The year 2006 and a G71 chip officially brought an insane idea of a personal computer simultaneously combining four active gpus to the enthusiast market. First attempt was with the G70 chip and 7900 GX2 or 7900 DUO card but there were never officially available for sale. The 7950 GX2 was a production version of two 7900 GT`s cards combined in a single card with dual pcb design. Both cards are connected with an internal SLI connector.
On the top of that brilliant and revolutionary idea, was an option of running two of these cards in something called for the first time as an Quad SLI setup. As powerful as it may seem at a first glance, the technology was way ahead of it`s time. The sweet spot for this combination was at 1600×1200 resolution and higher, which was something very rare and exotic in 2006. Because of the possible internal competition, the 7950 GX2 is not build from perfect 7900 GTX cards but slower and older 7900 GT`s. This fact often leeds to very strange benchmark results when you compare 7950 GX2 Quad SLI with 7900 GTX Dual SLI. Single pcb card is significantly higher clocked which results in very good performance in 3D applications thus Dual SLI often outperforms first Quad SLI setup in every day use cases. Nonetheless it was a pleasure witnessing this fancy animation :
As a first of it`s kind, 7950 GX2 Quad Sli is a heck of a struggle when it comes to finding proper drivers and OS platform for it`s glory. For now, Windows XP and old ForceWare 93.81 seem to give best results but I`m still working on it. In the meantime I`m trying to revive an Asus nForce 590i board, which is the perfect companion for the four G71 chips.
I have a nice plan for the presentation of 2006 breakthroughs, but it may take some time till I`ll collect everything I need 🙂 Keep your fingers crossed, all in all it’s ProRetroPC so no shortcuts are acceptable 😀