Quad SLI Review With Dual 9800 GX2 -
1 - A Four-Fold introduction
In a ocean blue lit room several people are gathering. This one guy stands up and starts a meeting. "Hello everyone, my name is Hilbert and I'm a Hardware addict". Crowd goes "Hello Hilbert". Now that crowd would be you guys ... Anonymous Guruholics. See, we Gurus have this weird need for more, bigger, better, faster hardware. And no matter what the downsides are, we love to read, write or talk about it. We just can't stop, can we? Some of these so-called anonymous Guruholics even get the chance to taste what it's really all about every now and then. And that's where we land at the premises of these green colored goblins from NVIDIA. They, much like us, have as much as an addiction to hardware as we all do.
Today is the 25th, the press is "allowed" to publish results on new NVIDIA technology today. It's a topic we quite frankly already have covered before, yet back then on a different operating system. It was exactly that operating system which limited what we really needed and wanted to achieve, and that is utilizing more than two GPU's to render a game. It's 2008, times have changed and obviously we'll play peek-a-boo with a Quad-SLI system.
Recently the GeForce 9800 GX2 was released. It's a single graphics card solution, yet has two GPUs embedded to complete its rendering task. NVIDIA made this card specifically SLI compatible so that you can combine the two cards together on a SLI mainboard, bridge them and then with the latest driver you will be able to enable that voodoo magic that is called Quad SLI mode.
This is exactly what we'll look at today. And with much of these articles I'd like to present the article to you as a DIY (Do It Yourself) experience, because the few of you who will go for Quad SLI, will be building that system yourself.
What do you need for Quad-SLI ? A pretty beefy system, that's for sure, here are your ingredients:
- Not one but two times a GeForce 9800 GX2
- nForce 680/780/790 mainboard
- 2 GB memory
- Core to duo/quad processor - 2.67 GHz or faster.
- Windows Vista fully patched and updated (SP1 recommended)
- Quality 850 Watts or higher specced power supply
- High resolution monitor (1920x1200 or above)
- Positive thinking and a bit of luck
- Games man !
The last requirement of Quad SLI is patience ... and I'll explain that over next few pages. What we'll do today is simple, I'll briefly guide you as to what you need to think about when you are buying Quad SLI components, then I'll tell you a little tale about the installation, followed by a couple tests we ran, the experience of High Resolution gaming and we'll top it all off with that conclusion we for some weird reason always call .. "the Verdict".
But first off for those that do not know; what is multi-gpu rendering and, particularly, Quad SLI?
We test and review the eVGA Classified SR-2 motherboard. The SR-2 is a dual-socket Intel 5520 chipset based server motherboard dressed up for hardware enthusiasts and pro-overclockers. We'll smack two six-core Xeon X5680 processors on there, four GeForce GTX 480 cards, we'll cool them all with Liquid Nitrogen, overclock it... and see if we can break some records.
GeForce GTX 295 Quad SLI gaming test
In this article we'll review the performance scaling of both a GeForce GTX 295 and Radeon HD 4870 X2. Yet this time around both cards are setup in SLI or CrossfireX, meaning a 4-way GPU setup. Are you interested in learning how well such configurations perform ?
Quad SLI Review With Dual 9800 GX2
Today is the 25th, the press is allowed to publish results on new NVIDIA technology today. It's a topic we quite frankly already have covered before .. yet then on a different operating system. It was exactly that operating system limiting what we really need to do .. and that is utilizing more than two GPU's to render a game. Today obviously we'll play peek-a-boo with a Quad-SLI system.
NVIDIA Quad SLI review
Merely eight weeks later NVIDIA recently released a ForceWare 91.37 driver to the public opening up Quad SLI compatibility not only to these pre-built Quad SLI rigs but also for the do-it yourselfers among us, thus offering you the option to built and try out Quad SLI. Quite a challenge I figured but hey ... I'm not saying it's there just yet .. but there has been some tremendous progress which we just have to write a little something about.