Quad SLI goes pro

— 12:27 PM on April 24, 2006

Following the refresh of its Quadro FX line, NVIDIA has now added a Quadro FX 4500 X2 to its lineup of professional graphics cards. While NVIDIA does not explicitly mention Quad SLI in the product announcement, the card sports a dual-GPU PCB strikingly similar to that of GeForce 7 Quad SLI cards, and NVIDIA says SLI support is on the menu along with "the industry's first quad dual-link DVI." The new FX 4500 X2 also features 512MB of memory per GPU, a 256-bit memory bus, and 33.6GB/s of memory bandwidth. So-called NVIDIA insiders quizzed by DailyTech claim the FX 4500 X2 draws over 200W at peak load, which would add up to an impressive 400W for a Quad SLI configuration. It is not known whether NVIDIA opted to build the Quadro X2 off a power-efficient 90nm G71-based GPU, though, or whether it's still made with the same 110nm G70-based GPU as the vanilla FX 4500.

While NVIDIA appears to be moving Quad SLI to workstation products, its desktop equivalent is still unavailable to both system integrators and end users. Ship dates for Alienware and Velocity Micro's Quad SLI systems range from May 9 to May 18, and X-bit labs says some system builders "anonymously claim" they are forbidden from shipping sample Quad SLI systems to the press. A couple of weeks ago, The Inquirer reported that NVIDIA would ship retail GeForce 7950 GTX 2 Quad SLI cards "by the end of the month," but the company has yet to announce anything on that front.

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