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  • hoohoo - Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - link

    Because otherwise Nvidia will be ground into pieces between the twin boulders of Intel and AMD/ATI. Intel and AMD/ATI would then paint the pieces blue and red and stnad around and toss the little pieces up in the air repeatedly while madly cackling. They might even smile at *each other*!

    The only place video cards compete other than on price is in high resolution gaming: the only way that happens is SLI/Crossfire: Intel and AMD/ATI are quite competitive against Nvidia chipsets and Nvidia does not own the IP for Intel and AMD/ATI chipset/CPU interfaces: by refusing to let chipset makers do SLI on their own Nvidia removes itself from the SLI/Crossfire market. Therefore Nvidia must quit the market or play ball.

    Intel's upcoming video processor may become a third force in graphics - how likely that Intel would support SLI if that happens? AMD/ATI certainly will never support SLI in their chipsets. Thus Nvidia's situation of a vendor of GPUs but not CPUs makes it vulnerable to being simply squeezed out of the video card market.

    That said, Nvidia has deeper pockets, broader markets than gaming, and less debt than AMD/ATI. I think Nvidia bought a CPU company a few months ago.

    Would a third GPU + CPU vendor be a good thing? Yes. Indeed yes. Yes, I think it would be a fine thing indeed.
  • AggressorPrime - Friday, August 29, 2008 - link

    I just love how the market can just force nVidia to do what is best for us computer users. You gotta love Capitalism. Thank you nVidia for bringing SLI to a universal platform without the hassel of bridges! Reply
  • steveyballme - Friday, August 29, 2008 - link

    Hell can't freeze!">
  • jarthel - Friday, August 29, 2008 - link

    empire strikes back! Reply
  • Mr Roboto - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    This is interesting:">

    Saw this on the HardOCP forums. Quotes taken from Bittech

    Nvidia wouldn’t answer questions about vendors adding the cookie onto boards that haven’t been through the certification process, but it said logos and branding are a couple of the conditions of use.

    So what about if a budding enthusiast manages to extract the key from one or more boards? Nvidia said it wouldn’t do anything to stop enthusiasts enabling SLI support on non-certified motherboards themselves. Tom Petersen, Technical Marketing Director in Nvidia’s chipset business unit, said that he’d be quite happy if enthusiasts did that because it’d mean they’d be using two (or more) Nvidia graphics cards in their system.

  • lsman - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    So INQ report NV exit out of chipset buz was right? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    Not yet... they won't have the necessary QPI interface for Nehalem at launch, but they are planning to support the 2-channel version. Regardless, if you make enough predictions, you're bound to get a few right eventually. Reply
  • Beenthere - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    It's standard procedure in many industries to test and certify products and then charge a royalty per unit sold, so there is nothing unusual about Nvidia's latest revenue stream.

    The real question is, why would anyone want SLI when they can have superior performance from Crossfire? I doubt that native SLI will be a savior for Nvidia. They have much more serious problems to address if they plan to be around much longer.
  • Ananke - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    I have this question, just form a pragmatic standpoint...Why should this make me buy nVidia if Radeon obviously works on any platform. So, if I migrate from Intel to AMD I can still Crossfire my Radeons. The only good reason would be if I already have nVidia, to be able to keep the cards when I buy Nehalem. However, is it worth to cut my future oportunity and platform independance in half? Now, if the GTX260 costs 25-30% less then Radeon4870, and has 55 nm, better power, heat, image etc. characteristics, then I definitely will consider /not immediate buy/ the GTX. As of today the market is against nVidia though. They need to shrink those chips, make the cards smaller, scalable and cheaper. Reply
  • bonecrusher - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

  • i3arracuda - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    LOUD NOISES...! Reply
  • Slaimus - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    Remember the days of ULi chipsets that support "GLi" with Nvidia graphics cards? This is not the first time SLi has been used on non-Nvidia chipsets.

    Besides, hell was already frozen after AMD-ATI merger.
  • IcePickFreak - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    It's obvious they've looked into Lucid's Hydra and seen impending doom for the nvidia chipset so they're trying to cash in while they can.

