NVIDIA Announces SLI LED Bridgesby Jarred Walton on September 23, 2014 1:25 PM EST
For those that just can't get enough bling in their cases, NVIDIA today announced the availability of SLI LED bridges, available for the time being exclusively through the NVIDIA Store. Besides the obvious addition of LED lighting to the bridges, it's also worth noting that these are rigid bridges so the cards need to be in specific slots. There are three bridges available, two for 2-way SLI, one for systems where the cards are two slots apart and one for systems where the cards are three slots apart, with a third bridge for 3-way SLI with the cards spaced two slots apart.
The new LED SLI bridges were recently on display at NVIDIA's Game24 event, but this is the first time the bridges have been made available to the public. There are some caveats, unfortunately: for the time being the LED bridges are only available in the US/Canada at the NVIDIA Store. I suspect there will be some enterprising individuals that buy the bridges and then put them up on eBay or similar sites, but the other drawback is that the cost of the bridges is rather high already, so paying extra for non-North American markets will simply add to the price.
Speaking of which, the 2-way SLI LED bridges are priced at $29.99 while the 3-way SLI LED bridge will cost $39.99. That's not really very different from EVGA's existing illuminated 2-way SLI bridge and there's now a 3-way LED offering, but it's over four times the price of a normal 2-way or 3-way SLI bridge. Such is the price of bling.
As far as compatibility, the bridges are designed to work with all modern GTX cards with SLI support. NVIDIA specifically mentions the following products as being supported: GeForce GTX 770, GTX 780, GTX 780 Ti, GTX TITAN, GTX TITAN Black, GTX 970 and GTX 980. These are for NVIDIA reference designs, so the bridges may not work on cards with custom cooling solutions. GeForce Experience 1.7 or later is also required for the LED Visualizer, which allows control of the LEDs.
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Flunk - Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - linkBridges don't matter either way, the reason AMD doesn't use them on their newer cards is because the bandwidth isn't necessary (so they'd rather save the money), it doesn't make Nvidia's solution worse. In fact AMD's older crossfire solution (with bridges) isn't really as good as Nvidia's current SLI (frame pacing is all over the place), that's the real reason they switched.
AMD's solution is noticbly worse, I switched from 2x Geforce 460s to 2x Radeon 7970 and I have to be much more careful tuning Crossfire than I ever did with SLI, not only that, the Radeons are actually slower in a few edge cases.
The Von Matrices - Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - linkYou're information is completely wrong. You really should read up on XDMA and the 290 series. The cards need more bandwidth, not less, which is why the bandwidth constrained crossfire bridges are useless (they provide too little bandwidth to be useful with 4K).
Alexvrb - Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - linkYeah I was just thinking when I read his comment, he has no idea how little bandwidth those bridges really provide. The newer bridgeless XDMA setups are waaay better.
SleepyFE - Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - linkI am not sure if you are joking. You just said that you CAN tune the Radeons better but you have to be more careful. So how are they worse if they perform better in all but a few edge cases? It is true that crossfire had worse frame pacing and that is what they fixed considerably with the XDMA and eliminated the need to pack a bridge (flexible or shiny).
SantaAna12 - Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - linkFrom what I have read AMD recent crossfire scales better.
"NVIDIA Announces SLI LED Bridges"!
"I don't need no stinking bridges!"
tipoo - Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - linkLEDs make it faster!
lkb - Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - linkSo what happens if I would like to combine red, AMD LEDs with these Nvidia GPUs? Will I get a Blue Screen of Death that will be sponsored by Intel? I'm confused.
wwinter86 - Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - linkCool, but you can only get ones with the EVGA logo on.
CowboyBradley - Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - linkJust bought 1 of each! Finally! I've been waiting for these for at least a year and half, ever since they came out in the battlebox promotions. So happy to finally see Nvidia is paying close attention to the enthusiasts who care about performance AND aesthetics.
Alexvrb - Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - link...I can't tell if you're joking or not.