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Current Achievements and Future

Summing everything up, we should note that although the subsystem with four Nvidia GeForce 7900 chips doesn’t spontaneously reboots and shows no rendering artifacts, quad SLI technology still needs improvements in terms of driver support. There are problems with the control panel, there are performance hits as you add a second card into the system, there is poor performance scalability and a lot of other drawbacks that clearly show that quad SLI hasn’t yet matured really.

It’s not yet clear if it ever does. A few days ago there appeared photographs of the next-generation graphics card Nvidia GeForce 8800. Judging by them, the card is going to have two +12V power connector, so the power consumption of the GeForce 8800 may be as high as 150W. Thus, even if dual-processor cards clock their GPUs at a reduced frequency, the power consumption of a graphics subsystem with four GeForce 8800 will hardly be lower than 500W (it may rather be 600W or more). The market offers 1000W and higher power supply even today, so such a high level of power consumption is not a problem. The problem is how to dissipate those 500 watts from the graphics processors only. It means that the promotion of quad SLI technology will stop or at least slow down due to the practical issues involved in building systems with four graphics processors.

Gigabyte GV-3D1-7950-RH: Highs and Lows

The Gigabyte GV-3D1-7950-RH has the same highs and lows as the reference GeForce 7950 GX2 because it is a copy of the reference card but with Gigabyte’s stickers, accessories and packaging. That’s actually the fate of every premium-class graphics card today.

Highs:

  • High performance in a majority of games
  • High performance in OpenGL applications
  • High performance with enabled FSAA and at extremely high resolutions
  • Supports hardware decoding of H.264 and other HD video formats
  • Low noise level
  • Dual-link DVI
  • Quad-SLI-ready

Lows:

  • Worse texture filtering quality in comparison with the competitor
  • Needs support for Nvidia’s SLI technology in the drivers and games
  • Limited compatibility with mainboards
  • Awkward support for multiple monitors
  • High power consumption
  • Scanty accessories
  • High price
 
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