Remember the quad-SLI XPS Renegade PC doing the rounds a couple of years ago? It used four graphics cards, which prompted many to think quad-SLI was the future of gaming. But things never panned out that way.
Rather than push quad-SLI to the consumer, Nvidia has been working on a three-card, tri-SLI solution, which it will announce officially in a matter of days. Luckily for us impatient types, the chaps over at Tom's Hardware Taiwan have conducted the first independent benchmarks and TweakTown has translated the results into English.
The numbers are pretty much what we expected -- utterly pointless at any resolution below 1,600x1,200 pixels. The 3DMark06 score was 1,500 points higher than a single card when running at 1,280x1,024 pixels, but 5,393 higher when you crank the res up to 2,560x1,600. In other words, don't bother unless you have a monitor at least 20 inches wide with a high enough resolution.
We'll conduct our own tests in due course, but right now we're not convinced. More graphics cards just means more fans, more heat, more noise and more electricity being squeezed out of your power supply, for relatively little performance gain. Why can't graphics cards just go multi-core?
We'll get our hands on Tri-SLI, or whatever it's to be called officially, in a matter of hours. Check back soon for updated impressions. -Rory Reid