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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [02.15.05]
Manufactured by: Gigabyte

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Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI Motherboard $215 $203.68 198.00

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XPand Rally Demo

Although the two year old Colin McRae 04 demo is SLI Certified, Xpand Rally is one of the better Rally games to be released since then (along with Colin McRae 05, which is not SLI Certified).

Unfortunately, SLI slowed XPand down as well.

As an engineering exercise and promo-tool for Gigabyte, the 3D1 is quite impressive. The card worked perfectly, and was easy to figure out. It took everyone by surprize, and I for one couldn't wait to get one in for testing.

However, for you, the end users, I don't see much reason to recommend it. If you look at the 6600GT SLI solution itself, it is not a very good solution at all. There are only a handful of decent games that currently support SLI, and in those cases a pair of 6600 GT's will barely beat a single 6800 GT which is similarly priced. And in the other 900,000,000 games that are out there, SLI will either not give a benefit at all, or slow you down if you try to enable it. In those cases, you're stuck with a 6600 GT for the price of a 6800 GT.

Drivers will almost certainly improve, but it is unknown at this point whether developers will take SLI into consideration when designing their games. If SLI doesn't become highly entrenched in the user base (and at this point, it doesn't look like that will happen), I can't see developers putting forth too much effort to support it.

So it is with a heavy heart that I have to say, although technically impressive, the 3D1 combo is not recommended. Go with an NF4 Ultra and a 6800 GT instead.

Now if they could work out a dual 6800 GT solution.. That might be fun.. ;)

  • Technically impressive - nobody expected this from Gigabyte!
  • Just looks awesome

  • Held back by the weak 6600 GT at the price of a strong 6800 GT
  • SLI Certified Games are slim-to-none at this point
  • Extremely loud - the Dustbuster is back!

Final Score: 75%