Morphing nForce4 Ultra into nForce4 SLI

by Wesley Fink on 1/18/2005 7:30 AM EST
POST A COMMENT

85 Comments

Back to Article

  • HystericPoison - Thursday, October 13, 2005 - link

    i did the mod last night. it took me 2 tries, because i guess on the newer boards they have a dot of glue over the resistors that i had to scrape off with a knife. a dot of conductive pen (purchased at radio shack for $13 and change) was all it took. Reply
  • rancidmonkey - Saturday, February 26, 2005 - link

    Hi,
    This is my first post to Anandtech. :) I have ordered a DFI LanParty NF4 Ultra-D from Newegg, and this "SLI-enable" mod is exciting, mostly because of the "budget-minded gamer future upgrade" benefit mentioned by a couple others here. However, what do you all think of possible compatibility issues arising from attempting to pair a 6600GT purchased this month with one purchased 10 or 11 months from now? Could imperceptible changes in the manufacturing process make two seemingly identical cards not work together in SLI mode? I suppose if you really are budget-minded, you could scour ebay for a second-hand card purchased around the same time as yours.
    What do you think?
    Reply
  • cyburzaki - Thursday, February 24, 2005 - link

    please forgive me if my above comment about PCCaseGear and the bridge was already covered here. I am in a rush and only read the last fourth of posts... Reply
  • cyburzaki - Thursday, February 24, 2005 - link

    DFI sized bridges are definitely being made by at least one third-party, since PCCaseGear in Australia includes with their Ultra-D boards an SLI bridge. But I emailed them and asked them the name of the German company that makes them, and they refused to tell me.

    http://www.pccasegear.com/prod1847.htm
    Reply
  • cyburzaki - Thursday, February 24, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • LX - Friday, February 11, 2005 - link

    Wesley (or anyone else, for that matter),

    Where can one get the SLI bridge to use with this mod?

    Thank you!
    Reply
  • ImJacksAmygdala - Monday, January 24, 2005 - link

    I bet it is easier to get the SLI bridge for this mod than it is to get an Nforce4 Ultra to try it. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Saturday, January 22, 2005 - link

    #77 - DFI tells us all boards that will reach the retail market will have the modifications we are expecting. There is a new BIOS and several updates of components to improve performance and memory compatability. These changes have been made to production boards and the first boards off the line are also being updated post-production before release to the retail market.
    Reply
  • ChineseDemocracyGNR - Saturday, January 22, 2005 - link

    By post-production modifications, do you mean that the first boards to hit the market will not have these improvements?
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Saturday, January 22, 2005 - link

    ALL -
    As a result of feedback to DFI on the initial testing, DFI is making a few post-production modifications to the board and BIOS to further improve memory compatability and overclocking. There is nothing wrong with current overclocking performance, but we want to bring you a review of the final production board, so we are waiting for the boards with modifiactaions to arrive. Those are expected by the middle of next week. We should have a review of both the DFI boards around the end of next week unless there are further delays.

    Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Friday, January 21, 2005 - link

    What gets me is that SLI is still viewed by so many people as a "cheap upgrade path" for their graphics later on, and they use that to justify and SLI (or possibly a modded Ultra board).

    Has everyone who comments here forgotten that there is the option of selling your 6600GT when you fancy an upgrade, and buying a second-hand 6800GT to replace it? I think you'd find the upgrade cost from the 6600GT to 6800GT would be less than a new 6600GT would cost you, regardless of how much prices on new cards fall. The 6800GT will also outperform two 6600GTs in almost all games, especially at higher resolutions and quality settings.

    Even if the second-hand price difference between the 6600GT you want to sell, and the 6800GT you'd want to buy isn't smaller than the cost of a new 6600GT; there's still the question of what are you going to do with two outdated 6600GTs when it's time to do a proper upgrade. Single 6600GT cards will be going dirt cheap because they'll be considered low-end, and nobody would buy two of them when much better single card solutions are available. A 6800GT will at least have some reasonable second-hand value still.

