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NVIDIA is ready to deliver on last week's promise

When we think of notebook computers which use Intel Pentium Dual Core, Core 2 Solo, or Core 2 Duo processors, the systems are usually paired with an Intel Northbridge and Southbridge. Intel hopes to carry on this tradition with its Centrino 2 platform which is slated to launch during the summer.

NVIDIA, however, has plans of its own when it comes to mobile platforms for Intel-based notebooks. NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang recently called Intel out on its integrated desktop/mobile graphics performance. Huang even went so far as to say that NVIDIA would "open a can of whoop ass" when it comes to its upcoming products.

It appears that NVIDIA's first few cans of "whoop ass" are just now leaving the factory and they are labeled MCP79. MCP79 is a new single-chip integrated chipset for "small form factor" notebooks according to NVIDIA. Each variant of MCP79 incorporates a DX10-capable GeForce graphics controller supporting Shader Model 4.0, NVIDIA's VP3 video processor, and support for Hybrid Power/Hybrid SLI/Hybrid Performance.

In addition, MCP79 features a single-channel TMDS interface for HDMI 1.2, support for a 1066 MHz FSB, 800 MHz DDR2, 1333 MHz DDR3 memory support, 3 Gbps SATA/eSATA, NVIDIA DriveCache (similar to Intel Turbo Memory), an NVIDIA GbE controller, High Definition Audio, TPM 1.2, and up to 20 PCIe 2.0 lanes.

NVIDIA has plans for six members of the MCP79 family. On the low-end, the MCP79ML lacks such features as RAID 0/1, PCIe x16, DisplayCache, and DriveCache. The MCP79GLM will feature a Quadro-based graphics controller instead of GeForce and the MCP79-SLI will support NVIDIA SLI as its name implies. Other members of the family include the MCP79MH, MCP79MX, and MCP79MVL.

NVIDIA's MCP79 family will be going toe-to-toe with Intel's Centrino 2 platform (Montevina) in June. Montevina Northbridges will include the integrated GM45/GM47 and the discrete PM45. The integrated Northbridges will incorporate Intel's new X4500 HD graphics processor (DX10, HDMI, DisplayPort) which NVIDIA doesn't think too highly of at this point in time. Like NVIDIA's MCP79, Centrino 2 chipset will support DDR2/DDR3 memory and support FSB's up to 1066MHz.

Since the Centrino platform won't be a single-chip solution like NVIDIA's offering, the GM45/GM47 and PM45 will be paired with either the ICH9M or ICH9-M Enhanced Southbridge.

It's shaping up to be an interesting summer with NVIDIA and Intel battling it out in the notebook platform sector. If flash manufacturers could expedite their downward trend for solid-state drives, the outlook would be even better for consumers.

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RE: Will it support HD audio over HDMI?
By omnicronx on 4/24/2008 10:38:58 AM , Rating: 2
Optionally, HDMI can carry a single such stream at sample rates up to 192KHz or from two to four such streams (3 to 8 audio channels) at sample rates up to 96KHz.
I think you answered you own question :) The max sample rate you will see on any LPCM track is 96hz/24bit. LPCM only supports 4 streams up to 192khz, but 3-8 at sample rates of 96khz. Where the confusion lies is both TrueHD and DTS-MA support up to 192khz/24 bit sound. The problem is, not many receivers support that sample rate, and the ones that do will probably remain out the pricerange of most people, even in the mid range.

No movie, whether it be DTS-MA, True-HD or LPCM has had a track that has exceeded 5Mbps(so no studio has had a multichannel 192khz track). Chances are, Studios are not going to bump up the sample rate either, as it is not worth the extra space needed for the few audiophiles that will be able to take advantage. To tell you the truth, many TrueHD titles are only 48khz/16bit, right now 48/24 seems to be the standard, I have not seen any lossless 96/24 tracks(not that they do not exist, I just do not own/havnt personally found any)

By omnicronx on 4/24/2008 11:03:42 AM , Rating: 2
No movie, whether it be DTS-MA, True-HD or LPCM has had a track that has exceeded 5Mbps(so no studio has had a multichannel 192khz track).
I would also like to note, that right now studio masters are not going to be recorded in 192khz/24, in fact most are probably 48/24 and maybe 96/24. 96/24 at the moment is mostly reserved for studio audio recordings, thats about it.

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