A bizarre new piece of hardware is reported to be coming from ASUS that will allow ROG fans to break benchmarking records in a whole new way.
Originally reported over at Nordic Hardware, this PCI-E “daughter card” is an add-on for the new RIIIE motherboard, which does not come with 4-way SLI support out of the box. Sporting 2 NF-200 PCI-E bridges and four slots, the franken-board plugs directly into the PCI-E slots on the motherboard, but draws no power from it. Rather, it will suck power from three 4-pin Molex connectors and one additional 6-pin PCI-E power connector.
The Xpander is reported to allow full bandwidth for all four cards, with a combined total of 64 glorious lanes of throughput. No pricing information is available as of yet, but considering that the 4-way SLI capability licensed from Nvidia is reported to cost $100 on its own, this won’t be cheap. Will pricing hold back someone who can afford four brand-spankin’ new GTX 400-series cards? Maybe. Maybe not. But one thing is certain; ASUS is committed to catering to the ultra-super-high-end enthusiast crowd, and is not afraid of implementing unique measures to do so.
What do you think of this daughter board? Beauty queen or Bride of Frankenstein?