    The only possible reason for seeing SLI as a viable upgrade option is if you're afraid of buying or selling stuff second-hand. In that case you're missing out on a lot of bargains.

    SLI should only be considered by people buying 6800's, either both of them at once or the second within a few months. Considering the cost involved, they'd be fools to save a few dollars and hope the Ultra->SLI mobo hack works correctly for them.
    Reply
  • crash - Friday, January 21, 2005 - link

    #73 and it will all be moot because you won't have the bridge connector. You will either have to make your own or buy one from someone else. Either way, the cost will reach or exceed what you would've spent had you purchased the SLI board in the first place. Reply
  • AtaStrumf - Friday, January 21, 2005 - link

    Some people still don't get the point of SLi. It's in the cheap, gradual upgrade path.

    This hack, if nVidia doesn't disable it -- driver support in case of SLi is extremely important - new games will require new drivers!!!, makes this an even better deal for the cheap bastards among us, because you only pay a slight premium for being able to cheaply uprage later on (66(8)00GT will be much cheaper when I buy a second one) instead of having to first cash out big time for an SLi mobo just to get into the SLi game.
    Reply
  • MarkM - Thursday, January 20, 2005 - link

    #65, #66 - what is wrong with nVidia marketing different performance levels. Why do you feel you need to single them out for your wrath? Do you think the CD/DVD for Microsoft's OfficePro costs any more to burn than the one for their OfficeStanderd? Do you get mad at AMD preventing you from increasing the multiplier on their A64 chips?

    Sheez, it's a common buriness practice, everyone does it. If it let them lower their unit cost by producing both chipsets on the same line instead of needing different ones, then bully for them.
    Reply
  • ChineseDemocracyGNR - Thursday, January 20, 2005 - link

    #63, I don't think you will be able to buy the 3D1 card without Gigabyte's SLI motherboard.

    I have two comments:
    1) in your future benchmarks of SLI products could you add some games that may not have been optimized by nVidia? I don't think most people know about this: http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=99&type=e...

    2) Maybe the nForce4 and nForce4-4X can be modded to add SATAII and the other features of the Ultra chipset?
    Reply
  • bupkus - Thursday, January 20, 2005 - link

    #69 - My only suggestion is if you see the SLI board price as just too high for the initial introduction, the price drop over the next year will subsidise your next upgrade assuming it will be atleast a year until you go for a new video card. Of course what will be is just a guess. Reply
  • OriginalReaper - Thursday, January 20, 2005 - link

    It's already $800-1000 on the 2x GPUs, I think spending a little extra for a the nV SLI x8/x8 is worth it over the Ultra SLI.

    Not that I'd want either solution at the moment.
    Reply
  • bupkus - Thursday, January 20, 2005 - link

    Consider also, you can buy an SLI capable display adapter today with a non-SLI motherboard. In a year when you may want to upgrade your video by buying a twin you may also be considering a new, dual core CPU. Reply
  • Live - Thursday, January 20, 2005 - link

    To all of you who does not see the point of this mod:

    The point as I see it is not to buy 2 * 400$ cards and then skimp on the motherboard. This is for the ones who can’t afford SLI today. Buy this motherboard and your SLI ready if and when cheaper cards are out or your preferences/financial situation changes.

    I'm one of those people that hold on to my parts for at least 2 years. So it’s nice to know I have as many options in the future open to me with a board like this.

    My bet is that SLI with dual core CPUs and games that are multithreaded and SLI ready from the get go like perhaps Unreal 3 or Far Cry 2 will make SLI look rather tempting.

    Imagine playing Duke Nukem Forever which will come ...heh never mind ;)
    Reply
  • bupkus - Thursday, January 20, 2005 - link

    #65 - Tell nVidia to "stuff it" and wait for the X800XL. Look people, we all did just fine before SLI and we can do fine without it. Corporations just love it when we are so convinced that we need something they sell that we call them names for taking advantage. Just don't buy into it. Reply
  • DrDisconnect - Thursday, January 20, 2005 - link

    Does nVidia management have any links with Bausch and Lomb?? They were selling the same exact same contact lenses in two different product channels ie. daily wear and monthly wear. Those who bought daily wear threw out a perfectly good product after a few days, those who bought monthly wear spent a fortune on the same product the daily wear people threw out after a few days.

