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Intel Stakes Its Vision of the PC Future with 775 Launch

First Contact

Several mid-class PEG cards such as this GeForce PCX 5750 from Albatron arrived at our labs. Of course, we needed to check out the fastest model available both for AGP and PCIe in order to avoid creating bottlenecks for both the test platforms.

Preparing the tests for this product launch turned out to be quite a cliffhanger, as we faced one obstacle after another. In addition to several different DDR2 memory products, the first new-age device to arrive was a PCIe graphics card based on ATI’s X600 aka RS380. Unfortunately, we did not have a LGA 775 CPU in order to run first benchmarks at that time, although an assortment of Grantsdale and Alderwood motherboards had already started to collect dust.

Last Friday at 4 pm we finally received Intel’s reviewer’s kit that included virtually everything except a graphics card. First of all, we tried to get a fast model for the benchmark sessions, since the ATI X600 is basically a mainstream product. GeForce PCX 5900 was standing by, but core and memory clock speeds are entirely different compared to any of the AGP versions. Besides, what we wanted to use was a top-notch board, as every new platform deserves the best hardware available with which to be tested. No offense to ATI, but we picked the GeForce 6800 Ultra, as the X800 PCIe arrived two days too late.

After receiving the 6800 cards from NVIDIA on Monday, we were stuck again, this time due to a power supply issue : See the aux power connector that NVIDIA placed on the 6800 series PCIe boards in the shot below ? Even trying to figure out the accurate name seems to be difficult. The Inquirer’s Fuad Abazovic was somewhat specific by calling it "the 6-pin one," while the first statement of an NVIDIA executive was both funny and straightforward : "there really isn’t a name for these."

Howsoever, it was NVIDIA that helped to solve the issue by handing over the only Antec True Power 550 W power supply they had in their German office.

It’s quite new, so the components are still hard to find. It took us several hours to get hold of a power supply that comes with the new 6-pin connector.

That’s the adapter you need to use if you don’t want to throw away your power supply. These parts should be widely available soon.