Do-It-Yourself Quad-SLI: It's Official

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Configuring the System

Once your hardware is assembled and you've got the operating system installed (we used Windows XP SP2), there is still a bit of work to be done to properly configure a Quad-SLI system.  The first thing that should be done, is install the proper chipset drivers for the motherboard.  We used the nForce v6.86 drivers for the nForce 4 SLIX16 Intel Edition chipset, but there are other packages available for download for the other members of the nForce family. You can reference NVIDIA's driver download page for the latest versions.


NVIDIA nForce Chipset Driver Installation

The chipset driver installation is simple and straightforward.  Just run the setup file and follow the on-screen prompts.  We should note, however, that we typically do not install NVIDIA's audio drivers. Instead we usually opt for reference drivers from the manufacturer of the motherboard's integrated audio codec. In the case of the Asus P5N32-SLI SE Deluxe, we used Realtek's v3.91 AC'97 drivers.

Once you've got the chipset drivers installed, we recommend updating the operating system to get the latest patches and security fixes. It's also important to make sure you've got the latest version of DirectX installed for optimal performance and compatibility. The latest distribution (August 2006) can be downloaded here


SLI Configuration Page in NVIDIA's Forceware v91.37 Drivers

With the chipset drivers installed and the OS patched and up-to-date, it's time to install the video drivers. Like the chipset drivers, installing NVIDIA's Forceware graphics drivers is very easy.  Run the setup file and step through the on-screen prompts until the process is complete.  You may be warned during the installation that some files are not WHQL certified, but this is usually not an issue.  Just click OK and move forward through the installation.

When the graphics driver installation is done and the system restarts, you'll typically be greeted by a balloon dialog that'll direct you to the SLI configuration page pictured above.  It's on this page that you can enable Quad-SLI.  With Quad-SLI disabled, the two GeForce 7950 GX2 cards in the system will work independently. There are a multitude of other options available within NVIDIA's Forceware rel. 90 drivers as well.  For more information on those, see here.

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