Gaming enthusiasts had a piece of good news late last week in the form of SLI support on the new performance chipset from Intel -- the X58. Until now, SLI was available only on Nvidia chipsets. With this development performance seeking gamers will have greater choice in rigging up their PCs.
The performance chipsets from Intel pair very well with Intel's CPUs and now, with SLI support, they make for an excellent overall package. In the performance CPU segment, Intel is said to have a clear edge over AMD, so this move makes all the more sense for Nvidia and Intel.
The SLI support for the X58 chipset based motherboards will be enabled in the following manner: The motherboard manufacturer has to sent the board to Nvidia for testing and certification, after which a special key will be sent to the manufacturer.
The manufacturer has to then embed this special key into the BIOS of the motherboard. The Nvidia driver checks for presence of this key and matches it to the chipset ID and then enables SLI support. This means, the required hardware logic for SLI is actually a part of the X58 chipset and no extra chip needs to obtained from Nvidia.