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Computex 2006 - Day 2 and 3 live coverage from the floor

Our massive Day 2 and 3 coverage is online. We check out many companies and see lots of good stuff on the show floor!
Published Wed, Jun 7 2006 11:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Fri, Sep 18 2020 10:50 PM CDT
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HUGE Day 2 and 3 live coverage

On Wednesday during the Computex Taipei 2006 computer trade show we didn't get a chance to post our Day 2 coverage - things were just too crazy and time got away from us quickly.

We've made a come back on Day 3 with a single article covering everything we saw from the show floor over the past two days - and we saw a LOT and plenty of interesting stuff at that!

Today we are covering topics such as how ASUS managed to get GeForce 7950GX2 working in Quad SLI mode, extreme CPU overclocking at the ABIT booth up to 5.6GHz, dual GPU graphics cards from GeCube and ASUS, live video footage benchmarking of Conroe and AM2 processors at Intel's press conference and much much more.

We're got a lot of exciting coverage dished up for you today (16MB of imagery in total) and it's time like this we really enjoy running a computer website and being a real geek from time to time. Especially on Day 3 at Computex we started to see many more interesting products besides just motherboards which were starting to get a little more - a little savior from the slightest touch of boredom as the rain continues to bucket down here in Taipei.

Let's kick on and check out what we've seen at Computex 2006 so far!

ASUS show Quad SLI PC, but how?

ASUS show off Quad SLI PC, but how?

Today whilst walking around the show ground we noticed that ASUS had a Quad SLI system setup using two GeForce 7950GX2 graphics cards or a total of four GPU's to avoid any confusion. The motherboard being used was a M2N32-SLI Deluxe with AMD Athlon FX-62 processor.

Without being confronted by ASUS staff, we managed to get into the nVidia control panel to check out how it was being done, since we had many issues in our labs trying to get Quad SLI setup and working properly.

It turns out ASUS were using ForceWare driver version 91.28 while review websites were only given 91.29 for their testing, which apparently doesn't support Quad SLI or at least stops it from working. So it turns out 91.28 is the "special Quad SLI driver" all the Taiwanese folk have been talking about during Computex this week.

We would have liked to run a benchmark but unfortunately there was no benchmark software installed on the PC at the time.

ECS have Conroe RD600 motherboard

ECS have Conroe ATI Radeon RD600 motherboard on display

After checking out a bunch of cool new Intel "Viiv" HTPC's at the ECS suite at the NY NY building, we quickly walked to their motherboard area where we discovered an upcoming ATI RD600 motherboard along with SB600 Southbridge which is designed for Conroe processors.

ATI's RD600 chipset uses similar technology to nVidia's nForce 590 SLI chipset but they are a little behind with their release. Interestingly a chap from ECS mentioned to us that the system wasn't completely stable yet, so we weren't allowed to benchmark even though all the favorites were installed on the system.

ECS kept trying to run the ATI "Toy Shop" 3D demo on the machine but it kept crashing back to Windows shortly after with an error saying, "not good". Since the board is a reference design from ATI, this has nothing to do with ECS but it makes it seem pretty clear that ATI is still some time off releasing their latest chipset for Conroe. We've heard dates like August or September but we are not sure.

ASUS reveals new concept enthusiast motherboard

ASUS reveals new concept enthusiast motherboard

While checking out the ASUS Quad SLI PC like we saw on the previous pages, we also noticed that ASUS was showing new concept designs for upcoming enthusiast gamer motherboards.

For starters, the motherboard being shown was complete silent - no fans here. Everything is cooled with a heatpipe design and presumably the CPU cooler provides enough air flow for the design to operate as it should.

You have plenty of expansion possibilities with a total of 7 slots. You've got two PCI Express 16x slots for SLI or Crossfire, 3 regular PCI slots, a single PCI Express 1x slot and 8x slot. There are 6 onboard SATA ports and a single e.SATA port along with digital audio output. No onboard HDMI yet but you do get a Firewire port.

And here is another concept motherboard from ASUS which we saw on the show floor.

It is just shouting out, "Overclock me!"

Dual GPU Graphics Cards make an appearance

Dual GPU Graphics Cards make an appearance

Quite a few companies such as ASUS and GeCube are showing off some Dual GPU graphics cards this year at Computex.

First up our friends at GeCube were showing off their dual Radeon X1600XT graphics card which comes with 512MB DDR-3 memory onboard - and doesn't take up two slots inside your case. Not only does the card with HDTV output but also four DVI ports. GeCube are also claiming the card is Crossfire ready meaning if you have the money to buy two of these cards (they shouldn't be too expensive), you'll technically be running Quad Crossfire or a total of four GPU.

