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Nvidia’s SLI May Disappear

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 24, 2008 1:42:53 PM


Nice find and if this does occur I would think Intel would be the big loser. 1.5% is a huge amount when you note gamers buy the higher cost mobo's, CPU, and GPU's. Nvidia based video cards can only be so big thus this would mean a big limiting factor. This would also limit Nvidia's bandwidth to at least half of ATI 2 card crossfire.

Nvidia will suffer on the GPU side but Intel's mobo and cpu will see the full force of this loss. Nvidia may switch to only making AMD based mobo's for their GPU's. For Nvidia to compete against ATI they must have the option of using the same number of graphics cards. Intel will no longer have a gaming market to speak of as 2 cards will always out perform just 1.

Worst case for Intel is Nvidia drops all their Intel base mobo's and starts making their own CPU. Intel's GPU's are crap so this is a risky move by Intel to say the least.
February 24, 2008 1:59:55 PM

First of all they referenced The Inquirer so I'm not so sure how accurate the report really is. Intel might be delaying licensing support to give themselves a head start in the market when the new chips are released.

I have 2 GT's in SLI on a 680i board and if I could run them on a Intel chipset I would because of greater performance and stability. Nvidia knows they are behind in chipset tech and is trying to keep some kind of an edge.
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February 24, 2008 2:32:08 PM

I look at this from a different viewepoint, and it is one that sees Nvidia in a high danger area. For many years, Nvidia supplied most of the mobos for AMD, but following AMD's aquisition if ATI, Nvidia choose to cause some problems for AMD. Many people, myself included, have found numerous features, including Ntune, unusable on our AMD powered computers. The reason is specified in the release notes from Nvidia, which is that Nvidia decided to change its base programing starting with the 8800 series GPUs. To succesfully use a 8800 card, an AMD owner must change the registry concerning how the instructions for the AMD chip, thus changing its performance. The effect of this is irritating to say the least. I have two nearly identical computers, one using a 7800 GTX and the one a 8800 GTS 640. The 7800 machine runs without a problem, but the 8800 machine will crash instantly if I try to use Ntune or one of the other Nvidia programs. The only way I've successfully been able to tune the 8800 card is to use Rivatuner.

With Nvidia and Intel declaring war on each other, Nvidia is distancing itself from the only other major company producing CPUs. A sidelight of this is that I find amusing is that Intel's new chipsets support ATI cards and Crossfire, which is made by its rival, AMD. Back to Nvidia, with its idea of supplying video cards of 2, 3, or even 4 GPUs on a single card, the last company that I remember doing this was 3DFX with its VooDoo line. How many people remember 3DFX? If Nvidia does try to enter into CPU production, they must have a specific license to produce x86 chips. I don't know if they have that license already or not. If they don't, I'm unsure that Intel would sell them a license at this point.

Unless Nvidia is willing to patch things up with AMD/ATI and start selling video cards again that are fully functional with AMD CPUs, Nvidia may be painting itself into a corner, at least concerning SLI. Steam may presently report that of the people using two video cards, Nvidia presently has the lead. Arguably, Steam's report may not represent the real use, but it should be close. If Nvidia ends SLI, then the only route left will be Crossfire for those of us who have large monitors, thus Crossfire will become the major two card solution by default.

If this article is true, it may be a blessing in disguise for AMD/ATI. Admittedly, I could be wrong about my speculation. But on the other hand, Nvidia may be signing its own death warrent.
February 24, 2008 2:46:48 PM

death warrant? ya one of the most profitable companys around is gonna die because of sli lol keep dreaming
February 24, 2008 2:51:33 PM

I have Nvidia cards in all three of my computers, so don't mistake me for a ATI fanboy. To me, its more like a nightmare. Then again, many years ago, I had VooDoo cards from 3DFX when they were considered the top company and I wouldn't have believed that they could disappear back then.
February 24, 2008 3:02:37 PM

nvidia chipsets suck. they are also forgetting the ati graphics cards.
February 24, 2008 3:19:52 PM

Haha, this is what nvidia gets for not letting nvidia have SLI on their mainstream and high-end boards.
February 24, 2008 3:54:15 PM

Hatman said:
Haha, this is what nvidia gets for not letting nvidia have SLI on their mainstream and high-end boards.


Did you really mean "Nvidia not letting Intel have SLI on their mainstream and high end boards"? Otherwise, your statement doesn't make sense.
February 24, 2008 4:08:01 PM

Erm yeh, sorry, my bad lol
February 25, 2008 4:32:54 PM

It's all f*cked up at the minute... ATi & Intel & AMD all seem to be on the same side and nVidia's on their own.

I'd like to see Intel pairing with nVidia...
February 25, 2008 4:52:45 PM

dev1se said:
ATi & Intel & AMD all seem to be on the same side ..


