updated 11:15 am EST, Thu December 13, 2007
NVIDIA 3-Way SLI Graphics
Attempting to gain an edge over its close rival AMD, NVIDIA today introduced three-way SLI for particularly high-end gaming systems. Using the company's nForce 680i SLI mainboard for Intel systems as well as video cards using either a GeForce 8800 GTX or an 8800 Ultra chipset, the technology allows three video cards to team up for 3D acceleration on a single display where only two were possible in the past. The extra performance translates almost literally to a 2.8X jump in speed over a single card and means that even very demanding games such as Crysis can run both at full detail and at the highest resolutions without waiting for newer hardware, NVIDIA says.
The feature does not necessarily require explicit three-way SLI support but demands that any equipped system have a power supply strong enough to power all three cards at once.
One of the first systems to launch with three-way SLI is Alienware's Area-51 ALX SLI, according to the announcement: the premium gaming system can be equipped with a trio of GeForce 8800 GTX or Ultra cards depending on the configuration. Orders begin today for the system, which starts at $4,999 equipped with an overclocked 3.33GHz Core 2 Extreme quad-core processor at its heart. The system is available to order today but may not ship before the holidays.