SLI Graphics Card Installation

Because SLI installation methods will be slightly different from manufacturer to manufacturer, its important to take a look at the process on each board and see if its too complicated or causes any problems. 

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Here’s the board with just a single 6800 Ultra card installed on it.  You’ll notice the SLI “switch” under the heatsink on the card is basically impossible to get to without first removing the primary video card.  Unlike the Asus board that had two slots of space between the two x16 PCIe slots, the Gigabyte board only has one — which was the standard from NVIDIA. 

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Removing the graphics card allows us to rotate the riser card and place it back into the locking mechanism in preparation for SLI mode. 

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Now we have two 6800 Ultra cards installed on the board, and as you can see, they are quite close.  The two metal brackets for attaching them to the case are basically touching each other, and the gap the primary card has above its heatsink is very small.  This will no doubt raise issues on heat and stability of the 6800U cards, but in my overnight loops of 3D Mark, the system was able to hold up just fine.  Keep in mind that this was on an open system however. 

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Finally, we have the SLI connector up top installed to add the data connection between the two GPUs and to act as a bit of a physical stabilizer. 

Though we don’t have actual SLI benchmarks in this individual motherboard review, the cards performed just as expected, and as we saw in our SLI Performance article.  I looped overnight in a run of 3DMark05 without any stability issues as well.

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