    Selling flawed chips (eg. missing pipelines) as a less powerful product I can understand. But this is just outright customer abuse by nVidia.
    Reply
  • HardwareD00d - Thursday, January 20, 2005 - link

    Maybe Anand can do an article on how to make a custom SLI bridge ;) Maybe someone could create a flexible bridge that could be like a "universal adapter". Reply
  • HardwareD00d - Thursday, January 20, 2005 - link

    unless you use the 3D1 card, #62 Reply
  • adnauseam - Thursday, January 20, 2005 - link

    #28, Please note I went to the DFI site again today and they have CHANGED the picture that was there the other day. It no Longer shows a SLI bridge in the photo. see here: http://www.dfi.com.tw/Upload/Product_Picture/Cable...
    and here:
    http://www.dfi.com.tw/Product/xx_product_spec_deta...
    Compare with photo from #28 post. I dont see why more people are not addressing this, it makes the mod worthless if you cant get a bridge.
    Reply
  • cryptonomicon - Thursday, January 20, 2005 - link

    if the new DFI board is anything like the LP nf3 250gb, it will be the best overclocking board for 939, not to mention this incredible sli exploit Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, January 20, 2005 - link

    #57,#58,#59 - The single card/dual GPU Gigabyte 3D1 ran in 16X/2X dual video mode on both DFI boards with the jumper setting at "Normal". As stated in the comments and the article, the Gigabyte would not run in x8/x8 (nVidia SLI) with the jumper in SLI because it requires special BIOS hooks for that mode only supplied by the Gigabyte board.

    This is not a change from what we described in the review - just more information about alternate modes.

    We do agree the single card/dual GPU idea has promise for the future. That is why we tested the 3D1 on the boards and shared results. Even in x16/x2 the 3D1 performance boost compared to a single 6600GT card was significant.
    Reply
  • poor Leno - Thursday, January 20, 2005 - link

    @ Wesley:

    But if all the tweaking can make the 3D1 to run on "other speeds"/ config (16x/2x and not 8x/8x), it shows that there is some flexibility maybe... is there not a way in this lifetime to run two 3D1's maybe on 4x8????? 2x8 on one bus and 2x8 on the other? Do you think in the future it will be possible to mod to 2x16??, cause in that way the 4x8 will be possible i think (correct me if im wrong) :P
    Reply
  • Pete84 - Thursday, January 20, 2005 - link

    #57 My thought's exactly. I thought that the Gigabyte drivers were specially tweaked so that SLI would be running out of a single x16 slot . . . Reply
  • johnsonx - Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - link

    To Wesley Fink:

    What happened to the Gigabyte 3D1 board requiring special BIOS hooks to POST, which only the one Gigabyte mainboard had? I thought that was mentioned at least twice in your original article on the 3D1.
    Reply
  • ksherman - Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - link

    since obviosly Anandtech doesnt mind soft moding hardware... why not a SoftQuadro mod for the Video cards? I would really like to see an article about the soft moding of the gaming cards to the workstation graphics. Yes i realise that they will not perform as well as the actual card, I wonder how close... Also, since cards like the 6800GT can be used in SLI, It might be interesting to see a SLI workstation setup... Reply
  • nitrus - Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - link

    what wrong with nvidia making a little money. i'd like to see a healthy ati and nvidia so they would make cards cheaper(older models) and better every six months. if we dont support these companies, then imagine a motherboard with no exspansion slots as companies start to intergrate everything. ati/nvidia are starting to branch out into other sectors, and id gladly support them for "cinematic" graphics. i have an an8-sli i bought for 199.99 from ZZF with a 6800gt and 6600gt so i can run 4 lcds. worth every penny... Reply
  • nitrus - Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • Deucer - Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - link

    For those of you who are asking for an application for this mod, I have one. I want to play HL 2 now. I don't have enough money to afford an SLI rig, but I can scrape together enough for a 6600GT and this board. This would be significantly better than what I'm running right now. I want SLI as an upgrade path so when the 6600GT costs as much as the 9600 does now, I can buy another one and get a very affordable boost in proformance. And I'm relatvely sure that I will be able to find an SLI bridge within the next year so that takes care of that issue too.

