Product News – The Return of SLI

3Dfx’s SLI technology was legendary – and now nVidia has brought it back. Performance freaks – rejoice!

The graphics community was abuzz yesterday with the news that nVidia is bringing dual-card gaming back to the PC. The technology, known as Scan Line Interleave (SLI) was first pioneered by 3Dfx, the company that nVidia swallowed whole in 2000.

Long time graphics fans will remember the power of the 3Dfx Voodoo 2 card with reverence. It was a great performer on its own but when combined with a second Voodoo 2 card in SLI mode – it was extraordinary.

The announcement steals much of thunder away from Alienware, whose own Video Array solution is patent pending. However, Alienware’s Video Array has the advantage of also working with ATi cards.

SLI died a death on the PC as it required two graphics cards , while the AGP specification only supported one slot. ATi did rekindle the idea with its Rage Fury Maxx, which incorporated two graphics processors on one board, but this was no more than a short lived kludge that enabled ATi to compete with nVidia’s GeForce which was ruling the roost at the time. While 3Dfx also tried the technology once more with the Voodoo 5500, but it made little impact on the market at the time.

Now with the emergence of PCI Express, SLI is once again in contention. The announcement of SLI explains the pin connectors present at the top of the GeForce 6800 GT PCI Express card we’ve got in our Labs – look out for a review of that card soon.

Lucky owners of two PCI Express GeForce 6800 cards will be able to use this connector to pair them by means of what is cunningly being called the ‘nVidia SLI connector’. nVidia has designed its new GPU’s so that they can communicate with each other, with software algorithms enabling the work to be shared efficiently between them.


”’The SLI connector is visible just above the fan”’

The technology obviously requires a motherboard with two x16 PCI Express slots – which so far will only be found on the new Xeon ‘Tumwater’ E7525 motherboards, coincidentally announced yesterday.

One can speculate that since SLI is an nVidia technology it will bring out a new version of its nForce chipset to make support available at a lower cost than high-end Xeon boards. This would also open the market to AMD CPU owners.

The welcome re-emergence of SLI indicates that the legacy of 3Dfx is still having an influence inside nVidia. With the announcement it certainly looks as though the Californian company is prepared to go to extreme lengths to regain the performance crown that was for some time possessed by ATi.

We spoke to ATI to see if it had a response to nVidia’s announcement. Its spokesman was not surprisingly tight-lipped stating that ATI wouldn’t comment on unannounced products, though he did hint that we could expect an announcement on ‘performance products’ in the new few weeks. We await it with baited breath…

Meanwhile, for the moment it certainly looks like it’s advantage nVidia, assuming you have very deep pockets of course.

More from TrustedReviews

LG Q8 finally brings the V20’s promise to Europe

Atari is now in the speaker business… and the hat business

Thinner Moto Z2 Force could come with a huge trade-off

HyperLoop One

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop gathering pace as NY-DC link gets ‘OK’


Is this proof an N64 Classic will follow the SNES?

Agents of Mayhem preview

cats 17

Why you’ll want to download this OnePlus 5 update today

Golf rory

British Open Golf Live Stream: How to watch online for free

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for Xbox One down to under £9

Samsung Gear S3 finally gets Samsung Pay support in UK

Welcome to the all new Trusted Reviews

Netgear Arlo

Netgear Arlo Pro

Cat Amazon

Are you kitten me? Pet translation devices tipped for future smart homes

fire emblem warriors

Fire Emblem Warriors


Pokkén Tournament DX

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb 5

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay now lets you use your PayPal funds at the checkout

assassins creed origins

Ubisoft teases new games for Nintendo Switch, coming ‘quite soon’

amazon echo

Ask Vodafone: Mobile network’s first Amazon Alexa voice skill is revealed

Google Feed

The Google app’s new personalised feed might just drag you off Facebook

z2play 9

Moto Z2 Play

Mira Prism

For just $99 you can bring AR to the iPhone 7

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S9 displays may be the same, save one major new feature

movie theatre

The Netflix Effect: ‘Binge-watching’ is coming to movie theatres

Porsche MIssion E

Porsche’s latest electric car chargers put Tesla to shame

EE logo

EE’s new 20GB SIM-free deal is the best value tariff you’ll see all summer


These are the first images from the ISS – as captured by a zero-gravity drone

iMac 21.5-inch 4K (2017)

LG V30 case

LG V30 design ‘confirmed’ ahead of IFA 2017 launch

iPhone 7 vs iPhone SE

Waiting for the iPhone SE 2? Sadly, it could be a one-and-done

Google Glass Enterprise

Google Glass 2 has arrived, sort of

Denon AH-C621R

Denon AH-C621R

BBC Proms

Get ready to listen to the BBC Proms like never before

Fender Newport Monterey Bluetooth speakers

Fender’s new Bluetooth speakers look just like tiny guitar amps

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3


Is the laptop travel ban dead? Electronics restrictions lifted by TSA but UK fails to follow suit

KitSound Immerse

KitSound Immerse Wireless Headphones


It’s World Emoji Day and Apple is showing off all of its newcomers

Porn Block

Privacy fears as UK plans age verification for porn sites


New WhatsApp feature could give Apple’s iMessage a run for its money