Introduction and Background

The first time we looked at NVIDIA’s Enthusiast System Architecture it was a high-level overview but now that we have spent some time with an ESA-capable system, we have come away from the experience impressed. Skeptical, but impressed.
My first preview of NVIDIA’s ESA technology, which stands for Enthusiast System Architecture, was pretty open-ended and vague simply because we hadn’t actually gotten to use any of the hardware yet.  That has changed and I have spent many hours playing with an NVIDIA-provided system chock full of ESA devices. 

The idea behind ESA is pretty simple at its core: create an open standard that PC component manufacturers adopt to allow monitoring and control of your entire system from a single piece of software. 

NVIDIA ESA: Enthusiast System Architecture Review - Cases and Cooling  1

While simple in theory, in practice this is a pretty difficult venture.  First, you need to get all the manufacturers to give up on their own custom designed monitoring software.  Then you need to get them to agree to this new ESA standard.  Then you have to have them actually implement the ESA data model with something useful to show.  You also have to make it cost effective and easy to implement for the end user.  NVIDIA thinks they have just about nailed all of these requirements.

If you want the full details on how the ESA standard works on a technical level, using the USB standards for data transmission, and even what NVIDIA envision for the ideal implementation of ESA, you should definitely read over the first ESA preview article before diving on to the next page of this review.



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