Enthusiasts Add Nvidia’s Multi-GPU Technology Support to “Uncertified” Platforms

Nvidia’s SLI Can Be Added by BIOS Flash

by Anton Shilov
03/22/2009 | 10:56 PM

There is no secret that everything needed to support multi-GPU technologies, such as ATI CrossFire or Nvidia SLI, is at least two PCI Express controllers inside core-logic set, not surprising that artificial limitations can be overrun quite easily. Computer enthusiasts from Taiwan have discovered that it is possible to enable support of Nvidia SLI technology on mainboards without official SLI support.

 

According to TweakTown web-site, it is possible to flash the latest BIOS of Gigabyte EX58-UD4P  mainboard onto Gigabyte EX58-UD4 motherboard to gain SLI support. The BIOS should be flashed using a DOS flash utility and such a re-flash may void warranty or even damage the mainboard. Theoretically, SLI can be enabled on other branded mainboards provided that they are similar to “official” SLI-supporting devices.

Since Nvidia does not have a license to deseign and sell core-logic sets for Intel processors featuring integrated memory controller, the company could not create its own chipset for the latest Intel Core i7 central processing units with SLI support. As a result, the company has to rely on Intel’s own X58 platform to build up ecosystem that supports Nvidia’s multi-GPU tech. Still, in order to gain a revenue stream, Nvidia initiated so-called certification process for mainboards: the company tests a motherboard model in-house and then provides platform manufacturer the right to put SLI logo on the mainboard series for a fixed amount of money per mainboard.

Gaining SLI support on “uncertified” platforms is hardly a big deal: from technical point of view, there is nothing to get: all Intel X58-based mainboards use the same silicon and are pretty similar; those people who can afford acquisition of several graphics cards can certainly afford paying extra $10 to $20 for a motherboard with SLI logotype.

Nvidia and Gigabyte did not comment on the news-story.