Everyone and their brother had 945P motherboards on display this week, and some had dual 16 lane PCI-E interfaces on their motherboards. The dual x16 is actually slightly misleading, since the second adaptor is really just an x4 in an x16 slot. Since saturation of the PCI-E bus is something that graphic manufacturers still dream about, we aren't giving anyone a hard time about only putting 4 or 8 lanes on an x16 interface (yet).

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But Biostar didn't just have a 945P motherboard with two graphics adaptors. They also had a 915P board with two as well! Practical? Perhaps not - but unique? Absolutely. As cheap as other 915P motherboard prices have fallen in the last few months, a new, inexpensive 915P motherboard with extra room for graphics might find some niche somewhere. In the remote opportunity that NVIDIA opens its SLI driver to steal ATI's Crossfire thunder, some of these 915P and 945P dual graphics motherboards are actually capable of rudimentary "SLI" performance.

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Biostar's real focus this year was on the small form factor (SFF). An entire room in the Biostar suite was dedicated to SFFs, with plenty of 945G and nForce4 designs. However, we didn't see an nForce4 SLI setup like we did at Shuttle's suite yesterday.

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Biostar did have an SFF based on C51G - a.k.a. nForce4 IGP. Some of the finer points about the chipset are revealed in the note card next to the system, including integrated 6200TC graphics and 7.1 channel audio (not SoundStorm 2).

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Speaking of SFF, Intel partnered up with FIC to produce one of the most unoriginal, but still interesting, looking products to enter the small form factor world. The Mac-Mini knockoffs are based on Pentium M processors and only require a single internal fan.

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The DC inverter is not housed inside the system, but all other components are. The SFF units are primarily legacy free, but have a traditional RJ-11 input for what we can only guess is caller ID. The booth claims that the Mini-knockoffs are for the digital home, but the lack of HDMI indicates otherwise for us. Since these are proof-of-concept machines, we can't criticize them too much - but don't expect to see something like this anytime soon at Fry's.

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HIS Cases, ThermalTake
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  • Yawgm0th - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    Windows has had software RAID 5 for years, too...
  • ProviaFan - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    Which brings to mind that I seem to recall the Server editions of Windows being able to do software RAID as well...
  • bersl2 - Thursday, June 2, 2005 - link

    Um... I think some fact checking needs to be done about this statement:

    "While BSD operating systems have enjoyed Raid 5 software RAID via the OS for years, Linux and Windows have not been as fortunate."

    This old document puts RAID 5 in the kernel, in a working, if not feature-complete, form in 1997 (2.1.63).

    This more recent version of the HOWTO places an updated version of RAID at no later than Jan. 2001 (2.4.0---and that's not counting it being in any development series kernels).
  • ProviaFan - Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - link

    Yeah, I wonder where all these high-res displays are that Longhorn is supposedly going to support...

    Thanks anyway for the comprehensive coverage!
  • Tarumam - Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - link

    Nice coverage. Wonder what´s wrong with the LCD guys though.

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