Leading maker of mainboards and various PC hardware Gigabyte Technology announced its own tech that is intended to boost performance of 3D applications along with a new mainboard using the technique. The method called “Dual Graphic”, like NVIDIA’s Multi GPU SLI technology, allows to install a couple of graphics cards into a single PC, but, unlike NVIDIA’s approach, does not require graphics cards and their drivers to be able to work in multi-GPU mode.
“The GA-8I915P Dual Graphic raises the performance bar for power users of Intel-based PCI-Express solutions. Gigabyte has a great reputation in the enthusiast market and we are demonstrating our commitment to driving innovation in this segment with advanced technologies such as Dual Graphic,” said Bill Hong, GM of PCBA Business Unit at Gigabyte Technology.
Gigabyte’s first mainboard to support the Dual Graphic technology is GA-8I915P Dual Graphics presumably based on Intel’s 915P core-logic set. The platform sports Intel Pentium 4 microprocessors, dual-channel DDR and DDR2 SDRAM, Serial ATA-150 connectors, USB 2.0 and FireWire connectivity as well as Gigabyte’s latest mainboards features.
Intel’s 915P core-logic only supports one PCI Express x16 (PEG x16) graphics slot. For two graphics cards a couple of such slots are required to be present; however, graphics cards can operate even in case the slots provide lower bandwidth, e.g., x8, but still comply to PEG x16 electrical specifications. It is unclear how Gigabyte implemented two PEG x16 slots onto a platform that could not naturally support it.
NVIDIA Corp.’s Scalable Link Interface technology allows two graphics cards to work in parallel to deliver additional speed in 3D apps. NVIDIA’s approach has been commercially available for a while; however, it did not allow installing a pair of “Powered by ATI” graphics cards to boost performance. Gigabyte’s Dual Graphic technology allows to put in a couple of ATI’s RADEON VPUs for boosted performance, even thought it does not provide efficiency comparable to NVIDIA’s SLI. Gigabyte’s Dual Graphic allows to install two graphics cards and plug in up to four displays to one PC.
It is unclear, whether Gigabyte’s Dual Graphic has anything to do with X2, a dual graphics cards technology developed by Alienware, a maker of high-end computers.
Gigabyte Technology said its Dual Graphic interface provides 32% - 53% performance improvement in 3DMark05 and 3DMark03 benchmarks. The company did not provide data on the speed boost in actual games. Sometimes performance numbers in industry benchmarks, such as Futuremark’s 3DMark are different compared to the real games.
Gigabyte did not say when its new mainboard emerges on the market. Pricing information is also not available.