Thursday, August 28th 2008

Best News of the Day, NVIDIA Allows Native SLI Support for Intel X58

Apparently NVIDIA has decided to give all Intel owners a big present by introducing the native support of its SLI technology for Intel Nehalem. This information was published first at The Tech Report by Scott Wasson, and comes directly from the final editors meeting of NVISION. According to Tom Peterson, director of Technical Marketing for MCP products at NVIDIA, the company will authorize native SLI support on Intel X58 motherboards without the need of its nForce 200 chip - under certain circumstances. Those circumstances actually include a certification process of every Intel X58 motherboard at NVIDIA's Santa Clara certification lab. Once in the lab, the boards must pass basic testing for functionality, slot placement, and other criterions. After that the makers of these boards must select from a menu of licensing options available to them. Afterward to be certified boards will also be required to display an "SLI Certified" logo on their boxes and other marketing materials. Once the above steps are completed without a problem, NVIDIA will provide the board maker with an approval "cookie" key that it must embed in the system BIOS. The combination of this approval key and an Intel X58 chipset will then unlock SLI support in NVIDIA's ForceWare driver software. The whole process of certification is reported to be cheaper than the cost of the nForce 200 chip alone, which is around US $30. That's the interesting part you need to know, now we wait. The full story is posted here.Source: The Tech Report
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39 Comments on Best News of the Day, NVIDIA Allows Native SLI Support for Intel X58

#1
REVHEAD
Interesting, but there are still a few catches, I hope this wont effect Crossfire support in anyway.
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#2
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
This is great news, nVidia should have done this a long time ago instead of forcing us all to buy their useless nForce 200 chip.
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#3
chron
My interest in Nehalem has increased slightly.
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#4
Jansku07
Bye bye nForce, hello SLI. I myself suggested this option in another thread, so I'm happy that Nvidia decided to go this way. There are few open questions, like how much will this cost for mobomakers and does it affect the boards performance, but it's a good start anyway.
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#5
Tatty_One
Senior Moderator
I think this has to be looked at as a huge leap forward for the end user/consumer, maybe with a little more forsight NVidia might have done this earlier, this time around it's probably just to ensure future gfx card sales otherwise multi GPU setups would probably see ATi taking the bulk of the market share.
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#6
Selene
Does this mean that other boards could be unlocked with a simple BIOS update?
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#7
alexp999
Staff
So what was the point of stipulating a nforce chip was to be used originally, when the X58 is capable anyway?
:confused:
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#8
selway89
So will these boards be like skulltrail with both crossfire and sli technologies available?
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#9
Tatty_One
Senior Moderator
by: selway89
So will these boards be like skulltrail with both crossfire and sli technologies available?
Yup.....mefinks it's just a software thing.
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#10
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: alexp999
So what was the point of stipulating a nforce chip was to be used originally, when the X58 is capable anyway?
:confused:
The point was that nVidia had to keep their chipset department in the black. Though I think they finally realized they would massively be hurting their graphics department in doing so.

by: Selene
Does this mean that other boards could be unlocked with a simple BIOS update?
If you are talking about other boards that don't have the x58 chipset, I doubt it, as it sounds like having the x58 chipset is a requirement(though obvously just a requirement on paper, not a real hardware issue).

Though, hopefully, this means that the early x58 boards that are released without SLI certification will eventually be able to use SLI via a simple BIOS flash once certification is complete.

I'm sure all of this is a result of most of the motherboard manufacturers telling nVidia to go pound sand when nVidia required the nForced 200 chip on the board to do SLI. And for that I must pat the motherboard manufacturers on the back.
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#11
kid41212003
Intel chipset mobo + SLI. This is a perfect couple.
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#12
theJesus
Yes, I won't have to deal with buggy nvidia chipsets any more :) . . . not that I've even taken advantage of SLI support on the board I own now anyways though :o

I'll probably wait 'til second-gen chipsets anyways though, because I won't be upgrading my board and processor for at least another year.
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#13
wazzledoozle
I cant believe Nvidia and AMD havent yet realized how much more money they could potentially make by standardizing the spec for SLI/Crossfire. Everyone and their grandma would be using two graphics cards, due to the tactics of retailers like Best Buy.
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#14
Leon2ky
If this is anything like OEMACT then this shit should be hacked and public within a few days.
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#15
candle_86
with this bios key it prolly will, a good programer might even find a way to intergrate it into other intel boards with dual PCIe
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#16
X1REME
No SLi For AMD

by: REVHEAD
Interesting, but there are still a few catches, I hope this wont effect Crossfire support in anyway.
despite the fact that Nvidia bent toward Intel and gave this giant a chance to get a software SLI for X58, It won’t do the same for AMD. AMD won’t have a chance to pay its way into SLI.

