Protac is an Australian importer/wholesaler of computer goods. They also happen to be a subsidiary of PC Chips, a not so well known motherboard manufacturer that caters for the OEM market rather than the enthusiast market, which is why you don't see their boards reviewed here. Protac had a large stand this year with various products ranging from motherboards, to video cards, to DVD-ROMs.
In the video card area of their stand, Protac had a Chaintech GeForce4 MX440 on display, as well as two budget video cards from SiS, the 305 and the 315. These SiS cards are great for the non-gamer who just needs a simple, cheap video card, but as various media reviews have pointed out, they are definately not suited to nor directed at the gamer. It's unfortunate that the GeForce4 Ti cards couldn't be obtained for the show, but Protac stated they were expected them to arrive within the next few weeks.
Protac were also displaying a few ECS mainboards at their stand. The first was the P4S5A, a Pentium 4 motherboard based on the SiS645 chipset that supports DDR333 memory. The second was the P4VMM2, which is another Pentium 4 motherboard but this time based on the VIA P4M266 chipset. The P4VMM2 is a MicroATX board that is directed at the integrated market, and thus features an onboard Savage 4 graphics accelerator, onboard AC'97 audio codec and onboard LAN. The third ECS board on display was the K7S5A, which is a SocketA board that is based on the SiS735 chipset. This board is rather old, however, it is still often purchased because it features great performance at a low price and has both DDR and regular SDRAM memory slots.
Another thing that caught my eye at the Protac stand were RICOH's DVD+RW and CD+RW drives. Their new MP5120A DVD+RW drive features a 2.4x write speed (equivalent to 22x on CD drives) and an 8x read speed (equivalent to 32x on CD drives). A DVD can hold 4.7GB of data, compared to the 700MB capacity of most CD-R discs. Who said that it was not possible to backup your whole hard drive onto disks?
RICOH's soon to be released MP7320A CD+RW drive features 40x read, 32x write and 10x rewrite. The drive also features RICOH's JustLink technology to prevent buffer-under-runs. With such high speed CD-RW drives hitting the market, it is possible to write a whole 700MB CD-R in a matter of minutes.
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