Galaxy shows off GTX 480 with built-in PhysX GPU

Not content with being the first company to be brave enough to stick two Fermi chips on a single graphics card, graphics guru Galaxy has also just revealed another dual-GPU card with a difference.

Rather than uniting two Fermi chips together in SLI mode, the company's new prototype card partners a GeForce GTX 480 with an old-school GeForce GT 240. TechPowerUp has snapped a few shots of the card, and the idea behind it is that the Fermi chip takes care of 3D duties, while PhysX processing is handled by the GT 240.

Based on the same G92 core found in Nvidia's older GeForce 8800 GT cards, the GT 240 is no longer a 3D monster, but it has more than enough power to work as a GPGPU accelerator, which makes it an ideal partner as a PhysX coprocessor. The chip has 96 stream processors, and it doesn't require ridiculous amounts of power, either.

In fact, a standalone GeForce GT 240 card gets all its juice from the PCI-E slot, with no need for extra power to be supplied. This is probably just as well, considering the massive amount of oomph required by the GeForce GTX 480, and it means that the Galaxy card still only requires the standard set of six-pin and eight-pin PCI-E power connectors on the end.

Both chips also have their own allocation of Samsung GDDR5 memory, with four 128MB chips (512MB in total) hooked up to the GeForce GT 240 via a 128-bit memory interface. Meanwhile, the GTX 480 gets access to the standard allocation of 1,536MB via its 384-bit memory interface.

You'll also notice a third chip just underneath the GeForce GT 240 GPU, which TechPowerUp says is an Nvidia NF200 bridge chip, providing a full-size 16-lane PCI-E 2 link to both GPUs.

Galaxy isn't the first company to develop a dual-GPU card where one chip is just for PhysX processing. Last year, EVGA unveiled the GeForce GTX 275 Co-op, which partnered a GeForce GTX 275 with a GeForce GTS 250 acting as a PhysX processor.

However, Galaxy's prototype is the first card we've seen to take this approach with a Fermi chip.