ATI MVP mobos to be priced below SLI boards

Chicago (IL) - ATI is believed to unveil its dual graphics card technology "Multi Video Processing" (MVP) at the Computex trade show later this month. According to sources, tier 1 motherboard manufacturers will offer products that will be priced about 5 percent below an Nvidia-based SLI board and hit the market late in July 2005.

Dual graphics card systems will get a lot more interesting for many more users as Nvidia's SLI will soon receive competition from ATI. Signs from Taiwan indicate that ATI will price its technology in the neighborhood of SLI.

Sources told Tom's Hardware Guide that motherboards equipped form MVP and supporting AMD K8 and Intel Pentium 4 processors may be priced about "2 to 5 percent" below comparable SLI boards. However, ATI had not confirmed its "master card" marketing plan and changes still could surface, we were told.

The phrase "master card" refers to the MVP technology approach. As other websites such as revealed earlier this month, MVP will use a master/slave system: The master has to specifically MVP enabled and therefore has to be a new-generation ATI card. The slave however can be any other ATI card, whether it supports MVP or not. Both cards will be connected via a backplane.

Other than Nvidia's SLI that handles graphics tasks between two cards equally, the ATI system will break down a graphic into tiles and transfer processed data in smaller portions and therefore is likely to make efficient use of the available bandwidth. The slave card will be handing down the data just to the master card.

Motherboard makers expect MVP boards to become available in week 30 or 31 of this year, which will be the timeframe between July 27 and August 3.