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AM3 Reference Diagram Disclosed

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the things-to-come dept.

Graphics 65

psyph3r writes "Chilehardware has released what appears to be a confidential image showing the future customer desktop AM3 reference boards for AMD and ATI. Here is an English site talking about this reference design image and the features it enables. 'The biggest improvement for this generation of chipsets is the audio and video capabilities integrated into the motherboard. The new features packed into these chipsets are beginning to look like standalone platforms. The RS780 supports DirectX 10 and has a UVD, which is similar to most High-end cards of today.'"

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In other words, integrated (4, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281179)

Hasn't integrated audio and video been around forever?

Supporting DirectX 10 and all that is great and all, but, how fast will it be? I remember getting an nForce 4 integrated video board for my folks some time ago and it supported the latest DirectX versions and, while it ran all the nVidia eyecandy demos, it sure was slow.

I mean, TFA makes reference to Hypertransport 3.0 and all, but memory bandwidth is only part of pretty pixels.

Re:In other words, integrated (1)

PetiePooo (606423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281293)

TFA makes reference to Hypertransport 3.0 and all, but memory bandwidth is only part of pretty pixels.

Good point.

I think most of us are hoping that the marriage between AMD and ATI allows them to produce chipsets with actually decent graphics performance. Maybe not on par with a standalone GPU, but I'm hoping it at least approaches that...

Even if its barely adequate, a decently performing system that allows me to use my HDTV as the monitor would be a welcome improvement.

Re:In other words, integrated (2)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281407)

I don't understand the assumption that they can't embed a high-end graphics card in a motherboard? It hasn't typically been done since the resulting board would be seem to be insanely expensive until you realize that most of the cost is the graphics... But that doesn't mean they can't or won't.

Also, when you say 'decent graphics performance' ... I assume you're talking about games, since the Intel GMA 3xxx series does perfectly well with Compiz. It's every bit as fast as the ATI card in my work machine.

Re:In other words, integrated (5, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281869)

I don't understand the assumption that they can't embed a high-end graphics card in a motherboard
I assume that it can be done but it hasn't. The reason I assume it hasn't been done is that the resulting motherboard would then have to go through testing and the video card would have to get integrated. In the meanwhile, the GPU market is moving forward and releasing new cards and marking down existing ones. In addition, the video card industry moves faster than the motherboard industry generally speaking, so while a good motherboard is useful 6 months later at roughly the same cost, a video card isn't. Most motherboard manufacturers would rather let enthusiasts with higher graphics requirements purchase the card separately and embed low-quality GPUs for people who don't need a better one.

Re:In other words, integrated (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21283145)

the resulting board would be seem to be insanely expensive until you realize that most of the cost is the graphics
There is the problem. If someone were willing to put a lot of money into a motherboard just because of the good graphics card on it, they are most likely the kind of person who is willing to put in a lot of money into a new video card in a year or so. Which means that now their expensive motherboard w/ GPU was a stupid purchase, since they could have started with a regular mobo and separate GPU for the same price or less. Instead they bought an insanely expensive mobo that has an obsolete (to them) GPU after a year but that they can't remove and put in a less powerful system or sell or donate to a friend or family member.

Re:In other words, integrated (2, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21283287)

I agree totally... Except that conditions are a bit different. The improvements in graphics aren't as mind-blowing as they were 3+ years ago. I'm a graphics whore. I admit it. I'm one of those fools that buys $500 video cards.

But since the 7800s, things haven't been so urgent. The new cards aren't -that- much better than the old ones because games aren't pushing the limits as much. It used to be there were several games a year that required rigs that were insane. Now there's maybe 1 or 2. Most of the really fun games, the ones that focused on gameplay instead of maxing out a high-end system, just don't need that kind of power.

I keep looking at new cards, but really the only thing that draws me in is the 'silent' ones... I'm about sick of the noise. The extra power will be nice, but not necessary at all.

Re:In other words, integrated (2, Insightful)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284657)

It used to be there were several games a year that required rigs that were insane. Now there's maybe 1 or 2.
I haven't noticed that. What I've seen is that usually games will reach a plateau for a while (maybe a plateau with a slight incline) and then suddenly jump forward. For example, Doom 3 and Half Life 2 were both released withing a few months of each other, and Unreal Tournament 2004 was released only a few months before Doom 3 (UT2k4 required enough of a boost over UT2k3 that I included it). But then there wasn't much after that for a while. But this year we have BioShock, Crysis, and UT3, which all go towards upping the requirements quite a bit. Granted that is for all the eye-candy they can offer (which is what a $500 video card is for).

