ASUS Gives Rampage III Extreme 4-way SLI Capability with ROG Xpander
ASUS has come up with a Frankenstein solution which enables 4-way SLI on the Rampage III Extreme motherboard with full PCI-Express 2.0 x16 bandwidth, called the ROG Xpander. The device is a daughterboard that sits on the motherboard with connections to its PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots. While it might not fit into cases, it is intended to work on test-benches. The two PCI-E x16 connections from the motherboard are wired to two NVIDIA nForce 200 bridge chips, which give out two x16 links each, driving the four x16 slots on the daughterboard. It takes input from one 6-pin PCI-E power input, and three 4-pin Molex inputs, though not all may be required.
The ROG Xpander ideally would draw 12W of power per nForce chip, and with its own power inputs, will not draw any power from the motherboard for the four PCI-E cards. The point of using this device is that ASUS did not give 4-way SLI capability to the Rampage III Extreme from the factory, even though it already has four PCI-E x16 slots (x8 each when all are populated). A fan seated on the Xpander ensures components on the motherboard under it aren't suffocated of cool air. ASUS ran a 4-way SLI test of four GeForce GTX 480 graphics cards on 3DMark Vantage, where the Core i7 980X @ 6 GHz powered setup scored P52422 points.
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