Any new technology, especially a promising one, encounters all manner of obstacles as it is finding its way into the market. Although it may have tremendous potential and offer unique opportunities, the new technology often suffers from numerous imperfections and flaws but it sheds them as the developers are polishing it off. So it’s only after the required level of reliability and compatibility is achieved that the user can enjoy the final product as it was conceived by the developer.
NVIDIA’s multi-GPU SLI technology was likewise born with huge potential, but didn’t work at all or worked incorrectly with a number of games. Some critics were skeptical about the technology relying heavily on the software, but this eventually turned to be the salvation. In fact, the hardware part of NVIDIA SLI technology was originally designed very cleverly and needed no later improvement that would have been quite costly. At least it would have taken more time and money than the company spent to perfect its ForceWare driver. After a while the incompatibility problems were solved and SLI even acquired some new features like better-quality full-screen antialiasing modes and the option to synchronize the linked graphics cards via a PCI Express bus.
The technology got highly popular among hardcore PC gamers as it long remained the single readily available multi-GPU technology on the consumer 3D graphics market. There was just no other alternative. This monopoly was broken on September 26, 2005, with the actual release of the CrossFire technology by ATI Technologies (for details see our review called Swords Crossed: ATI CrossFire Platform Review). The CrossFire technology had first been announced back on the 30th of May, but had remained on paper due to technical problems (for details you can check out our article called ATI Crosses the Swords: Multi-GPU CrossFire Technology Previewed). Well, we should probably talk only about an attempt to break NVIDIA’s monopoly because it wouldn’t be a big mistake to call that attempt a failure.