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  • soydios - Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - link

    Does anybody know when we can expect to begin seeing Socket AM2 motherboards based on RD580 in the retail channels? I'm still waiting for the M2R32-MVP. =\ Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, June 15, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Does anybody know when we can expect to begin seeing Socket AM2 motherboards based on RD580 in the retail channels? I'm still waiting for the M2R32-MVP.


    End of June for MSI and ECS, probably a week or so later for Asus. These schedules might change but they are still working with ATI on bios improvements.
    Reply
  • Pythias - Sunday, June 11, 2006 - link

    Thats a lot of juice. I though the industry was headed towards power conservation.... Reply
  • poohbear - Sunday, June 11, 2006 - link

    man abit needs to drop that Fatl1ty nonsense if they're trying to cater to enthusiasts. who's gonna buy an overpriced mobo just because of some gamers name attached to it?! we're not rabid teenagers who have a loyal following to some pop star like computer geek, we're mostly in our 20s/30s, so start catering to adults w/ quality mobos that dont need some geeks name attached to it to stand out. Let the quality and features speak for themselves please, not "fatal1tys" name. have they even done any market research to see if ppl actually buy products because of this guys name attached to em? Reply
  • darklight0tr - Sunday, June 11, 2006 - link

    I agree. In fact, I avoid any product that has the Fatal1ty name on it, no matter how good it looks. All of these companies think gamers slobber over the name Fatal1ty, when in fact they don't give a crap. We want quality products, not marketing pieces. Reply
  • Gary Key - Sunday, June 11, 2006 - link

    quote:

    agree. In fact, I avoid any product that has the Fatal1ty name on it, no matter how good it looks. All of these companies think gamers slobber over the name Fatal1ty, when in fact they don't give a crap. We want quality products, not marketing pieces.


    I agree also, this is all marketing and you will see more FataL1y products from Zalman and others in the near future. I would just assume Abit use the color scheme on the boards, add a couple of PCI slots, lower the price, and call it a day. However, these companies assume his name has leverage in the marketplace, whether it does or not, only Abit and others will know at the end of the day.

    Abit recognizes this to some degree which is why they will be promoting the Max line heavily into the upper market tier segments. While the board needs a couple of PCI slots, I can tell you it has reached 435FSB with a "B" revision Conroe. ;-)
    Reply
  • Missing Ghost - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link

    sincerely, I don't see what's the big deal about the products they show. They all seem to have ugly layouts and bad design choices. Reply
  • cornfedone - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link

    All of these new, useless, over-priced mobos are intended for what? As noted by others, the mobos don't have a practical number of USABLE PCI slots, the prices are way excessive, you can bet they will have long lists of defects based on virtually all Asian designed consumer mobos shipped in the past three or more years and there will be little if any customer support for the malfunctioning mobos customers will be stuck with if they purchase these POS. Instead of fixing the defective mobos properly the mobo companies will crank out new POS to great fanfare by the hardware review sites.

    It's as if the mobo makers are working in a vacuum and don't care that their products do not meet consumer demands and that they don't function properly. I say they can keep their defective products as I don't need them.
    Reply
  • koomo - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link

    The PC world is increasingly becoming a common consumer item, and seems just a few years away from joining VCRs and microwave ovens as disposable-when-broken houseware.

    Conroe and the K8L seem like logical, traditional progression along the better/faster/cheaper curve.

    But now we're looking at 1000W power supplies? How will the PC gaming developers handle this, with a smaller-and-smaller piece of the overall video gaming pie requiring such power-hungry and expensive toys?

    I'll take a PC game over a console any day, but I wonder it would be best to take a holiday for a year on the latest software/hardware until the future lower-energy video cards are supposedly due. And in the meantime, spend more time playing boardgames with VASSAL ;)
    Reply
  • dhei - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link

    Another day, another voltron inspired case. Honestly are people buying these? Or is this some sick joke from case manufactors. I want the guy who started this trend to be fired.:)

    Hey Thermaltake, 1960s Sc-fi movies called, they want there computer props back.
    Reply
  • Operandi - Sunday, June 11, 2006 - link

    Lian Li and SilverStone need companies like Thermaltake to make ugly ass cases to make theirs look good. ;) Reply
  • Griswold - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link

    Or the all-time classic:

    Optimus Prime called, he wants his chest armor back!
    Reply
  • Lonyo - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link

    Putting passive cooling on their "max" motherboard. It makes me sad. Reply
  • vailr - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link

    Only one PCI slot on Abit's "Top of the Line" board? No thanks. Would need at least 2, or preferably 3 PCI slots.
    And regarding the passive/heatpipe chipset cooling: these won't work with some of
    the Lian-Li mid-tower cases where the motherboard is oriented "upside-down".
    Reply
  • Chernobyl68 - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link

    That was my first thought when I started seeing all of the passive cooling solutions out there...how would it work with the Lian-Li case I plan to buy? do I need to reconsider my options? I thought all I was waiting on was an acceptable motherboard to be released before I make my new system but I may be waiting a bit longer.

    Chern
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Only one PCI slot on Abit's "Top of the Line" board? No thanks. Would need at least 2, or preferably 3 PCI slots.