However, there has been a general trend in computing power in the last few years where people aren't upgrading that often. Some attribute it to computers being fast enough to run just about everything. Personally I think it's because we've been with Windows XP for so long, which is an argument for a another time. However, regardless of the reasons why people aren't upgrading that often, game developers are realizing that a lot of their money is coming from people still running DirectX 8 video cards and they had better make their games at least playable to them. Another reason is that the costs of producing a game are soaring, and developers also realize they cannot entirely rely on the hardware-upgraders for sales like they could in ye olden days of 10 years ago. So they let the market grow by allowing people with non-top-of-the-line computers to run their games. It's not a large expansion, but it is a growth nonetheless.

Nevertheless, people willing to put out "insane" amount of money for a good mobo and GPU, are not typically going to be the kind of people that would pay that same amount for the two to be one unit.

Re:In other words, integrated (3, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281739)

What makes an IGP slower is a couple of things.

In the case of Intel, it's the memory bandwidth coupled with a distinct lack of Vertex Shader support.

In the case of AMD, it's the memory bandwidth coupled with a dramatically reduced/nonexistent support for Vertex Shaders.

In the case of NVidia, it's the memory bandwidth.

In the case with many IGPs, the combination of having to share RAM with the machine on it's own bus, along with no Transform, Clipping, and Lighting hardware acceleration (Little to no Vertex Shader hardware...) means for a very slow GPU overall. Now, having said this, the Hypertransport 3.0 interface may help on the bus speed, and if you're looking at the Unified Shader requirements for DX10, you might find that this may be a little better performer. It's not going to be like a PCI-E add-in card, but it may be serviceable for light to medium duty 3D stuff by itself because of those two things.

Call me ignorant, but... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282433)

If you could have enough memory bandwidth, might it eventually trump PCI-E? Because with PCI-E, it still has to be copied into RAM on another card. With onboard, not only would it be easier to upgrade (just upgrade your system RAM), but if it was designed properly, the video would just pull the assets from where they already are in application memory.

But maybe it's a stupid question -- I suspect it's kind of like asking "If you could have a fast enough single core, wouldn't green threads be great?"

Re:Call me ignorant, but... (4, Informative)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282917)

You're not really that ignorant... :-)

In the case of the discrete cards (PCI-E, AGP...) they have a pool of memory that's accessible via the bus and that's directly accessible by the GPU's own memory bus (That memory size when you see 128, 256, 512Mb, etc.)- which is faster than just about anything out there and has no contention spots for the GPU to have to wait any longer than the access latency to the memory from the second access port. The peak speed of the GPUs when compared to an IGP solution comes from the contention-less, very, very fast access to the card's memory pool so that you don't stall the graphics pipeline. A stall of a microsecond can cost you FPS (Duh...) and larger stalls can drag framerates to the slide show domain- it's part of why the older ATI fglrx drivers were roughly 50% slower under Linux when compared to Windows. They had a stall in there somewhere that was introduced by their way of getting their then Windows-ish codebase to work under Linux.

Now, having said this, Hypertransport's suspiciously close to the same performance level of most of the local GPU buses and you only need to deal with bus contention issues for the only real performance snag. IGPs start making sense at that point for many applications because the memory's now close to the same speed as the add-in card's memory with similar latencies. The only real slowdown would be that you don't have dual pathways now.

why don't they give us what we really want (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21281201)

quality, performance, options and bundle in all those so called 'optional' extras

oh, and open source the drivers

Re:why don't they give us what we really want (1)

Neotrantor (597070) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281237)

is it just me or have the nvidia drivers really been trash as of late?

Why usb 1.1 and 2.0? and why not use HT for the... (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281259)

Why usb 1.1 and 2.0? and why not use HT for the NB to SB link like how nvidia does it?

Re:Why usb 1.1 and 2.0? and why not use HT for the (2, Informative)

PetiePooo (606423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281335)

12 USB2.0 should be plenty for all your USB2.0 peripherals. I imagine the slower USB1.1 ports are a freebie in case you have USB1.1 devices that don't auto-negotiate well on a USB2.0 port... I wouldn't be surprised if most integrators don't even provide the pinouts to use them.

As for PCIe vs. HT, they're probably so similar in latency and throughput at that level that its just a difference in transistor count or something similarly insignificant.

Re:Why usb 1.1 and 2.0? and why not use HT for the (1)

kaiser423 (828989) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281357)

Did you not read the part about 12 usb 2.0 ports and 2 usb 1.1 ports?

