Nvidia's Quad SLI Waiting for Drivers

The images produced by Nvidia’s Quad SLI graphics technology are stunning, but you will not see them displayed on the show floor at Computex.

Nvidia told graphics board makers not to show Quad SLI systems at their booths, or to even mention the technology by name before the end of the month, because the drivers are not yet ready, according to an industry source familiar with the situation. Drivers are software that allow a computer to control different components and peripherals.

While Nvidia has not yet released drivers for Quad SLI, some board makers have managed to adapt drivers to support the technology, albeit without the capability to harness its full potential, the industry source said.

Quad SLI allows a PC to use four graphics processors to drive a single display at high resolution. The result, as showcased by Nvidia in a demonstration suite away from the show floor, is near-movie-quality images with a resolution of 2,560 by 1,600 pixels. Nvidia offers technology that allows a computer to run two graphics processors.

As demonstrated by Nvidia, the Quad SLI system pairs two Nvidia GeForce 7950 GX2 graphics cards. The company showed the boards running on computers using Intel and Advanced Micro Devices processors.

Motherboards are ready to support Quad SLI, which requires dual PCI Express slots as well as other features, but the release of the graphics card has been held up by the lack of drivers, the industry source said. Nvidia has not said when the cards will be available.

Computex runs through June 10.

-Sumner Lemon, IDG News Service

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