    We discussed this at length with Abit, too late to change now but we told them there would be a backlash. Also, if you run CrossFire or SLI, that single PCI slot is gone.
    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link

    quote:

    We discussed this at length with Abit, too late to change now but we told them there would be a backlash. Also, if you run CrossFire or SLI, that single PCI slot is gone.


    Major case of "Aim gun at foot, pull trigger".

    Unless Abit is willing to come up with some high quality PCIe peripherals to match, their high-end single-PCI slot boards are worthless, and releasing them will be a major monetary loss. With Crossfire/SLI, this means no Creative X-Fi (or insert other better-than-onboard-sound-card here), and limited choice of any other peripherals.

    Universally stupid.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link

    The only major loss is sound card support, as you can currently get Theater 550 TV Tuners in PCIe format. I'm personally finding onboard audio sufficient for my needs, especially with the latest HDA solutions. X-Fi sounds better and cleaner, but it's not something you really notice unless you have really nice speakers/headphones.

    It's sort of like integrated NICs - is there anyone out there that really cares about the difference between 700 Mbit vs. 950 Mbit GbE performance? The only time I touch those speeds is when doing theoretical tests; HDD speeds are the limit otherwise, and gaming? Don't make me laugh: games don't even stress a 10 Mbit Ethernet connection in most instances, and certainly don't need more than 100 Mbit.

    Anyway, my point is that integrated audio is fast nearing the point where few people worry about add-in sound cards. Get some digital speakers and use the S/PDIF connections on nice motherboards, and I'd love to see some people do a "blind" listening test. I'm sort of curious about what percentage of our readers still use add-in sound cards - I would be surprised if it's more than 10%.
    Reply
  • Odeen - Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - link

    There are a few problems with onboard audio. The sound quality is one of them. The second problem is the PERFORMANCE hit and the 3d sound rendering features available.

    Basically, onboard audio (and outboard audio processors without hardware DS3D and EAX support can emulate EAX, but not perfectly. EAX 4.0 is a no-go at all. And this emulation is tantamount to doing software 3D rendering - it's very slow, especially when dozens of sounds need to be located in 3D space and processed.

    Any gamer owes it to himself to use a sound card capable of 3D sound processing, or they're cheating themselves out of frame rates.
    Reply
  • BPB - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link

    Did they really think that people running Crossfire setups wouldn't at least want better-than-onboard sound? That alone is one PCI slot. The onboard sound looks good, but is it that good? Reply
  • Gary Key - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Did they really think that people running Crossfire setups wouldn't at least want better-than-onboard sound? That alone is one PCI slot. The onboard sound looks good, but is it that good?


    The on-board sound on this board will be the Realtek ALC-882M that is placed on a riser card. The sound was significantly better audio quality wise than some of the 882m solutions we have heard placed on the motherboard. We also spoke with Abit about utilizing the new Realtek ALC-888 which sounded a generation better to us and that was on a $85 ASRock board the same day. We are hoping the transition to the ALC-888 will be a quick one for most manufacturers as it would suffice for about 90% of the users. The balance will want a X-FI or something else discreet.
    My issue with Abit, the Product Managers agreed, is that the buyer for these boards will typically not only want a discreet sound solution but also a slot for a TV tuner card or a professional audio interface card. PCI is not dead until the multimedia companies move over to PCI-E, it is that simple and until such time, the board should have two if not three PCI slots that are not blocked, take one of the PCI-E x1 slots, combine the lanes, and give us a universal x4 slot if need be to make room but do not block this slot also. We were able to play with the 975x board before the show opened and although it was pre-production, it ran like a banshee. ;-)
    Reply
  • xsilver - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link

    any indication of what the prices are going to be?
    hopefully prices will stay the same and just replace a 600w one with a 1200w one?

    or if the price is going to be 2x the 600w one, who could afford it??
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link

    quote:

    any indication of what the prices are going to be?


    Pricing was not set yet but we would estimate in the $250~$325 range at this time. Yikes.....
    Reply
  • emilyek - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link

    You'd think 50 engineers could rub their heads together and come up with something decent.

    Have the Thermaltake boys been watching 'Pimp My Ride' or something? The only decent thing in their lineup as shown is the HTPC.
    Reply
  • Xenoid - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link

    The Thermaltake cases were all very nice (and I'm sure very expensive), but is it just me or do the LAN-style carry cases still look ridiculous? Same with that big box for 2 systems in one..I'd rather just have 2 full-towers..they'd take up a lot less room and cost less too. Reply
  • toyota - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link

    quote:

    This was the first 7600GS card we noticed with 1024MB of memory. Whether the card can utilize this amount of memory properly is debatable but it was nice to see cards including 1024MB at mainstream pricing.
    what a waste of ram. i guess this means we will start seeing 1 gig on next gen cards that might actually utilise it.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, June 10, 2006 - link

    We've already got the GX2 with 1GB, though granted that's really 2x512MB. Vista may actually be able to use the GPU RAM for lots of other things, though - that's the theory anyway. Imagine, no longer getting the slow background refresh when Windows decides to swap some of that information out of RAM and into the page file.... Reply

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