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Computex 2007: The Last of Its Kind

The News Disappointment?

There still are some secrets in the IT industry, but most of the Computex announcements typically are predictable and more or less expected before the show has even opened its doors. Journalists, especially, complain about being disappointed with the number and quality of news items during the large exhibitions. One reason is that many of the large players on the hardware market have changed their information policy: Intel has turned its Developer Forum into an information fountain, giving attendees a 12 to 18 month forecast on Intel products and code names, in addition to talking about future technology. AMD is starting to behave similarly, as the firm is almost a bit lost under the pressure of Intel's Core 2 processor family.

AMD Working On RD790

The best chipsets for AMD processors have been coming from Nvidia (nForce 600 series), while ATI's Radeon Xpress family has only be doing somewhat well. The RD690 chipset comes with integrated graphics and thus isn't very interesting to end users. Thus, it's time for something new, which might be the RD790 chipset for quad PCI Express and socket AM2+ (HyperTransport 3.0) - with full support for the dual core and quad core Phenom X2 and X4 processors. You will be able to use four ATI Radeon HD 2000 cards. Since the 2900 top model uses dual-slot coolers, you might only be able to use the 2600 XT for the time being, but it is not launching at Computex.

Intel Ready For X38

Intel has already allowed worldwide media to release test results on the new 3 series chipsets. You will find our review "Intel Intros 3-Series Chipsets with FSB1333 and DDR3" here.

We expect to see tons of P35, G33 and G35 motherboards, as well as the first products based on the new enthusiast chipset X38. In contrast to P35, X38 has twice the number of PCI Express lanes - which allows true dual x16 graphics - and it introduces PCI Express 2.0. While allowing up to 300 W power requirements for each x16 connector, PCIe 2.0 also supports twice the bandwidth: 500 MB/s per lane upstream and downstream. Support for all 45 nm processors, six SATA ports, DDR3 support and all the other new goodies such as integrated Gigabit Ethernet are mandatory.

We're pretty sure that X38 will be even more overclockable than P35, likely opening the clock speed range beyond FSB2000. Also, expect enthusiast products to run DDR3 RAM at much higher speeds than P35, because Intel promised to offer barrier-free overclocking - this basically means free memory multiplier settings. However, again, this is not launching at Computex.

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