Back in 2003 a company called Evans & Sutherland who specialized in creating state-of-the-art digital projection machines decided they need more graphics power grunt than was currently available on the market. What they came up was something akin to Frankenstein’s monster – at least in VGA card terms. The company developed the 6000q, a custom graphics card that was based on the combination of four ATi R300 GPUs.
Let’s go back to the (good old) days when x8 AGP slots were the in thing, an ATi Radeon 9800XT card was an impossible wet dream for most of us and DirectX was still called Direct3D. The idea of SLI or Crossfire had yet to be hatched and dual GPU cards, although technically possible were non-existent. But hey if you’re designing military and commercial systems for planetariums and NASA alike, then you have a license to go ahead and develop something really special, which exactly what Evans & Sutherland did when they developed the simFUSION 6000q.
The simFUSION 6000q professional graphics card combines four Radeon 9700PRO GPUs on one card. Technically speaking they reside on two separate PCBs, with a pair of R300 GPUs and a molex power connector on each. Regarding what drivers were used to run the 6000q, how much it cost and where you could actually acquire one, it’s all a bit murky. Of course it pre-dates Crossfire and SLI by some years, most likely used a custom developed XP driver and probably cost more cash than most mere mortals could afford to spend on hardware in a lifetime.
Thanks to Mr Horse for digging this one out and sharing. You can read more about the simFUSION 6000q here (German).