Nvidia Corp., a leading designer of graphics processing technologies, has unveiled a yet another public driver to enable 4-way multi-GPU solutions. The current driver is launched officially and is supported by the company, however, it is still recommended by the company’s web-site only for those, who has a system that supports quad scalable link interface (quad SLI) technology.
“By offering this level of graphics performance to the innovative minds of PC enthusiasts who prefer to build and tune their own systems, we expect to see ‘maximum performance’ redefined,” said Ujesh Desai, general manager of desktop graphics processing units at Nvidia.
The new driver named ForceWare 91.45 solves numerous issues, particularly with control panel, associated with quad SLI technology using GeForce 7950 GX2 graphics cards. However, many problems still remain in place, according to Nvidia’s release notes.
Earlier Nvidia said that building a system with four graphics processing units (GPUs) is too complex for end-users, which is why so far such personal computers have been offered strictly by system builders and for the price that very few could afford. Now the company allows end-users to assemble quad SLI systems themselves, but asked users to ensure that they have hardware, which is suitable to build the appropriate high-end computers.
Quad SLI allows to turn on 32x anti-aliasing, the maximum level possible today, or to play the latest games in 2560x1600 resolution. Currently quad SLI technology is positioned as a state-of-the-art technology for gaming enthusiasts who call for ultimate performance and quality. However, a technology review conducted by X-bit labs in late April, 2006, discovered that the quad SLI may not provide absolutely fastest performance even in 2560x1600 resolution, where GeForce 7900 quad SLI lost to the Radeon X1900 XT CrossFire setup in several cases, and also suffers from driver problems. X-bit labs will attempt to have a second look at the quad SLI technology in summer 2006.
“For the ultimate gaming platform, you can’t go wrong with a system built around a Nvidia nForce SLI MCP-based motherboard and a pair of NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GX2 graphics cards and completing the set-up with a top-of-the-line CPU and a widescreen display,” Mr. Desai added.
Earlier this year Mr. Desai indicated that the market for quad SLI systems was “tens of thousands units per month”, assuming huge popularity of a technology that costs end-users more than $1200 to purchase appropriate GeForce 7950 GX2 graphics cards alone.