Leaked photos tease new Asus motherboards, graphics cards

We've come across a stack of new Asus product photos that reveal interesting details about some of the company's upcoming graphics cards and motherboards. The most intriguing of the lot may be the Crosshair IV Formula, which features an AM3 socket, a whopping four PCIe x16 slots, and some rather attractive angular heatsinks.

We didn't get much in the way of actual information or specifications to accompany this photo dump, but the Crosshair board doesn't have any video outputs in its port cluster, suggesting that a new high-end AMD chipset lurks under the hood. 890FX anyone? The Crosshair IV also looks to be equipped with X-Fi SupremeFX integrated audio.

The Crosshair IV will join the Rampage III Extreme and Maximus III Extreme, whose pictures you'll find in the gallery below. We don't know much about the Rampage beyond its LGA1366 socket, six DIMM slots, and likely support for the new Core i7-980X Extreme. The Maximus is an LGA1156 affair, complete with a P55 chipset, 6Gbps SATA, SuperSpeed USB, digital VRMs, and Bluetooth connectivity. Unfortunately, the Maximus also has a VIA VT2020 audio codec chip, which seems like an uninspired choice for what's likely to be a very expensive motherboard. The presumably less exotic Maximus III Formula currently sells for $250 online.

On the graphics card front, the photos reveal a trio of fresh cards based on the Radeon HD 5870, 5850, and 5830. All three appear to use new heatsinks whose heatpipes make direct contact with the GPU. The ROG 5870 Matrix's cooler has five heatpipes, while the other two cards must make do with only two.

The dual-pipe heatsink supposedly runs the GPU 20% cooler under load than a generic design. It's apparently 35% quieter at idle, as well. The 5830 and 5850 cards both run at stock clock speeds, although pictures of box art suggest users will be able to turn up the GPU voltage when overclocking. And speaking of voltages, the 5870 Matrix card appears to have contact points that will allow folks with multimeters to monitor card voltages directly.

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