Last week Nvidia released its GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics card which received plenty of attention here at TweakTown in articles we attracted many millions of pageviews.
For whatever reason and it does seem rather lame, Nvidia asked its partner media to hold off on Quad SLI GX2 reviews until today even though the 174.53 driver used in initial GX2 reviews fully supports it.
Nevertheless, the good boys and girls who decide to abide by what Nvidia say launched their reviews today and they can be read below.
The performance of the NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 card, first launched last week, was actually pretty good. It didn't win every gaming test hands down, but it did win enough to be called the top performing part available for those with an open budget. We were definitely anticipating testing and playing with the first Quad SLI configuration in a couple years but after finally getting to use it, I am obviously very let down by the results that it provided.
Of all the games we tested, I'd only give a positive review of Quad SLI on Lost Planet, Crysis and maybe Bioshock; other major titles like Call of Duty 4, Call of Juarez, UT3, Company of Heroes and World in Conflict either saw performance that was barely faster than a single 9800 GX2 or in some cases Quad SLI was slower. Maybe that extra week that NVIDIA held back Quad SLI should have been extended to get more work done on the drivers because that is quite obviously the culprit. We already knew that programming drivers for multi-GPU configurations was hard, AMD already admitted as much in our CrossFireX preview, but rather than be open with the media NVIDIA seems to have put on a "our product is great" facade that only left a sour taste in my mouth.
It's VERY possible that NVIDIA will address and fix some, if not all, of these games and issues in coming driver releases. I have already heard rumors that a newer driver revision will help with a couple of titles; but we can't review we MIGHT happen. I can only test the hardware that is given to me with the drivers that NVIDIA sees to fit to provide. And at this time, performance of Quad SLI is just plain bad.