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MSI Gaming 3 and 4-way SLI Bridge Connector Review

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MSI Gaming 3-Way & 4-Way SLI Bridge Connector Testing:

My test setup for this excursion into the world of 3-Way and 4-Way SLI testing will include a high end gaming rig based on the X79 platform and an Intel Core i7 4690X processor. I will use the bridges as they were meant to be used with four GTX 770 GPUs. Yes I know that only 3 -Way configurations are supported, but the fourth card can be used for PhysX simulations and takes up space in the fourth slot. The effect is the same when you look at the population of the slot and how it relates to additional cooling needs.

Testing Setup: Intel Socket 2011

 

Testing:

Loading up the cards will consist of looping the Unigine Heaven 4.0 test for 45 minutes to put a significant heat load into the cards. The first test is going to consist of running the cards without the add-on cooling fan in place, while the second test will consist of running the cards through the same test, but with the add-on cooling fan running at full speed. I will run these tests both with the cards in stock configurations and overclocked to measure the benefit.

Stock Results:

 
 

 

Overclocked Results:

 
 

 

 

 

Functional testing showed that the bridges did what they were supposed to do. Interconnect three and four NVIDIA GTX 770 cards even though they were not supported officially. Thermally, the add-on cooling fan does provide a measurable benefit. More so when you crank up the speeds on the graphics cards' fans to pull more airflow in.

 

MSI Gaming 3-Way & 4-Way SLI Bridge Connector Conclusion:

There are a couple AIB partners offering better looking than stock SLI bridge connections to the market. However, MSI's version is not just a functional piece of hardware. It's a well thought out and executed example of building parts that mesh with their branding. You get stunningly good looks from the hardware and an LED lighting system that works with MSI's own Gaming Application to enhance the looks even more. The robust SLI bridges use metal armor to ensure that the interconnects do not budge or break under heavy use or during LAN travel.

The add-on fan is a great idea that takes the often used trick of mounting a fan over your card(s) to cool multiple GPUs and makes it a part that is incorporated seamlessly into the package. I found that at stock speeds the benefit of this fan was less than the advertised 10% improvement. However, there is a benefit in every scenario I tested bar one.

The target audience for these SLI bridges are the high-end gaming crowd who want to get that last FPS or visual quality setting just because... well they can. If you have the means to populate all of the slots on your high-end gaming rig, the additional coin for an SLI bridge kit such as the MSI Gaming SLI Bridge kit, then the added cost won't be an issue for you.

Pricing currently sits in the $50-$53 range for each one of these kits, with the 4-Way kit at $53 and the 3-Way kit coming in at $49.99. Meant for use with MSI Gaming GTX 9xxx cards, I found it the 3-Way bridge worked well with my reference 7 series hardware without any issues setting up the configuration. After going through my testing, this kit does a great job building performance through the addition of multiple cards and cooling the cards once in place. If a 3-Way or 4-Way graphics solution is beyond your reach, MSI does offer its Gaming SLI bridge connections for a 2-Way setup. Go get you some!

 

Pros:

  • Great looks
  • Well executed 
  • Functional addition 
  • Cooling improvement
  • Price point

 

Cons:

  • Pricing, some would say
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  1. MSI Gaming 3-Way & 4-Way SLI Bridge Connector: Introduction & Closer Look.
  2. MSI Gaming 3-Way & 4-Way SLI Bridge Connector Testing: Setup & Results
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