On Monday we posted an article showing that Quad-SLI could be enabled via a public driver on Nvidia's enthusiast website. The results we got with Quad-SLI under the 91.33 driver left us dazed and confused: What logically is the "most powerful" graphics solution on the market should blow the competition out of the water - but it did not deliver what should have been a slam dunk case.
Only a few games in our test suite were completely overhauled by the scaling inherent in Quad-SLI. At high resolutions with image quality enhancements like antialiasing and anisotropic filtering, Quad-SLI is a mover and shakes the boat. However, at lower resolutions and without the quality enhancements Quad-SLI looks less than stellar.
After posting the story on Monday we received emails and phone calls from Nvidia and Nvidia-based graphics cards makers. That night we also received a newly published reviewers' guide to help explain some of the issues Quad-SLI is suffering from. Subsequent telephone calls laid out some steps that Nvidia is taking to improve Quad-SLI experience and take multi-processor graphics to the next level.
Without sounding like an Nvidia marketing department, it was stressed that "Quad-SLI is targeted at a select user base that demands the absolute highest quality rendering at extreme resolutions. In essence, the Quad-SLI user is most interested in fantastic image quality at high resolutions." Nvidia provided a marketing graph to show where it intends enthusiasts to make use of its Quad-SLI technology. This is target for Quad-SLI and we cannot argue that this market is for the extreme.
What we want to address in this article are the responses and explanations for performance variances in Quad-SLI ersus single and dual graphics. We want to open this up to the community and see what makes the beast tick. So put on your wetsuits, we're diving in.