Asus develops three-GPU graphics card

— 1:15 PM on March 25, 2008

Graphics cards with two graphics processors running in tandem like AMD's Radeon HD 3870 X2 and Nvidia's GeForce 9800 GX2 are nice, but some folks may just want more. And what's a better step up from a two-GPU card than a three-GPU card? As NordicHardware reports, that's exactly the premise of Asus' new EAH3850 Trinity graphics card.

The Trinity is still at the prototype stage, and NordicHardware says it doesn't know whether Asus actually has plans to commercialize it, nor how much the card might cost if it's released. Nonetheless, the prototype reportedly features three RV670 graphics processors, which are cooled by a network of heat pipes all connected up to a water cooler designed to slip into a free 5.25" drive bay. Power delivery is handled through a single four-pin PCI Express power connector, and the card has four DVI display connectors.

Judging by NordicHardware's photos, the EAH3850 Trinity board is actually a skeleton designed to accommodate three mobile PCI Express graphics modules like those you'd find in laptops. Using mobile parts presumably made designing the host card an easier feat, and it may make the resulting contraption less power-hungry and easier to cool, as well. Regardless of how Asus managed it, the prospect of being able to run three modern GPUs out of a single PCI Express slot is certainly an interesting one.

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