When the Fermi graphics card line from Nvidia was unveiled this spring, the general consensus was that it could be too power hungry to support a dual card configuration. Even as recently as a month ago, when Galaxy revealed a dual GTX 470, that consensus still persisted. In terms of performance, a single GTX 470 is slightly less powerful than a dual GTX 275 SLI configuration. Therefore, a dual GTX 470 would easily outperform a dual GTX 275 SLI setup. As far as the assumptions regarding the power requirements, it appears that Asus is ready to prove them wrong.
Image Credit: Legit Reviews
According to Engadget via the Legit Reviews Forums, “Imagery has emerged of a Mars 2 (or II) reference board that fits two 480s on its densely populated surface, and is fed by not one, not two, but three 8-pin auxiliary power connectors.” Provided that the dual GTX 480 could be brought to market, the performance would likely be more than enough to handle any game that will be released within the next two to three years. The cooling and power supply considerations would be challenging, but it would be more than feasible for any high end system that is built effectively.
If this dual GTX 480 card does actually make it to retail, it will most likely be available in very short supply. The reason stemming from the limited amount of cards that can be derived from one piece of silicon. Based on the potential heat that this board could put out, it is also very likely that the cards will have either a very efficient or a very large cooling unit.