SLI Arrives on AMD 9-Series Motherboards

As reported earlier, Nvidia is now licensing SLI technology to manufacturers of AMD motherboards despite its rivalry with the company in the GPU sector. SLI will be made available for boards playing host to AMD's 990FX, 990X and 970 chipsets.

"Long term gamers probably remember that for a long time AMD offered great high-end CPUs, but in recent years, AMD’s stature as the preferred gaming CPU fell by the wayside and Intel CPUs have been the gamers’ choice," Nvidia's Tom Petersen explained in an official blog. "For this reason, we’ve only licensed SLI for motherboards with Intel chipsets."

Previously AMD users required an unofficial patch to make SLI work on their AMD-based motherboards. But then news of Nvidia's official support for 9-series chipset boards surfaced last month by way of a leaked slide. It showed that the AMD 990FX chipset is capable of supporting two PCIe x16 slots or four PCIe x8 slots for running 2-way (2 x16) or 3-way (3 x8) SLI. As for the AMD 990X, the chipset only supports 2-way SLI (2 x8). There was no mention of the 970 chipset.

The slide also stated that SLI on AMD 9-Series chipsets use the same "key" technology that Intel SLI platforms use and the same certification process (the same SBIOS support is required). It also said there will be no support for Nvidia's nF200 bridge chip which was designed to work with Socket A AMD processor and DDR333/400 memory.

"We’ve been recently hearing chants of 'SLI for AMD CPUs,' and figured that now is a great time to do it," Petersen said. "After all, we want to make sure gamers can benefit from the new CPU competitive landscape and ensure they have NVIDIA SLI – the highest performance, most stable multi-GPU solution - to game on! According to Steam, 93-percent of all multi-GPU systems in use today use SLI."

ASUS, Gigabyte, ASRock, and MSI are among the first motherboard manufacturers to offer SLI support, with more coming on board shortly.

  • bobdozer
    It's because Bulldozer smashes Sandy Bridge in gaming and not allowing it would have been suicide for Nvidia.
  • ajcroteau
    THANK GOD!!! Right now i'm running an nForce board so i can run AMD & SLI but the nForce chipset does fall short a few areas...
  • desolair
    bobdozerIt's because Bulldozer smashes Sandy Bridge in gaming and not allowing it would have been suicide for Nvidia.
    I'll believe it when i see it. I think AMD is just too far behind at this point.
  • aznguy0028
    desolairI'll believe it when i see it. I think AMD is just too far behind at this point.Exactly, I'll believe it when I see it as well. I would love to see AMD come back with something amazing. Imo, it will be damn hard though. AMD hasn't released something great for gamers in a LONG time, and Intel's prices are not that high for the 2xxx k series either. I got my i52500k for 194$ (tax included)from Microcenter.

    If Bulldozer can be ~200$ and performs better than the i5's, it will be nothing short of a miracle.
  • scrumworks
    CrossfireX has better scaling. Nuff said.
  • I doubt Bulldozer will smash Sandy Bridge I have a I7-2600k and off of air it overclocks to 4.5ghz with no issue and so will any other I7-2600k if you have proper air flow in your case. This isn't P4 days when AMD was the best. Intel has left AMD in the Dust the last 5 plus years.
  • joytech22
    Oh Hell Yes!

    Now that makes me a Happy Camper :)
  • mister g
    I think the SLI thing was just to spite Intel, with whom some animosity remains since their recent break-up over Nehalem.
  • mikem_90
    Oh, sure, because not enough people game on that platform, lets make it harder to game on that platform! Self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Way to ask for a judge to find you guilty of anti-competitive practices buddy.

    Full Disclosure: The bulk of my systems are Intel / Nvidia.
  • kinggraves
    Translation: NVidia found out people were doing it unofficially anyway and decided "now was the time" to collect licensing checks.

    Also, what's with the Intel fanboys? You can't knock Bulldozer until it's at least available. Sure Sandy Bridge is looking pretty strong (now that it's fixed), but there's no reason AMD can't do better. AMD has still done well in the mid to low end builds, and offers pretty good price/performance, they just stopped dominating once Intel got serious. Don't forget what made them get serious to begin with, no one wants AMD to fail.