When Nvidia unveiled Quad SLI on the GeForce 7900GX2, the PC world was excited about the prospect of four graphics processors for rendering. This came at a very high price, however, and it was only available through system builders, which was a disappointment for enthusiasts.
Nvidia then repackaged the GeForce 7900GX2 into the GeForce 7950GX2. The redesign eliminated the need for one of the SLI bridges and shortened the board. Other great improvements over the GeForce 7900GX2A included a better layout of the memory modules, ventilation of the bottom graphics circuit board and a shorter form factor. The advent of the GeForce 7950GX2 brought the official dual graphics processor solution to the elite enthusiast base that could afford it. However, one still had to go through an authorized vendor to purchase it.
While Nvidia developed the product for the hardcore high resolution and intense image quality crowd, the "do-it-yourself" crowd was left out in the cold. The reason was that the official drivers were held back, denying folks from experiencing building a Quad-SLI system on their own. This scenario has now changed-the drivers that were only available to insiders and system integrators are now public in the latest beta driver, ForceWare 91.33.
Although the driver has not received Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) certification, the driver installed well on our system and gave us results compared to our GeForce 7900GX2 testing. This time around we were ready, so we did not have all the headaches we had the first time around with Quad-SLI. The official WHQL drivers should hit the Nvidia website sometime on August the 9th, but we wanted to show right away that Quad-SLI for the enthusiast is already here. Although it is not perfect, we think things will only get better, as improved drivers hit the scene with feedback from the community. We took it through the normal paces, and it looks good so far.