Two graphics cards not good enough for you? Then try three.
nVidia’s SLI got given a pretty rough time by us journalistic and technology enthusiast types when it launched way back in the days of the GeForce 6800, what with all the dodgy drivers and lacklustre scaling, although most of these gripes have now been addressed – just don’t mention Quad SLI. nVidia certainly thinks SLI is mature enough for a successor because it has now launched its latest iteration of the technology, 3-way SLI and, to coin a phrase, it does exactly what it says on the tin.
As one would guess, 3-way SLI is intended for people wishing to play games like Crysis at insane resolutions and playable frame rates. It’s worth noting that only the 8800 GTX and Ultra are currently supported, because all other cards omit the dual SLI connectors needed to enable communication between all three cards. Given the intended audience (more money than sense?) of 3-way SLI, the cost of three £280-plus cards, not to mention a processor, motherboard and RAM worthy of complimenting such a setup – that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
As with the 8800 GTS launch last week, we haven’t had a chance to look at 3-way SLI ourselves yet, although we doubtless will in due course. However, our compatriots Bit-tech have and as we currently share an office we can gleam information from them as to the performance. Luckily for nVidia and consumers, it is rather good; a third card offering a tangible benefit over two in most games, which is good for both nVidia and consumers. I still think the kind of person able to afford such a setup probably hires someone to have their fun for them, but at least said employee will have a decent experience to pass on to the boss.
3-way SLI homepage.