Introducing "Tritium": NVIDIA's System-Wide Component Platform
May 10, 2006 9:00 PM
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NVIDIA has plans for the ultimate overclocker's system - your next motherboard may be an overclocking monster
Several weeks ago,
) published some preliminary details on the NVIDIA
platform. NVIDIA's vision is to combine several different components, from memory to video cards to motherboards, all under the
certification. Motherboards, for example, will undergo a strict set of criteria that, if satisfied, will receive special certification from NVIDIA said to "maximize overall system performance."
For example, motherboards will be required to enable certain voltages for maximum memory tweaking. The latest specification for motherboard manufacturers insists there be 25mV granularity on everything from CPU core voltage to memory VDDIO. An abbreviated list of the motherboard voltages is as follows, though we have been told NVIDIA has slightly tightened the specifications within the last few weeks:
CPU (AMD AM2 Socket)
V_Core: 0.775V to 2.2V
VDDIO: 1.8V to 2.5V
VTT: 0.9V to 1.25V
V_Core: 1.2V to 1.45V
V_PEX: 1.5V to 1.7V
V_HT: 1.2V to 1.5V
V_Core: 1.5V to 1.7V
V_PEX: 1.5V to 1.7V
V_HT: 1.2V to 1.5V
Furthermore, all motherboards expecting to be
certified must meet or exceed certain frequency requirements. These include but are not limited to:
CPU memory interface: DDR2 interface running at 800MHz
CPU C51XE 16 x 16 HyperTransport interface: 1.5GHz
C51XE x16 PCI Express link: 150MHz
C51XE/MCP55XE 16 x 16 HyperTransport interface: 1.5GHz
MCP55XE x16 PCI Express link: 150MHz reference clock
Features such as
) will be optimized to run on these
platforms. Of course, many of these features are useless without BIOS support. The motherboard BIOS options we've heard thus far include everythign from 425MHz FSB adjustments (in 1MHz increments) to 1.0 to 4.5 CAS Latency control (in 0.5 increments). Overvoltage and individual frequency controls are also required -- and virtually every frequency control we saw was in 1MHz increments. All SBIOS hooks must be inserted so that the board will work with NVIDIA's nTune software.
Memory providers are also included in the
umbrella. Certain memory manufacturers are already working on SPD timings and extensions designed for
certified motherboards. Memory will also be required to work at certain voltages and timings, though obviously not as aggressive as the motherboards can fully support via the BIOS.
Video card manufacturers will complete the trifecta with BIOS. Cards will be required to comply with 1MHz over/underclock increments though again not as aggressive as the motherboard BIOS can support. Again, all of these functions must also be supported by NVIDIA's nTune software.
General specifications must be met by all components to meet the Tritium certification as well. The motherboard x16 PCIe slots must be spaced apart enough to support Quad SLI, and all components must operate at or below temperatures thresholds set by NVIDIA documentation. The system must also contain IEEE 1394b support, two PCI 2.3 interfaces, dual Gigabit Ethernet over the NVIDIA PHY and 8 channel HDA jacks in the back. Even the power supply must be rated to comply with the 150W video card specification set forth by NVIDIA for SLI.
NVIDIA certainly has an aspiring project on its hands, raising the bar quite a bit from what overclockers have traditionally considered sacred on only a few motherboards.
The important thing to recognize is that when all of the right components are in place, the system will overclock itself,
though one can still tweak things manually. We expect to see announcements from NVIDIA and some of the
partners within the next few weeks about specific compliance, but only a few partners will have components at the AM2 launch. However, don't get too comfortable with the name
. NVIDIA has not registered it with the USPTO.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
5/11/2006 10:27:31 AM
Now correct me if I'm wrong, but overclocking in the traditional sense of the word means running something outside its specifications to squeeze out some extra performance.
Now, nvidia made specifications so these components will run at these speeds without problems within warranty (I assume).
I dont know why, but somehow I feel, something went wrong here. Besides the opportunity for nvidia to get a share of the wealth the well known enthusiast products have generated (by selling certificates and a flashy "Tritium" sticker to other manufacturers), not much will change for the end user. Well, maybe it'll be easier to get the same effect without knowing a whole lot about the topic... but why bother if you do?
5/11/2006 1:04:05 PM
Remember the first year of SLI boards?
This set should be + $50-200 more then the same board for the same price.
Since the power of the over clock will depend on the board, NVIDIA will probably just under clock all their boards a little. That way they make much more money selling motherboards, 2 GPUs, and power supplies that have to all be used together to get the best deal. This way they can have the fame as being the "best" while charging twice as much to get it.
You have to admit, they really know how to extort the "enthusiast."
"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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