Our second day at CES proved to be our most fun-filled yet, with tons of interesting technologies and much more to cover that what we're reporting here today. We will have follow-up coverage over the weekend and into next week so keep checking back.

Before continuing let's recap what we've seen thus far at CES:

CES 2006 Pre-Show Coverage: Before the official start of the show, ATI gave us a demonstration of their OCUR device that enables CableCard support in Windows Vista Media Center.

CES 2006 Day 1 Coverage: Our first day at the show gave us time with Dell's new 30" LCD panel as well as a preview of NVIDIA's Quad-SLI.

Intel's Centrino Duo Launch: Also taking place during the first day of CES was Intel's official launch of their new Centrino Duo platform.

With that out of the way, it's time to revisit one of the more interesting items from our Day 1 coverage.

Up Close and Personal with NVIDIA's Quad-SLI

Yesterday we reported on Dell's Inspiron XPS 600 Renegade system that will be shipping with the world's first NVIDIA Quad-SLI setup. Unfortunately the system we showed you pictures of did not actually have the Quad-SLI cards installed, but today at NVIDIA's booth we were able to not only take some pictures of the actual setup but get a better understanding of how it works.

NVIDIA's Quad-SLI works on any nForce4 SLI motherboard with two PCIe x16 slots, in the case of Dell's XPS 600 Renegade the chipset of choice is a nForce4 SLI x16 Intel Edition. There is no technical reason the setup shouldn't work on an AMD nForce4 SLI x16 motherboard.

Click to Enlarge

Although the picture above appears to be four independent cards, there are actually only two PCIe x16 cards plugged into the motherboard. Each pair of two PCBs features a master and a daughter GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB. There is a small connector that joins the master and daughter PCBs, but it isn't visible in the picture above.

At the far end of the cards you will see a heatsink; that heatsink covers a chip that splits the PCIe x16 slot into two x8 buses, with 8 lanes going to the master PCB and 8 lanes going to the daughter PCB.

With both cards plugged into the motherboard, all that is left is to run SLI bridges connecting both master PCBs and both daughter PCBs to each other. Remember the hidden connector between the two PCBs on each card? That's what connects the master PCB to the daughter PCB on each card.

With the bridges installed, the hardware setup of NVIDIA's Quad-SLI is complete. NVIDIA had the Renegade with Quad-SLI hooked up to a Dell 3007WFP running at its native 2560 x 1600 resolution, which is pretty much where the setup is best used.

PureVideo to Offer H.264 Decode Acceleration
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  • DeathByDuke - Saturday, January 7, 2006 - link

    damn right,

    electronic paper!


    itd be cool to open a book of encyclopedia britannica and have each page display scrolling text from each article, and videos for each article too, all stored on some multi Gb flash storage in the book covers
  • highlandsun - Saturday, January 7, 2006 - link

    All of the new display technologies look really intriguing. And I think it's about time someone got Uhura's earpiece done right.
  • ComatoseDelirium - Saturday, January 7, 2006 - link


    NVIDIA promised that both of these items would be available to end users in the next 2 - 3 months. While they are definitely lagging behind ATI in H.264 decode acceleration, at least NVIDIA has finally provided us with a working demo of the technology and they have also committed to us that it will work on all GeForce 6 and 7 GPUs (AGP and PCIe).

    -Great News For AGP Users, I heard many claims that H.264 decoding wouldn't be possible, and is "broken" on the GeForce 6 series AGP cards. Good to hear from the horses mouth (owner of a 6600GT).

    BTW The article index is messed up, the correct pages do not appear, can someone confirm this?
  • s2kpacifist - Saturday, January 7, 2006 - link

    Need...OLED display...now... I hope they fix the problem with the life of the blue soon.
  • shabby - Saturday, January 7, 2006 - link

    Definetly good to hear, but its wierd that the broken cards can decode h.264 but cant accelerate wmv9.

    I really hope this hddvd/bluray shit gets worked out, i have no intention of buying players from both camps. Could of swore i saw a company come out with a player that read both formats some time ago.
  • Cygni - Saturday, January 7, 2006 - link

    h.264 is accelerated by simply "reprograming", if you will, the standard APU's and hardware on the card. No special stuff is needed. Theoretically, its possible with ANY modern GPU. Just gotta have the drivers to do it, assuming the cards got the juice to do it. The dead video decode engine on the early 6800 AGP cards was on the other hand a specially designed piece of hardware only for decode.
  • Nobody Else - Saturday, January 7, 2006 - link

    I believe that was Samsung that intends to come out eith a dual player.

    http://digital-lifestyles.info/display_page.asp?se...">Samsung Player

  • Aquila76 - Saturday, January 7, 2006 - link

    The index seems to be a page ahead (clicking on Page 16 brings up Page 17)

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