Nvidia HB SLI Bridge: Der8auer Investigates for Overclocking.Guide

With the launch of the latest Pascal architecture GTX 10 Series cards from Nvidia a few months ago, we also saw the arrival of a revised and updated SLI bridge. Nvidia charges $40 for the new HB SLI bridges and claims that the new design offers improved performance. So far the media has been fairly inconsistent with its analysis of the new bridges (from claims that it makes a huge improvement, to others that say there is in fact zero difference), a fact that prompted our buddy der8auer, known to us as Roman, to take a closer look.

In typical style Roman takes a very scientific approach to the task in hand, including an X-Ray analysis of the new and old bridges to confirm exactly the trace paths used. This is followed by an electrical analysis to see how the pins work and how the bridges are actually identified by the driver.

“From a technical point of view the new SLI bridge is not quantum leap in either electrical engineering or design. Essentially it’s the same as two “LED bridges” combined in one PCB. For sure the signal quality is better than using a old flex bridge. However it seems a bit over the top that NVIDIA claims a huge effort in development while adjusting traces to the same length is usually just one click in the development software and takes only few seconds.”

“Apart from the adjusted trace length all bridges look very similar and I couldn’t find any major difference. So the question is: How does the NVIDIA driver identify the HB Bridge if there is no technical difference? So I grabbed my multi-meter and tracked down the traces on the SLI bridge to see what they actually do.”

Post technical analysis, Roman also offers a full performance comparison of flex, LED and HB bridges. I don’t want to take anyway anyone’s fire, but I will say that the results of Roman’s testing are quite revealing. Read the full technical review here at the overclocking.guide.


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Taiwan sdougal says:

Another solid article from Overclocking.guide

K404 says:

Article of the year and i've not even finished reading it yet. I wish all articles were like this. ALL articles. Even taste tests comparing biscuits.

K404 says:

Despite the X-ray analysis showing the track quality, could testing several of each kind of bridge show more variation? :D I've always thought that most bridges are made by the same OEM, some get silk-screen of vendor to be extra special.

I noticed years ago that my SLI connection quality could vary wildly and i'd have screen flickering different colours, coupled with a loss of performance.

I use mini G-clamps on each end of the SLI bridge to make sure there's a good connection... the flickering stops, the performance is what it should be.


Next evolutionary step in OC: finger binning :p

Sweden Rauf says:

Excellent article!

United States GtiJason says:

K404 said:
I use mini G-clamps on each end of the SLI bridge to make sure there's a good connection... the flickering stops, the performance is what it should be.

Next evolutionary step in OC: finger binning :p


Just like trying to make old console videogames work, lol.

Great effort with this article Roman, must have kept you busy. OK, I got 26 pieces of same length wire, gonna do HB SLI HARD MOD :p

United States Gunslinger says:

K404 said: Next evolutionary step in OC: finger banging :p
:confused: :D

K404 says:

*I double-checked my earlier post for Freudian slips of the finger*

Germany der8auer says:

GtiJason said: Just like trying to make old console videogames work, lol.

Great effort with this article Roman, must have kept you busy. OK, I got 26 pieces of same length wire, gonna do HB SLI HARD MOD :p


Thanks :) Yea took quite a bit of time.

haha :D Time to sell wires as HB-Bridge DIY kit :D

United States bigblock990 says:

Great article! Thanks der8auer

Also thanks to you and the other guys who contribute to overclocking.guide, tons of excellent information there!

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