View Full Version : GamePC: Indulgent Excess : nVidia’s Quad SLI Graphics Technology

08-02-06, 06:47 AM
"nVidia's Quad SLI technology is self-explanatory for anyone who has followed PC hardware in the past several years. nVidia's original SLI technology, which debuted in 2004, allowed for two graphics cards/processors to communicate together for enhanced gaming and rendering performance. Quad SLI simply extends this technology to combine multiple dual-GPU graphics cards together to link up four graphics processors simultaneously. This technology was recently made possible due to the scalable nature of nVidia's G70-series graphics processors and PCI Express technology in conjunction with the nForce4/5 series chipsets, which finally have the bandwidth necessary to power such a solution without significant bottlenecks.

While Quad SLI may seem like an easy, logical step from standard two-card SLI configurations due to the extremely parallel nature of graphics card processing, getting four processors to communicate with each other in real-time to share processing loads is no easy feat, which can be underscored by the fact that no company has produced a consumer-level version of this technology to date. Technologies such as this are typically reserved for institutional and government agencies, who can use the technology for very specific implementations. Never have modern games required such graphics horsepower to benefit from more than two graphics processors. However, with the recent introduction of ultra high-resolution LCD displays for professionals, some high-end users can actually benefit from the rendering power which such a system offers.

nVidia's Quad SLI technology is still somewhat new in the industry, and outside of the hardcore gaming community it's relatively unknown. Unbeknownst to many, nVidia's Quad SLI technology is now entering its second generation of life. The first generation of Quad SLI technology was featured in Dell boxes, which featured 7900 series cards using custom nVidia designed PCB's to stuff four GPU's into a desktop system. First generation Quad SLI products were extremely power hungry, created lots of heat, and were exceedingly expensive. In addition, drivers to extract performance from these graphics processors were far from finalized, so buyers of this technology rarely saw the performance benefits they were expecting with such a high-end configuration.

Nearly two months ago, nVidia decided to produce a consumer-level version of their dual-GPU card with the GeForce 7950 GX2. The card earned rave reviews, allowing for SLI performance on non-SLI platforms, and for bringing far better high-end performance compared to single-GPU cards at a fairly reasonable price tag. The one big condition at the time of launch was that you could not link two GeForce 7950 GX2 cards together for a Quad SLI configuration, as the drivers to allow that technology were not ready. A few weeks ago, nVidia released an official driver which allows for multiple GeForce 7950 GX2 cards to be run in a Quad-SLI configuration without the need for specialized hardware or software. As of today, this technology can be purchased by anyone with a big enough wallet. Of course, we wanted to see how much adding another pair of graphics processors to an already powerful system will help performance in today's high-end games."

Full article here...


08-03-06, 04:20 PM
Can someone say overkill?! Woah.. dang..

08-04-06, 08:20 AM
Can someone say overkill?! Woah.. dang..

there just isn't any drivers now to support quad SLI.. , the cards are underclocked vs the 7900GTX's they came out with which have much higher clocks... by the time they get decent drivers for them to work the 8XXX series for DX10, Vista will be released

08-04-06, 09:10 AM
Looks good for Prey and Fear, not consistent enough for me to crave though.

08-04-06, 11:33 PM
Looks good for Prey and Fear, not consistent enough for me to crave though.