NVIDIA SLI HB Bridges and Pascal GTX 1080 SLI Performance
Now that the GTX 1080 is showing up on gamers doorsteps everywhere, a lot of attention has turned to the “new” NVIDIA SLI HB bridges and their lack of availability. Will they make a performance difference and in what situations? In the Tom’s Hardware GTX 1080 review NVIDIA stated: “Using new SLI bridges, both connectors can be used simultaneously to enable a dual-link mode. Not only do you get the benefit of a second interface, but Pascal also accelerates the I/O to 650MHz, up from the previous generation’s 400MHz. As a result, bandwidth between processors more than doubles.” Additionally: “…that its SLI HB bridges aren’t the only ones able to support dual-link mode. Existing LED-lit bridges may also run at up to 650MHz if you use them on Pascal-based cards. Really, the flexible/bare PCB bridges are the ones you’ll want to transition away from if you’re running at 4K or higher”.
Luckily, I have two of the NVDIA light-up bridges from 2015 – one for two-way SLI (with one “finger” connector) and one for three-way SLI (with two “finger” connectors – which should more closely mirror the upcoming SLI HB bridge) – is there a performance difference?
Unfortunately, it appears that there is no difference. My 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra scores actually went down slightly across the board (with identical conditions) – although that can likely be chalked up to within the margin of error (I only did one run for each scenario).
For the record, here is how MSI Afterburner is configured (with only the core clock value changing for each test, as indicated below). No crazy fan curve or forced 80% or 100% fan…just semi-aggressive.
9,200 – Stock GTX 1080 SLI (2-way bridge / 1 SLI finger)
9,112 – Stock GTX 1080 SLI (3-way bridge / 2 SLI fingers)
9,592 – +150 core GTX 1080 SLI (2-way bridge / 1 SLI finger)
9,580 – +150 core GTX 1080 SLI (3-way bridge / 2 SLI fingers)
9,713 – +200 core GTX 1080 SLI (2-way bridge / 1 SLI finger)
9,626 – +200 core GTX 1080 SLI (3-way bridge / 2 SLI fingers)
Will the new SLI HB bridge make a difference? We will find out soon enough…I’m checking NVIDIA.com regularly! 🙂