Quad SLI for "normal" people

Let’s say that I got my hands on four 7900GTX cards and I wanted to build myself a quad SLI system. Are there motherboards from Asus/etc. that will let me do this today? What about 3 months from now? 6 months? In time for xmas?

Normal people would sell 3 of the cards on ebay and spend the remainder of the money of the rest of the computer.

Hmm, well, I have four nephews each with a computer. I figured I could give each of them my hand-me-down video cards every time I upgraded, and I wouldn’t have to worry about what to get them for xmas ever again.

I did put the word “normal” in quotes, didn’t I? :-)

I checked my family tree and it looks like we are related!

I believe the only way to do quad SLI in your own rig is to use a pair of dual-GPU cards.

About the only reason I could think of to use quad 7900 GTX SLI would be to run a 30" LCD at full res with full AA/AF. Talk about overkill! :)

I was looking at the photos of the quad SLI card stack, and there are two bridges linking the cards. All the motherboards I’ve seen only come with one SLI bridge, so I’m wondering if there is motherboard support involved also.

And I’m curious if there will ever be a retail version of these cards.

My god quad SLI!!!

Do you have to install a nuclear reactor in your backyard to power the damn thing?

Right now Quad SLI is only available from OEMs.

I checked Nvidia’s press materials. When it does become available separately, it will be in the form of dual-GPU boards.

I don’t think you can buy a motherboard with 4 PCI-E x16 slots anyway…

All the “quad SLI” stuff is two dual-GPU cards. In some of the current iterations what you see is that one “card” is actually two “cards” wide - but there’s only one PCIe plug.

If you own a GeForce card today, you won’t be able to use it in QuadSLI. There are no motherboards with four PCIe graphics slots (either for the initial Dell machine or the other OEMs offering it). It’s two dual-GPU cards.

Frankly, unless you have lots of money you don’t care about, I wouldn’t bother with it even when you can do it yourself. It’s outrageously expensive, and not necessary for today’s games or even future games (unless you have a Dell 30" display and NEED to run your games at 2560x1600, and even then only some games need that horsepower for it). Plus, you probably need to buy a whole new power supply. In fact, you almost certainly do. Hooray power bill hike!

When the DX10 cards come out and offer new features that you can’t get on your quadSLI rig (even though your quadSLI might be faster than one or even two of the DX10 cards), it’s going to look like wasted money.

There’s a market for QuadSLI, but I’m not sure how many of us here are in the “would gladly pay $8,000 for a PC and another grand or two to upgrade it in the following year” category.

How the heck do the 2 sets of cards work together? And how much is lost by having some of those cards (I assume) running at only 1x PCIe?

Not to mention you could also run those games at 1280x800 and still get native resolution quality, which is something I stumbled on when trying out that 30-inch LCD with a non-dual link card. (That’s the max resolution it supports on a “normal” DVI card.)

Either DFI or Asus has had a dual PCI-E 16X mobo out for a while, as in each of the two PCI-E slots running at a full 16X, so bus bandwidth wouldn’t be a problem.

I’d be more concerned with flow rate, and temps. Is that a single Exos running 5 waterblocks? Ouch…

FiringSquad has a GeForce 7900 GX2 Quad SLI performance preview up

The problem with Quad SLI is that it’s really there so you can still run Holiday 2007 games at full detail at crazy resolutions.

Except you’ll probably want DX10 to run Holiday 2007 games at full detail… And your $2,000 worth of Quad SLI cards aren’t going to run DX10…