Summary: Today marked the start of Computex, the world's largest Information Technology trade show. We had the opportunity to exclusively test DFI's Crossfire motherboard as well as take a closer look at the Pentium 4 and AMD Crossfire offerings from ECS. Both Cooler Master and Thermaltake introduced new case designs, and AMD showed off it's Formula 1 racing car. Read all the details inside!
Today marks the official start of Computex 2005, the world’s largest IT focused trade show. Yesterday we brought you a sneak preview of the trade halls, and today we’ll be taking a closer look at AMD, VIA, DFI, ECS, and others in our second day of Computex coverage.
We’ll start off by visiting AMD’s booth, whose main attraction was their sponsored F1 racing car. AMD brought in the actual car they sponsor for the show, and in addition to the car showed off their latest Athlon 64 X2 processors.
AMD also showed off a few nForce 4 partner motherboards at their booth, but nothing new in terms of un-released processors and things of that sort.
We then made our way over to VIA’s suite, where we had the chance to take a look at some new motherboard technologies VIA has been working on since January.
VIA was showing off their K8T890 Pro motherboard running two GeForce 6600GT cards in SLI mode. VIA hacked NVIDIA’s drivers and got SLI to work on their K8T890 Pro reference board.
However, VIA’s SLI implementation differs from NVIDIA’s, in that VIA chose a 16x4 PCIe pipeline implementation, while NVIDIA’s SLI design calls for a 8x8 setup.
We’ll be running some tests on VIA’s two 6600GT cards in SLI over the next few days, but the setup is still in it’s beta form and may have a hard time reaching retail due to NVIDIA not officially supporting VIA’s SLI implementation.
VIA was also showing off a PCIe and AGP graphics card setup where both cards can run in the system simultaneously. This will allow up to four monitor support, but only one card can run in 3d at once, so the only real advantages to this implementation would be when trying to output to more than two monitors.
Cooler Master was also on hand to show off their latest high end custom case design, the new CM Stacker.
The new Stacker is an all aluminum case with a removable motherboard tray, and room for up to four side panel exhaust fans. It’s a very large case and one that should be as successful as Cooler Master’s previous Stacker and Wave Master cases.
Cooler Master was also showing off their Centurion and water cooling kits, but the new CM Stacker was definitely the product that gartered the most attention.
Right next to Cooler Master was Thermaltake. Thermaltake hired 10 people to walk around the show with helmets that had their golden orb heatsink mounted on, making their booth hard to miss.
Inside Thermaltake’s booth we took a look at Thermaltake’s new Taichi case. Built on wheels and designed to act as a huge aluminum heatsink, the Taichi may be the ultimate silent case when it debuts later on this year.
Thermaltake also showed off their Armor ATX/BTX cases, as well as their new Kandalf ATX/BTX case that is currently on the market. We’ll be coming back to the Thermaltake booth to take a look at their new cooling and power offerings in the next few days.
Yesterday we were among the first to take a look at DFI’s new Radeon Xpress 200 motherboard supporting ATI’s Crossfire Multi-Graphics Card technology. Today we were able to actually run a few benchmarks on one of the only non-reference Crossfire motherboards at Computex.
To benchmark, we first used two ATI Radeon X850XT graphics cards in MVP. With no AA/AF enabled and running at 1024x768x32, we managed a 3DMark 05 score of 9967. When we changed the slave card to an ATI Radeon X850XT Platinum Edition, we managed to get a score of 10646 in 3DMark 05.
The DFI Crossfire board should be among the first to market sometime in July, and it will most likely be priced around $150, competing directly with NVIDIA’s nForce 4 Ultra chipsets.
Finally, we made our way over to the ECS booth to see what new motherboard solutions they were showing off.
Like DFI, ECS was also showing off their Crossfire motherboards, but on both the Intel and the AMD platforms. Feature wise, both boards will be identical, the differences being only the support for AMD and Intel CPU’s.
DFI was also showing off some of their new SLI motherboards, as well as many of their mainstream VIA K8T890 Pro designs.
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