Print 40 comment(s) - last by murphyslabrat.. on Mar 8 at 7:40 PM

NVIDIA to launch next-generation Intel chipsets next month

With the next generation processors from Intel drawing near, chipset manufacturers have been hard at work designing products around Intel's CPU architecture.

NVIDIA's upcoming MCP7A motherboard Intel chipset is expected to launch this coming April along with the 45nm Intel Core 2 Duo E8300 and the 65nm Core 2 Quad price drops.

NVIDIA claims MCP7A includes a number of improvements over the last generation products including HDMI and Hybrid SLI capabilities.

MCP7A will be offered in 8 different SKUs, seven of them with onboard DirectX 10-based GPUs that will feature high-definition video processing at 1080p support and integrated HDCP on the higher-end MCP7A-GL and MCP7A-J. There is no word yet on how powerful the onboard graphics processors will be, however, they will all support Shader Model 4.0 and DirectX 10.

Other oddities include an MCP7A chipset that offer a workstation-class GPU from NVIDIA's Quadro line.

The MCP7A line will support a 1333 MHz front-side bus and 20 PCIe 2.0 lanes in a possible 16x1 + 4x1 setup. This would allow a single GPU expansion card to be used in conjunction with the GPUs in seven of these chipsets for a Hybrid SLI setup. The only two SLI boards, the MCP7A-SLI and MCP7A-GL, will feature 2 x8 PCIe 2.0 slots for dual expansion card capabilities.

Each of the chipsets with onboard GPUs will feature 2 analog and 2 digital display heads, with the notable exception of the high-end MCP7A-J which will feature 2 analog and 3 digital heads. Motherboards based on the MCP7A line will have the potential to support DVI/HDMI/Dual Port and RGB formats of video output, while the MCP7A-J chipset will also support LVDS.

Other standard features on all boards will include support for up to 6 SATA 3.0 GB/sec ports, up to 12 USB 2.0 ports, integrated 10/100/1000 Mb/sec LAN and RAID 0, 1, 0+1, and RAID 5 support on the SATA interface.

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needs more SATA
By thejez on 3/4/2008 12:29:29 PM , Rating: 1
only 6 SATA ports!? They should be up to 12 by now...

RE: needs more SATA
By AlphaVirus on 3/4/2008 12:37:47 PM , Rating: 2
You seriously would use 12? I barely use more than 2 lol.

RE: needs more SATA
By cochy on 3/4/2008 1:05:40 PM , Rating: 2
I have a file server currently with 4 drives. That's 4 SATA ports used with 2 more available. I'd like to have room to expand further, so 12 would be nice and I'd have purchased that.

RE: needs more SATA
By TomZ on 3/4/2008 1:17:01 PM , Rating: 5
What you need is called a "server board." :o)

I don't think that more than 6 SATA ports is necessary for a desktop board. Most people have 1-2 HDDs, 1 optical, and maybe one external drive - that's four max. - 6 is plenty.

I think the space and cost is best spent putting in more USB ports, which is what they did. USB is more versatile and is useful for more types of devices compared to SATA.

Also, let's not forget that it's very easy to add more SATA ports via PCI(e) expansion card(s).

RE: needs more SATA
By Xerio on 3/4/2008 1:27:47 PM , Rating: 2
The other thing is that hard drive capacity increases everyday (or it seems like it). Sure, 1TB drives a kinda expensive, but relative to what HDDs cost 5 years ago per GB, they are cheap.

RE: needs more SATA
By cochy on 3/4/2008 2:04:48 PM , Rating: 2
No I don't need a server board cause I don't need to blow away so much $ :P

I saw pictures of some up coming P45 mobos at AT and I believe I noticed an MSI with 8 SATA.

RE: needs more SATA
By cochy on 3/4/2008 2:07:47 PM , Rating: 2
lol but thats nothing new. My Gigabyte P35 has 8 SATA weee.

RE: needs more SATA
By murphyslabrat on 3/4/2008 3:07:21 PM , Rating: 2
Wait, what? You're saying that they want you to pay extra for mission-specific hardware?

RE: needs more SATA
By cochy on 3/4/2008 3:29:46 PM , Rating: 2
No I'm saying that I don't want to pay. I don't need the features of a server board (extra socket, FB-DIMMs etc.)

RE: needs more SATA
By rsasp on 3/4/2008 4:14:48 PM , Rating: 1
Then you are not running a real server.

RE: needs more SATA
By sirvent67 on 3/5/2008 4:29:37 AM , Rating: 2
That is BS. ANY pc can be a server, it doesnt have to have enterprise class hardware in it to funtion as a server. Maybe he doesnt need the extra sockets, ram capacity, and scsi. not to mention having to use more expensive ram.

What he has is merely a CHEAP server.