    Of course this doesn't make any sense for someone who is running Dual 6800 Ultras, this is a cost lowering solution, think about what people on a budget are actually buying and how this could help them.
    Reply
  • MarkM - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Thank you Wesley for the intriguing article & detective work. It's really neat to have a resource who's not afraid to be your guinea pig and risk frying a very precious commodity right now, an nF4 board :)

    #30 - I don't see why A and B are exclusive -- why can't they keep producing and shipping Ultra chips in current architecture while at THE SAME TIME preparing a change to prevent this mod form working & then jus switch to that when it's ready?

    #50 LOL, never spent more tha $200 on a single piece of compuer equipment?!?! I can tell that you weren't buying computers in the 80s!!
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    The graphs have been updated with results from a single Gigabyte 6600 GT and the "dual 6600GT on a single card" Gigabyte 3D1 running in x16/x2 dual video mode. The Gigabyte 3D1 provides the interesting possibility of a form of SLI performance on single x16-slot Ultra boards with the SLI mod.
    Reply
  • DigitalDivine - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    I have never spent anything more than $200 for a single computer equipment. And i don't plan to in the future.

    Hopefully, Via could get their act together faster and release an sli solution for guys like me on the cheap. Honestly, I bought an Asrock k7v88 at newegg for $50 and it overclocked my 2500+ barton to a 3200+ like a champ, and it was a via kt880 chipset, a very good performance competitor to the nforce2.

    i mean i just bought an epox nforce 3 250gb at newegg for $70 for my sempron 3100+ clocked at 2.4ghz, and if an sli solution comes for around $100, i will surely hop on the pci-express boat, and maybe buy an athlon 64.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    #49 - Corrected. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

    ALL - I have some very interesting numbers with the Gigabyte 3D1 dual-GPU in single GPU vs. Dual GPU x16/x2 mode on the DFI. As I said earlier, the 3D1 does not work properly in x8/x8 mode in any SLI board except the Gigabyte, but it does work fine in x16/x8 mode on both the SLI and modded SLI DFI with SLI jumpers in normal (x16/x2) position instead of SLI (x8/x8) position. I am considering adding the numbers to the charts.
    Reply
  • Azsen - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    There is a possible typo you might like to fix?

    In the Half Life 2 tests, scroll down to the 3rd set of graphs (1280x1024 4xAA/8xAF).

    It has "2 x 6800U x8/x8 (nVidia SLI)" listed twice?

    Shouldn't the green bar be labelled: "2 x 6800U x16/x2 (Ultra SLI)" as in all the other graphs?

    Great article anyway, cheers. :)
    Reply
  • Cygni - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Ahhh, got it Wesley. I was confused by that. Reply
  • DEMO24 - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Nice article! Now to get the review of the DFI up so we can all stop wondering what it performs like :( Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    #40 and #44 -
    When the pads are closed on the nF4 Ultra chipset the chipset is then identified as SLI by the system and OS and performs the same as SLI. The x8/x8 is the nVidia defined SLI mode that works after the mod. The board can also - in addition - perform in x16/x2 mode.
    Reply
  • icarus4586 - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    When the Ultra is modded to by closing the resistor pads, can it function in 8x/8x mode? At some points in this review I wasn't sure whether the modification allowed 8x/8x or just 16x/2x. Will 8x/8x work on a modified Ultra motherboard, as long as (like DFI's) it has 2 full length slots? Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Googer: Wesley is correct. The MSI "DBS" board had an open ended 4 lane slot with a full 16 lane slot. The DFI board runs on two 2 lane slots.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • archcommus87 - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Does even a simple pencil mod like this void any warranty on any board? Reply
  • Cygni - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    I honestly dont really see the point of the Ultra to SLI conversion. You are now paying an extra $400+ dollars for the second video card for 50% over the performance of one video card... it doesnt make sense. The 8x/8x SLI made the performance for the expendature much more attractive.

