ASUS came to this year's Computex trade show with the intention to cause jaws to drop to the floor, and the Zeus motherboard may just make that happen.
is a peculiar product, in that it goes beyond the normal concept of a motherboard, even when thinking of platforms with integrated graphics.
Even at just a glance it is easy to guess that there is little “normal” about it, neck-deep in heatsinks as it is.
And here is where things get weird: those heatsinks hide a couple of high-end integrated graphics processors, probably AMD Tahiti (the ones used in high-end Radeon HD 7970
That's right, it wasn't enough that the Zeus was a throwback to the age when motherboards, not the CPUs, held the integrated GPUs. ASUS actually equipped it with two of the strongest video chips known to man (as far as anyone can tell anyhow).
It makes one wonder why the IT player didn't go all the way and provide the Ivy Bridge-ready Z77 chipset. Possibly since the Sandy Bridge-E HEDT (LGA2011, X79 Express) more adequately fits the top-tier six-core CPU models (Ivy Bridge tops as quad-core for now).
In order to make sure this motherboard / dual-GPU-graphics card fusion doesn't melt or otherwise fail at life, ASUS
called upon the full expertise of its engineering team.
Onlookers will find high-grade components around the LGA2011 socket, like eight DDR3 memory slots, 10-phase Digi+ VRM, two sets of graphics card VRM areas, individual VRAM for the two graphics units and direct wiring between the GPUs and the PCI Express 3.0 x16 links.
Not only that, but 8-pin and 6-pin PCI Express power connectors are there as well.
Other specs include mini-DP + Thunderbolt, eight SATA 6.0 Gbps ports, ten SATA 3.0 Gbps ports, two eSATA connectors, 12 USB 3.0 (8 on back panel, 4 via headers), 8+2 channel HD audio and Gigabit Ethernet.
No clue when the Zeus will become more than a concept design, if ever. Likewise, the monstrous price is unknown.