Print 20 comment(s) - last by crystal clear.. on Aug 30 at 8:04 AM

X58 SLI won't require nForce 200 chip

PC gamers who are fans of NVIDIA graphics cards in SLI mode have been unable to take advantage of Intel motherboards for the most part thanks to the lack of support for SLI. Getting multiple GPUs on an Intel chipset historically meant going with ATI.

For a long time NVIDIA has maintained that for SLI to function, motherboard makers had to be using its nForce 200 chip. NVIDIA surprised many today with an announcement form NVISION 08 that it will add support for SLI to the Intel X58 motherboard without having to use the nForce 200 chip.

NVIDIA does maintain that to get maximum bandwidth a motherboard does need to be using its nForce 200 chip. The Intel X58 is the only chipset that will be supported and NVIDIA says it has no plans to support other chipsets without the nForce 200 at this time.

Just buying the X58 chipset and building a board doesn’t allow a manufacturer to enable SLI on the X58. The board has to be certified for manufacturer by NVIDIA before an activation key for SLI will be granted. This will mean that enthusiasts will be able to get both ATI Crossfire support and support for NVIDIA SLI without having to resort to systems like the HP Blackbird that supports both.

AnandTech reports that both two and three cards will work in SLI with the X58. For gamers looking at building a high-end system, the nForce 200 will be required to get the full x16 bandwidth across three slots. Without the nForce 200 the board will only offer dual x16 slots or one x16 and two x8 slots.

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By BillyAZ1983 on 8/28/2008 3:12:56 PM , Rating: 3
I remember reading an article a few months back saying something along the lines that NVIDIA would never license out SLI technology. lo-and-behold ATI comes along and releases some sweet new cards and NVIDIA seriously drops the the ball with their 8000 series Mobile GPU's and they seem to be eating their own words. My how things turn around quickly.

RE: Interesting...
By JasonMick on 8/28/2008 3:17:12 PM , Rating: 1
I believe they dropped the ball with their 9000/200 series GPUs. The 8000 series were the clear market leaders when they came out. Now... not so much.

Unless you're talking about the 8000 M series, which has the same problems as 6000 and 7000 M series.

The 8800 GT was a sweet buy for its price at the time. Almost as sweet as the 4850/70 are now.

RE: Interesting...
By BillyAZ1983 on 8/28/2008 3:21:32 PM , Rating: 2
I'm speaking mostly about the Mobile 8000 Series GPUs. I work for Dell and I can't tell you how many motherboard replacements we are sending out because of this issue. While we all know the major PC manufacturers have to foot the bill for now for all of these replacements, I'm sure NVIDIA will be giving us (and every other PC manufacturer) loads of money when all is said and done! Maybe a raise for me hopefully :-D

RE: Interesting...
By kellehair on 8/29/2008 11:02:19 AM , Rating: 2
Any advice for people like me who own a Dell laptop with an 8600M GT? That card will be failing sooner rather than later right?

RE: Interesting...
By chizow on 8/28/08, Rating: -1
RE: Interesting...
By MonkeyPaw on 8/28/2008 6:23:07 PM , Rating: 2
Now compare that to the 4-series where the 4850 competes with a clock-speed bumped 55nm G92 in the 9800GTX+ and you see there's not nearly the separation.

Considering that the 4850 launched at $199 and is now available for less than that, I'd say that VALUE is the difference. What I like about AMD's method is price/value and clearer product naming. nVidia still needs to come around on the second.

RE: Interesting...
By Creig on 8/29/2008 12:37:50 AM , Rating: 5
The 4-series is great as it brings AMD back to competitiveness, but they don't offer anything close to the leap in price:performance that the 8800GT and G92 brought. We're talking 8800GTX performance at 1/2 to 1/3rd the price at launch and at least double the performance of previous generations (G71 and R520).

Now compare that to the 4-series where the 4850 competes with a clock-speed bumped 55nm G92 in the 9800GTX+ and you see there's not nearly the separation.

You have GOT to be kidding. I purchased an 8800GT back at the end of December for $250. I was able to purchase a MUCH faster 4850 a month ago for only $140. Now that's value.

If it wasn't for ATI releasing the 4800 series, you would still be seeing $650 GTX280s. ATI is the only reason there are ANY good price:performance cards available from either company.

RE: Interesting...
By crystal clear on 8/30/2008 6:10:20 AM , Rating: 2

The ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2, which AMD is touting as the “world’s fastest graphics card,” is expected to deliver 2.4 teraflops, or 2.4 trillion calculations per second, of performance. The new ATI graphics card can also support up to 2GB of GDDR5 (graphics double data rate 5) memory, compared with Nvidia's GTX 280 graphics card, which supports 1GB.

The new ATI graphics card is built on a 55-nanometer manufacturing process.

Instead of building a large chip, AMD took the approach to combine two ATI Radeon HD 4800 series GPUs on the same board using what the chip maker calls an advanced cross-GPU (graphics processing unit) connection that is based on second-generation PCI Express standards. The result is a graphics chip that should compete head-to-head with Nvidia in the high-end discrete graphics market; Edgadget has a list of some early benchmarking results and comparisons.

The ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 is immediately available and is priced at $549. AMD also released a lower-end version of the chip called the ATI Radeon HD 4850 X2, which sells for $399.

RE: Interesting...
By VaultDweller on 8/28/2008 3:41:03 PM , Rating: 2
I suspect this has much more to do with the recent Lucid Hydra announcement than AMD's cards, especially since this came so out of the blue - board partners didn't know it was coming, and it doesn't seem like it was planned as part of their NVISION agenda either.

