It is going on two years since support for Scalable Link
Interface (SLI) was introduced into NVIDIA's Linux binary display
driver. This support had come a year after it was officially launched
and supported by the Windows ForceWare display driver. As we had seen at
the end of 2005 with two GeForce 6 graphics cards in SLI, its
performance was very sluggish, and there were a number of problems to be
found with Linux SLI. While we have routinely tested new NVIDIA graphics
cards under Linux SLI internally, there hasn't been much to report on as
the experience has been very foul.
However, things have changed recently
and with the recent NVIDIA 100.14.19 display driver release using
GeForce 8 hardware -- we finally have some modest numbers to report on
in a Linux SLI configuration. Linux SLI is still far from perfect, but
in this article we've used two GeForce 8600GT graphics cards in an SLI
configuration under both Linux and Windows to compare the single and
dual GPU performance under both operating systems.