Amongst much wrangling and dragging of heals, Intel enthusiasts may finally be able to partake in some NVIDIA SLI goodness, or so this report from Expreview would have us believe.
Unrevealed sources have suggested that by selling its BR04 chipset to Intel, the Santa Clara, CA based company has effectively given its blessing to Intel, to incorporate SLI support into its upcoming X58 platform.
This doesn't mean, however, that we could reasonably expect to see SLI support filter in immediately. It is cited that at some $30, the BR04 adds to manufacturing costs and interestingly, an X58 powered SKU built on reference design, will not be able to support the BR04 without a change in PCB layout. This adds a further headache to the ever so diminishing margins of manufacturers and will undoubtedly result in a new pricing precedence being set.
Lastly, on this score, it is claimed that if a partner wishes to offer two iterations of an X58 powered platform, one with SLI support enabled, and one without, they would require two separate PCB layouts, effectively throwing commonality of PCB design (and therefore cost savings), out of the window.
What does NVIDIA get out of the equation? Well, apart from being able to compete with AMD in the multi graphics card arena, on an Intel chipset powered platform, NVIDIA has apparently received an Intel QPI license, in return.
However, NVIDIA isn't currently expected to immediately throw its own LGA 1366 chipset solution into the ring, yet will concentrate its energies on the LGA 1160 socket, due in 2009, which will first support another Nehalem microarchitecture derivative, the Intel Lynnfield.
Apparently, with the LGA 1160 platform utilising DMI to link to the Southbridge, NVIDIA fancies hedging its bets here and for now, avoids the effort (and cost) of dealing with Intel's new QPI architecture.
So, is NVIDIA going for mid-range and leaving high-end, high bother to Intel?