When they're not pumping out minute variations in Eee designs, ASUS have been taking the time to throw together some interesting prototypes. Today's example, the ASUS Trinity, is a proof-of-concept video card that comprises three GPUs; basically, it's three notebook versions of the ATI Radeon HD 3850 fitted into a specially crafted CrossFireX 'board.
The whole thing is wired up with ATI CrossFire ribbon cables, sandwiched in with three MXM graphics module slots. ASUS sent the Trinity to HotHardware, complete with a Thermaltake BigWater 760is cooling system, and they took great delight in benchmarking the one-of-a-kind device.
"As a reference point, in our Company of Heroes testing, a single Radeon HD 3850 would score somewhere in the neighborhood of 37 FPS at 1280x1024 with 4X AA, whereas Trinity scores nearly 55 FPS. That's a 48% increase in speed but three times the GPU horsepower thrown at the task" HotHardware
That may not sound too promising, but HotHardware put it down more to poor drivers, lacking PCI bandwidth and the fact that the whole thing was pretty much cobbled together. They also suggest that it could foretell a time where desktop graphics cards use a modular GPU system, with upgrades made indecently straightforward: just swap out the module.
ASUS have no intention of building the Trinity, apparently.