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ASRock Crams CrossFire and SLI in One Board

As if giving Nvidia the middle finger or slapping the graphics company in the face, ASRock managed to make ATI CrossFire cards run on Nvidia SLI motherboards.

A flyer straight out of CeBIT 2009 shows what must be a sign of the apocalypse, or as Bill Murray described in Ghostbusters, "dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!" And honestly, by the looks of ASRock's freshly distributed flyer, Nvidia employees may actually be seen running for cover on the convention floor, breaking out holy talismans. Why? ASRock hasn't created a monster or resurrected demons, it did the unthinkable.

It managed to run ATI CrossfireX graphics cards on an Nvidia SLI motherboard.

It's no monstrosity, an at this moment, ASRock is sporting the incredible configuration in Booth Hall 21, Stand C40. The company is using the N7AD-SLI, based on Nvidia's nforce 740i SLI chipset flashed with an altered BIOS update. To show the motherboard's versatility, the company kicks off the demonstration with two EEN9600GT cards running in the SLI configuration. Then, as if by magic, ASRock representatives removed the cards and replace them with two ATI 4850 graphics cards running in ATI CrossFireX mode.

So what does this mean for the average Joe? Not a whole lot, but gamers and power-hungry consumers not wanting to be locked into one technology may very well be liberated by ASRock's "secret weapon." Stay tuned as more info regarding this revelation seep out of CeBIT!

  • jerreece
    I like this idea frankly. It means a person can get a motherboard that supports their CPU, and then buy any video card they wish. Much better flexibility to the end user in my opinion.
    Reply
  • IronRyan21
    Its definitley a plus!
    Reply
  • kyeana
    Very good!


    Still it would have been much nicer if it came before the x58 which runs both already
    Reply
  • B-Unit
    Its been available for a while. Either the HP Blackbird or one of the Dell XPS(I cant remember which) had this BIOS hack.

    Well, available is perhaps the wrong term. More like 'in existance' Ive searched high and low and this doesnt seem to have proliferated beyond that specific model until now.
    Reply
  • B-Unit
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/244780-33-blackbird-crossfire-nforce
    It was the Blackbird afterall.
    Reply
  • 1raflo
    B-UnitIts been available for a while. Either the HP Blackbird or one of the Dell XPS(I cant remember which) had this BIOS hack.Well, available is perhaps the wrong term. More like 'in existance' Ive searched high and low and this doesnt seem to have proliferated beyond that specific model until now.
    Yeah i remember that too, so theres no actually nothing new here. The innovating thing here is that a mobo maker is starting to make this working defacto and available to anyone, a trick that once was reserved to geeks with the vast pc/programming knowledge to hack a bios config.

    Something i would really impressed to see is a nvida carded slied/xfired with an ati one. (of course that might be impossible since ati and nvidia have huge difference in the architecture of their cards... but who knows!)
    Reply
  • adamk890
    Nicely done ASRock! a really good idea. i find this a little to late however considering that the X58 platform is already out. Had they released this at this time a year earlier i think there would have been a huge market for this but now that X58 boards are able to offer the same things I wonder how well this board will sell
    Reply
  • NuclearShadow
    This is certainly good news and hopefully others will jump aboard and do the same. However I have to ask can Nvidia do anything to prevent this? Whether through a protection to stop it in the future or even through court?
    Reply
  • Dell has been offering this for quite a few months via their XPS 630i system. That system has been wrought with problems (check out www.my630i.com for some intersting reads), not the least of which being that the cards don't actually run in crossfire mode sometimes, even though the ATI interface indicates that they are, framerate and performance indicates that they clearly are not.
    Reply
  • gwolfman
    kyeanaVery good! Still it would have been much nicer if it came before the x58 which runs both alreadyI agree
    Reply