RE: needs more SATA
By jtemplin on 3/5/2008 9:47:00 PM , Rating: 2
Screw server boards anyway. I'd rather be able to use any speed ram I wish, have the luxury of overclocking and lose out on the 4 SATA ports you guys are talking about.

RE: needs more SATA
By murphyslabrat on 3/8/2008 7:40:24 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, if those four ports are seriously an issue, then get a cheap/not cheap controller card. You add a little more latency, but you'd be paying for those extra ports anyway.

RE: needs more SATA
By DigitalFreak on 3/4/2008 3:30:02 PM , Rating: 3
Or you could, *gasp*, buy a PCI-E SATA controller card. We don't need performance motherboard prices being driven even higher with more onboard junk.

RE: needs more SATA
By surt on 3/4/2008 3:06:10 PM , Rating: 2
With more people wanting to run 2 drives raid 0 for speed, and 5 drives for raid-5 safety, i'd say 8 sata ports would cover 99% of what home users want. 6 is just barely short of the mark for that scenario.

RE: needs more SATA
By TomZ on 3/4/2008 3:13:15 PM , Rating: 3
I don't think many people are wanting to run a 5-drive RAID5 array in their desktop machine. That's a pretty unusual use case.

And for those few who want to, the cost differential for a server board is obviously not a concern, if one is willing to invest in 5 drives.

RE: needs more SATA
By evident on 3/4/2008 3:34:15 PM , Rating: 2
don't forget optical drives, as IDE is now completely obsolete and not supported anymore. what a waste of $ i spent the last year on optical drives that were all IDE thinking it would last as long as parallel and serial ports on MB's.. . boy was i wrong

RE: needs more SATA
By xsilver on 3/4/2008 6:26:02 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that running raid is not your usual home user setup.
However there is also the possibility that some of your sata ports are blocked due to a long graphics card.
my 8800gt blocks definitely 1 and puts pressure on the cable for a second port.
That effectively means that I've only got 4 ports left, which are coincidentally all used up. (2hdds, + 2optical)

RE: needs more SATA
By Carter642 on 3/5/2008 9:22:24 AM , Rating: 3
I've got an asus board and it's got the sata ports at a right angle to the board face. This means that my 8800GTX goes right over the top of my sata heads and doesn't block any of them. I'm actually really surprised that more motherboard manufacturers haven't done that.

RE: needs more SATA
By Polynikes on 3/4/2008 3:54:41 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, I have two hard drives in a RAID 0 config and two others for storage (one filled up, so I got another) and that's all I'll need for a loooong time. That's not exactly a typical setup. 6 ports is plenty. I'd still have room for two optical drives or an optical drive and another hard drive.

RE: needs more SATA
By King of Heroes on 3/4/2008 1:27:07 PM , Rating: 2
Well, its certainly better than 4 SATA ports, which appears to be the standard amount for most mainstream boards nowadays. With 6 you can have 1 system drive, 3 storage drives (yay for RAID 5!), and 2 optical drives. Thats a damn nice spread to me.

RE: needs more SATA
By King of Heroes on 3/4/2008 1:38:56 PM , Rating: 2
Geh, apparently you can't edit posts, so I have to reply to myself...

Or, even better, ditch the extra optical and setup RAID 0 for the system drive(s). Either way, 6 ports is a very flexible amount.

By KeplersTwinkie on 3/4/2008 12:31:42 PM , Rating: 2
An interesting upgrade from my old 590i south/northbridge..... I really wonder how this will fair with its hybrid sli GPUS.

Wonder how much the MSRP is for each class of mobo.

Does this mean nvidia has lost faith in some of amd's shortcomings? Just wondering how improvements to the am2+ will go along with the am3 chipsets I hope to see in bulk soon.

RE: Finally
By eye smite on 3/4/2008 12:43:54 PM , Rating: 3
I imagine it will turn out very nice. All the nvidia products I've owned have always worked better than expected. Then, it's nvidia, they always produce good products.

RE: Finally
By Rike on 3/4/2008 2:14:58 PM , Rating: 2
Nvidia products are good sometimes. Nvidia products with short comings are too common for to win my unwavering support. After the Nvidia/Vista GPU driver issues of the past year, I'm feeling far more "wait and see" about Nvidia than I was in the past.

RE: Finally
By chizow on 3/4/2008 2:56:24 PM , Rating: 2
Hybrid SLI is going to be pretty useless for those planning to use a high-performing discrete GPU. There was an article on AT that basically said Hybrid SLI will be limited by the lowest performing part, which in this case would be the onboard GPUs. Really depends on what they put in the integrated but I'm not expecting much more than an integrated 8300-8500 or similar 9-series part.

The one *interesting* option though would be to offload PhysX processing to an integrated GPU now that NV owns Ageia and has stated they plan to use CUDA for future PhysX support. Still, requires games to support it, but that would be an excellent use for an integrated option.