AMD/ATI and Intel on the same side? :o  :lol:  Now that's the funniest thing I've read in a long time. :lol:  :lol: 
February 25, 2008 5:10:11 PM

listen sailer, do you think i meant that as something to be taken literally.

look at it this way

High end ATi cards for High End AMD boards
High end ATi cards for High End Intel boards (X38 / X48)
High end nVidia cards for Not so high end Intel & AMD boards (nforce ****-set)

Where's the high end SLi boards with 1333/1600FSB and DDR2 1200mhz & DDR3 Support?
Their might be a handful of them around but they're **** overclockers and mighty expensive.

So nVidia does seem to be on their own... since Intel & AMD's highest end boards are only catering for Crossfire.

ATi is in a good position but still isnt producing the goods to compliment the rest of the hardware.
February 25, 2008 5:14:48 PM

elbert said:


Worst case for Intel is Nvidia drops all their Intel base mobo's and starts making their own CPU. Intel's GPU's are crap so this is a risky move by Intel to say the least.


Intel's current IGP's are crap compared to ATI and Nvidia's IGP's, let alone stand alone GPU's. However, Intel is coming out with discrete graphics cards, so I think we'll see a 3 way race in 2009 with multi-GPU cards at the high end.

Ask TC and others, I'm not an Intel fanboy, I just think they're going to do a good job with discrete GPU's. Eventually, they'll have their own version of fusion, with low end GPU's as cores in a multi-core CPU. Rather than create their own standard, I expect Intel GPU's to be Crossfire compatible, and their fusion's to be hybrid Crossfire. After all, AMD and Intel share quite a bit of tech and Intel needs AMD around.

Nvidia isn't needed by either company. If Nvidia bought Via and got a valid x86 license, they have the money to develop their own CPU's but I'd be afraid that AMD and Nvidia would cannibalize each other's sales without hurting Intel. What I want to see is Nvidia dump SLI and accept a Crossfire standard that we all can live with, so that ATI, Intel and Nvidia cards are all on the same playing field despite differences in core design. That would be a win-win situation.
February 25, 2008 5:30:19 PM

Even if this is true, I don't think it will affect Nvidia overall. How many people actually use SLI. I know that a lot of users on this forum probably do, but overall I would imagine only about 1% of computer gamers do (if it is even that much...)
February 25, 2008 5:31:56 PM

sailer said:
AMD/ATI and Intel on the same side? :o  :lol:  Now that's the funniest thing I've read in a long time. :lol:  :lol: 


I see it playing out like a game of Risk. Intel, having the biggest army and most territory, teams up with the weak link, AMD. Now the AMDtel team can easily squeeze out the other good player that is a threat to both of them, nvidia. Once AMDtel eliminates nvidia, Intel stabs AMD in the back and severs all ties and then takes over the world in a snap. Mwahahahahahah :lol: 
February 25, 2008 6:05:49 PM

yipsl said:
What I want to see is Nvidia dump SLI and accept a Crossfire standard that we all can live with, so that ATI, Intel and Nvidia cards are all on the same playing field despite differences in core design. That would be a win-win situation.


That idea is something I would really like. With Nvidia producing a non-standardized display, its been a real problem for computer enthusiasts. You always had to pick a motherboard based on whether or used Nvidia or ATI cards, or cards based on whether you used a Nvidia or ATI board. Except for a couple times, I've used Nvidia cards for the past 7 years, but I've always resented having not been able to buy a motherboard without taking into consideration the video card company I intended to use.

And yes, dev1se, I did understand what you meant, it was just the way you put it that seemed so funny.

Spinacheater- That sounds like the old game "Clue". Evil Intel sticks a Knife in the back of Trusting AMD in the Drawing Room. Just tha parlor game for when we get bored doing other things.
February 25, 2008 7:02:58 PM

Aww man, tell me you have played Risk.
February 25, 2008 7:09:39 PM

Yes, I have played Risk. I've even won a few games. :sol: 
February 25, 2008 10:08:45 PM

Maybe this can be seen as a Bluray vs HD DVD comparison and maybe Intel will just buy out the market. Or Nvidia? :lol: 
February 26, 2008 12:29:10 AM

SLi & Crossfire working on ANY board with multi PCI-E slots makes the most sense here.

Because my X38 board is Crossfire only... it makes the decision to buy a Single nVidia card over 2 x ATi ones even more difficult.

Standardise the slots so both cards can run dual / tri / quad setups and we're all happy.
February 26, 2008 12:44:55 AM

dev1se said:


Because my X38 board is Crossfire only... it makes the decision to buy a Single nVidia card over 2 x ATi ones even more difficult.



What is difficult about it? If you want to do SLI or xFire you have to choose between Intel or nvidia chips. Did you not plan on going with an xFire setup when you got the x38 board?
February 26, 2008 12:55:12 AM

SpinachEater said:
What is difficult about it? If you want to do SLI or xFire you have to choose between Intel or nvidia chips. Did you not plan on going with an xFire setup when you got the x38 board?