    The whole process of changing the Ultra to SLI is very cool, however, haha. Personally, I still see the extra $100 for a true SLI as worth it when you are already shelling out $800 for video cards (assuming 6800U's).
    Reply
  • Zebo - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    I just don't see the attraction. It's slower obviously and anyone doing sli can afford a non-hacked solution like real live sli.

    Right now you can get SLI boards for $200. Thats insignifigant premium compared to two GT's @$500 a each. And especially after this flood of new boards price will come down on the real sli boards.

    Reply
  • bob661 - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    #16
    I said "cheaper" not cheap. Maybe you need to bone up on your reading comprehension skills.
    Reply
  • Crassus - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Wesley, thank you for following up on my comment. Reply
  • Googer - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    By the way SLI offers a poor price to performance ratio, IN some games the performance is 10-15% or less and in others there is none. A single 6800ultra
    can beat a 6600 sli setup in MOST games.
    Reply
  • Googer - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Wesley are you sure it was MSI that had the x4 slot and an sli mode for the nFORCE4 ultra, because that discriptrion sounds more like DFI than any MSI beta board that I have seen lately. Reply
  • Klaasman - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    What would be sweet is TWO Gigabyte 3D1 for a total of four GPU's. Reply
  • mclearn - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Wesley,
    Are there any visible differences in the DFI Ultra and SLI boards? Maybe the fix for this is as simple as the chipset's "upgrade"
    Reply
  • Deucer - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • cnq - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Wesley,
    Nice article, and thanks for switching your SLI measurements to 12x10 & 16x12 (I savaged you for including 10x7 in a prev review, which probably no SLI user will both with).

    One suggestion for future FarCry runs on SLI: please try with the magnificent eye candy setting "HDR" enabled (new with FC v1.3). It looks great, but is a graphics card crippler -- and thus the **perfect** test for a 2x6800U SLI system.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Unfortunately the Gigabyte 3D1 dual-gpu 6600GT does NOT work on the DFI when trhe jumpers are switched to SLI mode. The nVidia driver sees that the system is SLI-capble, but it does not recognize the 2nd GPU as there for SLI. This is true with 66.93, 70.90 and 71.40 drivers. If the Gigabyte single-slot dual-GPU would work with more boards they would sell a lot more of them.

    However, the Gigabyte 3D1 in x16/x2 mode performs quite well when jumpers are left in normal mode. After the mod to SLI it works fine with drivers to 70.xx.
    Reply
  • crazyeddie - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    It would be a little late in the game for Nvidia to go back and do a whole lot of reverse engineering to the NF4 SLI chipset to make it less moddable (new word?). Nvidia will:

    A) Let the NF4 Ultra out the door as is, eat the lost sales of more profitable SLI chipsets, and take solice that their graphic card sales will be quite brisk. This presumes they can actually ship enough video chips to take advantage of the increased demand.

    B) Dry up the current supply of Ultra chipsets and go back to the drawing board to disable them more thoroughly. They will miss out on shipping Ultra chipsets to motherboard manufacturers, which may or may not cause contract problems. It would ensure the continued desirability of the SLI chipset at higher margins, however.

    I've personally been hoping for an inexpensive PCI-E board for the 939 Athlon 64 platform that I can pair with a Radeon X800XL solution. This news story jeapordizes the shipment of the NF4 Ultra if Nvidia is determined to protect margins for the sake of overall volume. I guess it's no loss to me, because I couldn't buy an X800XL right now anyway.

    I guess we'll have to wait and see whether Nvidia wants to focus on volume or margin-per-unit.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    #22 - Your idea was so intriguing I had to give it a try. With the DFI UT Ultra modded to SLI, jumpers in normal (non-SLI) position and the Gigabyte 2 gpu 3D1 I was able to run SLI fine with drivers up to 70.xx. This suggests that the Gigabyte Dual 6600GT might run in the single slot of any nF4 Ultra motherboard in a "semi-SLI" mode. That means 2 video cards are potentially NOT required. Modding to SLI woujld enable a wider range of working drivers. More testing needs to be done before reaching any conclusions.