Personally I'm interested in some of the HTPC possibilities with integrated 1080p capabilities and hopefully audio over HDMI.

RE: Finally
By drakanious on 3/4/2008 3:05:27 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that their standardization of integrated GPUs coupled with the fact that the Ageia SDK could run on them (who knows if Nvidia is actually going to let it) is incredibly appealing.

RE: Finally
By Blight AC on 3/4/2008 3:09:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, physics processing on the onboard GPU would be good, but Hybrid SLI isn't just about increased performance, it's also about the power savings by powering down the high performance GPU and using the onboard GPU when it's not needed.

Most of the time spent using my computer is gaming, but when I'm not using it for a bit, or just surfing the web, it'd be a small comfort to know I'm not using more power then is needed for desktop rendering.

RE: Finally
By FITCamaro on 3/5/2008 3:19:20 PM , Rating: 2
Laptops especially could make use of this. Have an onboard GPU for light 2D/3D duties such as just running Aero. Then when a game is started, have it switch on the higher power GPU. I know Alienware had a laptop like this where the GPU being used was controlled by a switch and you just had to reboot. I wish more manufacturers had laptops such as this.

RE: Finally
By Blight AC on 3/4/2008 3:06:06 PM , Rating: 2

My sentiments exactly. I've been waiting for the Intel Hybrid SLI boards since I first heard about them in July of last year. It's definitely the way I want to go for my next computer.

... course.. I still have to wait till April.. and even then, I'm also waiting for the new Intel Quad cores and to see more of the nVidia 9x00 series GPU's. Even if I don't decide to go with them, it'll mean a price drop for the current gen.

8 x 8
By AlvinCool on 3/4/2008 2:26:28 PM , Rating: 2
I see they are running an 8 x 8 PCIe SLI configuration. What, if any, performance drop is that compared to a full 16 x 16 SLI configuration?

RE: 8 x 8
By AlvinCool on 3/4/2008 2:27:51 PM , Rating: 2
My bad, I mean a 2 x 8 as compared to a 2 x 16

Too much red bull today

RE: 8 x 8
By Xerio on 3/4/2008 2:49:31 PM , Rating: 2
A little addicted?

(as I take a sip of my Mountain Dew...)

RE: 8 x 8
By chizow on 3/4/2008 2:59:23 PM , Rating: 2
There's quite a few reviews out there that show 8x8 doesn't have any significant impact on performance (650i vs 680i SLI reviews for instance) on current high-end graphics cards. There's no direct board for board comparisons, but if you compare x16 single card performance (nearly identical) then compare SLI performance they're also nearly identical. Maybe in the future with faster GPUs that require more bandwidth, but for now 2x8 is fine.

RE: 8 x 8
By Myrandex on 3/4/2008 3:34:38 PM , Rating: 2
What you guys forget is that this is PCIe 2.0, so that 2 x 8 here is like 2 x 16 in the past, so no problems here at all.

By Xerio on 3/4/2008 12:42:14 PM , Rating: 2
I have been looking for a good platform for an HTPC for a while now, and this looks like it could be it. The GeForce 7100/nForce 630i was looking pretty good, but it looks like I will be holding off for this.

By Lightning III on 3/4/2008 3:08:09 PM , Rating: 2
for HTPC AMD/ATI is the lower wattage (=less heat)alternative across the board.

the 780 igp is being reviewed right now.

The 780 IGP chipset with with built in uvd is the superior solution when it arrives.

The 690 amd is the current king of IGP although its been around for more than a year and at vista launch was the only aero caple IGP chipset.

The only area where the Nvidia chipsets win is if your dumb enough to game on IGP and it took the the much later to the market 7 series to do that

also less compatibility issues with the ATI tuners I like to run

I got a 3650 video card and 580x asus mobo on the way for my HTPC rig.

These comments are for Home Theater Personal Computer users yes Nvidia does have the hottest chipsets around too bad Heat is a very bad thing in a HTPC or SFF case.

By Myrandex on 3/4/2008 3:35:46 PM , Rating: 2
I've had a 780G board for two weeks ( is selling them) and they are really nice!

By hadphild on 3/4/2008 3:57:40 PM , Rating: 2
They need to include a ram accelerated raid controller onboard. If you could use 512MB of battery backup RAM then you will see Vista fly. With memory prices as they are and 64bit OSes allow you to address more memory than 4GB this would make me a very happy Geek

I'm not holding my breath
By kenyee on 3/4/2008 8:20:22 PM , Rating: 2
The MCP78 was supposed to be released wayyyyyyy back in December. The MCP78U ended up being so hot, it needed a fan, so no MB makers wanted to sell it :-)
The 4 video ports is interesting, but it should have been released today because they knew a month ago that AMD would release the RS780 today in a form you can buy...

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