Three little letters

If you were a gamer with money to burn in the late 90’s then the letters SLI will bring a fond tear to your eye. 3DFX decided that their Voodoo 2 graphics card wasn’t powerful enough (it was the fastest thing on the market at the time) and decided to find a way to strap two of them together and double the power. They called this SLI, Scan Line Interleave. Each card rendered alternate scan lines then glued it all back together for display. It was stupidly powerful and very expensive. Needless to say graphics geeks (sorry, enthusiasts) loved it. Unfortunately 3DFX became obsessed with brand and marketing, forgot about engineering, crumbled and their patents and some of ther engineers were finally swallowed by rival nVidia.

It seems that some of the engineering heart that beat within 3DFX survived the collapse and IP buy up and has sprung to life within nVidia as the three beautiful letters, SLI, are back. This time one card handles the top half of the screen and the other the bottom and SLI stands for Scalable Link Interface but the result is the same. Twice the power for twice the money. I really wish I wasn’t already considering upgrading my system. I should probably apologise to my savings account in advance. More factoids can be found here, here and here.