Two GPUs on one card just isn't enough for some!
Asus’s EAH3850 Trinity has already done the rounds under the guise of a prototype, which led me to assume it would be a while before anything official came out. Not so. The three-GPU-on-one product has now been formally announced.
As already mentioned, the ‘card’ is actually three separate Radeon HD 3850 chipsets bolted into one collection of PCBs. As well as the proprietary board design, Asus is also supplying its own cooling solution, with the help of Thermaltake, in the form of a watercooling solution that inhabits two 5.25in bays.
In respect of the GPUs themselves, we see core clock speeds of 660MHz coupled with three banks of 512MB (for 1.5GB in total) of GDDR3 RAM at 1.7GHz. Importantly, that’s only a 10MHz drop on the core and a 40MHz increase on the memory clocks over a single (reference) HD 3850, meaning that performance for the Trinity should be in line with three separate cards in a CrossfireX configuration; excluding the potential for the PCI Express slot running out of bandwidth – a very unlikely scenario.
Other features of the card include a quartet of dual-link DVI ports, usable all at once only when not in performance (Crossfire) mode.
There is one small catch though. Contrary to my earlier allegation that this was a retail product, Asus assures me that wherever I heard that information it just isn’t so – this is, and will only ever be, an engineering example of what could be done. Sorry for any confusion folks.
Asus press release.