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News of the day

  • CeBIT : Gemini dual X1600XT for GeCube
  • CeBIT : Cooling – where will it stop ?
  • CeBIT : overvolted DDR2 for GeIL
  • CeBIT : a little bit of Turion 64 X2
  • CeBIT : deception for SED
  • Test : LCD Dell 3007WFP
  • CeBIT : LCD LG, 1600:1 contrast ratio
  • CeBIT : LCD LG, new designs
  • CeBIT : handbags' notebooks
  • CeBIT : LCD Samsung, LED on their way
  • CeBIT : SLI in laptops
  • CeBIT : HDMI and HDCP for PC
  • CeBIT : Quad SLI « for everyone »
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     CeBIT : Gemini dual X1600XT for GeCube
      Posted on 10/03/2006 at 20:42 by Damien
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    GeCube introduced a dual GPU card based on 2 Radeon X1600 XT named Gemini Edition. The interest of this card is rather limited because the X1600 XT CrossFire performances (in "software mode", without compositing engine) aren't extraordinary and because it is announced at a probable price of 400€. This figure has to be compared, for example, to the 250€ of a X1800 GTO which provides much higher performances. GeCube doesn't deny this fact and says that this solution is interesting mainly because of the four monitors supported by the 2 dual DVI outputs.

    The thing is that the functioning of this card is isn't very explicit. Interrogated on this subject, GeCube confirmed us that a chip was included for the two CPU to communicate. We couldn't get more information and GeCube refused to let us take a picture of the PCB without the cooling system to avoid breaking an NDA with ATI. This is the reason why we thought that there was something more interesting behind this card. All the more that Gemini is a technology that is found in some of ATI's roadmaps...

    Our interpretation, based on several little details that match, is that Gemini could be a chip in charge of managing exchanges between the two GPUs and the PCI Express bus. It would be some sort of switch used to connect the 2 GPUs to a single port but also to bring a direct access, a little bit more efficient, between the two GPUs without using the chipset (NVIDIA uses a chips that is apparently similar for dual 7900 used in the Quad SLI).

    But how could a card such as Asus' bi-7800 GT, that we have tested, work without a chip of this type? In fact with this chip, each GPU connects to the chipset in PCIE 8x, but it only works with the nForce 4 SLI. It seems that this system only functions if the chipset is capable of using a single PCI Express port like 2 distinct ports and ATI's recent Xpress 3200 wouldn't be capable of doing that. A special chip would have to be used with dual GPU cards. This chip could also be used to improve gains brought by the CrossFire to cards that communicate via the PCI Express bus by allowing an optimised inter GPU access.

    Gemini could be found on the RV560 and RV570 GPUs that will be announced this summer and, if our speculations are verified, it could be a solution that would allow the development of more interesting dual GPU cards (higher performances) and not only intended to round up ATI's chipset limitation to have a card that support four monitors.

     CeBIT : Cooling – where will it stop ?
      Posted on 10/03/2006 at 20:40 by Marc
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    Several manufacturers presented rather extreme air cooling solutions. At Aerocool for example, two tower included on the side 25 cm (10") fans, the Nitron, and the ExtremeEngine 3T (this one also has a 14cm fans in front).

    Coolermaster also made the demonstration of a gigantic CPU cooler based on 6 heat pipes and 2x120 mm fans. For AMD and Intel processors, the RR-CCH-ANUI-GP is still at the prototype stage, especially because of its weight of 1.8 Kg. Coolmasters told us to that their objective was to reduce it to 1 Kg.

    There was also the prototype of the Scythe Infinity. It just fits between the power supply and the graphic card…

     CeBIT : overvolted DDR2 for GeIL
      Posted on 10/03/2006 at 20:26 by Marc
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    To go beyond the limits of memory voltage delivered by motherboards, you could use so far the OCZ booster, a module that fit in a DDR slot. GeIL has decided to push this concept forward and integrate a power supply directly to the memory modules. With a potentiometer it is possible to adjust the voltage of this system up to 3V for DDR2 (as compared to 1.8V standard).

    The first EVO memory modules that will be out in April will be DDR2 but GeIL also plans to extend this technology to DDR modules.

     CeBIT : a little bit of Turion 64 X2
      Posted on 10/03/2006 at 19:58 by Marc
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    Turion 64 X2 laptops are more and more present. MSI has presented one model, the S271. AMD's dual core processor, to be released in May, was present in 1.6 GHz version in this 12" ultra portable.

    Also for laptops, MSI worked on new designs with various colors and patterns on the body of the computers.

     CeBIT : deception for SED
      Posted on 10/03/2006 at 19:35 by Marc
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    Toshiba and Canon announced that SED production (see this article) would not finally start before July 2007. The release date of the first monitors is postponed to the fourth quarter, one year later than expected.

    Manufacturers explain this choice by the necessity to rationalise production costs to reduce the existing gap between SED and existing technologies (plasma, LCD).

    Even more problematic, if Canon initially was planning on producing SED panels for PC, they have stopped this project. We don't know if economical or technological reasons have motivated this choice.

     Test : LCD Dell 3007WFP
      Posted on 10/03/2006 at 10:37 by Vincent
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    Is it possible to play, work, watch movies, edit pictures, use CAD software with the new Dell 30" monitor in 2560 x 1600 pixels? The answer with the colorimetric, afterglow and brightness homogeneity tests of this giant panel.

