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28 May 2008

SLI Requires No Special Code

Mae's Days

Being a MMO player, I run into a lot of people who honestly think they know what they’re talking about but really don’t. Today one such person claimed to have tested and proven SLI requires games to be specially written to use it, and most games get no benefit, just like multi-core CPUs.
Well, he’s right about multi-core CPUs. But completely wrong about SLI. To prove it, I grabbed a benchmark from before NVIDIA SLI was introduced (which was in 2004), 3DMark03.

These are my results with SLI disabled in the drivers (both cards still in the system):

No SLI

And these are my results with SLI enabled, no other changes:

SLI

As you can see, there’s a HUGE benefit in every area where the 3D card applies, even something as simple as the fill rate tests. I strongly suspect the same applies to ATI’s Crossfire, but I can’t prove it, as I don’t have any of the hardware required.

However, this is the last time I spend over an hour jumping through hoops just to educate someone.