We’ve seen an abundance of Springdale and Canterwood motherboards, all offering more or less the same features and a wide variety of GeForce FX and Radeon 9800 Pro graphics cards with different color schemes etc, but not really offering anything new over the competing products. Only Tyan offered a number of ATI graphics cards with thermal monitoring software that works across all popular platforms to reduce the rpm of the heatsink fan, a nice additional feature, but nothing too exciting. There was also a large selection of Mini-PC’s to be found, of which Shuttle seems to be the most popular brand and they had a large booth with two immense walls filled with different color XPCs. Judging by the sheer number of Mini-PCs we saw from different manufacturers it is clear that Mini-PCs are extremely popular.
Fig 7. A whole wall of Shuttle XPCs in different colors, suspended in a frame and kept in place by steel cables, an interesting display for sure.
Fig 8. MSI also had a Mini-PC on display that looked more like a stereo set than anything else and offered DVD and home theatre capabilities.
Asus had a large booth were they had a large number of new products on display, and unlike most of the other manufacturers they had most of their products up and running around the booth. They had their new P4C800, Canterwood, motherboard up and running with a Chip-Con Prometeia cooling system which enabled the Pentium 4 processor to be clocked up to a 4.1GHz clockspeed. They also had demo systems of various configurations, all equipped with a GeForce FX graphics card and running a popular racing simulation game.
Fig 9. The Asus P4C800 motherboard running a Pentium 4 processor and thermally accelerated to 4.1GHz with a Prometeia cooling system.
Fig 10. One of the demo systems, running a P4C800 motherboard, a GeForce FX video card, Corsair XMS memory and a 3.06GHz Pentium 4.
What was also clear is the fact that flatscreen monitors have quickly replaced the traditional CRT monitors. We’ve seen a wide variety of plasma, TFT and rear projection displays. The biggest TFT display we saw at the show was at the Samsung booth, they had a TFT LCD TV with no less than a 54" diagonal. Obviously this display offered HDTV resolution but we weren’t able to find a price for it, although I’m sure it is well beyond most people’s budgets anyway.
Fig 11. The largest TFT display we’ve seen during the show, made by Samsung and offering an impressive 54” diagonal and HDTV resolution.
Fig 12. A whole wall of flat panel displays, TVs and flat panel displays such as these were found all over the showfloor, we’ve seen very little CRTs.
Fig 13. A product demo from Aopen, again featuring a large flat panel display, most booths had a similar setup where people could testdrive their products.
Most of the monitor manufacturers had a hard time pitching their products as there’s only a few TFT display manufacturers in the world, so the added value does not come from the display quality, as similar priced models from various manufacturers look the same, but rather from the addition of new features, such as extra DVI connectors, USB connectivity and some even added a base that rotates horizontally so you can chose between portrait and landscape.
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