When X58 was first announced there were rumours about its graphics card support. Would it get SLI approval from NVIDIA and would it still support Crossfire? - Originally NVIDIA specified that X58 would need to use an nForce 200 PCIe bridge chip to run SLI, but a lot of pressure was put on NVIDIA from all of the motherboard companies and SLI support was granted to X58 through a native setup allowing two or three cards. However, Intel's 3-way SLI still requires a 16/8/8 setup; not the fastest out there, but still good enough. NVIDIA still recommended its nForce 200 chipset for best performance SLI.
Essentially what the nForce 200 chip does is allow the board to turn one PCI Express x16 lane into two x16 lanes by prioritising data packets along the PCIe bus and sending them down one x16 lane; this in turn gives the graphics cards direct communication to each other on the nForce 200 chip.
To this end ASUS has finally produced its first X58 board paired with the nForce 200 chip. This has given ASUS the ability to provide the board three PCI Express x16 slots as well as three extra x16 slots in a variety of modes, which we will explain later.
This board is available now from Newegg at a price tag of 369.99 USD which puts it up there at the high-end along with the OC Palm and other boards. However, how many boards are able to support six graphics cards?
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