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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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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.

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