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  CeBIT 2004, Europe's largest IT show 
  Mar 26, 2004, 09:30am EST 
 

Motherboards and processors


By: Sander Sassen

This year CeBIT turned out to be a little disappointing, although the conference is huge in comparison to any other IT oriented exhibition or trade show we couldn’t really find any new or innovative products. This was clearly the case for the majority of add-on card manufactures. We’ve again spotted lots and of lots of odd colored, but still based on the same reference design, ATI and Nvidia graphics cards. Nice, if you’re trying to stick with a certain color scheme throughout you case’ interior, but hardly something to get excited about. Let’s just say that for every case modder theme, including fluffy orange with silver speckles, there’s now a motherboard and graphics card to match.

PGA-775 connector

PGA-775 connector detail

A look at the new PGA-775 connector and a close-up clearly showing the pins.

What was evident from visiting the booths of all reputable motherboard manufacturers is that if the amount of motherboards equipped with Intel’s new PGA-775 socket is a measure of how serious Intel is with following through with this new socket we’ll probably see it rather sooner than later. Many manufacturers however were also quick to comment that power requirements and heat dissipation were in a different class than the Pentium’s we’ve seen before Prescott, thus requiring much larger heatsinks. One of them correctly pointed out that the heaviest part of a pc would soon be the heatsink, rather than the case itself, an astute observation we might add.

Zalman passive case

Zalman passive case detail

The Zalman passive case, as the close-up shows everything is sinked to the side panels.

Zalman however has already tackled that problem, by simply transforming the entire case into a heatsink. Zalman’ solution has enough surface area to cool even the hottest Pentium 4, and by using heatpipes to sink the dissipated heat to the massive fine finned side panels it’ll do this quietly too. The major selling point of this Zalman product is the fact that everything, down to the power supply and videocard fitted into it’s AGP slot, will be cooled passively, there’s no fan or water pump to be found, just lots and lots of square inches of extruded aluminum. We think this is a nice solution that’ll rid us of +5000-rpm fans needed to cool Intel’s latest, and in winter it’ll be a welcome asset that doubles as a heater, to keep you, and if you’re using a +3GHz Prescott, your family as well, warm and comfy.



1. Motherboards and processors
2. Cars, cars and cars
3. Displays and graphics
4. Media standards and players
5. Summary

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