Quad GPU SLI

Written by Geoff Richards

June 1, 2005 // 10:56 a.m.

Tags: #1gb #6800 #asus #ddr3 #dual #gigabyte #msi #sli #ultra

There's clearly something in the water here in Taipei, mysteriously causing everything to multiply like crazy. We have already seen dual-core CPUs from Intel and AMD, and the IWILL and Shuttle SFF boys have gone SLI crazy.

Several vendors are showing off multiple GPUs on a single PCB: ASUS have a dual-6800GT card on a huge PCB, Gigabyte has a different twist on the same concept but MSI have gone one better: dual 6800 Ultras on the one card (pictured); yup - SLI on a single card! This bad boy sports twin 512Mb DDR3 framebuffers for 1Gb of on-board memory and suitably large heatpipe cooler, yet surprisingly it is a single-slot solution and only a single fan.

The eagle-eyed among you will note, as we did with great interest, that there is still the SLI bridge connector on the top of this card, raising the interesting possibility of quad-GPU SLI. Of course, there would be significant driver issues to overcome: Scissor mode, where the scene is divided into two parts for rendering, probably wouldn't work, but certainly Alternate Frame Rendering (AFR) should be possible using four GPUs - instead of taking turns to render every other frame, each GPU would render every fourth frame.

I have a briefing with NVIDIA in 14 minutes, so I will do my best to find out just how likely quad-GPU SLI really is.

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