Day 1

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My first stop of the first official day of Comdex was at NVIDIA’s Press Release of the GeForce FX graphics chipset. I won’t go into much detail on this topic, as the same information has been covered on many other sites, and done very well. Let me just say that the NV30 chip (now renamed to GeForce FX) looks to be a staggering increment over the current generation graphics processors, including the Radeon 9700. Running at a 500 MHz clock speed with 1 GHz DDR-II memory, NVIDIA showed the card doing some spectacular demos including a “Toy Story” movie that showed a short film of Pixar movie’s quality running in real time, all thanks to the magic of programmable shaders.

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One interesting aspect is the amount of cooling that is necessary for this new chip. Below you will see an image of the FX Flow cooling solution that actually vents the warm air from inside the case to the outside. They are also saying that the chip can run in a “silent mode” when working on simple things like office applications.

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For more information on the GeForce FX launch, I’d suggest taking a look at HardOCP’s article or Anandtech’s.

The AMD Booth

My meeting with AMD this time around didn’t come up with any very new or exciting information. This first day of Comdex will be pretty quiet from them, but tomorrow should better as Hector Ruiz gives his keynote speech in the morning.

The AMD booth showed off a number of their products including a comparison of the Athlon XP 2800+ against a P4 2.8 GHz running the new Windows Media Player 9 for encoding. Obviously, and expectedly, the AMD platform won out. They also had a Barton processor running on a box (that they wouldn’t let me open up to photograph) just to show the working architecture. I verified the 512 KB cache via WCPUID, but that was all I could see it do, as they wouldn’t let me run any benchmarks on it, either.

They had a considerable amount of laptop on display, about two dozen in total. These ranged from Tier 1 providers like HP down the OEM guys like Asus. I asked around and found that there was one Radeon mobility 9000 based laptop that was in development, but didn’t make it in time for the Comdex show – now that will be the laptop to get!

They had another “wall of motherboards” like they had the previous year. This time they showcased 16 Hammer motherboards and 16 KT400/nForce2/SiS boards. Below you will see the images of the Hammer boards. As they all looked relatively the same, and that the feature sets were bland and will probably change before they are released, I didn’t get as much detailed information on them.

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I then had a short briefing with the AMD reps where we mainly talked about stuff that already knew, discussed the updated roadmaps and a few other things. Lunch was served then I was out the door. 🙂

Trident, Soltek and eVGA

These meetings were relatively short. Trident showed me a sample of their XP4 graphics card, but didn’t have one to let me take home for testing. At Soltek we discussed their current boards (KT400 roundup should be online soon!) and their future AMD products including their nForce2 solution and Hammer motherboards. eVGA just touched base with us to tell us about their dedication to being first out the door with a GeForce FX card. I know we can’t wait for those! 🙂

Ending Day 1…

Most of Day 1’s excitement occurred with the NVIDA GeForce FX announcement, and then the rest of the day was kind of as we expected it to be. Overall, I’d have to say I am not very impressed with the show in general – the floor isn’t very crowded with vendors or manufacturers and they are using even less of the show floor than they did last year. Perhaps the announcements that Hector will be making tomorrow will spice things up some? 😉

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