That's plenty of 2.0, and even some 1.1's for devices that you don't want slowing down the 2.0 bus.

Re:Why usb 1.1 and 2.0? and why not use HT for the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21282363)

Uh, the diagram says "4x PCIe" between the north and south bridges.

Looks like a fake (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21281315)

Does AMD always put typos in their "secret diagrams"?

Re:Looks like a fake (2, Informative)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285007)

Do you actually read Slashdot? 90% of engineering types are apparently functionally illiterate, judging from the grammar and spelling atrocities that abound.

Wasn't this "Confidential"? (2, Insightful)

dilute (74234) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281399)

OK, flame me and mod me -1, but if the Slashdot editors had good reason to believe this was actually confidential (and based on the translation of this article, this pretty plainly appears to be the case), and an unauthorized disclosure, why the editors here decide to carry the story? If someone submitted a story that said, "Here are documents I STOLE from Microsoft by breaking into the building" would Slashdot carry that? Where do you draw the line? Why does AMD's stuff have to be outed like this as a consequence of someone violating their confidence? Or maybe it's a deliberate leak (???)

Re:Wasn't this "Confidential"? (3, Funny)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281451)

"Here are documents I STOLE from Microsoft by breaking into the building" would Slashdot carry that?
You were doing quite well until you wrote this sentence, but c'mon this is slashdot! Did you really have to ask a question like that?

Re:Wasn't this "Confidential"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21281805)

i wish i had mod points, to put your -1 mod, and for the flamebait part, when source code was stoled from microsoft, slashdot put it in the frontpage.

Re:Wasn't this "Confidential"? (1, Insightful)

wwahammy (765566) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281861)

Why wouldn't they? This is a news site isn't it? And isn't this news?

Re:Wasn't this "Confidential"? (1)

GwaihirBW (1155487) | more than 6 years ago | (#21291467)

Once it's in the wild, news sites are generally safe in pointing out the leakage of confidential whatever.

Also, confidential != state secret. The guy who leaked it can get in big trouble for breach of contract &c., but Slashdot never agreed not to publicize AMD's docs - IANAL, but I believe the worst that could be brought against them would be a copyright violation, and standard practice there is DMCA, which involves takedown requests before suing comes in.

Re:Wasn't this "Confidential"? (1)

subnomine (849148) | more than 6 years ago | (#21291597)

Shhhhh.....here's what I stole from Microsoft: Top Secret from the office of James I. Cash Jr. to the office of David F. Marquardt: "Stinky britches, you've got stinky britches!"

What I want from a motherboard... (4, Interesting)

unfunk (804468) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281625)

* No integrated Audio
* No Integrated Video

Is that really so hard? Integrated video is easy enough to avoid, but you just can't get a motherboard these days that doesn't have onboard audio. I'm sick of having to disable it whenever I get a new board, and the amount of space the jacks take up on the rear panel could be better used for more USB or Firewire ports.
I use an old Soundblaster Audigy for my sound needs, and it does everything I need. In hardware. Every time I buy a new motherboard, I test the onboard audio first, just to see if it's gotten any better than I last tried it.
So far, this card's lasted me four complete system overhauls, and at this rate, will last until a version of Windows comes out that where Creative don't release drivers for it.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (1)

JeepFanatic (993244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281829)

Agreed ... I still haven't found an onboard adapter better than my Live 5.1.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (1)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281903)

Nvidia's Soundstorm was the best onboard audio in my experience. I preferred onboard Soundstorm to my then current Audigy card.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (4, Interesting)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281933)

Agreed ... I still haven't found an onboard adapter better than my Live 5.1.

You mean like every single board that has audio based on the Via chipset that integrates the Envy24HT chip?

Live 5.1 is sonically one of the worst sound cards ever made. My 8-year-old Vortex2 from Aureal, is MUCH better... and the $20 Chaintech AV-710 absolutely blows it away.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (4, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282483)

look around for 'bit perfect' playback. you won't find it for soundblaster style cards. NOTHING from that company is even remotely pro audio quality or even home theater spdif bit-perfect output.

hint: their internal arch. resamples ALL data to 48k. even 48k gets resampled (man!, that's dumb) to 48k. hopes of having literal bit-perfect 44.1 is hopeless with creative brand.

envy24 - full-on pro chipset. I've used that one in my studio for years.

before that was the cmedia 8738 (still a gem if you can find it). also bit-perfect and has some great free drivers (sourceforge) that allow kernel streaming (win-xp) and bit perfect mixer-goof-proof output.

almost all else is drek. ie, junk.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (1)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282899)

Have you got a link for the 8738 drivers?

