Rumors from Computex
I thought it might be interesting to hear about the experience at Computex to the latest and greatest in the computer industry and what we can expect to see:
"Some of our first NVIDIA slides with G80 information was revealed. It's much too early to speculate about specifics of G80, but several vendors who have been reliable in the past have said that G80 is a dual-core GPU with 48 pixels-per-cycle per core. Given that the 90nm G71 is based on a design with a mere 24 pixels-per-cycle core, it's hard to grasp. The NVIDIA roadmap we've seen stretches into Q4'06, and does not have G80 on the map yet. That's not to say G80 is not a 2006 component, but it's not on the roadmap yet as such.
Details of R600 were almost non-existent at Computex, even in rumor form. We got our first look at a few slides that seemed to show R600 uses GDDR4, but this seems sort of a given considering vendors are already considering using GDDR4 on the R580 core. As with G80, it's probably worth stressing that the ATI roadmap extends into Q4'06 and does not mention anything of R600.
The talk on everyone's tongue during Computex was the ATI-AMD prospective merger in speculation. Conroe and AM2 also got their fair share of praises and slams accordingly. Controversy still surrounds benchmarks of Conroe and Woodcrest, though the benchmarks at this time are starting to pan out in Conroe's favor. However, the motherboards are still fairly immature and so far as I can tell no one has really been able to push the envelope with Conroe or Revision F outside of a few limited scenarios.
For all those AGEIA fans out there. there are good news and bad news. The good news is that PCIe versions of PhysX are on the way this year. ASUS and BFG are the sole hardware providers in the US right now, but other tier 1 manufacturers have already confirmed to me that the exclusivity of ASUS and BFG will expire before the end of the year. Now the bad news: it's still going to cost $280. Engineers at all of the AGEIA partners seemed to hint that the PCI version of the PhysX card will come down in price at the time of the PCIe launch, but the results are conflicting as to whether or not AGEIA will adopt a new ASIC.
Just to wrap up, the talk in regards to HDCP was a hit. The showroom floor couldn't stop talking about it. HDMI made a fairly strong appearance during the vendor showcases, which is great. Almost every vendor is incorporating HDMI-to-DVI adaptors in with the HDMI-capable video cards at almost no additional cost. This as a great move as the average RadioShack still charges $30+ for an adaptor. The thing that puzzled me though was the number of HDMI-ready cards on the show floor that didn't support HDCP. Granted, the HDCP certification is not cheap (Fudo claims its $15,000 -- which is true if you ship more than 10,000 units a year)."
*Fact: Microsoft Window's Blue Screen of Death vs Computerforums.org's White Screen of Death. Which is worse?