Up until now Quad SLI has been the plaything of those rich enough to buy a pre-made system or daring enough to risk their rig with beta software, but now the stabilisers are on.
Out now is the latest full release of the nVidia ForceWare driver (version 91.45) and it incorporates one major addition: Quad SLI support. For those crazy hardcore enough to take the financial plunge now the safety net has been strung up the delights of strapping two GeForce 7950 GX2 cards together will bring your gaming up to levels of ludicrous such as resolutions of 2560 x 1600.
Naturally chuffed at this development Ujesh Desai, nVidia’s GM of desktop GPUs, slapped his company hat on to chirp: By offering this level of graphics performance to the innovative minds of PC enthusiasts who prefer to build and tune their own systems, we expect to see ‘maximum performance’ redefined. For the ultimate gaming platform, you can’t go wrong with a system around an NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI MCP-based motherboard and a pair of NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GX2 graphics cards and completing the set-up with a top-of-the-line CPU and a widescreen display All very well and good, but that’s a little like saying “For the ultimate driving experience you can’t go wrong with a Bugatti Veyron”, it’s true but bleedin’ obvious. At least until ATI gets its Quad CrossFire groove on...
For the record, other non-headline grabbing bits and bobs the new drivers do include: a new nVidia control panel, additional PureVideo features and enhancements, the addition of noise reduction and image sharpening post processing, improved inverse telecine and de-interlacing algorithms and greater compatibility with third party Mpeg2 decoders.
If I have to a grumble with any of this it’s that nVidia has chosen to initially support only the 7950GX2 but, then again, it is was always going to milk the aficionados first. Still, if any of this makes you go Bambi at the knees then wander over here and get a taste yourself.
Being the spod of all things graphics related Spode (spod/Spode, it can't be a coincidence) has informed me that the 7950 GX2 is the only card nVidia could have enabled for Quad SLI. I had assumed both the ASUS Extreme Dual N7800GT and Gigabyte 3D1 would've been candidates but apparently neither supports SLI. My bad. Hand officially slapped (nothing else though, easy Tiger).