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (1)

Nexus7 (2919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21283107)

If you're talking Linux, it's already in the kernel. The module is snd_cmipci.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284383)

correct. cmipci is what you want.

also note that you need a control panel to set the spdif output.

also also note (also also wik?) that you need to know the diff between 5v output and 0.5v output. 5v is used to drive opto blocks (toslink thingies). 0.5v is used to drive 'coax' output (rg style 75ohm coax). sending 5v to the coax out may overdrive your home stereo. sending 0.5v to the opto block will give you a whole lotta dialtone (ie, no audio out).

fwiw.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284281)

here's the link (and some discussion, mostly by me) for the streaming bit-perfect opensource (!) drivers for win-xp. I use that for my htpc and it passes dolby digital (ac3), 44.1, 48k - just not 96k, that's all.

http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?t=468288 [slickdeals.net]

the driver, itself:

http://cmediadrivers.googlepages.com/home [googlepages.com]

and as noted, linux/bsd already have all they need in the public kernel! this is only to de-brain-damage xp and restore bit-perfect playback.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (1)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300271)

Wow, that's really neat. My old 8738 card is in the hand-me-down machine I gave my parents, but it's neat to see new drivers expanding it's capabilities :)

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21284283)

i have one question, this pro cards are as good as creative in games, or are only for your pro applications?.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284349)

this pro cards are as good as creative in games

I'm not into games - but I don't think the 'purist audio' cards are good for games. games tend to want 'sound effects' and there are proprietary APIs to 'generate sounds' and effects.

totally unmusical, imho, but gamers want fast sound generation and so a diff (non .wav) api was needed. I guess...

so, yes, you have a point. for games, get a 'gamer card' but for home theater and music (critical) listening, the blaster cards are the last thing you want.

also, its not a bad idea to use usb->spdif dongles. they work fine and often are also bit-perfect. look for something that has opto or coax out and usb in. if it has no analog i/o at all, chances are its a perfect (non-resampling) bit passthru.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21284587)

thanks for your answer, i'm more a gamer than a music critic.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (2, Interesting)

unfunk (804468) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282537)

...and on that note, I have a SB Vibra 128 that I bought for $20aud about six years ago that has vastly, [i]vastly[/i] superior MIDI sounds than the vile DLS crap that my Audigy (and all other modern cards) uses. While I was studying Music Composition at uni, I actually ran both cards specifically so I could use the MIDI soundset of the Vibra.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21282705)

Live 5.1 is sonically one of the worst sound cards ever made.

Which is irrelevant because, as a separate card, the Live 5.1 is mostly immune from the buzzy noise and interference that plagues every on-board audio solution. Sound Blasters are good because they don't buzz at you when the mouse moves, or when a page scrolls, or when there's some HDD activity. I'm yet to hear an on-board audio implementation that doesn't sound like a hive of angry bees swarming around in the computer case.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281879)

The problem is that it's now so cheap to put into the chipset. Even if you were to get a new board "without" integrated audio video, you are likely to get in the chips somewhere anyway but the circuitry not hooked up to a jack and maybe a separate amp chip.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (4, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282043)

It's simple: Adding onboard audio costs them almost nothing and gains them quite a few sales.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (2, Interesting)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282811)

Touché. In fact, I've upgraded a while ago and I bought a nice little asus M2NPV-MX motherboard. I've chosen that particular motherboard for three simple reasons: it was a socket AM2 motherboard, it's price was very reasonable (about 60 euros) and it had an NVIDIA integrated video card (NVIDIA GeForce 6150). I don't play demanding games (mainly openttd), the integrated audio is excellent and from time to time I tinker with opengl. In the end that particular hardware combination made it possible for me to buy a new computer with a dual core processor for less than 200 euros.

So exactly what's wrong with integrated audio/video? Absolutely nothing. At least that's what my wallet's opinion.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (1)

unfunk (804468) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282879)

So exactly what's wrong with integrated audio/video? Absolutely nothing. At least that's what my wallet's opinion.
I agree 100% - but from the viewpoint of somebody that prefers discreet hardware solutions, then integrated peripherals are kinda pointless.
I'd even extend this viewpoint to onboard ethernet if it weren't so damned hard to get a decent hardware NIC these days...

