I am trying to figure out if it could be possible to determine if whether a given motherboard with a certain chipset supports either Crossfire or SLI? I am hoping there will be a way because I am creating a PC builder application and would like to determine if Crossfire or SLI is supported by chipset.
Well it would be easy to create a list of what chipsets support SLI, such as any Nforce, and any Intel xx series and up. And then do the same for crossfire.
However that won’t tell you how many physical pcie ports the mother board has. The challenging part of this is just because the chipset supports sli or crossfire in the spec does not mean the mobo manufacturer enables it in the circuitry of the board, and the bios rom.
Crossfire is entirely different than SLI in that Crossfire is 'open' and SLI requires a 'BIOS Key' to allow for SLI operation i.e. SLI is Licensed. Crossfire simply requires compatible (see chart) AMD/ATI GPU(s) to occupy any PCIe x4, x8, or x16 slot and the Bridge to be connected to supported and 'matching' GPU(s).
In an example of a non-SLI you can have two PCIe slots either x8 or x16, x4 is never Licensed or Supported, connect the SLI Bridge and have nothing but 2 or more nVidia GPU(s) as separate discrete GPUs i.e. no SLI. Further, nVidia requires both cards to be the same type and series e.g. GTX 560 + GTX 560.
vRAM and Clocks, in either SLI or CF the 'slowest' and lowest vRAM (GB) 'wins' -- examples: 2GB + 4GB = 2GB vRAM, or 1000MHz + 900MHz = 900MHz.