RE: Interesting...
By Rodney McNaggerton on 8/28/2008 6:40:34 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong. It has to do with multiple factors.
1)Nvidia didn't get a license for a future chipset....
2)ATi has been doing it for quite a while
3)Nvidia didn't get a license for a future chipset...

RE: Interesting...
By crystal clear on 8/30/2008 8:04:41 AM , Rating: 2
The word going around in the market is "keep away from Nvidia & play it safe - go for the reliable AMD/ATI solution".

By DASQ on 8/28/2008 3:10:49 PM , Rating: 2
This half-assing is exactly what got you into this perilous balance in the first place NVidia. Forcing people who want SLI ONLY to the highest chipset isn't going to help your tanking chipset sales much.

RE: *sigh*...
By FITCamaro on 8/28/2008 3:58:23 PM , Rating: 2
Or graphics card.

And according to the main page article of this, they will give sites like Anandtech a driver that will allow them to run SLI on uncertified X58 boards. This leads me to believe that you'll potentially be able to hack the Nvidia driver into providing SLI support without either an Nvidia chipset or the X58 series.

RE: *sigh*...
By epsilonparadox on 8/28/2008 4:01:15 PM , Rating: 2
At the same time, it's a step in the right direction. According to Anandtech, motherboard manufacturers weren't going to put the nForce 200 chip on the X58 boards so nVidia would lose out on a lot of sales of graphics cards. nVidia already admitted that they won't have a QPI-supported chip until sometime in 2009 so all gfx sales on Nehalem would go to AMD/ATI.

By crystal clear on 8/30/2008 4:29:29 AM , Rating: 2
an announcement form NVISION 08 that it will add support for SLI to the Intel X58 motherboard without having to use the nForce 200 chip .

Now if you guys remember this-

NVIDIA Denies Reports That It Will Leave Chipset Business

Now read this from one of my earlier posts in the above link-

Oh yeh
By crystal clear on 8/2/08, Rating: 2
By crystal clear on 8/2/2008 12:20:55 AM , Rating: 2

A quote from a link provided in the above post-

Nvidia said to be quitting chipset business; company denies claims

The sources claim that Nvidia will probably transfer the chipset team to work on GPU projects. On the motherboard makers' side, some makers have already canceled upcoming high-end motherboard projects based on the nForce 7-series chipset.

The loss of its chipset business would have a significant impact on Nvidia's GPU business in the short-term.

Reception to the nForce 200 chip (BR04) which will enable SLI technology on Intel X58 motherboards has been lukewarm at best, with many makers saying they will not bother adding the chip on their boards. This means Nvidia needs to find a way of licensing and enabling multi-GPU support on motherboards using Intel and/or AMD chipsets fast.
Otherwise it will have to cede the top-end of the graphics card market to AMD, which now has the benefit of Crossfire

Nvidia sent emails to every news organization claiming the story to be "false" and "groundless."

Well now after the denials etc here you see that it is infact true, that Nvidia is gradually leaving the chipset business.

Form 8-K for NVIDIA CORP- states the following-

There can be no assurance that we will not discover defects in other MCP or GPU products.


DFI, Foxconn and Gigabyte have pulled the 790i boards from their product pages.

790i chipset products have "VANISHED"

Check up major vendor/reseller sites they are fast disappearing as they gradually update their product pages/ sites.

It appears Nvidia has a very serious problem from notebooks to desktops & prefers NOT to talk about it.

As for this quote in this article-

The Intel X58 is the only chipset that will be supported and NVIDIA says it has no plans to support other chipsets without the nForce 200 at this time.

I refuse to believe it - you will see soon they do exactly the opposite namely,

support other chipsets without the nForce 200 .

By crystal clear on 8/30/2008 5:17:04 AM , Rating: 2
The board has to be certified for manufacturer by NVIDIA before an activation key for SLI will be granted. This will mean that enthusiasts .......

Add this to the quote-

will pay more for the certification, as the mobo manufacturer will pass on the additional cost (of certification) incurred to the buyer.

Now who likes to pay more...

The new 3DFX!
By smilingcrow on 8/28/08, Rating: 0
RE: The new 3DFX!
By allnighter on 8/28/2008 11:30:25 PM , Rating: 3
Quick, crawl back under that rock you came from! You're exposing the passage to your troll cave.

Does it matter?
By Aloonatic on 8/29/2008 2:21:43 AM , Rating: 2
How much do dual card set-ups really matter?

The majority of people who buy PCs have no idea what is in side the magic box, let alone if they are capable of SLi or xFire only?

As such, it seems to be a good idea by to allow your graphics cards to work on all motherboards (assuming they have 2 or more slots of course) mostly as making then only work on a few seems rather silly.

I guess this is going to come down to the i7 licences and nVidia anticipating a lot more people running dual card rigs seeing as physicsX (appears to) allow non matching cards to be used together.

Or do nVidia know something we don't about the performance of their own chip-set and they are concerned that a poor performance their will have a knock-on effect to the performance of their cards?

Making them both wholly dependent on each other is a bit risky if one team drops the ball.

By jay401 on 8/29/2008 8:54:42 AM , Rating: 2
could you say "nforce 200" any more in that article? I know the common conception is you need your article's primary and secondary keywords in a text ratio of about 1 for every 50 words on the page, but honestly it makes for poor copy. you can use synonyms in at least a couple of the instances to generate much more readable copy without sacrificing much in the way of search ranking.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs
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