Asus SLI board claims 3D graphics record

Chicago (IL) - Asus' SLI-based A8N-E mainboards are first to break through the 10,000 points barrier of 3DMark 2005. Meanwhile, SLI solutions are also becoming more available with performance PC maker Alienware beginning to take orders for the technology.

Traditionally, it took about a year, until any graphics solution was able to reach 10,000 3D Mark points after ever new release of the software, which is considered an industry standard for benchmarking graphic cards. According to Asus, Nvidia nForce4-based SLI technology integrated in an A8N-SLI Deluxe board and two GeForce 6800 Ultra cards lifted the record officially to 10,118 points during a road tour in Munich.

In unrelated news, Alienware surprisingly started offering SLI technology with some of its systems. According to Joe Olmsted, spokesman for the company, SLI systems already can be ordered and will be shipped "soon". So far, the company was tight-lipped about SLI, but promoted its own video-array, which also allows use more than one graphic card within one system. Olmsted said that Alienware intends to market both technologies, but is not yet ready to announce availability of its video-array technology.

As SLI, Alienware's video-array will substantially increase graphics performance in the range between 40 and 70 percent compared to just one graphic card. Comparing the two architectures, SLI simply requires a connector bridge between two GeForce 6800 cards, while Alienware's solution calls for a third card to collect and coordinate the graphic signals of two or more cards and provide output to a monitor. However, the video-array works with any and more than two graphic cards. Olmsted could not say when the video-array technology would become available.

According to sources, Nvidia officially will announce shipping of SLI technology towards the mid of November.