    I am getting ready to try the Gigabyte 3D1 now in full SLI (x8/x8) mode to see if that works on the DFI.
    Reply
  • ChiefNutz - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    #23, #27 I dunno, when you go to the DFI website, it shows a picture with the link in the box contents on the ultra
    http://www.dfi.com.tw/Upload/Product_Picture/Cable... for the box contents, and
    http://www.dfi.com.tw/Product/xx_product_spec_deta...
    for the main product page. It's sitting right there in 3 of the 4 pictures right below the Package listing? What gives?
    Reply
  • adnauseam - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    the one I think everyone is missing is....where do you get a SLI bridge, without purchasing an actual SLI board. Remember the bridges ship with the boards not the cards, because the spacing between the PCIe slots could be different on each maufacturers board. It seems the only way to get one would be to wait until someone who doesnt plan on using it sells one on ebay. unless........there is a way to purchase a replacement....Ill have to check that out actually............. Reply
  • razor2025 - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    This is awesome find. It gives us more choices. I was planning to buy a NF4 board, so I can use the X800XL I have in pre-order. I didn't want a SLI-ready setup, because the cost is too much. However, if I can get a SLI-capable board (after hack) like the DFI UT for around $130-140, I'll definitely go for them. Most single SLI NF4 boards are fetching around $130-140, and if DFI UT and the Epox board retails for around the same price, everyone who wanted a single SLI NF4 will changed their decision to these awesome boards. Even though I won't be doing SLI anytime soon, I'm sure there will be capable and cheaper cards that can run SLI on these boards down the road. If that doesn't happen, oh well, I still needed a PCI-E board that use Athlon64. Reply
  • Dmitheon - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Kudos to Wesley and the rest of Anandtech for finding this neat little hack. I wish nVidia simply didn't have the Ultra line of boards, and let the economy of scale bring the SLI board down. I'd love to see the amount of money that went into taking SLI down a notch so they could market a less expensive chipset that costs nearly the same to produce. Personally, I'll end up buying an SLI board as more hit the market and competition brings the price down from it's current $190s (just checked pricewatch.com). Why spend extra? The piece of mind that comes from knowing that nVidia is not trying to take a feature I want, away from me. To paraphrase a hookey old public service announcement: "SLi, it's not a right, it's a privledge" ;) Reply
  • bersl2 - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    I'd rather that more nforce4 boards actually *get* to retail in the first place. Some of us don't want an SLI board (yet)... Reply
  • Jahara - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    I'm confused. Doesn't the SLI crossover chip only come with SLI enabled motherboards? Reply
  • Crassus - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Does that mean that you could use any Ultra-mainboard with only one PCIe slot and run the Gigabyte 2-chip-6600GT in there with that mod? Reply
  • Neo_Geo - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Yep, reminds me of the GeForce/Quadro hacking possibilities.

    Hopefully, nvidia will just eventually merge the Ultra and SLI into one product.

    In the case of the GeForce/Quadro, they came out with some updated drivers to discourage hacking. Then, when that was figured out, they went a little deeper and physically changed the cores. Now, a software hack is not totally possible on GeForce (I say not totally, because the hack does partially work and gives a geforce most quadro features, but not all).
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    #16 -
    The DFI LANParty UT (Ultra chipset) will sell for about $140 and it can be modded to SLI. The full DFI SLI-DR will sell for about $200. There are Ultra chipset boards that sell for even less than $140, but we don't know yet if they can work as modded SLI yet - and most don't have dual video slots. There are also some very high end SLI baords that sell in the $250 to $300 range.
    Reply
  • PetesEscapade - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Helps to put something in.....

    I love it. Regardless of nVIDIA's motives, or lack thereof, it is great to see people digging, tweaking, and passing the info along to the rest of us to do with what we will.

    NEVER STOP ASKING QUESTIONS!!!
    NEVER STOP SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS!!!

