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Urgent graphics / motherboard conflict warning

01/04/08

Urgent graphics / motherboard conflict warning

Permalink 11:30:53 am by Eugene Gardner, Categories: Articles

I have just replaced the motherboard, CPU and RAM memory for a client who had a motherboard failure and used the opportunity to upgrade his computer to faster components. The client already had a good quality Nvidia GeForce 8000 series graphics card badged as an Asus product. The new motherboard he chose, an ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus, does not have space for audio circuitry onboard, so it comes with a 'free' SupremeFX mini sound card that neatly plugs into the PCI Express single lane slot.

The problem that belatedly became apparent, is that the Nvidia card comes with its own olfactory daughter board, designed to give gamers a more realistic experience by emitting a smell appropriate to the situation in the game they are playing. So if the game involves the player being in a car crash for example, the smell of burning rubber and fuel would be pumped out. If the driver was hurt, the smell of burning flesh can be dispensed. For young children exploring a farmyard game, the smell of fresh faeces can be wafted to their noses to give them a heightened experience of what a pig sty actually is like. This is done by connecting the olfactory daughter board to the computer's chassis fan by a small flexible tube.

The issue is that this olfactory daughter board also needs a single lane PCI Express slot. But there is only one on the motherboard ! So anyone with an Nvidia 8000 series graphics card who buys this motherboard has to choose between hearing realistic surround sound or being surrounded by an odor appropriate to the situation.

Be warned, when buying a new graphics card, always ask the supplier to confirm that the olfactory circuit is not on a separate daughter board.

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