Computex 2005 coverage from Taiwan...
It's exactly one week today until we fly out to Taipei in Taiwan for our annual journey to Computex which is probably the most important and influential computer trade show on the calendar for everyone involved in the industry. We'll be on the show floor (and possibly on bar floors from time to time) posting coverage as it all happens along with our usual daily coverage articles looking at what the big companies are showing to the world.
We caught up with the main man from ATI in Taiwan yesterday afternoon here in Australia who is in charge of the Asian and Oceania regions. Naturally we'll meet with ATI several times during the week long Computex show to find out the latest but we couldn't resist in finding out the latest details on ATI's upcoming Multi VPU (or MVPU as it will be known) a little earlier. This is ATI's technology to compete with nVidia's SLI which allows you to link two cards together to increase your 3DMark score. We weren't given too many specific details as the big boss, Dave Orton (ATI CEO), will be demonstrating and providing media with details about MVPU on Day 3 of Computex, which is June 2 for those unaware. This is when you'll be able to see the first photos of the working product which ATI say should be ready for the store shelves around late June.
We were given some tasty information yesterday - such as with ATI MVPU you'll have a master and slave graphics cards. The master will be based around the upcoming R520 series (which we were told will have 512MB and 24 pixel pipeline processing) and will be required to be the master card. The master card will work with any X800, X800XL, X850XT and X850XT graphics card - that's right, you don't need two identical graphics cards like nVidia's SLI. ATI are pushing the whole "flexibility" thing with MVPU and so far from what they've told us, it sounds like they are heading down the right path. There will be other "master cards" available based on cut down versions of the R520 but specific details on this are sketchy still at this stage. We'll confirm more details in Taiwan.
(Update - From what we've heard, Cross Fire looks to be the name of MVPU)
Originally ATI intended for there to be no bridging or linking devices to connect both cards through chipset technology but they've scrapped this idea and instead they'll use a DVI (or something along these lines) cable to connect both cards, kinda like linking two 3DFX Voodoo cards back in the day. ATI will also announce two new chipsets at Computex which work with MVPU, one for Intel and one for AMD. Again, ATI were tight-lipped on any chipset details. We were also told that you'll be able to have up to five monitors on one system through the use of the onboard graphics. We're not sure who would really have use for five monitors but they did it in Sword Fish and that was cool so they probably can't go wrong.
On R520, ATI at this stage don't intend on making any announcements at the show but we expect to see at least something about it. nVidia will also be showing their latest GPU's at the show behind closed doors to us and other media, apparently being called GeForce 7800GTX (code-named G70). We'll tell you as much about this GPU as possible next week consider we'll need to sign a piece of paper before we are allowed in the top secret room.
ATI missed out on some money due to nVidia's SLI and they plan on hitting back at nVidia "We'll be anywhere there is a Pixel" Corp with a design which to us so far seems better in terms of setup and flexibility... more coming from Taiwan, so stay tuned.