Albatron Technology recently announced its new K8SLI mainboard with dual VGA card SLI technology.
During the design and development process, there was much speculation as to how this new dual VGA card configuration would impact the endless amount of graphics information that needs to be processed during animation. However, there was no way of being certain until the first test results were compiled.
It was late 2004 when Albatron engineers began testing its first SLI prototype mainboard with the results soon to follow. After the first data began to trickle in, the engineers were beside themselves: amazed, astonished and speechless. An incredible graphics innovation was emerging with huge ramifications for the gaming industry.
Later versions of the K8SLI board were recently tested with an Athlon 64 939 3500+ CPU, DDR 400 memory (512 MB) and two Albatron PC6600GT SLI cards. The systems were found to be capable of performing at a rate of 1.7 times that of a single card system! The 3D Mark 2005 test results were an astounding 5400 points, almost matching the scores of a PC6800 Ultra (and this is without overclocking).
The SLI stands for Scalable Link Interface and the technology works by harnessing the power of two graphics cards on one mainboard. The two VGA cards are each responsible for rendering a separate portion of the screen after which the two parts are combined onto one display. The results are simply, two VGA cards are better than one.
The K8SLI has a smaller, space saving form factor (7.7" x 11.5"). In addition, Albatron managed to squeeze out more space by eliminating a "switch" card between the two VGA cards that was initially spec?d by the NVIDIA SLI reference board.
Aside from the SLI features, the K8SLI also features the ABS (Albatron BIOS Security). The ABS is a small circuit board with a backup BIOS chip and is attached to the mainboard next to the on-board BIOS. This detachable circuit board provides the luxury of easily replacing it in emergency BIOS situations as opposed to sending in the entire mainboard for repair. The ABS not only provides quick backup BIOS security but also allows for a convenient way for BIOS data extensions as well as making RMA services easier.
The K8SLI performance increase of 1.7 times is quite a quantum leap as far as VGA processing is concerned which goes to show that two VGA cards are better than one. Enthusiasts and gamers can now look to dual VGA card technology to provide the answer to increasingly challenging graphics animation software.