I wanted a chipset that'd support 45nm CPUs & 1600mhz FSB, aswell as 1200mhz DDR2...

No nVidia based motherboard could do this without me spending a rediculous sum of money.

I paid £115 for my Gigabyte X38-DS4... getting something similar based on nForce chipset wouldve cost me over £200.

I suppose the money I saved there could go towards buying a factory overclocked edition of nVidia's next high end GPU... if I'm going down the single GPU route.

Who am I kidding though really... the HD2900's were awful at scaling in Crossfire mode, I dont think I'll ever bother with more than a single card in a machine again.
February 26, 2008 4:35:21 AM

dev1se said:
Who am I kidding though really... the HD2900's were awful at scaling in Crossfire mode, I dont think I'll ever bother with more than a single card in a machine again.


Do research, Crossfire scales well with the 3xxx series. Still, if you can wait till June, the 4xxx series is expected, with a $299 4870 being 50% faster than a 3870 (my 3870x2 scales to 46% faster than a 3870 with the current drivers). There will also be a 4870x2 at $499, if Nordic Hardware's article is accurate.

Nvidia and ATI leapfrog in tech and performance. Don't judge ATI by the 2900XT anymore than you should judge Nvidia by the FX series; particularly the 5200. The thing that bothers me with Nvidia is the "The way it's meant to be played" program paying developers, insuring that Nvidia cards do better than ATI in initial release benchies, and the fact that Nvidia fudged image quality on the 7xxx series for a few extra fps and also fudged the Crysis demo.

It's been years since ATI fudged a demo or benchmark with optimized drivers, but Nvidia still does it. That does not mean the 9800gtx or 9800x2 won't be great cards for framerates, but ATI won't be far behind in most games, and Crossfire scales much better than SLI. Can't wait to see how CrossfireX scales compared to Triple SLI, as I'm likely to go CrossfireX on my next motherboard and CPU upgrade.
February 26, 2008 9:09:57 AM

yipsl said:
Do research, Crossfire scales well with the 3xxx series. Still, if you can wait till June, the 4xxx series is expected, with a $299 4870 being 50% faster than a 3870 (my 3870x2 scales to 46% faster than a 3870 with the current drivers). There will also be a 4870x2 at $499, if Nordic Hardware's article is accurate.

Nvidia and ATI leapfrog in tech and performance. Don't judge ATI by the 2900XT anymore than you should judge Nvidia by the FX series; particularly the 5200. The thing that bothers me with Nvidia is the "The way it's meant to be played" program paying developers, insuring that Nvidia cards do better than ATI in initial release benchies, and the fact that Nvidia fudged image quality on the 7xxx series for a few extra fps and also fudged the Crysis demo.

It's been years since ATI fudged a demo or benchmark with optimized drivers, but Nvidia still does it. That does not mean the 9800gtx or 9800x2 won't be great cards for framerates, but ATI won't be far behind in most games, and Crossfire scales much better than SLI. Can't wait to see how CrossfireX scales compared to Triple SLI, as I'm likely to go CrossfireX on my next motherboard and CPU upgrade.


How long has it been since AMD/ATI has been on top? I agree that in the past they took turns with the other companies having the fastest hardware but it seems that in the past 18 months or so that they just can't manage to keep up. Wait till June and Nvidia's 9 series will be in full swing and we likely will be saying the same thing but with a new generation of hardware. I as most other's wish the best for AMD because it's in our best interest that they are successfull but with each passing month they look more and more like they might not be able to regain the lead from either Nvidia or Intel.
February 26, 2008 9:14:19 AM

ATI was on top before the 8800 series was released...
AMD was on top, before the Core2 Duo was released...

How soon we forget.
February 26, 2008 9:29:27 AM

basketcase said:
ATI was on top before the 8800 series was released...
AMD was on top, before the Core2 Duo was released...

How soon we forget.


I remember and I agree, I just hope your right and they can regain some of their glory.
February 26, 2008 10:06:54 AM

yipsl said:
Intel's current IGP's are crap compared to ATI and Nvidia's IGP's, let alone stand alone GPU's. However, Intel is coming out with discrete graphics cards, so I think we'll see a 3 way race in 2009 with multi-GPU cards at the high end.

You may be right that Intel is coming with their own high end GPU but who would buy? Not I as they have never show driver support for their IGP's. Drivers for Intel IGP's have lagged back over a year. Even the tech was old compared to ATI and Nvidia's. Just look at when Intel added T&L support compared to ATI and Nvidia. Intel's thoughts was the CPU should do the T&L. The end result is many Intel's IGP are worthless on systems up to P4 CPU's.

I dont trust Intel to make IGP's for my systems I sure am not trusting them on high end GPU's.
February 26, 2008 10:12:15 AM

ausch30 said:
I remember and I agree, I just hope your right and they can regain some of their glory.


They will, it is all cyclical.
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