There's a scene
in Step Brothers
where Brennan Huff, played by Will Ferrell, asks Dale Doback, played by John. C. Reilly, "Did we just become best friends?" The answer is an emphatic "Yep!," and the two then decide to go practice karate in the garage. AMD
don't live together, nor would we go so far to tag them as BFFs, but the two graphics rivals did just decide to roundhouse the tech industry with a surprise announcement: Nvidia, at long last, is licensing its SLI
technology to AMD.
It's. About. Time! That's what you're thinking, that's what we're thinking, that's what everyone is thinking. So what exactly took so long for these two to hug out their differences and get on the same multi-GPU page?
"Long term gamers probably remember that for a long time AMD offered great high-end CPUs, but in recent years, AMD’s stature as the preferred gaming CPU fell by the wayside and Intel CPUs have been the gamers’ choice. For this reason, we’ve only licensed SLI for motherboards with Intel chipsets," Nvidia explains. "However, we’ve been recently hearing chants of “SLI for AMD CPUs”, and figured that now is a great time to do it."
Starting with AMD's upcoming 990 series chipset, you'll be able to run multiple Nvidia cards configured in SLI, a feat previously only available to Intel chipsets.
Last year would have a been a great time to do it, and the year before that, but we're not holding any grudges. We're just thrilled that these two rivals managed to hammer out a deal that benefits system builders who will no longer have to pick out a motherboard based on their choice of graphics cards, and vice versa.
Nvidia didn't go into many specifics about the license, such as how long it's good for and whether it anticipates any drama when it comes time to renew, but did say the license covers "upcoming motherboards featuring AMD's 990FX, 990X, and 970 chipsets."
As you would expect, all the top-tier motherboard makers are chomping at the bit to release new boards based on this new arrangement, including Asus, Gigabyte, ASRock, and MSI. They'll be the first ones to launch AMD mobos with SLI support, but according to Nvidia, other board makers will quickly follow suit.
Are you excited about the new license, or do you prefer to roll with a single graphics card?