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Can RTX 4090 do SLI? 4090 SLI support explained

Those still dreaming of running multiple GPUs at once are in for some dissapointment

Updated: Dec 11, 2023 10:15 am
Can RTX 4090 do SLI? 4090 SLI support explained

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Before we talk about what new technology means for regular people, let’s clear up some of the latest technology. The RTX 4090 easily outperforms prior-generation graphic cards in technology and performance. But can the RTX 4090 do SLI? It would be nice to pair it with older cards for even more power, though that might just be 4090 overkill.

With upgrades to all of the core hardware, significantly faster clock rates, and cutting-edge technology like DLSS 3, a new standard has been set, albeit at a very expensive cost. New streaming microprocessors developed by Nvidia are touted as having up to a twofold increase in performance while using less power than the earlier technology.

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RTX 4090 power

The sophisticated AI components of Nvidia graphics cards are powered by fourth-generation Tensor Cores, which claim to double AI performance. Third-generation RT Cores, in contrast, provide up to twice the performance when the resource-intensive ray tracing feature is activated.

According to Nvidia, the RTX 4090 will provide nearly twice the performance of an RTX 3090 Ti when used with Microsoft Flight Simulator at 4K resolution.

RTX 4090 SLI support

But since Nvidia officially shut down SLI in the form of physical bridges with the RTX 40 series, it’s pretty much over for the technology. Over the past few years, SLI support has decreased to the point that it is currently only effective in synthetic benchmarks. It is possible to enable SLI in games that do not officially support it.

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But these outcomes are, at best erratic and frequently lead to system instability or significant micro-stuttering issues while gaming. SLI does have some potential, though. Enterprise environments frequently use several GPUs, and Nvidia even offers multi-GPU technology that doesn’t require an NVLink or SLI bridge.

On the gaming front, contemporary APIs like DX12 and Vulkan can render frames to two completely distinct GPUs simultaneously. Therefore, there is a probability that multi-GPU technology will eventually return to the gaming industry (but whether developers want to support multi-GPU technology for gaming is a different story).

And so you won’t find any SLI connectors on the RTX 4090, but we hardly think you need it. Seeing as it brings so much power to the table, only an enterprise might need anything more and there are GPUs for that you can look to.


Does the RTX 4090 support SLI?

Sadly, no. Nvidia doesn’t offer compatibility for a physical SLI bridge with the 40-series of GeForce cards. Modern GPUs like the 4090 are much bigger, so having two linked up in your rig would be unfeasible for most people anyway.

Is SLI dead?

For the 40-series of Nvidia cards, yes, SLI is no longer a thing. The technology’s popularity has sharply declined over the years and support for it has effectively died out for modern gaming.

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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