Summary: Paul takes us back into the halls of Computex 2005 in a recap of day two's events. Read up on Gigabyte's press conference and view upcoming hardware products such as Shuttle's new HTPC product based on the Pentium M. Don't miss out on the latest and read on!
Gigabyte Press Conference
The first technology Gigabyte was showcasing is something they call i-Lock. I-Lock essentially is like a remote car starter for your desktop computer. You can turn your PC on or off with the push of a button just like you would lock / unlock your car with a remote starter. You can program buttons as hotkeys to access frequently used applications, but the most common use of i-Lock would be it’s auto-detection system that turns automatically switches your system in suspended mode if you leave close proximity of your PC, and automatically logs you into Windows if you come near again.
Keeping in sync with Gigabyte’s security theme, they also introduced i-Touch, a fingerprint security system. i-Touch is pretty much the same PC-based finger print security technology we’ve seen around over the last few years, but Gigabyte’s version is a compact design that fits in a 1.44” drive bay.
SIDEBAR: Horses neigh while donkeys bray.
Gigabyte demonstrated this increased I/O performance by running PC Mark 2004 on both storage devices, with the SATA hard drive scoring 3912 while the i-RAM device scored 56560. The maximum amount of storage on the i-RAM is currently 4GB, which would require four separate 1GB DIMM’s on the device. Gigabyte said that they successfully installed and ran Windows XP on the device, but said it is mostly aimed at A/V capture and 3D Design applications, as the 4GB maximum capacity will not allow for much storage headroom with an OS installed.
Gigabyte then introduced a magician who performed a few illusions and then brought out two models that had Gigabyte’s new Intel 945G and 955X i-DNA motherboards in hand. The event ended with a raffle for a Pentium 4 570 and a Gigabyte 955X i-DNA motherboard.
SIDEBAR: “Only the dead have seen the end of war”
After the press conference we went back to Gigabyte’s booth to take a closer look at the products on display we missed during our pre-Computex coverage.
Our first stop was Gigabyte’s SFF systems, most of which were using the older Intel 915G chipsets. Gigabyte is first trying to target mainstream costumers through OEM integration with their current line of SFF products, but still plans to get into the enthusiast sector with their SFF systems over the next few years. We also had the chance to check out Gigabyte’s new line of LCD monitors, currently 17” models.
Gigabyte was also the only company at the show that showed off a working dual-GPU GeForce 6800 series graphics card. Gigabyte is using two GeForce 6800GT GPU’s in their rendition, only using one external power connector. The card runs in SLI and should offer about 90% of the performance found in the traditional two card SLI setup.
Gigabyte was also showing off their new water cooling kit, featuring overheating protection, a large copper heatsink, and a quiet 120mm radiator fan.
SIDEBAR: One cosmic year is the amount of time it takes for the sun to circle the Milky Way; 225 million years.
Powercolor had a very strong presence at this year’s Computex, with a large “Tul Cafe” syled booth.
Like most of the other ATI partners at the show, Powercolor was showing off their ATI Crossfire solution. In addition to Crossfire, Powercolor featured TV tuner Picture in Picture capabilities, made possible by using two Powercolor TV tuner cards in one system. Also featured in a system was a new heat-pipe based heatsink fan on their Radeon X800XL model.
We were also able to get a photograph of an new unannounced graphics card, the Radeon X550. This card will be positioned between the X300SE and the Radeon X70 Pro, and will be priced near the $100-120 price range.
SIDEBAR: It last snowed on the Sahara on February 18, 1979.
At Computex, Shuttle was showing off a wide array of new SFF barebone systems using the industry’s latest chipsets. Barebones with the 945G and 955X chipsets were represented, as was Shuttle’s NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI SFF system, the world’s first SLI capable SFF.
The SN26P is able to run two single-slot graphics cards in SLI, and is built on the AMD Athlon 64 platform. The same Silent X cooling and noise reduction technologies featured in the SN25P are used in the SN26P, ensuring the system will keep noise levels and temperatures at low levels.
SIDEBAR: It takes approximately 314 acres of trees to make newsprint for the Sunday edition of the New York Times.
The ST20G5 was also on display, running on the Radeon Xpress 200 chipset. The ST20G5 was used to show off ATI’s quad-display capabilities, achieved when using the dual-outputs of the Radeon Xpress 200 IGP in combination with an onboard ATI Radeon graphics card.
And finally we got to Shuttle’s XPC M 1000, a Pentium M based system that is designed with your living room in mind. The XPC M 1000 is equipped with a remote control and is designed for Windows XP Media Center, offering you PVR functionality, video playback, photos, music, and much more. Expect to see the system later this fall.
SIDEBAR: Driving at speeds between 25 and 35 miles per hour is when the car is most fuel-efficient.
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