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Can RTX 4080 do SLI?

If you're planning to put a couple Ada GPUs together you may need to consider if SLI is even supported

Updated: Nov 16, 2022 11:39 am
Can RTX 4080 do SLI?

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NVIDIA’s multi-GPU technology, known as Scalable Link Interface, or SLI, uses a parallel processing method to integrate two or more graphics cards into a single output. So can the RTX 4080 do SLI?

Although it has a long name, it is an interesting technological advancement that AMD, a rival of NVIDIA, has also explored with its CrossFire line. It’s essential to look more closely at it.

The gaming industry has yet to embrace the benefits of multi-GPU configurations, so it would be more honest to state that their future is uncertain. NVIDIA still has a few tricks on its sleeve, even though AMD’s CrossFire seems to be on the verge of extinction.

This is where the wire-based serial multi-lane near-range communication link known as NVLink comes into action. Similar to SLI but a little more aggressive, NVLink allows you to link several graphics cards together for a single use.

It only supports two cards at this time, but considering that NVLink Bridge is used, that ought to be sufficient. It connects two cards, similar to SLI Bridges. However, it has a 10–12 times faster link speed.

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Because NVLink uses mesh networking rather as a centralized hub for communication, the speed increase is highlighted. This argues that there is no master-slave relationship and that each card can always function to its full potential.

With the introduction of NVIDIA’s Ampere and RTX 3000 series cards, SLI is no longer an option. Only the enthusiast-level RTX 3090 supports SLI, which means it will be handled by external APIs like Vulkan, DirectX 12, or Open CL. Other RTX cards will support SLI sparingly.

Although Nvidia’s multi-GPU SLI technology is no longer supported, the “NVLink” technology it replaced is still present in the RTX 3090 GPUs from the previous generation. The GeForce RTX 4080 specifications state clearly that NVLink is not supported for this generation.

Nvidia’s decision to discontinue support for SLI will free up resources for its driver teams to work on other projects. Low-level API support may lead to performance benefits. This is an excellent way to continue Nvidia’s claim that SLI’s sole goal at the moment is to create the fastest gaming systems in the world.

With a background in engineering and PC gaming, Seb is a staff writer with a focus on GPU, storage, and power supplies. Also one of tech supports in the office he likes helping and solving problems.

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