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This weird Asus motherboard with SO-DIMM slots is an abomination

Asus motherboard with SO-DIMM memoryImage: Twitter user @wxnod

There’s a technological oddity floating around the social network formerly known as Twitter. On first glance this motherboard looks like a standard Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero, a popular choice for high-end gaming builds. But peer a little closer and you’ll notice that the long desktop DIMM slots for the RAM have been replaced with teeny tiny SO-DIMM slots for laptop RAM.

That’s not all. Despite the ROG branding for Asus’ top-of-the-line gaming hardware, it’s clearly using a TUF-branded CPU cover, indicating that it’s from a cheaper Asus line. It’s also missing some of the ROG heatsink gear, replaced with generic alternatives. And when Txwixter user @wxnod booted up a build with the required hardware, they spotted a Kingston Fury boot logo on the monitor instead of the Asus ROG or TUF branding, though the firmware appears to be otherwise unaltered.

Now, it’s not unprecedented for desktop computers to use laptop-sized SO-DIMM memory modules. But that design choice is generally reserved for similarly tiny desktops, like Intel’s now-discontinued NUC series. There’s simply no reason to go with the usually slower and more expensive SO-DIMMs on a full-sized ATX motherboard, certainly not a high-performance gaming model.

Twitter user @wxnod

Tom’s Hardware reckons that this is an engineering sample that was custom-made to stress test SO-DIMM memory in a lab environment, so the Kingston boot image would make sense. A sticker label indicating Kingston engineers signed off on the hardware is further evidence.

What would you do if you found yourself in possession of this technological oddball? Well with an apparently functional motherboard despite the altered memory slots, and an LGA 1200 socket that can take up to an 11th-gen Intel Core i9, I’d make a pretty kick-ass gaming PC with some other used but very affordable hardware. Or point to these tech publication stories and sell it on eBay. Yeah, probably sell it on eBay.

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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