Computex 2005 Day 1

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Hardware

ATI's R520 has made its second appearance in the past couple of weeks, this time behind not-so-closed doors at ATI's suite in the Hyatt hotel.

This time around however, the demo wasn't of a 3D game; rather, an even more unique application for ATI's new GPU - H.264 decoding.

The H.264 specification is particularly important as it will be the predominant encoding/decoding standard for both blu-ray and HD-DVD. Being able to accelerate H.264 encoding, decoding and transcoding will soon be the new focus of system performance.

CPU utilization without the GPU acceleration enabled was stated to be between 90% - 95%, but when GPU accelerated H.264 decode was enabled, the CPU utilization dropped to around 33%. We witnessed the GPU-accelerated playback first hand and were quite impressed.

Despite a handful of their partners showing off G70 behind closed doors, NVIDIA didn't really have much to talk about at the show.

NVIDIA did have a few C51G platforms running, labeled as "Next-Generation NVIDIA nForce MCP with GeForce GPU" motherboards.

Computex marked the official launch of the Athlon 64 X2 processor, but of course, we've all been very familiar with those processors for a while now. With dual core desktop processors being yesterday's news, the most impressive showing from AMD happened to center around servers.

In their recent tradition of being silent about things, Intel has quietly launched their mainstream 945 chipset. Intel had an absolutely massive wall full of 945 based motherboards at the show. It was by far the largest wall of motherboards of a single chipset present at the show.

The other unique thing for Intel platforms at the show seems to be pseudo-SLI for Intel 945/955 chipsets. Motherboard manufacturers are outfitting their Intel based motherboards with two PCI Express x16 slots; although, only one is electrically a x16, whereas the other is a x4. Of course, without NVIDIA driver support, you can't actually run in SLI mode on 945 motherboards.

Full Coverage with lots of yummy pics.

Extremetech has coverage and lots of varying pics as well here.