    We have also tested the memory card player transfer rates, the improvements of this format for several games (sport simulation, strategy, FPS…) and of course viewing angles.

    Test : Dell 3007WFP

     CeBIT : LCD LG, 1600:1 contrast ratio
      Posted on 10/03/2006 at 08:37 by
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    It has been a little while since LG left the response time race. From this point of view, they always are a "few milliseconds" late: they have just unveiled their 2 ms monitor.

    The technological innovation this year is the contrast ratio increase of TN monitors to 1600:1.

    The DFC for Digital Fine Contrast is based on the automatic contrast booster of the monitor internal color table (the Look Up Table, LUT). They apparently actually play on the gamma: they darken dark areas, increase the luminosity of the bright ones and push the vivacity of intermediates shades…

    According to LG, the result would be ideal in videos. Let's hope that it will also signify the disappearance of twinkling effects for TN monitors.

    This DFC also comes with a replacement of CCFL tubes by a new generation that is capable of a wider gamut.

    They would increase the NTSC space cover from 72 to 90 percent thanks to better results mainly in greens and reds.

     CeBIT : LCD LG, new designs
      Posted on 10/03/2006 at 08:35 by
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    Instead of releasing new revolutionary technologies, LG has concentrated its efforts on new original very high end designs. It is almost a fashion show…

    Artistic LCD, EURO Serie L1900 Celadon (left) and Myth (right).
    TN 4 ms panel, 1600:1 contrast ratio, 300 cd/m2

    Artistic LCD, EURO Serie L1900 Breath

    Artistic LCD, EURO Serie L1900 Myth and Celadon

     CeBIT : handbags' notebooks
      Posted on 10/03/2006 at 08:24 by
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    During the CeBIT, we often come across very surprising products. Ego tries to seduce the female market by releasing notebooks that looks like handbags when closed. Fahsion witctims these are for you:

     CeBIT : LCD Samsung, LED on their way
      Posted on 10/03/2006 at 08:19 by Vincent
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    Samsung announces their first LED monitors. The backlighting of these monitors is no longer neons (CCFL tubes) but LED matrixes uniformly distributed in the back of the panels.

    We remind you that we noticed last year better brightness homogeneity and much wider gamut. These are also Samsung's selling points for these monitors that will be released next summer at best. Unlike NEC's policy the price of these monitors won't be higher than the "normal" LCD except that this technology will be introduced first in high end models.

    Samsung XC24
    Samsung XC20 and XC19

    We noted on this monitor a new response time, 4ms PVA technology, whereas the current faster ones are in 6 ms.

     CeBIT : SLI in laptops
      Posted on 10/03/2006 at 01:22 by Damien
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    After desktop computers, SLI is now gaining laptops or to be more accurate transportable computers (placing two graphic cards is a compact computer is still far from being in the agenda). What is the interest of such a solution? Isn't that ridiculous at the hour of mobility? Yes and no because this SLI solution targets specific markets like professionals or computers for LAN games. Bringing a mobile computer as powerful as a desktop is now possible.

    This first mobile SLI solution is based on an nForce 4 SLI chipset and two GeForce Go 7800 GTX while waiting for the GeForce Go 7900 that will provide equivalent performances but will have a lower power consumption and heat dissipation.

    The first SLI laptop build by Clevo Computer Company is impressive compared to our 12" ultra portable: the 19" monitor probably has something to do with it. Is the laptop denomination still valid for this type of machines?

     CeBIT : HDMI and HDCP for PC
      Posted on 10/03/2006 at 01:20 by Marc
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    HDMI graphic cards, that are HDCP compatible, are almost there. At Sapphire's stand, there were X1300 and X1600 cards equipped with VGA, HDMI and S/P DIF inputs. These cards will be available in the next two weeks and will be the first HDMI and HDCP graphic cards in shops.

    If NVIDIA's HDMI & HDCP solutions are ready for quite some time now, only Sony integrates it in the last PC Media Center, VGX-XL1, announced at CES. There are no cards for now that will be available in retail. It won't however probably last for long, because we have seen one of NVIDIA's last GPU with DVI, HDMI, TV and S/P DIF outputs.

     CeBIT : Quad SLI « for everyone »
      Posted on 10/03/2006 at 00:32 by Marc
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    During CeBIT, NVIDIA freed quad SLI from Dell's exclusivity. Using now 7900 clocked at 500/600, quad SLI is based on two double PCB cards. Each PCB includes one GeForce 7900 and 512 MB of GDDR3 memory.

    As each 7900 GT includes two SLI ports, interconnections between GPUs are multiple. So if the two GPUs of a single card are interconnected in SLI, these GPU also connects to a GPU of the second card (GPU1 of card 1 with GPU1 of card 2, GPU 2 with GPU2). Each bi GPU card is equipped with a x48 PCI Express switch that is used as a bridge between the two GPU and the motherboard.

    Of course, the question of the interest of Quad SLI remains. Indeed, the combination of the latest games plus one or two 30" monitors requires an enormous graphical power but the price of these monitors additionally to the Quad SLI (which hasn't been communicated but will probably be over 2000€ only for the cards) is incredibly high!

    We will mainly recall the technological demonstration even if we still have to test this solution. It is important to point out that the 7900 Quad SLI will be restricted to the integration and will only be available in complete computers from a restricted number of partners selected by NVIDIA.

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    March 9, 2006
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    March 11, 2006

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