IntroductionA week or so ago the boss got on the blower, breathing heavily. Never a good sign. "Black pearls, Rys, black pearls are coming. Be prepared. 4 chips. SLI. Be prepared". Then he hung up, slightly asthmatic wheezing lost to the wind, my thoughts all agog.
Had he just been watching Pirates of the Caribbean again, drunk, or was something else afoot? I dug deep and searched the mighty HEXUS for black pearls, and lo and behold -- and how could I forget, I used the word shagging in it -- this turned up. Remember that watercooled GeForce 7800 GTX 512? You should, it was arguably the fastest graphics card ever created at the time of writing.
Now that Wolfy's at eVGA, and with him the help of watercooling maestros Innovatek, eVGA are certainly on the up in terms of NVIDIA AIB partner execution. They've got some sweet SKUs, regardless of whether you love air or water, but it's their water-based stuff that really pushes the boat out.
Slick waterblocks already attached, easy fitment, near-silent running and overclocked performance are what define the Black Pearl signature series of boards from eVGA. So if you're feeling hardcore and hard of wallet, they usually sit near the top of any consideration list you might form, when choosing high end VGA hardware.
They've seemingly not done a Black Pearl since the 7800 GTX 512, which is somewhat surprising, but there's arguably been good reason. You see NVIDIA recently launched the GeForce 7950 GX2, bringing single board SLI to the well-heeled masses.
And not too long ago they also released a driver for do-it-yourself GX2 SLI. That's right, Quad SLI. Good job, then, that Wolfy saw fit to send along two eVGA e-GeForce 7950 GX2 Black Pearls for me to fiddle with, then. So join me as I walk the line of GX2 SLI integration, watercooled of course, to see just what's what in the world of four-chip 3D acceleration these days, for the consumer.