Nvidia Corp. has once again established a new class of gaming computers by announced its quad SLI technology that uses the power of four graphics processing units (GPUs). The quad SLI technology is designed to enable the highest quality possible: it allows to play the latest games in ultra high resolutions or to turn on the extreme levels of antialiasing.
“We continue to drive the rapid pace of 3D graphics innovation. By taking SLI technology to a completely new level, we give PC builders the ability to create an exquisitely engineered gaming PC that is in a class by itself ,” said Ujesh Desai, general manager of desktop GPUs at Nvidia.
Nvidia quad SLI technology uses special GeForce 7900 GX2 graphics cards, each of which has two GeForce 7900-series graphics processors. Quad SLI allows to turn on 32x antialiasing, the maximum level possible today, or to play the latest games in 2560x1600 resolution.
According to benchmark results provided by Nvidia Corp., quad SLI delivers tangible performance advantage over ATI Radeon X1900 XT in CrossFire mode even on system equipped with AMD Athlon 64 FX-57 processor with 1GB of memory:
- When tested at 2560x1600 resolution in F.E.A.R. game, the GeForce 7900 quad SLI scored 47, whereas the Radeon X1900 CrossFire achieved 26 frames per second;
- In Doom III, 2560x1600 resolution with 4x FSAA and 8x anisotropic filtering, the GeForce 7900 quad SLI scored 108.9 frames per second versus 84 frames per second for ATI Radeon X1900 XT CrossFire.
- Performance tested on Chronicles of Riddick game shows that in 2560x1600 with 4x FSAA and 8x anisotropic filtering the GeForce 7900 quad SLI scored 82.9 frames per second versus 53.52 frames per second for ATI Radeon X1900 XT CrossFire.
While initially systems with four GeForce 7900-series chips will be available from leading builders of PCs for gamers, later on graphics cards with two GPUs will be supplied by add-in graphics cards makers, which will enable enthusiasts to assemble 4-way SLI systems themselves.
But the market for computers with 4 graphics processors inside does not seem to be large. According to estimations of Ujesh Desai, the total available market (TAM) for graphics cards priced between $129 and $199 is approximately 3.5 million units per quarter, whereas the TAM for graphics boards which cost exceed $399 is estimated to be 400 – 600 thousand units per quarter.
Certified PCs featuring Nvidia quad SLI technology are available for purchase immediately or will be available from some of the world’s leading high performance system builders, including ABS, Alienware, Atelco, Biohazard, Cyberpower, Dell, Falcon Northwest, Hypersonic, Hyrican, iBuypower, Icoda, Komplett, Kraftway, LCDC, MCJ, Multirama, Overdrive PC, Polywell, Scan, Synnex-Mitac, Thirdwave, Velocity Micro, Vicious PC, and Voodoo PC.