The new cards will only support 3-way SLI
In case you haven't grown tired of reading all the rumors that have recently surfaced about NVIDIA's soon-to-be released graphics card lineup, here's another bit of information. Apparently, the GTX 280 and 260 will come with support for dual- and 3-way SLI, which means that the new lineup is not going to support a 4-way SLI.
NVIDIA is known for offering support to enthusiast users who want to get the most out of their desktop systems. For this reason, SLI-enabled systems are among the most high-performance rated desktop computers available on the market. Proof of that is a recently built system, dubbed Fastra, which used 4 PCI Express slots to run four NVIDIA 9800 GX2 graphics cards. This particular desktop rig was built to provide support for medical applications, that required high graphics computing power.
NVIDIA's highly anticipated D10U-based graphics card lineup is said to significantly improve the graphics quality of the company's current GPUs. This might be the reason why NVIDIA thinks that a four-way SLI setup is not going to be necessary. Users will also have to keep in mind that these one-chip cards are expected to require a large cooling system, which will take up a lot of the internal space. So, a 4-way SLI for NVIDIA's GTX 280 cards is just something that even an enthusiast user will not need.
Still, 3-way SLI should be considered enough, and users looking to benefit from such a graphics setup will need to acquire a 780i or 780i-enabled board. They will also need a strong power supply, even if the new GPUs are expected to be built on the 55nm manufacturing process, which will make them more energy efficient.
Until NVIDIA officially launches its new high-performance lineup, we will most certainly going to read a number of other details regarding the upcoming products.