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Is the NF200 bridge still necessary for Quad SLI?

post #1 of 11
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As the title states, is the NF200 bridge still necessary for Quad SLI on older motherboards which are Quad Xire compatible but only able to do Tri SLI, like the Asus Rampage III with a x58 chipset? I've noticed Nvidia hasn't released a sucessor, and the newest x79 motherboards can do Quad SLI @ 8x, or at 16x with PLX bridges.
Edited by Starbomba - 2/1/13 at 9:04pm
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post #2 of 11
x79 does 16x,8x,8x,8x natively...

I've never done quad-sli or quad-cf but really it won't matter much until you're dealing with more mainstream CPUs where they will bottleneck the GPU setup whether it be from limited PCI lanes or CPU power itself.

That being said, take my word on the matter with a grain of salt. Depends on how old the setup and what GPUs you're using. Older the setup you'd like to have more lanes for it but the CPU is likely going to be the bottleneck regardless.

A Rampage III extreme given the right CPU should be pretty high up there still though.
 
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post #3 of 11
If i remember right the

ASUS Rampage IV Formula can do quad without the Plex chip

but the extreme ASUS Rampage IV Extreme version does use the Plex chip for extra extra speed across the lanes
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post #4 of 11
x79 has 40 pci lanes but in quad sli all gpus should run at 8x, otherwise you have the potential for speed discrepancies. Sandy and ivy both only have 16 native pci lanes and from everything ive read there are no gains in using a chipset like the nf200 or lucid style. At pcie 3.0 speeds cards are hardly saturating 4x at this time and 8x on pcie 2.0 is starting to get saturated. So no I dont think there is any need.
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post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatfieco View Post

x79 has 40 pci lanes but in quad sli all gpus should run at 8x, otherwise you have the potential for speed discrepancies. Sandy and ivy both only have 16 native pci lanes and from everything ive read there are no gains in using a chipset like the nf200 or lucid style. At pcie 3.0 speeds cards are hardly saturating 4x at this time and 8x on pcie 2.0 is starting to get saturated. So no I dont think there is any need.

Same bandwidth... if 8x pci-e 2.0 is getting saturated then so is 4x pci-e 4.0.

speed discrepancies are moot if you're not reaching any bandwidth barriers.
 
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post #6 of 11
I thought 4x pcie 3.0 had slightly more bandwidth then pcie 2.0 8x does?
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post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatfieco View Post

I thought 4x pcie 3.0 had slightly more bandwidth then pcie 2.0 8x does?

Possibly a little bit by having less overhead due to the encoding scheme differences but not enough to really differentiate the two IMO
 
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by deafboy View Post

x79 does 16x,8x,8x,8x natively...

My point exactly. If x79 can do Quad by itself, why can't x58 with it's 36 PCIe 2.0 lanes, if every GPU is @ 8x speed? The performance drop from PCIe 2.0 16x to 8x is like 5%, but back in the day Nvidia, in all of it's greed wisdom, decided you needed to use 2 NF200 chips and even a quad-SLI license to use more than 3 GPU's. Is it still needed with the newest drivers, or is it still blocked?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatfieco View Post

I thought 4x pcie 3.0 had slightly more bandwidth then pcie 2.0 8x does?

Every PCIe version doubles the speed of it's predecessor. PCIe 2.0 is twice as fast compared to 1.0/1.1, and PCIe 3.0 is twice as fast as 2.0. So, a PCIe 2.0 x16 lane is equal to a PCIe 3.0 8x lane.
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post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbomba View Post

My point exactly. If x79 can do Quad by itself, why can't x58 with it's 36 PCIe 2.0 lanes, if every GPU is @ 8x speed? The performance drop from PCIe 2.0 16x to 8x is like 5%, but back in the day Nvidia, in all of it's greed wisdom, decided you needed to use 2 NF200 chips and even a quad-SLI license to use more than 3 GPU's. Is it still needed with the newest drivers, or is it still blocked?
Every PCIe version doubles the speed of it's predecessor. PCIe 2.0 is twice as fast compared to 1.0/1.1, and PCIe 3.0 is twice as fast as 2.0. So, a PCIe 2.0 x16 lane is equal to a PCIe 3.0 8x lane.

Really? I thought there were certain boards that did 4-way sli natively... like the EVGA X58 Classified 4-Way SLI and GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD9 4-Way SLI

I could certainly be wrong though
 
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by deafboy View Post

Really? I thought there were certain boards that did 4-way sli natively... like the EVGA X58 Classified 4-Way SLI and GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD9 4-Way SLI

I could certainly be wrong though

Both of those had NF200 chips (there was a model of the EVGA x58 Classy without NF200's though), much like the SR-2 Classy, that's why they support it natively. The RIIIE desn't have them, but Asus made an expansion board (dubbed the ROG Xpander) with two NF200 chips on another PCB.
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