Enthusiast gets SLI to work on i955X

Written by Tim Smalley

October 27, 2005 | 12:45

Tags: #955x #bios-update #certification #chipset #crossfire #drivers #forceware #pci-express #platform #sli

Companies: #asus #intel #nvidia

According to a report on Overclockers.ru (translation: here), a Russian hardware enthusiast has managed to get two GeForce 6600 GT's to operate in SLI mode on ASUS' P5WD2 Premium motherboard.

The P5WD2 Premium is based on Intel's 955X chipset and, despite having two PCI Express x16 slots, doesn't officially support NVIDIA's SLI technology. However, if you flash the motherboard to the latest 0519 BIOS revision it is possible to enable SLI mode providing special NVIDIA Forceware drivers are installed.

The 0519 BIOS revision for the P5WD2 Premium officially enabled support for ATI's CrossFire technology. However, due to a loop hole in NVIDIA's Forceware 66.72 drivers, it is possible to enable SLI on any chipset with dual PCI-Express x16 slots, as there is no platform check to ensure the motherboard uses an SLI certified chipset.

The Forceware 66.72 drivers don't have the wide range of SLI optimised games that are found in the current 81.85 WHQL drivers, but it is not possible to enable SLI on the 955X platform with these drivers due to the platform check that has enabled since Forceware 66.72.

Theoretically, there is nothing stopping the two graphics giants from enabling multi-GPU support on any motherboard or platform that has two PCI-Express x16 slots, but both ATI and NVIDIA have implemented compatability checks to establish whether a particular chipset has been certified by the driver teams. If a platform is not certified, as is the case with Intel's 955X chipset, the driver will not allow multi-GPU mode to be enabled.

According to an ASUS representative, SLI support on Intel's 955X chipset is down to NVIDIA's discretion, as there are no hardware limitations in Intel's 955X chipset that would prevent SLI from functioning correctly on the platform.

Should NVIDIA's SLI technology officially support motherboards using Intel's 955X chipset and two PCI-Express x16 slots? Let us know your opinions in the forums.
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