We first heard about Nvidia's GeForce Quad SLI in our meetings with Dell prior to Michael Dell's keynote address. After getting in touch with Nvidia, we now have a better idea of what to expect from the new tech.
The core concept behind Quad SLI is the ability to put two 3D chips on a single PCI Express graphics card. Link two of those together, and you have four GeForce 3D chips on two cards all working together. The cards in the Dell have four GeForce 7800 GTX
chips, Nvidia's current highest-end silicon. With that much power, Nvidia claims that you can achieve 2,560x1,600 resolution output, which is well higher than the 1,600x1,200 capability we're used to considering as the high end of 3D display. Nvidia also brags about 32X antialiasing
and 16X anisotropic filtering
, twice the current capability of standard SLI configurations. Of course, to take full advantage of Quad SLI capability, you'll need a display capable of such high resolution output, and for that, you'll need to drop more than $2,000 on a 30-inch LCD, in addition to the price of each card.
GeForce Quad SLI debuts in Dell's XPS 600 Renegade
in the spring, but we expect it will also roll out to the usual graphics card channels at some point after the Dell system comes out. We imagine that few some of the most serious, well-off gamers will be able to afford it, but if you can match it with a large, high-resolution display, Quad SLI sounds like it will usher in a new era of bleeding-edge 3D gaming.