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.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia for Android Central, Windows Central's sister site. When not reviewing phones, he's testing PC hardware, including video cards, motherboards, gaming accessories, and keyboards.