NVIDIA SLI Support Moves Towards Native Game Integration

Sep 17, 2020 11:36 EDT
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Starting in January 2021, NVIDIA will no longer be releasing new SLI driver profiles on the RTX 20 series and earlier GPUs. Existing profiles will continue to be tested and maintained, but this move makes sense considering how DX12 and Vulkan natively allow the use of multiple GPUs, as well as the news that came alongside the reveal of the RTX 30 series of cards.

What was that news? The only card that will support NVLink, the connector that enables multi-GPU configurations, is the RTX 3090. So what does this mean? The use and effectiveness of multiple GPUs in the future will be based on the game developers as they will be able to implement SLI support natively, with the assistance of NVIDIA.

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This is all covered in a recent press release from NVIDIA (found over at VideoCardz), stating:

With the emergence of low level graphics APIs such as DirectX 12 and Vulkan, game developers are able to implement SLI support natively within the game itself instead of relying upon a SLI driver profile. The expertise of the game developer within their own code allows them to achieve the best possible performance from multiple GPUs. As a result, NVIDIA will no longer be adding new SLI driver profiles on RTX 20 Series and earlier GPUs starting on January 1st, 2021. Instead, we will focus efforts on supporting developers to implement SLI natively inside the games. We believe this will provide the best performance for SLI users.

Existing SLI driver profiles will continue to be tested and maintained for SLI-ready RTX 20 Series and earlier GPUs.

For GeForce RTX 3090 and future SLI-capable GPUs, SLI will only be supported when implemented natively within the game.

What DirectX 12 games support SLI natively within the game?

DirectX 12 titles include Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Civilization VI, Sniper Elite 4, Gears of War 4, Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, Strange Brigade, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Zombie Army 4: Dead War, Hitman, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Battlefield 1, and Halo Wars 2.

What Vulkan games support SLI natively within the game?

Vulkan titles include Red Dead Redemption 2, Quake 2 RTX, Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, Strange Brigade, and Zombie Army 4: Dead War

How about creative and other non-gaming applications — will those still support multiple GPUs?

Yes, many creative and other non-gaming applications support multi-GPU performance scaling without the use of SLI driver profiles. These apps will continue to work across all currently supported GPUs as it does today.

I think the real question is how many people are currently, or will be running multiple GPU's? GPU's now are more than capable of running VR and 4K on their own, no real need for a second card. It also doesn't help games that include native support for multi-GPU setups are becoming more and more limited. All in all, I'd say it's a sensible move from NVIDIA, moving people onto things that have a larger impact.

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