NVIDIA Linux Driver Preparing To Drop SLI AA/AFR/SFR Support

Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 20 August 2020 at 04:27 PM EDT. 23 Comments
NVIDIA is preparing to remove support for multi-GPU modes of AA (anti-aliasing), AFR (alternate frame rendering), and SFR (split frame rendering) from the Linux driver in the near future.

NVIDIA has updated their deprecation schedule today to reflect that the current NVIDIA 450.xx driver series is the last branch supporting SLI AA/AFR/SFR modes. NVIDIA 450 is the current stable Linux driver series this summer while soon should be succeeded by a new series in ushering in the upcoming GeForce 3000 series support.

AFR/SFR are the original Scalable Link Interface modes from NVIDIA since its introduction a decade and a half ago. AFR splits the rendering between multiple GPUs on a per-frame basis, split frame rendering splits the rendering workload for the same frame between GPUs, and SLI AA has provided much faster anti-aliasing performance.

While the SLI AA/AFR/SFR coverage is being eliminated, Scalable Link Interface modes of mosaic / base mosaic will still be supported for Quadro users. Additionally, multi-GPU support in OpenGL via the NV_gpu_multicast and NV_multigpu_context extensions will continue to be supported.

This move isn't too surprising especially under Linux where NVIDIA SLI never was too popular and didn't work as well as under Windows with the mass collection of Windows games. Most NVIDIA multi-GPU Linux users are doing so for compute and modern games are making use of the multi-GPU extensions found in the likes of OpenGL / Vulkan / Direct3D. So not much is being lost by phasing out these SLI modes moving forward.

The updated NVIDIA Linux driver deprecation schedule can be found via this forum thread.
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