[coreboot] seeking AMD 990FX / SB950 documentation

David Griffith dave at 661.org
Thu Jul 19 03:39:47 CEST 2012

On Thu, 19 Jul 2012, Mark Nelson wrote:

> 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.

Heh, I looked again at the article you showed me and right there it says 
that nVidia anticipates BIOS modders would indeed add the the cookie into 
their hacked BIOSes, so, there we are.

David Griffith
dave at 661.org

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