Nvidia 8 Series Comes To PCI & Solves Common SLI Problem

Justin Kerr

No, this wasn’t a typo, GPU manufacturer Albatron Retrotechnology is actually releasing the Nvidia 8400, 8500, and 8600 for the PCI, not PCI-Express. What kind of performance can we expect from these “phat” cards riding the skinny bus?

Performance

Albatron claims the new GPU’s are capable of pounding out performance benchmarks in 3D Mark 06 of anywhere from 800 to 1200 depending on the model. While this is a considerable improvement over other PCI alternatives, it still pales in comparison with it’s PCI-E based brethren. A quick test with an XFX 8600 GTS Express card yielded results of close to 2200, almost twice as fast. This isn’t surprising given PCI’s meager 133 MB/s bus speed vs PCI-Express’s mammoth 8GB/s performance.

Why Power Users Might Want One

While we all know the productivity benefits of multiple monitors , it is something that has always been hassle for those of us with SLI setups. Short of disabling multi GPU support in the driver, Nvidia power users have been forced to make do with a single monitor. Luckily, most dual GPU solutions from Nvidia leave a single PCI port exposed allowing for further expansion. By adding a third video card to your spare PCI slot you unlock the potential to run three monitors full time while still maintaining your SLI configuration. Adding an extra video card may all so unlock additional gaming potential down the line as Nvidia toys with the possibility of allowing users to dedicate spare GPU’s to physics processing.

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