Nvidia released a new Game Ready Driver yesterday which delivered official support for the GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090. There were lots of other additions, such as the implementation of Nvidia Reflex latency reduction, the introduction of the Nvidia Broadcast app, a new in-game performance and latency overlay, HDR ShadowPlay capture, support for AV1 decoding in (RTX 30) hardware, a quintet of newly validated G-Sync displays, and news of RTX On / DLSS coming to titles like Fortnite.
All the above goodies were described in the latest GeForce blog about driver version 456.38 WHQL. However another big change worthy of attention was squirreled away on the Nvidia Support site. In an article dubbed Nvidia SLI Support Transitioning to Native Game Integrations, the green team spelled out the effective phasing out of SLI technology.
No more new SLI profiles after January 2021
"With the emergence of low level graphics APIs such as DirectX 12 and Vulkan, game developers are able to implement SLI support natively within the game itself instead of relying upon a SLI driver profile," explained the Nvidia support post. "The expertise of the game developer within their own code allows them to achieve the best possible performance from multiple GPUs. As a result, Nvidia will no longer be adding new SLI driver profiles on RTX 20 Series and earlier GPUs starting on January 1st, 2021."
This doesn't signal a sudden stop, be assured that existing SLI driver profiles will continue to be maintained for SLI-ready RTX 20 Series and earlier GPUs. However, the only SLI supporting RTX 30 GPU, the GeForce RTX 3090, will only be supported in SLI mode when the specific game/app natively implements it.
Following its explanation and reasoning behind the sidelining of SLI, Nvidia provides quite a lengthy list of DX12 and Vulkan games which support SLI natively. Of course it isn't all about games, many creative and non-gaming application support multi-GPU to minimise wait times for professionals. Such apps often already support multi-GPU scaling without the use of SLI driver profiles and will continue to work the same way on currently supported GPUs going forward, says Nvidia.
GeForce RTX 30 Series bundles
If you can get your hands on an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 FE or partner card, you might be especially pleased that Nvidia is celebrating the launch with a PC digital download copy of Watch Dogs: Legion, and a 1-year membership for GeForce Now. Watch Dogs: Legion supports ray-traced reflections, DLSS, and support for the new DLSS Ultra Performance mode, which makes 8K gaming possible on the GeForce RTX 3090.