So what if Nvidia and AMD make unlikely bed fellows, and who cares that the two are currently duking it out in the discrete graphics market? Certainly not Joe Gamer, the unbiased enthusiast who only wants to build the best gaming machine his budget will allow. Unfortunately for Joe, his decisions have always been partially dictated by artificial compatibility constraints, and the decision to roll with multiple Nvidia or AMD graphics cards depends on his choice of platform. Not anymore, folks!
Nvidia has chosen to bury the hatchet with AMD and finally license its SLI technology on AMD motherboards. We'll let that sink in for a moment... This bears repeating, in case you didn't believe what you just read. Nvidia, who became AMD's arch-nemesis when the CPU maker picked up ATI, is going to allow AMD chipsets to support SLI!
"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," Nvidia said in a blog post. "For this reason, we’ve only licensed SLI for motherboards with Intel chipsets. However, we’ve been recently hearing chants of 'SLI for AMD CPUs', and figured that now is a great time to do it. After all, we want to make sure gamers can benefit from the new CPU competitive landscape and ensure they have NVIDIA SLI – the highest performance, most stable multi-GPU solution - to game on! According to Steam, 93% of all multi-GPU systems in use today use SLI."
We're not buying Nvidia's explanation that AMD has only just now picked up its game to where SLI would be a good fit, and that chants of 'SLI for AMD CPUs' were non-existent up to this point, but who cares, the point is you'll finally be able to build a system based almost entirely on your budget and not on compatibility concerns.
This doesn't mean you should rush out and pick up a second Nvidia videocard for your 890FX motherboard, it won't work. However, Nvidia did license SLI for AMD's upcoming chipsets, including 990FX, 990X, and 970.
"Asus, Gigabyte, ASRock, and MSI are among the first motherboard manufacturers to offer this new capability, with more coming on board shortly," Nvidia said.