    You heard that totally unsupported rumor here first!
  • ltcommanderdata - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    The article mentions that nVidia won't be making LGA-1366 chipsets themselves so it makes sense that they would have to open up SLI a bit in order to get it into the high-end platform. However, the article said that nVidia will be making LGA-1160 chipsets. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but processors on the LGA-1160 socket will have integrated PCIe controllers will they not? The processors will have an IMC, a PCIe controller, and an IGP, and the only thing going out is a DMI link to the southbridge. It seems to me, if nVidia wants to get SLI into the all important mainstream market, they are going to have to license SLI to Intel itself so that the PCIe controller in their processors can be certified. Which will be an interesting concept, having nVidia certify Intel processors. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    "Hell freezing over" would be if Nvidia allowed SLI on any board without "certification" (ie: scam) like ATI. This announcement is at most "Hell got a bit colder". Reply
  • wingless - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    Now if 4Ghz Phenom FX-80s beating 5Ghz Kentsfields is confirmed, it truly will be a chilly day in hades!

    Also if this is just a BIOS key or driver fix, then somebody will make a custom BIOS/Driver to enable SLI on ANY motherboard!
  • Amiga500 - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    The 4 GHz K10.5 is almost certainly rubbish.

    4 GHz @ 1.168V?

    Not likely.
  • smilingcrow - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    If the nVIDIA driver install routine checks for the presence of an x58 chipset on install then hacking the BIOS alone won’t fool it so don’t expect support on other chipsets via hacked BIOSs. Unless that can be hacked also!
    “Let's just say you've let the cat out of the bag at a big site that most manufacturers frequent. Being clever involves being shrewed, you are clearly lacking in the latter.”

    Because nVIDIA never would have guessed that would they! LOL. Surely most BIOSs are machine specific so they will fail to load on other systems no matter how similar the boards!
  • mindless1 - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    There may be two factors.

    1) They only mentioned checking for a key not hardware details.

    2) Is it really in nVidia's best interest to prevent hackers from allowing SLI on other chipsets? What does this do? nVidia already lost a chipset sale if they had another chipset, but if SLI is allowed they at least have another GPU sale if the hack was ever to be useful.
  • JSquires - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    "NVIDIA provides the board manufacturer with a key to place in its BIOS."

    Lets say a motherboard manufacturer makes two similar boards, one with SLI support but one without. How about you flash the bios of the cheaper one to make it support SLI?
  • Berger - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    Let's just say you've let the cat out of the bag at a big site that most manufacturers frequent. Being clever involves being shrewed, you are clearly lacking in the latter.

  • AssBall - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    Why does getting beaten violently with an unusual rodent have to be inclusive with cleverness? Who is the "shrewed" one here? Reply
  • Basilisk - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    Tsk, tsk... time to tame your comments -- they're all shrewed up! :) Ain't a rodent. And ain't unusual -- rather prolific and common, in fact.

    That aside, this Plan is all too nVidia's [pardon the meager pun] for me: I won't pay -extra- for nVidia SLI support -- that should be what you get by buying the graphics board and by its manufacturer working with industry standards. This is just a last effort by nVidia to wring bucks out of the customers: they aren't providing anything material for the cost increase.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    Basilisk++ Reply
  • AmberClad - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    So what about SLI support for subsequent, non-enthusiast Ci7 chipsets? Like something more mainstream oriented (P55?) Reply
  • Pedro80 - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    And how long until someone comes up with some kind of patcher for various bios files?
    This would make anyone able to enable SLI on their X58 system as long as the HW supports it..
  • Targon - Sunday, August 31, 2008 - link

    Why would anyone need to patch the BIOS when the drivers can be patched to enable SLI without a BIOS key? Remember, the drivers are the things that care about SLI support on the motherboard, so this is another example of a manufacturer removing functionality just to make money. This is similar to Creative Labs refusing to enable fully functional features under Vista just to force people to buy new sound cards with Vista support.

