[coreboot] seeking AMD 990FX / SB950 documentation

Mark Nelson mdnelson8 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 19 03:37:11 CEST 2012

On 19/07/12 11:06, David Griffith wrote:
> On Thu, 19 Jul 2012, Mark Nelson wrote:
>> Actually no, SLI support isn't anything to do with the actual chipset
>> hardware (provided the chipset has the required number of PCI Express
>> lanes and physical slots of course ;) ).
>> SLI certification (and so SLI support) is nVidia's way of controlling
>> which platforms can run their GPUs in SLI mode (and making money out
>> of it all of course). Board makers that want SLI support pay the
>> appropriate licensing fees to nVidia (and submit their board models to
>> nVidia for qualification) and they then receive a special key that
>> they embed in their BIOSs which nVidia's drivers look for before
>> enabling SLI.
> I see. So, what does this mean for people who want to run a pair of
> nVidea boards on a coreboot board in SLI mode?
Yeah, it probably means native SLI support (without modified drivers) is 
out of the question. It is plausible that the coreboot end-user could 
extract the key from an SLI-certified 990FX motherboard's BIOS and 
somehow incorporate it into the coreboot firmware I suppose. Similar 
tricks were done for early low-end X58 motherboards that didn't include 
the key in their BIOSs but were part of a family of boards where the 
higher-end offerings were SLI certified.

I'd imagine that users worried about a feature like SLI support probably 
won't be using coreboot (at least at this stage), but it is something to 
keep in mind for the future.


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