Quad SLI with the ROG Xpander

Next on the menu was this truly unusual specimen. Thankfully Asus hasn't gone with the name "Dude" as it says on this sample. Xpander is a far more descriptive appellation, as this is essentially a motherboard expansion card. It's specifically geared towards Asus' ROG Rampage III Extreme motherboard, and with the aid of no less than two Nvidia NF200 chips allows this board to run full-bandwidth Quad-SLI (the pictured fan is not the final cooling solution, by the by).

Asus decided no to include the NF200 combination on the Rampage III Extreme directly because it would have added heat and cost - and let's be honest, quad SLI is a feature very few consumers are rich (or crazy) enough to afford. Yet it still wanted to offer the possibility for those select few, hence the Xpander.

However, as this expansion card fits on top of the motherboard, it raises the video cards significantly, meaning no standard case will ever fit this solution. This in turn further limits the appeal of what is already a niche product.

With Asus admitting that the estimated target market for quad-SLI is around one per cent, we must applaud the company for catering for a segment that will probably result in very little profit – especially since Asus has promised that the price of the Rampage III Extreme plus the Xpander will be less than competing boards offering native quad-SLI.

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