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It's been a while since so many things are changing all at once in the motherboard market. The AMD Athlon 64 Socket 939 just launched and the Intel Socket 775 is set to go on June 21st. On top of that, PCI Express and DDR2 memory are also launching with the new Intel processors. New video cards in the PCI Express flavor are coming from both major manufacturers. New BTX form factor cases are also appearing from a number of vendors. Add it all together and you get the biggest changes in PC architecture that we have seen in quite a while.

As the showcase for all the stuff that's coming, Computex is a sea of new motherboards. Since Computex is a Buyer's show, some of the new designs are trial balloons built to see if there is any interest. Most of the boards, especially the boards from the major players, do find their way to your dealer's shelves. That makes Computex the shopping cart for motherboards that will be available in the next 1 to 6 months.

We're taking a look at a few of the most interesting designs that have caught our eye at Computex in this preview. Once we sort through a mountain of new models, we'll be bringing you more news on the new motherboards from all the top board makers.

nVidia PCI Express for Athlon 64
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  • Kaji - Monday, June 07, 2004 - link

    Cool! Finally a lot of the technologies I have been waiting for!

    Some disapointments though... how come all BTX boards only have one PCI-E x16 slot? that sucks!
    What about those groovy dual PCI-E graphics solutions that are already starting to appear?

    Another BTX related question... what about server boards? The excellent article on BTX covered the three desktop form factors... but will there be an Extended BTX form factor for dual CPU? I want to go with BTX, but only if I can have two PCI-E x16 slots... and two dual PCU would be nice!

    I wonder when Lian-Li will release BTX case?
    Reply
  • rms - Sunday, June 06, 2004 - link

    "I was really looking forward to seeing the "extra" performance a user would get on a Nvidia board & card platform. "

    Could be wrong, but wasn't that advantage only present with the FX series of cards? And involved basically speeding up the effective AGP bus speed? If PCI-X is already 16X, you think any speedups would be miniscule.

    rms
    Reply
  • Reflex - Saturday, June 05, 2004 - link

    #12: No kidding. But I was referencing the fellow who seemed to think that it was all about performance. SATA is not really any 'faster' than IDE, however it is still an important step forward. PCI-E is similiar in that regard. Reply
  • tmhartsr - Saturday, June 05, 2004 - link

    But - where is the 64 bit OS???? Reply
  • XRaider - Saturday, June 05, 2004 - link

    Yea, but still it's a shame that these boards with PCI-E won't be out for another several months! :( It is depressing, but hopefully the 939 FX's will drop far in price by the time these boards are ready to ship mainstream. Hopefully.
    It still seems like they're draggin their feet on this stuff. :-\
    Reply
  • Falco. - Saturday, June 05, 2004 - link

    um.. pci express isn't just for graphics :-)

    its for every add in card that we presently put in pci slots :-) besides.. for all w know, a x16 pci express slot could do the same thing that going from agp 4x to 8x did.. not much in the performace dept, mainly with video cards being outfitted with 128 megs of ram, and what looks like 256 megs ... have u seen and NV4x and R4xx with 128 megs ?? i can't recall seeing any ....

    Reply
  • Reflex - Saturday, June 05, 2004 - link

    #6: PCI-E is not about performance, its about features. More can be done with the interface than can be done with the very limiting AGP. Realize that AGP itself is not really utilized for its performance at all, the 'bandwidth' it allows is nearly useless. Try turning your setting from 8X to 2X and notice the almost complete lack of a performance difference(2-5% approximatly).

    I, for one, and happy to be rid of the AGP interface. It was a troublesome hack that never lived up to its advertised potential. Bring on PCI-E.
    Reply
  • Reflex - Saturday, June 05, 2004 - link

    test... Reply
  • Falco. - Friday, June 04, 2004 - link

    any thing on Asus and NF3 250 gb/ulta mobos ?? say the k8N-E Deluxe NF3 250 board from asus just with a 939 pin socket ????

    or something similar from asus ??
    Reply
  • jrphoenix - Friday, June 04, 2004 - link

    #6... I am just hoping for a slot that won't be obsolete in 1-2 years (how long I want to wait before having to my a new motherboard).

    If Nvidia is that slow rolling PCI-E out I may just get a VIA chipset & ATI card. I was really looking forward to seeing the "extra" performance a user would get on a Nvidia board & card platform.
    Reply

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