You may remember little over a month ago Nvidia and Intel finally came to an agreement that would enable SLI configurations on some X58 boards via an nForce 200 bridging chip, though motherboard makers weren’t too fond of the solution because it added to the cost and complexity of their products. Thus, at the Nvision event in California, the graphics company has outlined another plan to stop ATI’s CrossFire from stealing the limelight.
Specifically, Nvidia has decided to open up the SLI technology to all X58 motherboards – provided that they meet certain requirements and, of course, pay a licensing fee. Native licensing will not require the use of Nvidia's nForce 200 chips and thereby the company hopes to broaden the range of its graphics offerings on Intel’s next high-end desktop platform.
There’s a slight catch, though. Only boards carrying an nForce 200 bridging chip will be able to support three-way and four-way SLI at the highest bandwidth possible, while the new licensed native SLI setup on X58 boards is limited to a standard two-way SLI via two PCIe x16 slots, or three and four-way configurations with one x16 and two x8s or four x8s. Nevertheless, Nvidia’s new position towards SLI support by third parties’ chipsets is great news for gamers and a step in the right direction for a more open ecosystem.