Hey guys; as you know from the rumors around the web, NVIDIA is launching 3-way SLI. And darn, there hardly is a secret for anything released by NVIDIA these days. Over a six weeks ago we started planning our 3-way SLI review, yet due to some very dark circumstances less than 20 hours prior to the launch, we received our boards. So before we even start off with this article, forgive me for the short technical explanations. There's nothing really in-depth or "guru style" today. We'll just focus on the basics of 3-way SLI and what matters the most: benchmarks.
You guys know exactly what SLI & Crossfire is, that doesn't need any profound explanation. But basically you take two graphics cards, place them on a supported mainboard, connect the cards together with an SLI or Crossfire bridge and with any luck, you can double up the 3D rendering performance of your games.
For the last year, if you had a closer look at the 8800 GTX & Ultra, you'd notice there's a second SLI finger (connector) and to date there has been a lot of speculation about that extra connector, to name one, it could have been an extension for physics over a third card. The truth is often to be found in the most simple and logical solution; it was all about SLI from the get go. If you have one of these rather expensive cards you can now link up three cards and enable 3-way SLI.
But now you go ... "Oy Hilbert!, but didn't we have Quad-SLI already". Yes Sir we did, and it miserably failed due to a plethora of factors. In the end Quad SLI was killed off due to a DX9 backbuffer (we called it backbugger) limitation which pretty much hindered games to utilize more than 2 GPUs, and from thereon a lack of driver development. NVIDIA tried to evangelize this with sexy AA modes running over the 3rd and 4th GPU, yet it never took off.
front buffer = display images back buffer = computing images
Pretty sour if you bought two of the GX2 cards at that time. But if you do still have them, you guys might actually benefit from the driver development of 3-way SLI, in theory you can apply the new SLI modes on Quad SLI as well.
What we'll do today is simple. We'll go right into a small preview and photo session, then fire off a dozen or two 3-way SLI result with a bunch of games, as hey ... that's what it's all about. Unfortunately the one game lacking will be Crysis. At the time of this writing, Crytek still have not released their Crysis update which is needed to enjoy the benefits of 3-way SLI.
So not only did NVIDIA plan to refresh its lineup of performance graphics accelerators this year, but also intended to introduce its 3-way SLI multi-GPU technology. Initially Nvidia plans to enable triple SLI support for the top-of-the-range GeForce 8800 GTX and Ultra graphics cards, but eventually it may support 3-way configurations of other GPUs as well, and with rumors of these cards reach EOL soon, they'd better.
Systems with three graphics cores will be powered by Nvidia nForce 680i as well as nForce 780i platforms with the former supporting PCI Express 1.1/1.0a, whereas the latter featuring PCI Express 2.0
NVIDIA 3-way SLI review 3x XFX 8800 Ultra If you had a close look at the 8800 GTX & Ultra, you'd notice there's a second SLI finger (connector) and to date there has been a lot of speculation about that extra connector, to name one .. it could have been an extension for physics over a third card. The truth is often to be found in the most simple and logical solution, it was all about SLI from the get go. If you have one of these rather expensive cards you can now link up three cards and enable 3-way SLI.