Two's Company, Four's a WOW! Sneak Preview of NVIDIA Quad GPU Graphics

The Asus Muscle Card: If You've Got The Money

Thanks to the PCI Express (PCIe) interface, combining two graphics cards in an SLI configuration is easily achieved. Just plug two identical GeForce 6 or GeForce 7 cards into the motherboard, and connect them with the SLI bridge connector. The two cards will then split the 3D rendering load between them, which can result in a performance improvement of up to 70 percent in everyday life. Now that PCI Express motherboards are available with PCIe x32 - or, more correctly, two x16 slots - there are also some new and intriguing possibilities.

Enter Asus with its brand new Extreme GeForce 7800 GT Dual. This monster of a graphics chip sports two 7800 GT chips running in parallel. We'd like to note a few things that are special about this card. First, only 2000 samples of this my-card-is-faster-than-your-card graphics board exist, worldwide. Second, the THG lab received two of them. Third, although the cards lack the usual SLI connectors, two of these monsters can nonetheless be combined via SLI. That means we can now achieve Quad SLI with four GeForce 7800 GT chips and a total of 1 GB of video memory.

The position of the graphics chips can be made out on the back of the board. The front is covered completely by the huge cooler that blocks the view of the components.

The typical SLI connector that is used to link two PCI Express cards is conspicuously absent.

The package of the Asus Extreme N7800GT DUAL: The sword is not in the front.