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Old 11-30-2004, 04:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Nvidia SLI

I heard of SLI, offered by NVidia, and I know it takes advantage of PCI-E with 2 cards, but how does it work? What exactly does it do?
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Old 11-30-2004, 05:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You can run 2 identical nVidia cards in pci-e slots but each run at 8x instead of 16x. But, 8x to each is plenty of power to run anything for along time, so nVidia says. The dual cards improve graphics power alot, Maximum PC magazine has an article in their current issue if you wont more info.
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Old 11-30-2004, 05:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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One card draws the top half of the screen, one card draws just the bottom, a little chip going across the top synchs them up, and there's SLI. Even if it's performing at half the bandwidth, you got double the GPU power, basically SLI is power hungry and wants the highest settings you can give it, that's where you notice the biggest gains from SLI, not from wanting sli and putting stuff on low settings. IMO they need to come up with a better more efficient card. The 6800 is a damn fine card and they jumped a good leap in graphics, but now they are having to simply use two cards in one system? That's gotta create monsterous heat and a hefty price tag
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Old 11-30-2004, 05:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It's essentially the ability to effectively put two graphics cards in the same computer. The drivers are not perfect as yet, but they are getting there. Here's an example from Doom 3, go to www.hexus.net for the full review :

http://img.hexus.net/v2/graphics_car...s/doom3_uq.png


SLI needs PCI-Express for one... I think 2 16* slots are needed for these cards.
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Old 11-30-2004, 05:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Nubius : SLI isn't quite as simple as that. Generally currently each card is drawing alternate frames, because that's a lot easier to do. The 6600GT is SLI compatible, and two of them cost about the same as one 6800GT, so it could be cost effective in the long run... one now, one when they're cheap.
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Old 11-30-2004, 06:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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not from what i heard, each runs half the screen. not every other frame
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Old 11-30-2004, 07:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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OK, they can run differant parts of the screen, and they have a balancer, because often in games to top half is sky, and doesn't need as much power...
The load is equally balanced between both cards...
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Old 11-30-2004, 07:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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are you capable of haviing 2 lcd monitors as well?
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Old 11-30-2004, 07:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Blake
are you capable of haviing 2 lcd monitors as well?
Good question, mine exactly
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Old 11-30-2004, 07:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Nubius : SLI isn't quite as simple as that. Generally currently each card is drawing alternate frames, because that's a lot easier to do.
Well it was Alienware who first introduced making motherboards with this capabilities. It was after seeing their announcement that I saw Nvidia releasing SLI, based on that, I saw a video of the guy explaining the SLI and he was able to flip a switch at the time and you could see JUST the top half of the screen. Of course this was months ago so it could have changed by now, but I'm just saying, I first saw it as one card draws the top, one draws the bottom.

Quote:
are you capable of haviing 2 lcd monitors as well?
you can Have 4 since each card would have dual DVI

Quote:
OK, they can run differant parts of the screen, and they have a balancer, because often in games to top half is sky, and doesn't need as much power...
The load is equally balanced between both cards...
Quite true indeed yan, good point
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