by Anton Shilov
03/31/2011 | 09:56 AM
For the first time in history, Nvidia Corp. plans to enable operation of its multi-GPU SLI technology on AMD platforms. Perhaps, the graphics chip designer pins a lot of hopes onto AMD's next-gen Bulldozer family.
For quite some time Nvidia did not enable its multi-GPU SLI technology to work on AMD platforms and therefore users of microprocessors by Advanced Micro Devices could only utilize ATI CrossFireX multi-GPU configurations. However, Nvidia does plan to enable SLI on AMD 900-series platforms, which may mean that the company expects AMD's forthcoming FX-series "Bulldozer" chips to offer great performance in games.
Nvidia multi-GPU SLI technology will work on mainboards based on AMD 990FX (2-way SLI, 3-way SLI) and AMD 990X (2-way SLI) chipsets for AMD FX-series code-named Zambezi central processing units (CPUs), according to a slide (which is presumably from an Nvidia confidential document) published by VR-Zone web-site. No installation of the NF200 bridge will be required, but motherboard makers will need to pay Nvidia a special fee. Nvidia will also let only current SLI licensees to enable the multi-GPU technology on the AMD platform.
For several years few gamers who demand maximum performance did not use AMD microprocessors and chose Intel CPUs instead. Naturally, the lack of SLI support by AMD platforms was not a problem. However, it is expected that the next-gen FX chips with Bulldozer micro-architecture and up to eight x86 cores will offer major performance improvements over currently available AMD Phenom II chips and will even be able to compete against Intel Core i-series "Sandy Bridge" CPUs. As a result, SLI support could be useful on AMD's next-gen platforms with Zambezi processors.
Nvidia and AMD did not comment on the news-story.