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CeBit Day 3 Coverage
Although I visited Hall 21 on Tuesday already, I must have been blindfolded! I know that I must have walked right past DFI and some others, so I have some catching up to do today! On display were a range of boards, of which I will be focusing on the enthusiast section, the LANParty boards. The whole display was focussed on Intel boards, except for the lonely one or two AMD boards, one of which was the LANParty 790FX-M2R. If you take a look at the picture, you will notice that there are only very small heatsinks on the board, indicating that it will run rather cool, which makes it very interesting for overclockers.
As the X48, 790i SLI and other chipsets have their official debut here at the CeBit, DFI was sure to have some LANParty boards ready. Starting on the NVIDIA side of things, we have the LANParty NF790i SLI-T3R, which will be the top Intel SLI board from DFI. There were three (!!!) different X48 boards on display as well, the LANParty X48-T2R, LANParty X48-T3R and the LANParty DK X48-T2R. If you take a look at the chipset on the LANParty X48-T2R, you’ll see that it looks very much like an Intel processor. The T3R features a wicked cooling system, which is again not only limited to the space inside the case.
There was also a LANParty DK P45-T2R and a LANParty DK X38-T2R on display, as well as a LANParty P45-T3R.
These guys were hiding right next to Foxconn, which I had covered on Tuesday. In my opinion, these guys definitely had the coolest piece of hardware on display from what I’ve seen at CeBit! A portable dual screen system called InterView, which is fully flexible, includes a 1.3 megapixel webcam, microphone and a headphone jack, but best of all, it can even be plugged into a laptop! Sadly, the rep couldn’t give me a release date yet, nor the approximate cost. Each of the 17” widescreen panels run at 1440x900 with an 8ms response time and a contrast ratio of 500:1. On the device itself there were two USB ports.
EVGA also showed a USB to DVI adapter, which supports resolutions up to 1680x1050 right now, but it is working on 1920x1200. The booth was running the above InterView and another screen with these adapters, all with one laptop.
Motherboards by EVGA have been increasingly popular amongst enthusiasts. At its booth this year, it showed a 790i (first picture) and a 780i board. Now listen to this, the 780i is called the EVGA 780i FTW, that’s not a joke! Sorry for the crappy image quality, but the lighting at the EVGA booth was terrible for photography.
Apart from the 8800GTs, 8800GTSs and the 9600GTs, EVGA was also showing an 8800GS. The GS is a slightly cut down version of the 8800GT, with 96 stream processors and a slightly slower core speed. According to the guy at the booth, the cards are relatively easy to overclock, reaching performance levels of the stock 9600GT.
Unfortunately, I was not allowed to take pictures of it, but EVGA also had a 9800GX2 at its booth, although it was in the back section, which most people don’t get to see. There was also a motherboard (790i I believe) equipped with two 9800GX2s, one of which was stripped down to its PCB, cooled by a single Innovatek watercooling block (EVGA and Innovatek were sharing a booth). This insight showed that the 9800GX2 is not one PCB with two chips on it, but that it is actually two separate PCBs, linked a little bit like the 7950GX2. The chips on the cards therefore face each other, which was different with the 7950GX2. This design is also the reason why the DVI ports are above each other.
Asus had a huge booth, which made a very confident showing. Ranging from notebooks to video cards, Asus had pretty much everything on display, including a Lamborghini Gallardo.
Asus had a separate booth just for its Eee PC, and for one laptop, this was a rather large booth. I am 1.95m (6’4”) tall, so I have rather large hands. For me, it was close to impossible to type properly on the miniature keyboard of the Eee PC. It is a really cool device, especially as the price point makes it interesting, however it is not made for large hands I’m afraid.
Most of the video cards displayed at the Asus booth were pretty much standard, 8800GTs, 9600GTs and so on, but Asus had two special cards. One 9600GT was equipped with an “Asus exclusive” Glaciator heatsink. The card is factory overclocked and is supposed to be 10% faster than a stock 9600GT. Next to this card, there was a passively cooled 9600GT with a massive heatsink.
Asus also had many motherboards on display, but I will be focusing on the models that are new and might not yet be available in the stores. The range of Intel P45 motherboards was large, going from the P5Q-V HDMI, past the P5QC to the P5Q-Deluxe. If that’s not enough P45 goodness for you, there is still the Maximus II Extreme to choose. Speaking of Extreme motherboards and the Asus Republic Of Gamers (ROG) series, there were a couple more on display. The Striker II Extreme, based on the 790i Ultra SLI chipset, had some massive heatsinks on it, but still offers the possibility of watercooling. Forget what I said about the heatsinks on the Striker, here comes the Rampage Formula, Asus’ flagship X48 motherboard! Across all of these motherboards, Asus included a chip called the “Energy Processing Unit,” which I believe is a similar feature to Gigabyte’s “Dynamic Energy Saver.” As you might have noticed, all of these boards are Intel based. Asus’ range of AMD boards on display was small at best, although the Crosshair II Formula definitely looks like a performer amongst the 780a SLI boards.