With NVIDIA's recent SLI launch, the graphics market is buzzing with excitement. Even though only some of the latest games really take advantage of the dual 3D capabilities now, the option of using two graphics cards at once offers both new upgrade paths and a nice way of improving the visual experience.
Until now, only Athlon64 motherboards (Socket 939) based on NVIDIA's new nForce4 SLI chipset or the K8T890 Pro from VIA have been capable of operating two graphics cards. In Intel's 900 series chipset world, SLI still has not been a factor. Since we have already proven that dual PCI Express graphics does not necessarily require wide PCIe links , solutions based on narrower PCIe links were only a matter of time.
The first motherboard to implement a SLI-capable configuration is Gigabyte's GA-8I915P-SLI. It includes two PCIe slots that operate with different link widths. The first x16 connector is routed to the Northbridge, while the second one merges all four x1 PCIe ports of the Southbridge into a physical x16 connector.
This is the first product of its kind, which is why Gigabyte tried to give it reasonable specifications. It does not use the expensive 925X chipset, but rather the equally fast, yet less expensive 915P. DDR2 memory was also not an option here for cost reasons. Let's see what the newcomer is able to do.