install Nvidia Drivers
     
  2. The original method/program used by DifferentSLIAuto is no longer working for the latest versions of Nvidia drivers (driver versions 4xx and on). We have two choices, we can go with the old method and use an older driver or we can mod newer drivers manually. This is what I did, and what I'll be describing:
     
  3. Download DifferentSLIAuto version 1.7.1
  4. Download a Hex Editor (I used HxD)
     
  5. Copy nvlddmkm.sys from C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\nv_dispi.inf_amd64_b49751b9038af669 to your DifferentSLIAuto folder (NOTE: if you are not using driver version 430.86, then the nvlddmkm.sys file you must modify will be located some where else and you must find it yourself by going to Device Manager > Display adapters > YOUR CARD). 
  6. Mod the copied nvlddmkm.sys file by opening it in a Hex Editor. Here are the changes for driver 430.86:

    Address: [OLD VALUE] [NEW CHANGED VALUE]
    000000000027E86D: 84 C7
    000000000027E86E: C0 43
    000000000027E86F: 75 24
    000000000027E870: 05 00
    000000000027E871: 0F 00
    000000000027E872: BA 00
    000000000027E873: 6B 00


    Save and exit Hex Editor
     
  7. In your DifferentSLIAuto folder, right click and edit install.cmd. Replace all instances of "nv_dispi.inf_amd64_7209bde3180ef5f7" with the location of where our original nvlddmkm.sys file was in our case this is "nv_dispi.inf_amd64_b49751b9038af669". The install.cmd file will modify the copy we added to the folder and replace the original one found at the location we specify here. Use this video for reference but please note that in the video the driver version is different then ours and they replace nv_dispi.inf_amd64_7209bde3180ef5f7, with nv_dispi.inf_amd64_9ab613610b40aa98 instead of nv_dispi.inf_amd64_b49751b9038af669.
  8. Move your DifferentSLIAuto Folder to the root of your C:\ drive.
     
  9. Set UAC to the lowest setting (OFF) in Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Security and Maintenance.
     
  10. Run cmd.exe as admin and enter:
    bcdedit.exe /set loadoptions DISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
    bcdedit.exe /set NOINTEGRITYCHECKS ON
    bcdedit.exe /set TESTSIGNING ON

     
  11. Restart you computer into safe mode + network enabled (Video showing how to do it quickly using Shift + Restart)
     
  12. Within the DifferentSLIAuto folder located at "C:\", run install.cmd as admin. After only a few seconds the CMD window text should all be green indicating that all is well!
     
  13. Open up your Nvidia Control Panel and under 3d Settings it should now say "Configure SLI, Surround, PhysX".  Click that option, and under SLI Configuration Select Maximize 3d performance and that's it!

 

Nvidia Profile Inspector

The default settings in the Nvidia Control Panel really suck. After FINALLY getting SLI to work I was getting only 40 FPS in SLI when before I was getting 100+ FPS prior to enabling SLI. I was about ready to give up when I came across Nvidia Profile Inspector! By changing a few settings with Nvidia Profile Inspector, I was able to finally get great SLI results (70 FPS). Keep in mind that I only changing settings in profile inspector for only a few hours, so I'm sure there are many optimizations to be made, so hopefully we can figure it out as a community.

Run Nvidia Profile Inspector. I recommend the following settings for now for the _GLOBAL_DRIVER_PROFILE (Base Profile).

Nvidia Profile Inspector Settings:
1 - Compatibility -
SLI compatibility bits: 0x02C00005
SLI compatibility bits (DX10 + DX11): 0x080000F5


5 - Common -
Power management mode: Prefer maximum performance
Thread optimization: On

 

6 - SLI -
NVIDIA predefined number of GPUs to use on SLI rendering mode: 0x00000002 SLI_PREDEFINED_GPU_COUNT_TWO
NVIDIA predefined number of GPUs to use on SLI rendering mode (on DirectX 10): 0x00000002 SLI_PREDEFINED_GPU_COUNT_TWO
NVIDIA predefined SLI mode:
PLAY WITH BOTH: 0x00000002 SLI_PREDEFINED_MODE_FORCE_AFR & 0x00000003 SLI_PREDEFINED_MODE_FORCE_AFR2
NVIDIA predefined SLI mode on DirectX 10:
PLAY WITH BOTH: 0x00000002 SLI_PREDEFINED_MODE_FORCE_AFR & 0x00000003 SLI_PREDEFINED_MODE_FORCE_AFR2

SLI rendering mode: Try: 0x00000000 SLI_RENDERING_MODE_AUTOSELECT, 0x00000002 SLI_RENDERING_MODE_FORCE_AFR. 0x00000003 SLI_RENDERING_MODE_FORCE_AFR2

MAKE SURE TO HIT APPLY CHANGES ON TOP RIGHT HAND CORNER

Next we will make some changes in Control Panel > Nvidia Control Panel
Nvidia Control Panel

Manage 3D Settings > Global Settings

Power management mode: Prefer maximum performance

SLI rendering mode: start by leaving this alone, and then make it match your Nvidia Profile Inspector settings (so if you are trying 0x00000002 AFR, set this to Force alternate frame rendering 1, and if your are trying 0x00000003 AFR2, set this to alternate frame rendering 2)

 

And that's it! Now keep in mind the settings above are far from the best, and are only a starting point for us. It is probably best to find individual game profiles for each title and go from there. I will be googling "Nvidia Profile Inspector <insert game here>" for a while and trying different settings out. Make sure you change the "NVIDIA predined number of GPUs" settings to TWO if you change profiles because in my experience it was defaulting to FOUR (this may be because I do have 4 physical cards installed on the motherboard, so if someone else gets different results please let me know).
 

 

SOME CLOSING THOUGHTS

I did some additional research which lead me to open up my motherboard manual. I discovered that in my case, my mother board PCIe slots change speed depending on a wide number of factors (for example, if I have a 28 lane CPU, some of my PCIe 3.0 slots (PCIE1/PCIE3/PCI5) STOP functioning in x16 and instead run at x16/x8/x4. If that wasn't a big enough kick in the nuts, since I have an m.2 SSD in my m.2 slot, my PCIE5 slot doesn't function at all).

 

All in all, this was fun adventure for me, and I really hope this information helps people who are interested in trying SLI via VMs!

 

Edited by neogenesisrevo

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On 7/16/2019 at 11:41 AM, neogenesisrevo said:

"PCIE2 (PCIe 2.0 x16 slot) is used for PCI Express x4 lane width cards."????? What does that even mean? I guess it means, we're advertising this slot as x16 but it's really just x4. 

Check the flip side of the motherboard to see the solder connections - you can tell that way if an x16 looking slot is really an x4 slot.

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