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Quad SLI systems on sale--most of them, anyway

Quad SLI systems on sale--most of them, anyway

You may have heard that Nvidia announced more details of its Quad SLI 3D graphics technology today, specifically that you can now purchase Quad SLI PCs from various vendors (Velocity Micro's new Raptor Signature Edition started at $5,995 for a Quad SLI rig). We got the first glimpse of the four-GPU future at CES when Dell previewed its limited-edition XPS 600 Renegade desktop with four Nvidia graphics cards in a Quad SLI configuration inside it. We find it noteworthy, though, that Dell's beast is nowhere to be seen today.

When Nvidia briefed us on Quad SLI last week, we found some of Nvidia's accompanying press material interesting. Among the reviewer's guides, presentations, and other documents was a list of Quad SLI launch partners. The companies on that list were, in order: Alienware, ABS, Biohazard, Cyberpower, Falcon Northwest, Hypersonic PC, iBuyPower, Maingear, Overdrive PC, Velocity Micro, Vicious PC, and Voodoo. No Dell. When we asked Nvidia's representatives about it, they referred us to Dell. One of Dell's reps told us that we would have some news soon, but she referred us to another contact more in-touch with the XPS 600 Renegade. Follow-up calls to that contact went unreturned.

Many industry insiders thought that Dell's CES announcement was merely a publicity stunt to get the company back in people's minds as a gaming innovator. Voodoo CEO Rahul Sood perhaps summed up the initial reaction of many to the XPS 600 Renegade when he said, "Throwing Quad SLI at an Intel-based gaming system is much like putting lipstick on a pig" in an interview with the Inquirer, a U.K. tech site. We won't know for sure until Dell submits one for us to review.