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AMD adds Nvidia SLI support to its chipsets

By Emil ยท 16 replies
Apr 28, 2011
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  1. Nvidia has announced that it has licensed SLI to the leading motherboard companies for integration onto their upcoming motherboards featuring AMD's 990FX, 990X, and 970 chipsets. Asus, Gigabyte, ASRock, and MSI will be among the first motherboard manufacturers to offer this new capability, though Nvidia says that more companies will be added shortly. Nvidia did not share any technical details (such as limitations to two-way SLI) but motherboard makers will likely help us out with that in the next few weeks.

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  2. Raswan

    Raswan TS Enthusiast Posts: 279

    "More recently Nvidia users have been asking for "SLI for AMD CPUs" so the company has decided to give them what they want."

    That's what they said, but you better believe no one buys the qualification that pc gamers have been clamoring for it only "recently." This is a long-overdue change, and I bet it has less (by which I mean zero) to do with Nvidia helping out the customer and more (by which I mean everything) to do with competing with AMD and proving the tipping point between going dual 580s or 6990s (or what have you), given performance benchmarks showing AMD with a slight lead.
  3. zillion

    zillion TS Rookie Posts: 51

    lol 580gtx sli vs. 6990Xfire ??
  4. http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/04/28/nvidia_geforce_3way_sli_radeon_trifire_review
  5. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 8,249   +1,268

  6. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,840   +1,268

    The 970 chipset features one PCIex16 slot. You wont be getting much SLI love with a single slot.
    Any dual-GPU SLI card (for single PCIe slot) does not require an SLI licence.
  7. The way it's been for years now is that we get CrossfireX for free with every motherboard (AMD/Intel chipsets alike), but we had to pay extra for SLI. This is so insanely stupid, I can't even find words to say it properly/politely.

    Nvidia has been losing customers! This is why they now offer SLI for AMD chipsets. There is no other reason. They finally realized that gamers were choosing Radeon graphics cards over Nvidia cards simply because of the lack of support for SLI on so many chipsets.

    I'm not a fanboy of either camp, in any way. I go for the best performance for the money. Whatever that may be. Last year I bought Radeon HD 5870s. This year I bought Geforce GTX 580s. I've had to limit myself to Intel chipsets and CPUs for years now simply because I wanted to have the option to use SLI (just incase I needed it). I also had to pay extra for that SLI support. I am NOT happy about any of this. Nvidia is on my s***list.

    So OK, they finally woke up and smelled the coffee. I guess I'm supposed to be happy now. It's a good thing that we can choose AMD CPUs again, without giving up SLI.
  8. fpsgamerJR62

    fpsgamerJR62 TS Rookie Posts: 489

    Finally, AMD users have a choice when setting up multi-GPU configurations. With multi-GPU scaling much improved compared to the early days of SLI and Crossfire, It makes perfect business sense for Nvidia to offer SLI for AMD chipsets.
  9. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,654   +319

    I think that contrary to some opinions here it's not NVIDIA but AMD which has changed its mind and is now willing to pay its rival. It probably indicates AMD's belief in the success of Bulldozer in enthusiast space. In recent years the market for AMD SLI has probably been small, since AMD CPU's were bought by either price conscious consumers, who are less likely to buy two cards, or AMD fans, who are likely to go with AMD GPU's. Possibly NVIDIA's license terms were such that it wouldn't have been profitable for AMD to offer this in the small target market. If AMD believes that Bulldozer will be a success for enthusiasts, then the market for SLI will be much bigger so paying for the license will be worth it.
  10. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,467   +500

    I'm not so sure about that, ET3D... Every report I've read on this move makes it sound like it was nVidia's move in licensing SLI to AMD. Maybe it's mutual, but nVidia's quoted spokespeople make it sound like it was all them.

    Considering how nVidia got elbowed out of the chipset arena by Intel, it seems like a smart move to make a lucrative licensing deal with AMD to get a little more exposure and flexibility in the marketplace. And maybe it's a little bit of a middle-finger at Intel along the way too? :)
  11. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,654   +319

    If it's really NVIDIA, then I guess NVIDIA believes in Bulldozer, which probably means that NVIDIA has been convinced by AMD (perhaps by giving it chips to benchmark) that Bulldozer will be something SLI buyers would buy. Either way, I'm sure it's not just a spontaneous decision on NVIDIA's part. It's possible it's NVIDIA's decision, but frankly it didn't make sense to not license SLI before, if AMD was willing to pay.
  12. Chazz

    Chazz TS Evangelist Posts: 679   +75

    I believe it says Nvidia is licensing this to the motherboard makers, not AMD. I think if AMD were to be as snobby as Nvidia has been in the past, they could block this.
  13. PinothyJ

    PinothyJ TS Guru Posts: 490   +38

    I'm a 5770 Crossfire user so no change for this gamer...
  14. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,924   +712

    Wouldn't it be a somewhat safe assumption to say someone going SLI is going to be spending the extra cash to go with Intel anyways. And then the board you choose will likely be a relatively high end part, that in theory should feature SLI. X58 boards in this area mostly have SLI support, newer P67 boards not so much yet but thats hardly a multi GPU platform anyways due to lack of true dual 16x support (I know dual 8x doesn't create a bottle neck but its still a limitation in the chipset) At any rate its good to see Nvidia is going in the right direction and making SLI more accessible, but until the day its no longer going to require licensing they still have some work to do there.
  15. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,840   +1,268


    let me explain...
    You're assuming SLI equals enthusiast, and enthusiasts want the best platform, which is the correct assumption. Where the argument falls down is that unless your X58 board has a hexacore CPU sitting in the socket, then Sandy Bridge is the better CPU (architecture and overclocking performance), P67 is the better chipset (native SATA 6Gb, usable DDR3-2133 in most instances).
    You are also making a big assumption that Bulldozer will offer lower performance than both LGA1366 and LGA1155, which is a mighty big assumption in itself- moreso since the 890FX/990FX chipsets offer a very similar feature set to X58 -triple channel memory aside.
    For the most part, the Cougar Point chipset's limitation is not the amount of bandwidth supplied to the two, three or four graphics slots (remember that some P67 boards have nf200 bridge chips) , it is the fact that I/O duties (USB3.0/SATA6Gb) are required to utilise the shared PCI/PCIe lanes that don't eminate from the CPU -hence virtually all P67 boards that run a PCIe x4 and multiple PCIe x1 slots cannot use the majority of the free slots if the bandwidth is being used for I/O duties.
    In short, graphics doesn't suffer using P67, the other add-in boards (sound, RAID, tuner, third graphics for non-nf200 boards*) utilization does.

    *Not much of problem in practical terms as adding a third card usually makes the USB/front panel headers virtually useless because of their relative placement in most boards' layout.
  16. I was going to upgrade to Bulldozer anyway but this news is great.
  17. I have 5770 cross fire also I will not be changing either for a while.

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