February 2007

The PCI Express Special Interest Group (SIG) has announced a new cabling standard which will allow PCI express cards to move out of the computer chassis , This will allow for products like an external graphics module which will link to your computer through a cable.
There are a lot of reasons one would want to do this, the first and foremost being cooling .If u have seen the new 8800GTX by Nvidia you would have noticed how big it actually is , now imagine two of these monsters in SLI in your box and with overclocking becoming more popular nowadays these cards tend to run quite hot, and cooling them becomes another issue , for such a configuration you would be better off opting for a water cooled solution rather than taking chances with cooling fans .
Another reason seems to be more of a gamer’s dream rather than reality but someday it might just turn out to be true, take for example quad SLI, which connects four graphics cards, in the future we may have an interface which connects say 6 or 8 cards , It would make more sense to move such a graphics unit away from the chassis and into a different box,rather than trying to squeeze in so many slots onto the main-board.
Asus has already demonstrated this technology for laptops at CES with the ASUS XG station and this is an excellent example of what the technology can do.



With all the hype surrounding vista and with the ongoing console wars , The Nvidia 8800 GTX launch went almost unnoticed , I am not lucky enough to own one but i surely gobbled up the demo videos on you-tube , Crysis running on max settings , and the stunning UT3 are just some examples of what this graphics powerhouse can do .
Unfortunately at the Vista launch there were just two DX10 cards available , the Nvidia 8800GTX and the scaled down version of the same 8800GTS , somewhere around march ,I expect Nvidia will start shipping mainstream and lower end DX10 products based on the G86 and G84 , this most probably will coincide with the ATI R600 launch which promises to be the most advanced graphics processor ever to grace this earth , by April ATI will announce their lower end DX10 range of GPU’s and then we have the classic Red vs Green battle again for the rest of the year.
A direct impact of this will be on the pricing of the current generation of GPU’s , prices are expected to fall substantially and since it will take some time for DX10 to settle in properly , it looks like the right time to invest in a top of the line DX9 GPU .