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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