Another day at the showfloor and many new interesting things to report on. Although Intel hasn’t officially launched their new Pentium 4 chipsets and socket yet, motherboards featuring both were an abundance and many booths had systems up and running which fully utilized the performance of these new parts. Obviously most of these motherboard offered similar features more or less determined by the chipset used, which was either the 925 or 915. The 925 uses DDR2 memory exclusively, whereas the 915, the enthusiast part, is able to take full advantage of both DDR and DDR2 memory. Abit for example had a system up and running featuring a PCIE Radeon X800 XT and 1GB of Kingston DDR2 memory running at 533MHz at 4-4-4-8 timings.
Abit 925x motherboard and Kingston DDR2 memory featured at the Abit booth.
Another motherboard that we came across but couldn’t find live demos of was Asrock’s K8 Combo, featuring both a 939-pin and 754-pin socket. Obviously you cannot run two processors simultaneously as we were quickly explained by the people in the SiS booth, but you can choose which processor you want to use. The selection between either processor is made by four banks of jumpers and both processors have their own two, DDR400 compatible, memory slots. The chipset used is SiS 755 which features both PCIE x1 and AGP support. Ali/Uli was the only company we’ve seen thus far that had a Pentium 4 motherboard on display with both an AGP and PCIE x16 connector.
Asrock's dual socket K8 and ALi/ULi's Pentium 4 AGP/PCIE motherboards.
We also stopped by Abit’s headquarters to see how they test their new products and to get a tour of their facility. What we saw clearly showed that Abit is serious about quality control, with many people working in the quality control department making sure Abit’s products offer a reliable solution. We’ve seen many debug stations where engineers were testing motherboard compatibility with a wide variety of peripherals, such as power supplies, video cards and memory. Abit also has a fully magnetically shielded EMC chamber where they take EMC measurements of their products, to ensure electromagnetic compatibility.
Abit's testing facilities at the Abit headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan.
Last but not least today we also took the time to explore the various halls of the show a little further as yesterday was more or less filled with meetings and we didn’t have much time to look for new and interesting products on display. We’ll have more coverage of the products we came across in tomorrow’s update as we’ll follow up with many of the manufacturers of these products to get more information on features, performance, price and availability.