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#21283031)

Ahh... but they are not pointless. By having the integrated peripherals, the manufacturer can sell to a wider audience with a single design. This leads to lower production costs, as well as making it cheaper for retail, as as they don't have to carry a bunch of different boards. Since the peripherals can be turned off, there is no negative for the customer that wants to use a card for the device, but there is a positive for the ones that are less picky.

I know I don't long for the days when the only port on the back of a PC was for a keyboard. Remember, mouse, usb, serial and perallel ports are all integrated peripherals also.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21284567)

Neh, nothing wrong with an additional network connection or indeed, an audio connection. I use my Soundblaster for serious music, and my internal sound device is used for IM and VoIP. Same thing for the ethernet: one for my GB swich (which can be swiched off) and a cheapo 100Mbs ethernet card for my internet access. Anyway, previously some people bought soundblasters for their excellent DAC's. But nowadays the connections are all digital, and you would only use a SB for some small time post-processing.

Anyway, what do you want to do in hardware? I've got a 386 here with separate hard disk controller, serial/parallel controller, video controller, sound card, network card. Fortunately the voodoo controller came later and the co-processor could be placed on board, together with the 8 x 256 MB memory modules. So, let's add a USB controller, serial ATA controller, firewire controller, WiFI controller and TV-card and you would probably be in heaven.

9 PCI cards. Have fun. I'll stick my 17x17 VIA EPIA board if you don't mind.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (1)

lakeland (218447) | more than 6 years ago | (#21288869)

I went through a similar process and ended up with a similar board. Unfortunately for me (and possibly you, I haven't kept up since), ASUS concentrates on adding features and minor details like standards compliance are ignored.

The ASUS boards do not correctly have their sensors detected, their USB controller doesn't quite work (problems with suspend, problems with cold-boot occasionally), their ACPI is screwed (broken APIC). Basically, if it works well enough for casual windows users they consider it good enough.

I use my 6150 IGP and my sound (cmedia based? I didn't even check), but I really would prefer them to use standards-compliant components throughout the board.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21283821)

So far, this card's lasted me four complete system overhauls, and at this rate, will last until a version of Windows comes out that where Creative don't release drivers for it.
And possibly longer, see http://kxproject.lugosoft.com/index.php?skip=1 [lugosoft.com] "The kX Audio Driver is an independent WDM (Windows Driver Model) driver for all EMU10K1 and EMU10K2-based soundcards manufactured by Creative Technology Ltd. and/or E-mu Systems Inc., including the SoundBlaster Live! series, the E-mu Audio Production Studio (APS) card, and the Audigy / Audigy2 series of cards".

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21284531)

That makes you a minority. Onboard video is usually slow, and new faster video cards are released all the time. No one wants to be stuck with something that was already painfully slow to begin with for a couple years.

But audio wise, you'll find that most people are perfectly happy with the onboard HD audio we have nowadays. My last board (Gigabyte P35-DS3R) *TOTALLY* blows away my old creative card. High def audio. 7.1+2 channels. Best quality (and max loudness!) of any "front audio" jack I've ever seen. It supports even the new codecs for HD DVD and Blu-Ray. It has toslink, spdif and all (and even a good SNR on the analog outs). The ONLY thing I could see wanting over that is Dolby Digital Live, which Creative doesn't have either. The drivers are really good too.

For the average folk, there's just NO reason to buy a sound card nowadays (I'm not talking about musicians who need multitrack ASIO here). It already sounds great. Better than Creative's junk, better supported, and much cheaper. Why would they remove it, saving everyone a dollar on a board, to then force us to spend the price of a motherboard on the lastest crap Creative makes, filling up a PCI slot for nothing? Just disable it. It's not exactly hard.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (1)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285043)

Not everyone buys Video/Sound cards.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (1)

zullnero (833754) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285047)

Or at least, an industry standard to be able to totally disable both in the bios or via jumper.

I've got a Tyan Tomcat board where my rev 1.0 board had no jumper to disable the onboard graphics card. Which happens to be a dirty piece of junk ATI Rage card. Apparently the rev 1.1 DID have that jumper, but when we started to get all these nice little UI enhancements for Linux and I bought a new nVidia graphics card to take advantage of all that stuff, I couldn't. Of course, by then, the board was out of warranty and even when it was in warranty, they probably wouldn't have taken it back.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21288207)

Oh no, you have to disable the onboard audio! That's pure craziness!! Seriously, the days of add-on soundcards are coming to an end. People are generally just mistaken when they think their peripheral sound card is so much better than the onboard. If you're using SP/DIF, it doesn't matter of course. If you're going straight to speaker, it matters less now because Vista and hardware audio acceleration via newer EAX "standards" is broken anyway. I gave up my Audigy 2 ZS a few months ago when Vista's support for it sucked, and haven't regretted it at all.

