Print 25 comment(s) - last by Clauzii.. on Jul 21 at 7:30 AM

Production QUAD SLI ready for August 3, 2006

NVIDIA yesterday made a new quad-SLI driver available to end users that allow the use of two GeForce 7950 GX2 graphics cards in one system. The driver is currently in beta mode and NVIDIA said that it did not recommend the use of the driver in production systems, but only for end user beta testing -- one test that is quite expensive, requiring the purchase of two GeForce 7950 GX2 cards.

NVIDIA said that the new beta quad-SLI driver will remain in beta until August 3rd, which is when the company will release production ready quad-SLI configurations as well as an approved driver. The company recommended users provide feedback to ensure that it weeds out all the bugs. According to the driver page, users are also warned to check a list of approved GeForce 7950 GX2 supporting motherboards. Checking for approved SLI-capable power supplies is also recommended. From the supporting site:

This driver is a Beta driver that enables Quad NVIDIA SLI technology, allowing you to put two GeForce 7950 GX2 graphics cards in a single system with an NVIDIA nForce SLI motherboard. This driver is strictly for end user Beta testing with two GeForce 7950 GX2 graphics cards only and is not intended for production.

The new ForceWare is standing at version 91.37. GeForce 7950 GX2 boards come with dual onboard GPUs each clocked at 500MHz, although manufacturers exercise their own frequency discretion. Memory operates at 600MHz and each board is equipped with 1GB of memory. The boards also support twin dual-link DVI outputs -- each supporting a maximum resolution of 2560x1600.

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I am not a techhead... but
By Dfere on 7/20/2006 1:04:17 PM , Rating: 2
Has anyone reviewed SLI versus single card comparisons to the extent that we could determine how long it typically takes for a new high end SLI setup to be equalled by a single card solution? (By that I mean one physical card and no special chipsets to support the card need be present on the motherboard- the card itself can have whatever it needs on it to match the true SLI setup)

I was wondering if we could determine this, we might be able to extrapolate just how long this 3G monster is actually gonna give a real benefit....

We could call this rule of thumb Dfere's law..............

RE: I am not a techhead... but
By WeaselITB on 7/20/2006 1:29:40 PM , Rating: 2
Well 2 6800 Ultra's are rougly equivalent to a 7800GTX, give or take some FPS here and there.


RE: I am not a techhead... but
By Webgod on 7/20/2006 1:43:06 PM , Rating: 2
And a 7900GT Now going for ~$260 (or lower after rebate) is practically equivalent to a 7800 GTX. Two 7900GT's in SLI is pretty close to a single 7950 GX2 which sells for ~$580, although the GX2 would have twice the RAM, 1GB total.

RE: I am not a techhead... but
By Clauzii on 7/21/2006 7:25:41 AM , Rating: 2
You don't get 1GB in SLI - the cards are loaded with the same data, basically.

RE: I am not a techhead... but
By finbarqs on 7/20/2006 1:31:11 PM , Rating: 2
remember, these cards wil typically run SLOWER than a standard SLI setup if you do not enable the features/resolution. Quad SLI was designed for people who also has another 2-3G's to throw down on a High End monitor. Otherwise, this does not "improve" framerates using standard (1280x1024) resolutions. You want the 1920x1200, 2056x1600 resolutions for this quad to start out performing standard SLI. In fact, this will lower your 3DMark scores, if you care that much about synthetic testing.

RE: I am not a techhead... but
By PitViper007 on 7/20/2006 3:24:25 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. All the benchmark numbers that I've seen show that SLI really shines at the higher resolutions. At the lower resolutions (1280 x 1024 or less) framerates are on par or actually less than the single card numbers. So, the key is if you have a large monitor running at 1600 x 1200 or greater, SLI will give you a lot of benefits. If you (like me) are running a 19" LCD that can only go to 1280 x 1024, then don't waste your money.


