Computex 2005 - Crossfire, C51 and More
Introduction and AMD Motherboards
This year's Computex 2005 expo in Taipei, Taiwan was one of the most looked forward to shows I had planned on attending this year. Computex is annually filled with the best and most spectacular hardware exhibits the industry can offer and its one show that typically doesn't let down. With the death of Comdex not long ago, the hardware vendors that showcased there have been putting more emphasis on Computex and also on the CES show in January.
With AMD's dual core processor, the Athlon 64 X2, launching officially on the first day of the show, there was an abundance of the processors and logos around all the booths of motherboard manufacturers and system vendors. Below is some of what we thought were the most interesting AMD boards at the show.
This is the new ULi 1697 chipset marks a return to a single chip design for the company. It is a new high performance chipset with PCI Express graphics support as well as SATAII and high definition audio (Azalia) support. The storage controller on the chip supports RAIDs 0, 1, 0+1, 5 and JBOD.
Here we see a Chaintech motherboard based on the ULi 1695 chipset. This chipset has support for PCI Express GPUs as well as a full AGP 8x implementation for legacy graphics cards that many of you still have. We are scheduled to get one of these boards soon so we'll be testing both graphics buses performance.
At MSI's booth we saw a new NVIDIA nForce4 SLI chipset motherboard that cuts a lot of costs off and should be one of the first to offer affordable SLI gaming to the masses. Current pricing has it coming in for around $130.
Here we see Abit's upcoming nForce4 SLI Fatal1ty motherboard. There are a couple of interesting features we saw on it including the GPU fan that mounts between the two video cards as well as the new front panel uGuru box that offers CMOS reset jumper! They have put a plastic guard on the button to try and avoid any accidental setting releases.
DFI is going to soon be offering a new board brand called OC Party, playing off the LAN Party name. These boards will, as the name suggests, be just as good at overclocking as the high boards might be but without all the additional features and gadgets that tend to bring up the price. They plan to have versions for both AMD and Intel platforms soon.