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.