MSI’s fancy SLI bridges tie three- and four-way setups together

MSI launched its two-way SLI Bridge L in June of last year so fans of the company's Twin Frozr coolers could have similarly styled SLI bridges for their graphics cards. Now, the company is letting builders with more powerful rigs in on the action with a pair of three-way and four-way bridge kits with the same aesthetic. These fancy-looking bridges feature configurable blinkenlights that can be customized through the MSI Gaming app. 

Both of the new kits also include a fan mount and reversible 120mm fan to help cool those tightly-packed graphics cards. Both the fan and its bracket can be separated from the bridge if they aren't needed. MSI says the new hard plastic bridges also have rubber pads built in to reduce vibration from the fan.  Pricing for these new kits hasn't been announced, but the 2-way bridge currently goes for $30 on Newegg, so we can expect these bigger bridges to go for a bit more.

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    • vargis14
    • 4 years ago

    tri SLI is as far as I would ever go, you just do not get the 80+% performance increase going from 1-2 cards and the 3rd usually adds approximately 30-40% over 2 cards and can be very finicky. When you get to 4 cards the last card adds almost nothing.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    If a graphics card is capable of CF or SLI, shouldn’t it come with a bridge? I think most cards don’t come with it.

      • Prestige Worldwide
      • 4 years ago

      In my experience, I have never received a SLI bridge from a GPU purchase. Rather, my last 2 motherboards have shipped with said bridges.

    • I.S.T.
    • 4 years ago

    What’s the point to an SLI Bridge? I thought a PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot would be fast enough for this.

      • Krogoth
      • 4 years ago

      It is a dedicated link for the frame buffer between the cards in the chain. SLI/CF still need them in order to work correctly. It is not really a question of bandwidth. The problem is latency and syncing the cards together.

      • vargis14
      • 4 years ago

      yep it keeps them in time when AFR

      • jts888
      • 4 years ago

      SLI/CF bridges are direct GPU-to-GPU links linking display controller blocks to let them pull a remote frame buffer just-in-time for output. The interfaces aren’t high bandwidth (and aren’t really sufficient for high resolutions/eyefinity-style setups), but they’re architecturally simpler than going through a shared PCIe controller interface and worrying about priorities, stalling, etc.

      The XDMA-based CrossFire in R9 285/290(X) and newer GPUs does route things through the PCIe controller by dedicating DMA controllers to the task, which seems to have helped AMD’s multi-GPU performance significantly.

      You would assume that Nvidia would eventually go the same way given the relatively tiny silicon cost of the DMA blocks and the inelegance of external bridges.

    • vargis14
    • 4 years ago

    I would love the 120mm fan mount especially the way my 2 EVGA GTX 770 Classifieds in SLI expel heat from the sides so much…a High powered 120 mm fan at 35bd or so set to pull the heat away from the cards would be great for gaming sessions with my setup.

    The heat that gets expelled from my 2x 120mm side panel fans is a great deal of heat…..probably around 300 watts worth…they do work hard to push 3440-1440 pixels and I am happy they still keep up…thank god for the 4gb frame buffers.

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 4 years ago

    I remember reading a while back when Tom’s Hardware (or another site) figured out that you could get better performance and less stuttering with three mid-range GPUs rather than two high-end GPUs.

    The only problem was that you needed to find a game that would play nice with triple-GPUs, and that AMD and Nividia intentionally restricted mid-range GPUs to only being able to run in dual-GPU mode.

    There was a Radeon HD 6850 card with dual GPU chips (or was it 7850?), that allowed you to pair another 6850 for a triple Crossfire.

      • vargis14
      • 4 years ago

      I could run 3 770’s but at the time they were a upper tier card

    • TwoEars
    • 4 years ago

    Edit: You guys like this kind of stuff? Fine then, guess I’ll have to take back what I said.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 4 years ago

      I disagree. This is pretty cool. Before this article I hadn’t heard about it and if I had multiple GPUs, I’d want something like this.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 4 years ago

      I think this is the best innovation in SLI bridges since their inception. No joke. Excellent idea since cards get jammed together.

      • torquer
      • 4 years ago

      How is reporting on a new product “beneath” a site that exists to report on tech products and news that could be of interest to the community?

      I don’t see that they are shilling, whitewashing, or doing anything other than any other tech site does – reporting on press releases.

      If you’re looking for purity by whatever your definition is, perhaps you can start your own site and fund it out of pocket so no one can ever accuse you of advertiser bias or extorting money from your readers.

      I’m not saying any site, including TR, is above criticism. Certainly I have levied it in the past due to slow reviews. But, remember that even if its a non profit business its still a business and it cannot control the amount of information there is to report out there each day. Some days product releases are all you get.

      • DrCR
      • 4 years ago

      I’m against recycled press releases — and this is /not/ one. Whoever this Zak is, he shared the information completely without going all copy-and-paste on us, with bonus points for blinkenlights and overall good hyperlinking.

      For sharing new product info that’s rather non-earth-shattering, this is about as good as it normally gets. Though, Jeff, it does appear you let this slip by without fitting in at least one purportedly.

      • Krogoth
      • 4 years ago

      Triple and Quad-SLI/CF is only good for epenis benchmarking or rendering/number crunching. It doesn’t yield nearly enough returns to justify the costs and headaches associated with it for gaming purposes. You are entirely CPU-bound in an overwhelming majority of real-world games. The CPU overhead just eats away at its potential.

      It is an entirely different story for GPGPU stuff and render farming though.

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