  • JarredWalton - Sunday, August 31, 2008 - link

    Last I heard, the drivers had some encrypted files that made it difficult if not impossible to hack in SLI support on non-NVIDIA chipsets. That's why we had SLI-hacks about two years back and nothing since. I haven't looked into it lately, though, so if you have info on hacked SLI drivers post a link. Reply
  • Calin - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    Patcher for BIOS files or "improved" driver - some of the hardware-inclined people would find that improving that driver would be a very interesting job Reply
  • mindless1 - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    The hacked bios is obviously a better alternative if/when possible, because bios files are released less often than drivers, people tend to update drivers far more often when they're gamers. Reply
  • Polynikes - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    Yeah, I can definitely see hacked BIOS images being the easier choice. Reply
  • Pirks - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    Are there any AMD motherboards that support both CF and SLI like X58 will? Reply
  • ilkhan - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    doubtful. Why would nvidia allow SLI on AMD motherboards?

    As to why they are doing this, its obvious. The 4850, 4870 and 4870 X2 boards are more than enough price/performance to destroy nvidia's sales for every bloomfield owner for the next 6 months. No SLI, no chance for nvidia to capitalize on those sales.
  • Pirks - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    Why would nVidia allow SLI on AMD mobos? For the same reason they did it on Intel mobos - to sell more nVidia cards. Reply
  • bigboxes - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    Intel doesn't own their main competitor in the GPU market. AMD does. It's a catch-22 for nVidia. They had to do this because crossfire works on both Intel and AMD boards. It's really silly not to allow AMD board users the option for SLI, but that's the corner they've worked themselves into. It will really be interesting as it looks like AMD has worked themselves out of their jam on the GPU front. Reply
  • Mr Roboto - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    I agree. Now since it looks like Nvidia is going to be exiting the chipset market the real question is why wouldn't Nvidia open SLI on AMD boards. That move would only help them sell more cards. Reply
  • Dobs - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    Isn't this old news from August 8? Reply
  • Amiga500 - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    Not looking too good right now.

    I would say they are sacrificing their chipsets for some additional GPU revenue with that move.

    I assume Intel will get its way, and soon have a top to bottom coverage of SLI enabled chipsets, after which - who would want to buy an nForce?

  • AlexWade - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    Intel has a better chipset. AMD has a better chipset. NVidia's chipset days are over just like Via. Sure, it won't be overnight, but it is coming. That is why NVidia is doing this, because they know their chipset market is dead and thus they need a way to keep selling their graphic cards. Eventually, they will have to open up SLI on AMD chipsets too. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    You pay them money to "test" (i.e. certify) your board, and they give you a key. It would be nice if they would just open this up to all boards. I wonder how much they're charging for the certification process, and if they get a royalty on each motherboard sold? If it's a one-time per board design charge, I'd be surprised. (I'm also hopeful that some enterprising hackers will be able to extract the key and perhaps allow this to work on non-sanctioned boards.)

    Now all NVIDIA needs to do is allow the same thing for notebooks, and then get notebooks to run reference drivers. That way SLI on a laptop could actually be something viable rather than something that feels hacked in and somewhat flaky.... Not that there are any laptop chipsets that currently support two PCI-E x8/x16 links. And not like many people actually buy SLI notebooks regardless. Heh. (Can you tell what I'm testing?)
  • BackFlow - Friday, August 29, 2008 - link

    Rumor has it that Nvidia is charging $30.00 per cert and is less than the cost of nForce 200 chip.

    IMHO, NVIDA hand was forced because it couldn't get QuickPath license.
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    Do not feel bad Anand, they probably needed time to discuss Lucids Hydra 100 before coming to this decision ; ) Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Thursday, August 28, 2008 - link

    Rumour has it, that the sum of money involved in qualification was fairly substantial in the past. 'Qualification' involved running loops of 3D marks for a day or two in a hot room under the jursitiction of a couple of young ' - so i'm told - source undisclosed..



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