Nvidia Unveils 3-Way SLI With Crysis

According to Nvidia, two graphics cards are better than one, especially when you're trying to play a PC game like Crysis at high settings. So how about three cards?

Nvidia took the opportunity to show of its new three-way SLI technology at CES 2008 this week. While packing three GPUs into a single desktop PC may seem excessive, think again. Nvidia was running Crysis on a custom Q6600 quad core system with three 8800 GTXs running at a full resolution of 1920 x 1080. And if that wasn't enough, the game's settings were all cranked to very high.

So how did the game perform on Nvidia's customer three-way SLI gaming rig? Not bad, actually. Nvidia representatives at the show said the game was getting about 30 to 40 frames per second, though the game was still extremely taxing for the system. Watching a demo of the first level of Crysis on the three-way SLI system, there were some points in the game where the frame rates had obviously dropped into the teens or even lower. Still, the game looked fabulous with all of the setting at maximum, and frame rates were mostly steady throughout the action sequences.

Nvidia's three-way SLI system at CES.

A close-up of the three GeForce 8800 GTX cards.

The three-way SLI system needs quite a few fans to keep it cool.

A motherboard and thre-way SLI configuration of three GeForce 8800 Ultra cards.

Three-way SLI 8800 Ultras.

Three-way SLI 8800 Ultras.