World Exclusive: ASUS Crosslink
Last night in our Pre-Computex coverage, we saw that ASUS had some interesting looking displays set up at the front of their booth, but they were covered up and we weren’t able to take a close look at what was underneath.
Today, we were able to dig a little deeper into ASUS' booth, however, and hiding in one display was their new Crosslinx-enabled Republic of Gamers motherboards. Crosslinx is going to be featured on a couple of P35-based motherboards to enhance their PCI Express lane configurations for optimal performance in a multi-GPU configuration.
At the heart of Crosslinx is an IDT PCI Express switch, similar to the one used on the P5W64-WS. It takes the 16 lanes of PCI Express connectivity from the P35 northbridge and splits them among two PCI Express x16 slots when two graphics cards are installed. If you remember, P35 boards - like the P965 - don't have a flexible PCI Express lane configuration like the 975X and the second PEG slot on most P35 boards gets it PCI Express connectivity from the southbridge. By using a switch in this manner, Asus is able to keep both graphics cards connected to the northbridge's PCI Express lanes and keep the 4 lanes integrated into the southbridge free for other peripherals. As you can see in the screen captures in the images above, Asus claims their ROG boards using Crosslinx will have a marked performance advantage over "stock" P35-based solutions.
Also on display was ASUS watercooling product, the Asus Blitz Extreme. The Blitz Extreme is an external GPU cooler that has a digital readout of temperatures and voltages to make your graphics card overclocking easier.
You may also notice in a couple of the images that Asus has incorporated 2GB of DDR3 RAM right onto a motherboard, and it's cooled by a large set of heatsinks and heat-pipes. We're not sure on the specifics of this setup because there were no English-speaking representatives in the booth at the time we snapped these images, but we'll follow up with more information when we have it.