Forget about your swank two-monitor setup, word on the tech block is that Intel's 4 Series chipset for desktop and notebook displays will support four monitors at the same time. DisplayLink is providing its technology through a license model, and Intel has jumped first in line as a major customer.
Two of the displays will come courtesy of conventional outputs, while the other two can be connected via USB 2.0. Previous to this, DisplayLink support was only provided to displays that included the company's DP-120/160 chips. Also prior, enthusiasts wanting a four-display setup had to rely on graphics cards outputs.
But what about the performance impact? TGDaily noted up to 30 percent CPU utilization with the DP-120/160 chips, so it will be interesting to see how the G45 chipset handles DisplayLink chores.
All eyes continue to be glued to Intel and its upcoming Core i7 (Nehalem), but AMD has a product release in the wings too, this one for the server market. The struggling chip maker said it's planning to release a new server platform in the second half of 2009 currently code named Fiorano. Built to take advantage of AMD's upcoming 45nm Shanghai processor, Fiorano represents the company's first foray into the server chipset market instead of using chipsets from Nvidia and Broadcom.
The Fiorno platform will fully support the company's chip-to-chip technolgy called HyperTransport 3 while also offering a new virtualization technology called IOMMU, which allows for the virtualization of the system's I/O traffic. Support for the second generation PCI-Express will also be included, but the same can't be said for DDR3 because of cost concerns.
"it will hit once the price of DDR3 comes down," said John Fruehe, who handles worldwide channel market development for AMD's Server and Workstation Division. "The back half of next year is about the time the process changes in DDR3 will happen that will allow the prices to come down."
The first AMD platform to use DDR3 memory will be called Maranello (previously known as Piranha).
CustomPC reports that VIA is calling it quits in the motherboard chipset business, and will focus on making x86 processors.
They quote VIA’s vice president of corporate marketing in Taiwan, Richard Brown, as saying, “One of the main reasons we originally moved into the x86 processor business was because we believed that ultimately the third party chipset market would disappear, and we would need to have the capability to provide a complete platform.” He adds, ‘That has indeed come to pass,’ and said, ‘Intel provides the vast majority of chipsets for its processors and, following its purchase of ATI, AMD is also moving very quickly in the same direction.’
This comes after Nvidia said that they were not offering a native chipset for Bloomfield (now Core i7) processors, and SLI would be available in the form of the nForce 200 chip, similar to the Skulltrail implementation with the nForce 100.
VIA was always popular with the enthusiast on a budget crowd, which shot up with their Apollo P4X266 chipset. The P4X266 brought DDR memory support to the Pentium 4 and went ahead without a license from Intel to do so.
This seems to highlight a trend that the industry no longer needs third party chipset manufacturers, with AMD now offering it’s own chipsets for it’s own CPUs, just as Intel has done for a long time. It would seem logical that CPU manufacturers would be in the best position to offer chipsets that would squeeze the most out of their respective CPUs, but without a multitude of third party manufacturers, I can’t help but wonder who will keep them honest in doing so, and not allow the field to stagnate.
AMD knows it doesn't have a processor line capable of competing with Intel's Core 2 architecture clock for clock, so instead the chipmaker looks to push a new chipset that promises improved overclocking performance. The new 790GX chipset is intended to target the "performance" gaming community, filling the spot just below its 790FX, which hones in on the ultra-enthusiast market.
According to AMD, the 790GX makes it possible to "shift your system performance into next gear with Advanced Clock Calibration that allows you to get the highest overclocking out of your AMD Phenom CPUs." To illustrate the effect, AMD uses a graph showing a 2.5GHz Phenom topping out at 3.0GHz with "standard overclocking," but jumping to 3.2GHZ and beyond with its Advanced Clock Calibration.
Hardcore gamers are likely to be turned off by the 790GX's integrated Radeon HD 3300 graphics and will opt to add in a discrete GPU solution. By doing so, gamers can take advantage of ATI's Hybrid Graphics technology and utilize both GPUs at the same time.
AMD also looks to push the budget angle, pointing out that gamers can pair a quad-core X4 9850 Phenom with a 790GX-based motherboard for $355, or $90 less than a comparable Intel rig sporting a quad-core Q9300 slapped on a P45-based motherboard.
Does AMD have a winner on its hands with the 790GX?
What a month August is shaping up to be, and we're only on day one! First, ArsTechnca exposes a major memory benchmarking flaw in Futuremark's PCMark05 suite, and if that weren't enough to have enthusiasts crying scandal, DigiTimes reported this morning (much to the chagrin of Nvidia's brass) that Nvidia plans to quit the chipset business.
According to DigiTimes, anonymous sources "close to the situation at one of Taiwan's top motherboard makers" are privy to Nvidia's alleged decision to stop making chipsets and instead transfer its chipset team to work on GPU projects. If true, the news would end any speculation that Apple might be looking to Nvidia to provide chipsets for its next round of MacBooks.
