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Looking to buy the GTX 1080 and 1070 for 3-Way or 4-Way SLI? Well, you can't

GTX 1080
GTX 1080

NVIDIA said during the launch of the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 that it will promote 2-Way SLI for its Pascal-based cards, and that it will introduce an Enthusiast Key that can be loaded by the enthusiast community for enabling multi-SLI setups. However, it now looks like the vendor is moving away from multi-GPU 3-Way and 4-Way SLI options entirely. The folks at PC Perspective were able to determine that only 2-Way SLI configurations will be supported for games, with 3-Way and 4-Way SLI options limited to select benchmarking utilities.

In a statement to the publication, NVIDIA said that it was moving away from the idea of an Enthusiast Key for enabling multi-SLI configurations, and that it will focus on 2-Way SLI:

With the GeForce 10-series we're investing heavily in 2-way SLI with our new High Bandwidth bridge (which doubles the SLI bandwidth for faster, smoother gaming at ultra-high resolutions and refresh rates) and NVIDIA Game Ready Driver SLI profiles. To ensure the best possible gaming experience on our GeForce 10-series GPUs, we're focusing our efforts on 2-way SLI only and will continue to include 2-way SLI profiles in our Game Ready Drivers.DX12 and NVIDIA VR Works SLI technology also allows developers to directly implement and control multi-GPU support within their games. If a developer chooses to use these technologies then their game will not need SLI profiles. Some developers may also decide to support more than 2 GPUs in their games. We continue to work with all developers creating games and VR applications that take advantage of 2 or more GPUs to make sure they'll work great on GeForce 10-series GPUs.For our overclocking community, our Game Ready Drivers will also include SLI profiles for 3- and 4-way configurations for specific OC applications only, including Fire Strike, Unigine and Catzilla.

Most gamers will be content with a single or two of NVIDIA's latest cards, but those that use multi-GPU setups for extensive workloads will not be able to leverage 3-Way and 4-Way SLI.

27 Comments
  • I kinda guess this would happen. Two GTX 1080s are powerful enough as well as two GTX 1070s.
  • Yeah but why limit it? If we want to buy 3 or 4 then let us buy 3 or 4.
  • This is probably so they could continue to charge an arm and a leg for future Quadro cards.   Eventually, many content creation applications will run well enough on DirectX or Vulcan. They don't want their workstation customers switching to gaming cards.   So for truly big horsepower needs, they'll end up limiting 3 and 4 card SLI configurations for workstations.
  • This has been discussed elsewhere. Game devs can still enable 3 and 4 way SLI. Title is kinda click baity Posted via the Note 4/Nexus 7 (2013)/Lumia 1020/Lumia 2520
  • It even says that in the article. I guess the drivers just won't be as good for Multi SLI as they could be? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Two 1080s are damn enough.
  • Same with 2 980 ti's Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Of course they're enough; until they aren't.
  • Who cares if they are enough for now? Why stop consumers from being able to use more and lose a potential sale?
  • I'm gonna stay away from the 1080 then cause in the future, it won't be enough. I'd have to sell 2 1080s instead of using 3 to run games in the future. I'd have to buy 2 new cards instead.
  • People who spend money on 4 gpus to put them in ski need to question their priorities Imo
  • How do you know that? Maybe they have already met the other prioraties. Don't judge what others spend their money on.
  • That's why I said Imo :)
  • Doesn't make you any less wrong.
  • In your opinion, yes
  • They think those people should reevaluate their priorities. That isn't wrong, it just what they think.
  • Yea right! in your opinion. you should rather spend time on you priorties than thinking what others should do.
  • Right. So I advise you to follow your own advice then... :)
  • Some people prioritize the priorities of people (:
  • This is because they haven't bothered to upgrade the SLI bridge since PCIE 1 and it is creating a data bottleneck for 3+ SLI configurations, and this "new" one is simply just using both lines for 2 GPUs instead of one like they did before. But they said they would fix this this architechturee but they didn't.
  • Its a shame they refuse to do what AMD does and use all the wasted bandwidth of the PCIe interface instead of stupid bridges. Running a card in an x8 slot insted of the x16 one gives virtually no drop in performance.  AMDs CrossfireX system works really well with no need for extra circuits and components the bridges need.
  • AMD crossfires an interesting option indeed the pcie bus difference between 1x and 3x is 1 fps in bench marks. I used 4 cards on 16 16 8 8 setup, cpu is the bottle neck.
  • So basically forget dual gpu edition cards from appearing lol
  • that's even nicher than wp, if Microsoft could leapfrog them on multi gpu support somehow, that'd be quite the plot twist
  • Those who say two cards are enough are only thinking of gaming, and not other applications like Hashcat.
  • You are wrong on what you say on 3 and 4-way SLI with Nvidia graphics cards, there is the possibility to have 3 and 4-way SLI but you have to obtain from Nvidia a special key for that. See the video "The TRUTH about 3way and 4way SLI - NVIDIA GTX1080 and 1070 [by JayzTwoCents] - YouTube" at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wBDt9tN5-c
  • I find SLI to be annoying.  Many games/programs don't support SLI, it only works on full screen gaming (as opposed to games running in windowed mode), etc.  Too much of a hassel, and cost.  I did SLI once, and then reverted back to a single high-end card... much happier.