Question SLI scaling issue in EVERY game/benchmark

Feb 24, 2019
Hello and thank you in advance for any help.

First and foremost, my specs:

3440x1440 @ 100hz (vsync disabled in ALL tests)
2080 ti nvlinked (official nVidia bridge)
6850k (small overclock, nothing major. Have tested at stock clocks too)
32gb RAM @ 2666 (tried at stock too)
Asus V Extreme Ed. 10
960 pro

I had the EXACT same issue with 1080 ti SLI over a HB bridge prior to this upgrade too.

It doesn't matter what game/benchmark I run, I'll get low GPU usage across the board. Unigine Heaven, Firestrike, and every game confirmed to have SLI support. E.G Apex Legends (runs better than most games, actually. 80% usage) Tomb raider games, Vermintide 2

If I play a game in single card mode, I rarely get above 95% usage too. Most of the time I'll get the same usage as I did with SLI on. 60% or similar. DX12 helps here, but it's not a silver bullet.

All hardware is running at its expected clocks and speeds according to the likes of MSI afterburner, CPUID etc.

Now, things I've tried:
  • Assorted NVCP settings, prefer maximum performance etc
  • Installing latest bios, resetting to factory defaults in bios
  • reformatting computer completely
  • using DDU repeatedly
  • overclocking ram, cpu and gpu (no change)
  • DSR settings at 4x my native resolution (brings the usage up a bit, but still not above 70-90% scaling)
Some notes:
Cards are ran in the preferred motherboard pcie lanes recommended by the manufacturer
All connectors are firm and secured, have unplugged and reseated a few times now
RAM is in the correct DIMM slots

That's all I can think of. I've struggled with this issue for a long time now and it's somewhat infuriating not knowing what to do about it. I'm aware the cpu may be a bottleneck, but upgrading is the last thing I want to do if it can be avoided
Just to clarify for others to help you, what is the nature of the issue at hand? Low GPU usage/utilisation or poor scaling using SLI?

Multi-card set ups are generally thought to be highly inefficient for what little gain there is; and because of the poor support and optimisation of such hardware configurations it's often recommended to get the most powerful singular card affordable. I believe only.... Sniper 4 Elite has really good multi-card support which is closest to the linear scaling assumed.