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nVidia Quad SLI Introduction - Gaming Future Looks Good

By: Shawn Baker | NVIDIA SLI Articles in Video Cards | Posted: May 9, 2006 4:00 am

Building the Best




Once we got the system from Gigabyte, it was clear for us to see that they were only interested in using the best of the best when it came to computer components. Using what is considered the best processor on the market for gamers, the AMD Athlon FX-60, come as no surprise to us.


For cooling the FX-60 we have got the Gigabyte 3D Galaxy Liquid Cooling System. We have looked at the system by itself in the past and we have been extremely happy with it - it was nice to see Gigabyte and Mitac are using it in their ultimate system.



Motherboards wise we have the Gigabyte K8N PRO SLI which uses the nForce 4 SLI chipset. We would have liked to see an X16 SLI chipset used but unfortunately like a lot of other motherboard companies, Gigabyte haven't ventured into this chipset with a motherboard suitable for a Quad SLI setup.


While the system did come with two Kingston DDR-400 modules, we snuck a set of G.Skill ZX modules in with 2-3-2-5 timings to make sure we got the most out of the system.


Moving to hard drives we have two 500GB Seagate drives. They have been setup in RAID 0 to give the maximum performance. The RAID 0 setup combined with 2GB of low latency memory provides excellent load times.



We of course have four graphics cards or two GeForce 7900GX2 as they have been dubbed by nVidia. We will have a closer look at the cards in just a moment.



To wrap it all up we have what is one of my personal favorite cases, the Gigabyte Aurora in black. We have looked at this case in the past and been extremely happy with it. It gives plenty of room and is deigned perfectly to house the 3D Galaxy Liquid Cooling System as you can see in the pictures. It also comes with three 120mm fans to make sure as much air goes through the case as possible.



As you'll notice in the picture above, the system we received from Gigabyte included a power supply which was capable of pushing out 550 watts of power. For a system like this, you wouldn't want anything less than this and if you have the money, go for more wattage - it won't hurt. We haven't been supplied power figures from nVidia on Quad SLI, so we are unable to recommend exactly what wattage power supply you should go for.


Not going retail


The system we have with us today isn't going to hit retail in Australia, due to the 7900GX2 cards already being discontinued as we mentioned in the introduction. Speaking to Gigabyte, they have let us know that the system which will hit retail will be based around 7950GX2 cards which are due out at the end of the month with simples only a fortnight away.


With so much GPU power there is always the problem of CPU bottleneck... yes, even with an FX-60. For this reason the new system will be based around the Conroe and AM2 processors which are going to deliver more power then the current generation chips. We also assume that both systems will revolve around an nForce chipset with two X16 PCI Express slots to make the most out of all the power on offer.

Gigabyte GeForce™ 7900 GT, (256 MB) PCI Express Graphic Card


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