NVLink Is The New SLI
HB-SLI was great for a while, but it's not enough - we need a doubling of the framebuffer to handle 4K and beyond games, especially as 8GB isn't going to be enough to drive next-gen games at 4K, and beyond. Remember we have 8K monitors on the market in the form of the Dell UP3218K, as well as plenty of triple-monitor setups using multiple high refresh rate 1440p screens and triple-monitor gaming rigs with 3 x 4K60 panels.
8GB of framebuffer isn't enough and buying a second GeForce GTX 1080 Ti or TITAN Xp won't help as the framebuffer isn't doubled. The performance in multi-GPU mode sucks pretty bad for the most part, so I want to see NVIDIA putting much more love into multi-GPU setups without going into the 3/4-way rigs. We won't need 3/4-way multi-GPU rigs if the new GPUs are this good (and they have to be).
NVIDIA teased the power of the NVLink connector during the unveiling of the Turing-based Quadro RTX cards, where it doubles the VRAM - so that the flagship Quadro RTX 8000 with its already huge 48GB of GDDR6 will have its framebuffer DOUBLED to a huge 96GB of GDDR6. Now imagine this on the RTX 2080 with its 8GB of GDDR6, being doubled to 16GB with NVLink.
This is where I think we could see a big change. People will complain if the new GeForce RTX 2080 'only' has 8GB of GDDR6, but GDDR6 is going to be expensive for a while as it's a brand new memory technology. Samsung is providing NVIDIA with its new 10nm-based GDDR6 chips for the Quadro RTX series cards, so we can expect the same with the gaming versions.
8GB of GDDR6 on the GeForce RTX 2080 paves the way for 12-16GB of GDDR6 on the TITAN RTX (I'm loving that name the more I type it) which would swell to a huge 24-32GB of GDDR6 when used in NVLink, if it floats down into the consumer GeForce line of cards.
Would we see a doubling of FPS if there's a second card thrown into a gaming rig with NVLink? Well, possibly. NVIDIA could up the ante on multi-GPU support for major titles, giving them better SLI (or NVLink) profiles within GeForce Experience. I want to see GFE expanded to include NVLink so that you can see the average multi-GPU scaling to expect in your chosen or installed games.
This means NVIDIA can sell the GeForce RTX 2080 with 8GB of GDDR6 and if they wanted or needed more, grab a second one and throw it into NVLink and have 16GB of framebuffer.
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