The vast majority of enthusiasts are not going to jump on NVIDIA’s Multi-GPU bandwagon branded SLI, or a possible competing technology from ATI, a recently conducted poll at X-bit labs web-site says. Still, a considerable amount of potential clients for graphics chip designers ATI Technologies Inc. and NVIDIA Corp. are exploring possibilities of installing numerous graphics cards into their PCs.
Only 5% of X-bit labs readers polled were planning to get a mainboard powered by NVIDIA nForce4 SLI core-logic and a couple of graphics cards to get increased performance in graphics processing-demanding games. Approximately 15% of surveyed expressed interest in NVIDIA nForce4 SLI platform and said they would buy the second graphics card afterwards, 25% said they would wait for ATI Technologies to release its multi-GPU technology and then make up their minds. 54% of users said multi-GPU setups were not economically feasible.
NVIDIA’s technology dubbed Scalable Link Interface allows end-users to combine two identical graphics cards based on certain GeForce 6 GPUs within one system to get higher performance in modern computer games, up to 75% higher compared to single-GPU setup, according to NVIDIA estimates. The technology requires a special mainboard as well as quality power supply to function.
X-bit labs believes that multi-GPU technologies can provide tangible benefits only for users seeking for the highest possible performance with no compromises and worries about the pricing. Typical customers with relatively limited budget seek to buy performance-mainstream graphics cards, or relatively affordable high-end offerings, which performance in the latest satisfies even demanding users. Furthermore, both ATI Technologies and NVIDIA Corp. have been seriously increasing performance of their GPUs every almost every year throughout the history, thus, a couple of high-end graphics cards of today paired on a special platform may deliver exactly the same performance as the next-generation offering, which may be only several months away, but at much higher cost.
X-bit labs readers are technically savvy and typically make balanced purchase decisions based on in-depth investigation of technology and observing various benchmarks.
The X-bit labs poll has surveyed more than 2 thousand of respondents among technology enthusiasts in late-January – early-February, 2005.