Xpander overview guide
This thread is an overview for you to get a better understanding on the technology behind the Xpander and how you can get the highest performance from your system. I have written this so that upcoming ROG enthusiasts and even the Pros can find some useful information.
So Everyone is wondering why the hell did ASUS make a daughter card to allow 4way SLI? Why didn't they just make it part of the Rampage III Extreme board since it already has spacing for 4 cards? Well this thread is to shine some light on those questions.
First, in order to allow 4 way SLI, Nvidia requires you to have TWO (2) NF200 chips!
So why not just add them on the Rampage III Extreme? Well, If you have two NF200 chips on your board and you are not running 3 or 4 way SLI, you actually get a decrease in performance. Up to 2% decrease in graphics performance! (proven by HardOCP - LINK HERE) It may not sound like much, but hey when you're paying for top notch components, you expect to get the best performance and you also trust that the manufacture will make a product in favor of the user's experience. Why charge a premium when you get less performance for your money...
So does that mean if i add an Xpander to my Rampage III Extreme for 4way SLI, it will be slower than other boards that already have 2 NF200 built in? I mean you would think so since it's built in! but the Rampage III Extreme actually performed 2% better in crossfireX with 5870 and 1.14% better in 4 WAY SLI with GTX480 compared to the UD9.
So why did we decide to go this route? Well, after doing some homework, only 1% of users world wide actually use 4 way SLI. Not only does the NF200 also requires more power and generates more heat, but it would add more $$$ to the cost of the board! The Rampage III Extreme is $380 on newegg vs the UD9 is $600!!
So it didn't make sense to include a feature that did not benefit the 99% of enthusiasts out there. Why not make the board faster, more affordable, and more efficient, yet we still have the Xpander as an option for 4 way SLI!
Below is what you get with the Xpander. The Daughter card incorporates 2 NF200 chips with a heatsink and fan to directly cool the chips. Comes with the 4 way bridge and pci-e lane adapters.
Be sure to download the latest bios to allow 4 way SLI on your ROG board
How to install it properly!
How it looks on the Rampage III Extreme
Did i mention it also works with the Rampage III Formula?! This board supports up to 3 way SLI but is able to take advantage of 4 way SLI?! Thats pimp!
Now you might ask... how the hell am i going to put this in my case?! Well, the Xpander is mainly used by the overclocking community in an open bench platform, but for you hardcore gamers, DangerDen came to the rescue with the Tower 29 Xpander case!