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