GeCube were not entirely sure when the card would be shipping apart from saying it would be ready "soon".

Next up ASUS makes another appearance in our coverage with a look at their dual X1600XT.

ASUS take a slightly different approach to their card than GeCube. For instance, ASUS supply a separate power supply for the card which they claim improves stability. Instead of providing quad DVI ports like GeCube, ASUS just provide two VGA and two DVI.

Also something to take notice of is the fact that the ASUS card takes up two slots whereas the GeCube card only uses one.

Insane CPU overclocking with ABIT

Insane CPU overclocking with ABIT

This year ABIT are sending the message that they are back and letting people know that they should be ready for the revival of the company and the next generation of products to come from the Taiwanese company. ABIT has also used Computex to officially launch their new logo which will help propel the company into the future.

Over the past two years ABIT had financial issues and things weren't looking good. At one stage it looked possible the company would sink and be gone forever. Although earlier this year ABIT announced USI (large shipping company) had purchased the company. Since then, things have been constantly changing at the ABIT HQ here in Taiwan but it looks like everything is back on track for ABIT - from an outsider prospective, it really does look like ABIT is deadly serious about getting back to the point they were at before things started going bad and even moving on further to other products besides just motherboards - such as surround sound speaker systems and so on.

ABIT were showing off a whole range of new products but mostly just motherboards for AM2 and Conroe. For starters, we were shown the AW9D MAX which is the company's most high-end 975X chipset based motherboard for Conroe. The sample we were shown isn't quite ready yet - for example, some of the colors will be changed but it gives you a good idea about what to expect.

Next up we saw what ABIT is claiming to be the first ever motherboard in the world to have a HDMI port onboard. So far at Computex we haven't see anything like this, so the claims seem to hold true for now. The motherboard we're talking about is the IL-80MV mobile on desktop part which supports Core Duo mobile processors and is fully Intel "Viiv" certified.

For us, by far the most exciting happening at the ABIT booth was our VapoChill overclocking experiment.

We played around with the system for around 20 minutes with ABIT and managed to overclock the Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955 (3.46GHz) to an amazing 5.6GHz using ABIT's OC Guru Windows overclocking and monitoring software - that is more than 2GHz over the default clock speed!

Unfortunately the system crashed and reset after we tired running a benchmark with Super PI - but we took the FSB down to 270MHz (270 x 20 = 5400MHz) and everything was rock solid. The processor voltage was 1.6875 volts and the chipset voltage was 2.00 volts with the DDR voltage also at 2.00 volts with the CPU being cooled by the VapoChill unit at -34c.

As like every year at Computex, we had fun at the ABIT booth and it was a nice atmosphere to take a break from the busyness of the show for a while and enjoy some real hardcore overclocking - what we know and love from our friends at ABIT - previously, present and hopefully in the future.

Intel performs live benchmarks of Conroe and AM2

Intel performs live benchmarks of Conroe and AM2

Yesterday at Computex we attended the Intel press conference along with just about every other man and his dog here in Taipei.

At their press conference at the top of Taipei 101 building on the 84th floor, Intel talked about a lot of things - the main subject was the new 965 series of chipsets for Conroe but also new enterprise products were discussed along with the Viiv home entertainment PC platform.

The one thing we want to focus on was the live benchmark which Intel performed comparing a Conroe Core 2 Duo (E6700) running at 2.66GHz against an overclocked AMD Athlon FX-60 running at a higher 2.8GHz clock speed. We weren't told any other system specifications but Intel ran an office application benchmark and the Conroe killed the FX-60, considerably. Since there was a lot of excitement at the press conference about a live benchmark, we quickly pulled out the video camera and recorded some live footage of the event. After all, it's quite rare to see Intel mention AMD at their press conference so many times - we think they must be very confident in their future.

We have uploaded two short videos live from the press conference which you can download below:

- computex06_intelvsamd01.avi - AMD FX-60 benchmarking (43.6MB)
- computex06_intelvsamd02.avi - Intel Conroe benchmarking (30.5MB)

ABIT shows AM2 board using nForce4 chipset

ABIT shows AM2 board using nForce4 chipset

Also while we were at the ABIT booth on Day 2, we were told about their KN9 motherboard. While at first sight nothing overly impressive is noticeable but if you take a close look at the specifications, you'll notice that this AM2 processor supported motherboard is using the older nVidia nForce4 chipset.

nVidia lead everyone to believe that you would need a newer nForce 5 series chipset to operate the new AM2 processor. Although if you consider the facts, the AM2 has its new DDR-2 memory controller on the processor itself (just like the previous batch of AMD CPU which had the DDR controller in the same place), so it was only a matter of time until Taiwanese engineers managed to figure out a trick around it - ABIT was the first to do it.

