Since the advent of Scalable Link Interface technology, which allows two graphics cards to function as one, SLI has become the buzz word for a cutting-edge gaming experience. Naturally, two graphics cards are more powerful than one, and today Nvidia takes that approach to the next level, creating a single card with two graphics cores. Last year we saw the first attempt at two cores on one card with the Asus Extreme GeForce 7800GT Dual, which put two GPUs on a single PCB. Nvidia went on to comment that this would not be their official approach to quad graphics solution, though.
Last month we were introduced to the GeForce 7900 GX2 as Quad SLI came to the forefront of the news. Today Nvidia releases yet another multi-GPU setup, in the form of the GeForce 7950 GX2. It is not entirely a new approach from the green graphics company from Santa Clara, California - the GeForce 7950 GX2 is the retail version of the dual 90 nanometer GPU solution we saw with Quad SLI. These cards are practically identical to the GeForce 7900 GX2 boards we saw available from system builders like Falcon Northwest, CyberPower PC, IBuyPower and Alienware.
So does the introduction of the GeForce 7950 GX2 mean that Quad SLI is coming to the mainstream enthusiast ? Unfortunately the answer is no - at least, not yet. Nvidia feels that Quad SLI is still too complex a product to release to the public without the assistance of trained professional system integrators. To prove the point that this will be temporary, the GeForce 7950 GX2 has a single SLI bridge but we will not see retail support until Nvidia provides a driver that enables it. Until such time as Quad SLI is supported, this card is being positioned by Nvidia as the fastest single PCI Express solution on the market.
There is one question that still begs to be answered : is the GeForce 7950 GX2 worth the $599 to $649 suggested retail price ? We sought to find out for ourselves. Read on...