Re:What I want from a motherboard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21288599)

They are integrated to make it easier to implement Hollywood and Vista's DRM requirements. Note how TFA refers to DVI and HDMI with HDCP support. In case you missed it, here is the excellent writeup about it http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html#hardware [auckland.ac.nz]
That section is talking about the practice of producing a generic graphics card design and adding or removing 'external' components to produce high-end or mid-end versions, but it is just as applicable to motherboards with integrated components now.

Anyone else notice? (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281751)

I only see one PCIE x16... There are 2 x16 physical slots, but only one of them is actually x16 electrical. Is this the end for SLI/Crossfire? Why would they design a socket/bridge with less connectivity/bandwidth than current boards? Sure, the dam thing has 12 USB ports, but it only has 2 PCI ports, and 4 PCIE ports (1 x16, 1x8, 1x4, 1x1). Sure, it has 4 video conenctors (DVI, HDMI, VGA, TV) and a 512Meg frame buffer, but wow...

Re:Anyone else notice? (1)

unfunk (804468) | more than 6 years ago | (#21281997)

I only see one PCIE x16... There are 2 x16 physical slots, but only one of them is actually x16 electrical. Is this the end for SLI/Crossfire?
Unlikely. Remember that initially, putting your motherboard into SLI mode split the x16 channel into two x8 ones...

Re:Anyone else notice? (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282273)

A lot of people want two PCIe slots at x16 electrical. There are boards that have two x16 electrical slots. The new PCIe 2.0 should require x16. Otherwise the cards plugged into the lower electrical slot will not run optimally. I would think that the two full open x16 slots would allow the two gpus to use the most bandwidth. Which should be useful for all the high end graphics and video. I wonder if the video rendering/editing people use could use all the bandwidth?

Re:Anyone else notice? (1)

unfunk (804468) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282405)

...there's no real advantage to using both slots at full x16 rating though - videocards these days aren't even saturating the AGP 8x bus, let alone PCIe x16. I remember an article on Tom's Hardware, back when PCIe cards first came out where they actually taped over some of the contacts, to make x8, x4 x2, and x1 electrical connections... if my memory serves me correctly (I could really use an ECC chip in my brain...), there was no performance degradation until they got down to x2 connections.

I'm sure it's still in their archives if you want to go look it up for yourself...

Integrated is that path AMD seems to be headed (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282367)

I am assuming the worst and supposing they are abandoning the enthuisast market to Intel and Nvidia. Even ATI's upcoming cards haven't sounded inspiring.

Re:Anyone else notice? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282769)

this is a low end chipset with on board video higher end chipsets will have more pci-e lanes.

HTPC Use? (1)

tji (74570) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282389)

Many of the integrated chipset GPUs make great Linux MythTV / HTPC boards, in theory. The problem is normally driver support to take advantage of all the great features.

The VIA Unichrome had good video decoding support, but poor drivers too many crippled hardware versions. The new Intel GPUs look like an excellent option, but the video acceleration drivers have not caught up yet.

Any of the ATI boards would also be a great option, when/if the ATI drivers can support video acceleration (XvMC or maybe the new vaapi). Until then, ATI is a non-starter.

Also, going forward, a GLSL programmable GPU will probably be required for newer video acceleration. Do these GPUs support GLSL?

Re:HTPC Use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21287705)

Also, going forward, a GLSL programmable GPU will probably be required for newer video acceleration. Do these GPUs support GLSL?
It would be fairly absurd for the GPU to support DX10 (which requires supporting shader model 4.0) without supporting OpenGL 2.0 (which requires supporting GLSL).

RS780 (0, Offtopic)

ErikTheRed (162431) | more than 6 years ago | (#21282409)

Is that an upgrade to RS232?

/me runs, ducks, and hides...

nig6a (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21282623)

I won'T bo8e you

Will this have the new AMD DRM? (1, Interesting)

doas777 (1138627) | more than 6 years ago | (#21283247)

I heard that you should never use ATI with AMD, because they would be releasing a new hardware DRM, that will lock out your access to the framebuffer, as described here http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/03/28/14OPcurve_1.html [infoworld.com] does anyone have any idea if the AM3 contains such DRM?

Re:Will this have the new AMD DRM? (1)

yuriks (1089091) | more than 6 years ago | (#21285475)

I think what the article describes is plain simple driver support for the Vista HDCP DRM implementation.
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