AMD won’t be able to participate in this SLI software licensing program, simply as Nvidia chipset boys see AMD's chipset division as competition. Nvidia also told many journalists that it still hasn't changed its mind about making a Bloomfield / Core i7 chipset and therefore it wants to give SLI to early Nehalem adopters.

AMD is considered a competitor in the chipset business and Nvidia still wants to keep SLI for itself as it sees this as a good selling point for its own chipsets.

You can decide on your own if this is a fair move or not but this is the reality. Nvidia is still very dedicated to making an SLI chipset for AMD processors and if it solves things to its advantage it will even make QPI chipsets, but this is something no one knows as this is mainly up to Intel. :nutkick:

So, don't expect to see SLI on AMD 790/770 series chipsets, or any other AMD chipsets for that matter.
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#17
zithe
by: X1REME
despite the fact that Nvidia bent toward Intel and gave this giant a chance to get a software SLI for X58, It won’t do the same for AMD. AMD won’t have a chance to pay its way into SLI.

AMD won’t be able to participate in this SLI software licensing program, simply as Nvidia chipset boys see AMD's chipset division as competition. Nvidia also told many journalists that it still hasn't changed its mind about making a Bloomfield / Core i7 chipset and therefore it wants to give SLI to early Nehalem adopters.

AMD is considered a competitor in the chipset business and Nvidia still wants to keep SLI for itself as it sees this as a good selling point for its own chipsets.

You can decide on your own if this is a fair move or not but this is the reality. Nvidia is still very dedicated to making an SLI chipset for AMD processors and if it solves things to its advantage it will even make QPI chipsets, but this is something no one knows as this is mainly up to Intel. :nutkick:

So, don't expect to see SLI on AMD 790/770 series chipsets, or any other AMD chipsets for that matter.
What about current AM2+ SLI boards?
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#18
Mussels
Moderprator
Nvidia gives intel an SLI cookie!


This is great news... cause we can just bios mod this cookie into other boards :D
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#19
niko084
I'm honestly surprised they haven't just don't card level crossfire/sli yet, why waste the time going through software and drivers....
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#20
Mussels
Moderprator
by: niko084
I'm honestly surprised they haven't just don't card level crossfire/sli yet, why waste the time going through software and drivers....
they have, the 3870x2 was transparent to the OS for crossfire purposes.

I beleive the problem with that approach on multiple cards would be that without direct driver access, the cards couldnt work as a regular card outside of crossfire (a jumper on the card might be a good idea, swap between master and slave mode)
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#21
niko084
by: Mussels
they have, the 3870x2 was transparent to the OS for crossfire purposes.

I beleive the problem with that approach on multiple cards would be that without direct driver access, the cards couldnt work as a regular card outside of crossfire (a jumper on the card might be a good idea, swap between master and slave mode)
Well something to that effect, but maybe even controlled by the software, set master/slave in software, but my god make the cards work out their own work...

Why do I need a crossfire or sli chipset... It's BS, you didn't need that with the all original SLI, so I'm thinking its a money thing, they are lazy and want you to buy the "special" board.
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#22
Mussels
Moderprator
its two things.

#1 its more money
#2 it ensures compatibility.

its like ram, you need a heap of tweaking options to get every stick of DDR2 to work in a DDR2 board - and it gets more complex with dual channel for example, whereas crossfire or SLI they're trying to make it plug and play.
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#23
niko084
by: Mussels
its two things.

#1 its more money
#2 it ensures compatibility.

its like ram, you need a heap of tweaking options to get every stick of DDR2 to work in a DDR2 board - and it gets more complex with dual channel for example, whereas crossfire or SLI they're trying to make it plug and play.
Ya I can follow that... Grr... stop making it easy for nooobs and make the jobs that some of us can do pay something again.
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#25
Darkrealms
Woot!

Wonder how much that will hurt Nvidia chipsets for the Nehalem market. Good news for the consumer though : )
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