Multi GPU Index
The Hardware Asylum Multi-GPU index is a portable set of data we can use to determine the multi-GPU potential of any motherboard. A higher index number indicates a favorable condition for multiple graphics cards while a lower number indicates a hindrance in one of our leading indicators. Since the Index is not dependent on system architecture it can be applied to any motherboard regardless of processor or chipset generations.
Max Support: 4x
As indicated by the PCI Express layout chart there are a total of four 16x PCI Express slots on this motherboard with all four using bandwidth earmarked for video cards. Slot one is your primary video card slot and will run at a full 16x when only a single card is installed. Slots one, three, five and seven are all powered by the onboard PLX 8747 48-lane PCI Express switch.
The primary graphic slots in the PLX region will be One and Three which share bandwidth with their nearest downstairs neighbor.
For best video performance you will want to populate slots one and three with video cards. If you want to run triple card configurations, using either NVidia SLI or AMD Crossfire, you'll populate slots one, three and five. This configuration will give you ample room for dual slot coolers and still remain within the confines of the standard ATX form factor.
Be sure to plug in the PCI Express power located at the bottom of the motherboard to activate the PLX chip and ensure all cards are running with ample power.
Many of you will have noticed the metal covers over the PCI Express slots. The intent of these metal covers is to reinforce the PCI Express slot and prevent them from breaking. Typically the slot is a friction connection made from the pins sitting in the plastic connector. By adding these metal covers the slot now has a mechanical connection to the motherboard via solder points that will prevent pulling the slot up and splitting the slot from sideways pressure.
Bottom line, they make the plastic stronger.