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AMD and SLI – Reunited and It Feels So Good

For the past two years, if you wanted to do any type of multi-GPU support on the AMD platform, you were given one option: CrossFireX. Now, NVIDIA has finally allowed SLI support to officially re-enter the AMD market with the introduction of the 990FX. An old favorite combination has returned and has been greeted with welcome arms.

If you looked back a couple years ago, budget conscience gamers loved the combination of AMD CPUs and NVIDIA graphics cards because it was such an effective duo for the price, but once AMD bought up ATI, there was (what seemed like) a kneejerk reaction to block out SLI on AMD chipsets. This gave Intel a major competitive advantage in the enthusiast realm by having more options for multi-GPU support, as key NVIDIA technologies were being heavily marketed to end users (namely 3DVision Surround, PhysX, and CUDA). In the interim, technologies like Lucid’s HYDRALogix were introduced and actually gained attention for allowing multiple NVIDIA based graphics cards on the newer AMD chipsets, but performance and compatibility still trailed the level of the officially supported formats.

Other than this, you would need to fall back on the old 980A chipset which lacked all the great new standards (USB3, SATA6) and were limited in stock (NVIDIA no longer was manufacturing chipsets). Naturally, this also would not support the new AM3+ CPUs, so it seems the voice of the end user and media finally broke through.

It’s nice to see that the option is available for NVIDIA loyalists to reach out and save some money on their CPU platform while retaining the key benefits they want out of their graphics cards. Considering we are PC users, being able to choose our parts is one of the big aspects of it, so this is always a major plus.

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Rajiv Kothari is an industry insider who moonlights as a computer enthusiast, providing a different perspective and insight to new technologies.