    Why did man climb Mount Everest? Because it's there. Why try to turn a nForce4 Ultra into a nForce4 SLI? Because it's there!
    Reply
  • PetesEscapade - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • bupkus - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Of course ATI is rushing SLI solution video cards for the nForce4 SLI and now Ultra chipsets. My guess would be their drivers will attempt to exploit the Ultra hack, unless legal advises not. nVidia understanding this and seeing their dilemma of more chipsets vs. more video cards will choose both and rush an nForce4 Ultra version 1.1. If not, ATI's SLIs will force nVidia to allow the hack in their drivers. Could an ATI chipset with a cheaper ATI SLI design open the door for ATI's chipsets?
    Hehe, lets wait and see.
    Reply
  • skunkbuster - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    i wouldn't call $229 cheap. still pretty expensive to me

    Reply
  • Fluff - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Pencil trick to make a Quadro 4000 i would like to see!!! Reply
  • cosmotic - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    (oh wait) Reply
  • cosmotic - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Nice comment Dranzerk! Reply
  • Fluff - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Oh come on guys. This sort of thing is nice to know. But would you seriously splash out on 2 graphics cards and scrimp on the motherboard?

    Reply
  • Dranzerk - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Our Take forgot to add...

    Getting SLI at anytime counts are you being a moron for spending so much money regardless of a mod that saves you a few bucks. SLI = Worst nvidia ploy ever.

    I mean come on nvidia, think up something original than what everyone else has did.

    Reply
  • Filibuster - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    This reminds me of the Promise Ultra100 to Fasttrak100 mod.

    "Nvidia.... that greedy money hogging .... trying to milk us customers for all our worth."
    Lol...they _are_ a semiconductor company, what did you expext? Last I noticed none of these guys are not for profit agencies...the fun is in outsmarting them (unlock and overclock, unlocking pipelines, turning on sli).
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    ALL -
    We apologize for the posting confusion with this article. It was scheduled to go live this morning, but was accidentally auto-posted around midnight by our document engine. We immediately pulled it down and posted this morning as originally planned. That is why some of the comments have odd times for a 7:30AM post.

    We think you will find the information worth waiting for.
    Reply
  • PseudoKnight - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Don't get me wrong. I think this was great investigative work. I just hope it proves fruitful at the retail level. Reply
  • Jii - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    I knew something like this had to be lurking underneath and here we were again.

    It's great to see that there are people who have the time and imagination to start even looking this opportunity and bring this to public.

    The only drawback is that now Nvidia knows that we know the thing, that they didn't want us to know, that we now know (you know) ;-).

    But seriously: As the modding possibility came to public view, my best guess is that Nvidia will, instead of tweaking their drivers, start modifying the chip structure in a way, that such modifications will become harder to accomplish, completely impossible or will make no difference.
    Reply
  • Aquila76 - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    >>As you will see in our upcoming reviews, it is also one of the most enthusiast-friendly boards to land on the market since the DFI Socket 754 motherboard.<<

    BRING ON THE REVIEWS!!!
    Do you have an ETA for the nForce4 roundup? I have a $3K tax return coming and am building an Uber-AMD64 SLI dual-Ultra rig and want to know which is the best SLI for the buck.
    Reply
  • archcommus87 - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    So what can nVidia do to stop this? Can a driver change do it or does something in the hardware need to change?

    I wouldn't ever do this myself, as I like having my warranties, but for all the modders, sounds awesome!
    Reply
  • PseudoKnight - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    I get the feeling Nvidia will be tweaking their drivers again. =\ Reply
  • bob661 - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    #2
    They are MUCH cheaper than that now. Zipzoomfly.com has them for $229. I'm getting mine this Wednesday.
    Reply
  • knitecrow - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Nvidia.... that greedy money hogging .... trying to milk us customers for all our worth.

    An SLI board costs like $300. If I could get SLI on a $100 nforce board, why stop it? it'll only sell more geforce cards.

    I hope ATI isn't that bastardly with their cards and chipsets.
    Reply
  • Rapsven - Monday, January 17, 2005 - link

    Awesome. SLI for cheap.

    Though you'll still need an extremely good PSU for it.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now