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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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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.

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