Even though graphics processor developers ATI Technologies and Nvidia Corp. want to lock support of their multi-GPU technologies to their own chipsets, enthusiasts have found a way to enable the SLI technology on any third-party platform on any ForceWare drivers.
Nvidia’s multi-GPU technology dubbed Scalable Link Interface (SLI) requires a mainboard and a chipset that support two physical PCI Express x16 slots for graphics cards (PEG x16). However, the company has implemented a feature into its drivers that did not allow two graphics cards to work in tandem on systems that used non-Nvidia core-logic sets.
Recently Asrock unveiled two mainboards based on chipsets from Uli Electronics that declared SLI support, nevertheless, Nvidia said that as the platform processors were not certified, SLI would not work. However, several days ago a patch that tweaked Nvidia’s drivers and allowed the multi-GPU tech to work on mainboards powered by Uli’s chipsets. Recently web-site Ngohq.com has modified this patch to make SLI work on all platforms that support two PEG x16 slots.
“We’ve managed to rip the installer and to create a modified version of the SLI patch that allows you to use it with every motherboard. We couldn’t do in-depth testing on other chipsets, but if the rumors are true then it should definitely work. Feel free to use it at your own risk, and please post the results in our forums. Remember, this is a modified version and is not supported by Asrock, ULi or Nvidia,” said an administrator of the web-site who called himself Regeneration.
Theoretically, the patch should allow SLI work on mainboards based on ATI Radeon Express CrossFire Edition chipsets (RD480, RD580), Intel 955X/975X, Nvidia nForce4 Ultra/4x for AMD and Intel processors, Via K8T900 as well as Uli Electronics’ M1697 core-logic.
The patch that works under Microsoft Windows 2000 and XP can be downloaded here. It should be executed and afterwards users will have to restart their computers twice. The patch can be uninstalled from Control Panel. The patch is not officially supported by Nvidia Corp. or any other core-logic designer or software maker.