Computex 2004: Graphics Cards Galoreby Derek Wilson on June 5, 2004 3:00 AM EST
- Posted in
- Trade Shows
Even if we can't publish pictures and descriptions of all the countless booths and companies here at Computex, our endless desire to provide a high quality of vicarious trade show experience forces us to try anyway. This installment of our continued Computex coverage comprises all the information that we could find on what graphics card vendors are up to these days. As such, the following pages contain a look into the not-so-distant future for graphics products, including parts that we haven't been able to test from NVIDIA and everything we've seen announced this week from ATI.
But, just because it's on the show floor, it doesn't mean it will be showing up at your local 7-11 anytime soon. We've had quite a few interesting discussions about the availability of new parts, especially with respect to NVIDIA.
The underground buzz we heard is that the 6800 GT parts wouldn't be that scarce in the near future, but that channel allocation of the 6800 Ultra parts was somewhere between 50 on the low end to 100 on the high end. Not that such small numbers really need perspective, but when we heard that allocation was low, we expected to hear that it was only a couple thousand. This begs the following question: NVIDIA launched the 6800 Ultra in May, and if less than a hundred cards are in the channel today with mass production coming in July, are we talking about a paper launch? To be fair to NVIDIA, although ATI's supply of X800 XT Platinum Edition parts isn't that low, it's still nothing to write home about.
As we have previously touched on, the sheer size and complexity of these chips will no doubt have an adverse impact on yield. We don't have any reliable numbers to report on yield rates, but these tiny shipments seem to confirm our early assumptions that getting the 6800 Ultra (and even the 16 pipe X800) out the door in volume would be an arduous task.
Aside from availability, we've seen everything from the standard reference-card-with-custom-sticker to massive uberheatsinks and flashing lights strapped on to the latest and greatest graphics silicon. In the following pages, we bring you the most up-to-date information that we can on as many of the graphics vendors who we could track down on the floor.