RE: I am not a techhead... but
By xdrol on 7/20/2006 1:34:22 PM , Rating: 2
1 generation? (The 7800 is more powerful as a 6800-SLI configuration)

RE: I am not a techhead... but
By Kougar on 7/20/2006 4:29:49 PM , Rating: 2
I would say that Quad-SLI would be moot once DX10 cards roll out by the end of this year. A single G80 or ATI's own DX10 card especially should perform pretty close to a Quad-SLI rig, not even mentioning DX9 cards will be locked out of a useful lifespan once Vista and DX10 games roll in...

RE: I am not a techhead... but
By Clauzii on 7/21/2006 7:27:03 AM , Rating: 2

SLI on Intel Chipset Boards??
By othercents on 7/20/2006 1:33:55 PM , Rating: 2
This is very interesting but if you look at the motherboard compatibility page for Nvidia they have several motherboards listed that are Intel chipset. My understanding was that you could only run SLI on a NForce motherboard.


RE: SLI on Intel Chipset Boards??
By defter on 7/20/2006 2:49:59 PM , Rating: 2
You need NForce motherboard if you want to use two NVidia video cards in SLI. However, GX2 is a single card, thus it will work in most motherboards.

By othercents on 7/20/2006 4:33:11 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I went back to the website and it wasn't to show the Quad SLI capable motherboards, but the 7950GX2 capable motherboards.


By fanbanlo on 7/20/2006 3:20:20 PM , Rating: 2
Oh? no such support? forget it~ :D

By Master Kenobi on 7/20/2006 3:33:09 PM , Rating: 2
Yea seems ATI has corner of the market when it comes to the HDR + AA arena, and the DVD playing arena.

By Clauzii on 7/21/2006 7:28:30 AM , Rating: 2
That corner must be a whole block then :)

By KenGoding on 7/20/2006 12:34:53 PM , Rating: 2
That is some serious graphics processing. Anyone wanna loan me a couple grand?

RE: Gulp
By Rage187 on 7/20/2006 12:57:02 PM , Rating: 2
the cards alone will run you about $1200, nonetheless that some serious frames.

RE: Gulp
By bunnyfubbles on 7/20/2006 2:41:25 PM , Rating: 1
dont forget the cost of a 30" LCD - although "serious frames" wouldn't exactly exist on such a monitor, you'd certainly be capable of playable frames ;)

By vhx on 7/20/2006 4:33:03 PM , Rating: 2
I work for a graphics card company and we have a few people call about this. Good to know.

On another speaking of $1200 video cards, I had someone call in who purchased 2x7900GTX's and removed the stickers off the back of them. Not only did it void the warranty, but both of his cards were defective. /ouch

RE: Awesome
By rrsurfer1 on 7/20/2006 4:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
That's pretty dumb. They say right on them that removal will void the warranty.

More Power To nVidia!
By AggressorPrime on 7/20/2006 7:00:01 PM , Rating: 2
Beta today, final at the end of summer. Now that the drivers are all fixed, all we need is that Conroe EE. The Kentwood (Q406) would even do better.

RE: More Power To nVidia!
By Clauzii on 7/21/2006 7:30:32 AM , Rating: 2
By the end of the summer it's outdated..

By exdeath on 7/20/2006 1:37:18 PM , Rating: 2
Lol go figure...

This is just a last ditch effort to get people to buy more 7950 GX2 cards just before the pending release of the 8 series cards.

Its always too little too late isn't it...

G80 Driver
By othercents on 7/20/2006 4:31:54 PM , Rating: 2
There have been comments about the G80 GPU being a dual core requiring a Quad GPU driver if you run the cards in SLI. I have yet to see Nvidia do something with their products that wasn't a precurser to what would happen in the future. This is definetly a step that was needed if they want to make dual core GPUs.


Voodoo 6000
By Alphafox78 on 7/20/2006 5:30:32 PM , Rating: 2
We are finally seeing some benchmark numbers come close to the legendary Voodoo 6000!! ;)

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates
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