This is good news for people who want to upgrade to AM2 as the KN9 will cost less than other boards, because it is using the cheaper nForce4 series chipset.

OCZ DDR-2 PC8000 with 4-4-4-15 timings

OCZ shows DDR-2 PC8000 with 4-4-4-15 timings

During the show we bumped into Alex from OCZ Technology and he showed us some of their new RAM which is yet to be announced.

The new memory from OCZ is able to operate at 1000MHz DDR with very aggressive timings of 4-4-4-15. We look forward to getting some of this RAM into our labs for testing; after all it's the tightest timings we have seen from memory which operates at such a high frequency.

ThermalTake goes crazy at Computex

ThermalTake goes crazy at Computex

After having lunch with the friendly and always happy and cheerful Annie Wu from ThermalTake, we walked up to their suite in the Grand Hyatt and had a look at some of their new products. During our lunch meeting, Annie told me ThermalTake had a lot of new products but she didn't give me the impression they had THAT many new products to show to the world here at Computex.

Where do we start? The highlight product from ThermalTake is their Mozart TX case. It ain't any normal computer case, mind you - for starters, it's capable of holding two complete computers inside. One full size ATX or BTX motherboard and one mini-ITX size motherboard.

ThermalTake are promoting the Mozart TX case a HTPC system, even though it's the biggest case we've ever seen. Upon walking into the ThermalTake suite, I quickly asked, "What the heck is that?" This is the type of case you buy if you want one of the funkiest innovations we've seen so far this year at Computex 2006.

You can use this case in a number of different situations such as playing a game on the full-size motherboard and watching TV or a DVD movie on the mini-ITX motherboard. It's perfect for people with a dual monitor setup or if your family has issues with whose turn it is to use the computer. The options of usage for a case like this are endless and only your imagination is your limitation.

Besides hooking up another monitor to the system, ThermalTake will also be selling a world-first drive bay touch screen LCD which can be hooked up to the mini-ITX system inside the case.

Next up from ThermalTake is their new range of "Tough Power" power supplies. Quite quickly we noticed at 1200-watt capable power supply and straight away started digging for information on why such a large amount of wattage would be required.

We ended up finding out through some good guess work that ThermalTake are working closely with nVidia (G80) and ATI (R600) on their range of upcoming graphics cards, which will most likely consume up to 300 watts each - just for the graphics card. Add a second card in for SLI or Crossfire and you're graphics cards alone are chewing up around 600 watts of power, according to certain sources around Computex this week.

Without mentioning any names, we also discovered that ATI's next upcoming graphics card will come out with a water block. We're not sure if this is as standard but we doubt that because it would make the price of this graphics card more expensive because you also have to buy the water cooling gear to go along with it. While this is a guess, it would seem logical that ATI may offer a separate "enthusiast" version which comes pre-installed with a water block and then you add the rest of the parts yourself.

In any case, ThermalTake are ready for the next generation of graphics cards. They have the "Big Water" all ready to go for when these new cards come out. It's a pre-assembled enclosed water cooling package - all you need to do is connect the hoses and add some distilled water, and then you're good to go.

And while we're on the subject of GPU cooling, ThermalTake were also showing their GPU water blocks which not only cool the CPU but the memory as well. ThermalTake have versions for both ATI and nVidia graphics cards.

Finally from ThermalTake (and we've only had time to cover about half of what we were shown at their suite), we have their "LAN Box" case. These new computer cases from ThermalTake are designed for LAN gamers (no surprises there) and are able to fit full-size ATX or BTX motherboards and desktop style parts.

For example, ThermalTake had a couple LAN Box systems setup. Both were using 700 watt power supplies and the latest graphics cards from nVidia and ATI (GeForce 7900GTX and X1900XTX respectively).

The LAN Box case is quite stylish and yet another intelligent idea from ThermalTake.

Other cool stuff

Other cool stuff around the show

We're going to end our Day 2 and 3 coverage at Computex trade show with some photos of cool hardware which we saw while walking around the show floor, from companies such as Foxconn, DFI, Shuttle and ECS.

More tomorrow from Hall 1, 3 and 4 of Computex 2006! Tomorrow we've setup some exclusive benchmarks but you'll just have to wait till then for that.


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Cameron founded TweakTown in 1999 after it originally started off as his personal homepage. Cameron was once, many years ago, the only person at TweakTown producing content, but nowadays, he spends his time ensuring TweakTown operates at its best in his senior management role.

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