nVidia's implementation of SLI Continued
- Enabled by PCI Express
nVidia's SLI method is enabled by PCI Express, namely the upcoming Intel Tumwater server chipset. The Tumwater chipset natively supports dual PCI Express 16x which can be implemented (or not) by choice of the motherboard manufacturer.
You might be wondering why we never saw SLI for AGP from nVidia over the past few years. The answer is really quite simple. There was not much market demand for AGP SLI and as a result, none of the chipset companies bought any products of this nature to the consumer. However, given what I've just said, if nVidia, ATI or any other graphics company wanted to produce AGP SLI solutions, the industry probably would have supported the move, as long as the consumer demand was present. Whenever there is a decent demand for something, IT companies will respond by making the required product available.
You could be thinking nVidia is taking a risk by producing SLI enabled cards as the market for these types of system is very small, since the cost of overall implementation is high. The fact is, it doesn't cost nVidia all that much to implement SLI supporting technology into the latest graphics chips - it's actually been present in nVidia's GPU's for a few years now. nVidia's Add-in-Board partners will be able to decide whether or not they want to add the MIO connector to their GeForce 6800 GT and Ultra cards when they finalize their PCB designs. The cost of this is fairly minimal so you can probably expect to see the majority of PCI Express 6800 GT and Ultra cards from nVidia's Add-in-Board partners to come with the MIO connector, as an added feature.
- Dynamic Load Balancing and Performance Claims
nVidia's upcoming Forceware drivers (probably in the 60.xx range - nevertheless, nVidia SLI driver technology is ready right now and is just itching to be released by all accounts) handle most of the load balancing work for nVidia's PCI Express SLI - that is, the determining of which card will handle what part of the screen. Like the recently announced Alienware dual PCI Express system, at this stage each GPU will be in charge of one half of the screen (top and bottom). nVidia were tight lipped on exactly how this will work but did mention as the technology matures, they will be able to handle load balancing techniques in more advanced and impressive ways.
The good news is nVidia's PCI Express SLI technology "will just work". Meaning, game developers aren't required to release any new patches to support the new technology (at least according to nVidia). nVidia's drivers will take care of the entire process in the background.
nVidia claims performance increases under 3DMark03 up to 1.87 times faster than a single graphics card system. These numbers are based on settings of 1600x1200 with 4x AA and 8x AF.
As you can imagine, the higher you increase the resolution and the higher image quality settings you choose to use with SLI, the faster the performance gain will be relative to non-SLI as GPU performance becomes more critical than CPU and memory sub-systems. Hence the reason nVidia choose these settings but in nVidia's defense, you'd have to be pretty silly to be playing a game at 1024 x 768 with no AA or AF with an SLI system.
nVidia mentioned the typical performance increase you will see is around 60%.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
Recommended for You
- We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.
Latest News Posts
- AMD's next-gen 'Horned Owl' APU arrives in 2017
- Xbox wants to be the best place for devs to make money
- Amazon Prime now required for new Twitch subscriptions
- NVIDIA shows how awesome Gears of War 4 looks in DX12
- Ubisoft says Nintendo will be 'back in the race' with NX
- Forza Horizon 3 Xbox One Review
- Acer Chromebook R11 Review
- ASRock Z87 EXTREME4 won't restart - debug code 4F
- ASUS X99-Deluxe II Motherboard Review
- U.2 Kit on Taichi
- Antec and Razer team up to co-brand a new Mini-ITX gaming chassis
- Samsung Electronics accelerates the NVMe era for consumers with its highest performing 960 PRO and EVO Solid State Drives
- Lighting is in the Aer: NZXT launches Aer RGB, premium LED PWM fans
- Syber Gaming delivers VR and 4K-ready 'C Series' small form factor gaming PC
- HyperX Gears of War gaming headset shipping now