[coreboot] seeking AMD 990FX / SB950 documentation

Mark Nelson mdnelson8 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 19 05:36:45 CEST 2012

On 19/07/12 11:39, David Griffith wrote:
> 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.
Yeah, it'll be great to see some a time when some consumer 990FX based 
boards are supported by coreboot :)

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