Due to exceptionally high power consumption of the latest GeForce GTX 480 graphics chip, Nvidia Corp. itself did not date to create a dual-chip solution on its base. But Asustek Computer has developed a graphics board featuring two GeForce GTX 480 processors and is now evaluating possibilities and feasibility to release it commercially.
Asus is known for exclusive and even limited edition graphics cards. Last year it released Mars, powered by two fully-fledged GeForce GTX 285 graphics chips; this year Asustek launched Ares, which is powered by two ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics processors. Later this year Asus mulls to launch yet another masterpiece of engineering: the only dual-chip graphics accelerator based on two fully-fledged GeForce GTX 480 processor, reports TechPowerUp web-site. The board will boast with 960 stream processors along with 3GB of memory in total.
Asus Mars II. Image by TechPowerUp
In order to ensure that Asus Mars II operates flawlessly, each code-named GF100 chip and its memory pool is supported by its own 8+2 phase voltage regulator module (VRM). The board has three PCIe 8-pin power connectors that can provide up to 450W of power to the monster, which power consumption can be as high as 524W (PCI Express slot provides 75W of power, hence, three 8-pin connectors are indeed needed).
The card itself is very large both in terms of length and height and will hardly fit into typical computer cases. The chips collaborate using SLI interface and connect to the system using nForce 200 bridge.
At this point Asustek is only evaluating the Mars II graphics card and it is unclear whether it will hit the market or not. One thing is certain, though: even if Mars ever emerges on the market, it will be a limited edition product with a price-tag that by far will exceed the cost of two GeForce GTX 480 graphics boards.