The story has been spreading like wildfire, and it didn't take long for Nvidia to offer an official response denying the allegations. Hit the jump to see what the graphics chip maker (and continued chipset maker) had to say.
We’ve been calling Intel’s next-generation CPU family code-named Nehalem a Penryn-killer because, sadly, AMD’s best and brightest have hardly been that. For those who haven’t sifted the sands of the Internet, and picked the brains of OEM’s and hardware vendors for every detail of Intel’s next-gen microarchitecture, here’s your quick primer on Nehalem that’ll make you big man on campus at the next geekfest.
How Many Cores?
Most Nehalem’s will be native quad-core with all four compute cores on the same physical die. Intel says that the design of Nehalem will also let the company build an eight-core version, codenamed Beckton, for servers. Intel also hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a multi-chip version so could perhaps see a double-die Beckton with 16 cores as well.
An improved version of HyperThreading will find its way into the core of Nehalem. This improved simultaneous multi-threading, or SMT, will let the OS see a quad-core chip as eight cores. Although some still debate its merit, the implementation of HT in the Pentium 4 generally added 15 percent more performance in multi-threaded applications.
Intel's Centrino 2 platform hasn't even gotten its feet wet in the PC pool yet, and if a new rumor turns out to be true, Montevina won't be making waves in the new MacBooks expected to arrive within the next two months. If it happens, the change would mark the first time Apple turned its nose at Centrino in its MacBook line since 2006.
According to AppleInsider, not only might the new MacBooks abandon the Montevina chipset, but the new chipset may have nothing to do with Intel at all. Instead, the rumor suggests Apple might be busy designing the new chipset entirely in-house just as it did with its PowerPC-based Macs.
If not in-house and if not Intel, that only leaves a few other third party chipset manufacturers, such as Nvidia, AMD, or VIA. For all its recent problems in the mobile market, Nvidia might be considered a long shot at first glance, but recent reports suggest Nvidia might be willing to ditch its alliance with VIA in order to build a chipset for Intel's Atom processor. Could this be the opportunity Nvidia has been gunning for?
I hate it when I am wrong…except this time. Being wrong means I get to have SLI when Bloomfield ships. It seems that Nvidia will be ready for the Bloomfield launch after all with the nForce 200 SLI processor, the older brother of the nForce 100 that was so successfully with the launch of the Skulltrail.
Bryan Del Rizzo with Nvidia says, “some vendors will be incorporating more than one nForce 200 processor for even more advanced configurations and flexibility for multi-GPU configurations. Both 2-way and 3-Way SLI configurations will be fully supported with our latest GPUs, including the GeForce GTX 280 and GeForce GTX 260 GPUs."
I certainly can’t wait to see what the nForce 200 CPUs can do. The part about “more advanced configurations and flexibility for multi-GPU” really sparks my interest. Maybe some sort of GPU cluster across different Nvidia GPUs? I’ll be keeping an eye on that.
Perhaps even more interesting than that, was when Bryan said, “We are not doing our own native chipset for Bloomfield.” What? That’s right, no native Nvidia chipset for Bloomfield CPUs. The reason for not doing a QPI (Quick Path Interconnect) chipset is because of the quick transition to DMI (Desktop Management Interface) and the short-lived nature of QPI. Picking up an X58 Chipset Board with an nForce 200 SLI processor will be the only way to get SLI.
This is a pretty big shift considering Nvidia puts out a very popular chipset for enthusiasts, not that Intel chipsets are any slouch.
There was a time when motherboards sporting integrated graphics were best avoided like the plague, and while that's still the case for the hardcore enthusiast, many modern micro ATX motherboards have begun closing the performance gap between their full ATX brethren. The situation looks to get even better by summer's end. According to a DigiTimes report, Nvidia plans to mass produce its latest Intel platform IGP chipset by the middle of next month with shipping product expected to hit retail shelves in early September.
Touting support for Nvidia's GeForce 9-series mGPU, the 730i MPC will be offered up with either an onboard GeForce 9400 graphics core (MCP7A-U) with a core frequency of 580MHz and shader frequency of 1500MHz, or with a GeForce 9300 (MCP7A-S) with a core and shader frequency of 450MHz and 1200MHz respectively. The GPUs don't look to rival anything close to a GTX 280, but with support for PCI Express 2.0, Shader Model 4.0, and DirectX 10, along with 16 built-in stream processors, less demanding gamers are likely to be able to get their gaming groove on with more than just Peggle.
Rounding out the feature list, both MCPs will support a 1333MHz frontside bus (think 45nm Penryn) and come in both DDR2 and DDR3 flavor. And for HTPC crowd, look for a bevy of connection options, including HDMI, dual-link DVI, DsiplayPort, and D-sub.