Media Centers, Notebooks, and UVD
AMD hosted a small gathering in the Penthouse at the SoHo Grand Hotel in New York City yesterday (yes, the same place that Lindsey Lohan had her meltdown a few weeks ago), to showcase some of their existing products and technologies, to show off a few products built by their partners, and to demo some products due to be released in the coming months. We attended the event and snapped some photos of the various demo stations and thought we'd share them with you here.
We're sure many of you have already seen some of the items that were on display, but we were able to get a bit more up close and personal with a few of them and can give more insight into their operation. The various rooms were filled with different types of systems / devices and all of them featured an AMD product or technology at their heart.
As soon as we walked in we noticed a few complete systems up and running, from companies like Dell, Acer, HP, and Alienware. The tiny Acer Aspire L series machine immediately caught our eye due to its sleek design and diminutive enclosure. Although it appeared to be of a similar size to what's specified in AMD's DTX form factor guidelines, the Acer Aspire L series is actually a bit smaller than what DTX calls for. Of course the systems are powered by AMD Athlon or Sempron processors, but the chipset in this machine comes by way of NVIDIA. Acer Aspire L series machines are currently available in a number of different configuration with prices ranging from $500 on up.
Alienware's new Hangar 18 HD HTPC was also on display, connected to a large Toshiba TV, ATI's OCUR TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner, and a Hewlett Packard MediaSmart Server. Like the Acer machine, the Hangar 18 HD was also powered by an AMD processor / NVIDIA chipset combo. The CPU was a 65W Athlon 64 X2 dual-core and the chipset features integrated GeForce graphics with HDMI output. The back of the system housed a number of inputs and outputs to facilitate the connection to virtually any home theater setup. And the system is virtually silent. You can also catch a glimpse of the back of a HP MediaSmart Server in lower right of the picture of the outputs on the Hangar 18. That little machine, which is about the size of small shoebox, also features an AMD processor, and both feature AMD Live! software. AMD was also quick to point out that all of the televisions in the room (hooked up to the HTPCs, an XBox 360, and a UVD machine) feature ATI Xilleon or NXT products as well.
AMD was also showing off a number of notebooks built by their key partners, equipped with AMD processors, chipsets, and graphics. A new Toshiba Satellite A215 notebook was on display that featured a Turion 64 X2 processor, Radeon graphics, Atheros WiFi, and a built-in fingerprint scanner. It also featured the AMD "Better by Design" decals we talked about in our CES showcase which are meant to help potential customers to easily ascertain what hardware is used in the system. An MSI notebook featuring a black piano finish and a Swarovski Crystal encrusted logo was also on display, along with the Acer Ferrari, and Dell's new colorful Inspiron 1520/1521. An HP Pavilion tx1000x Entertainment notebook was there as well, that features a swiveling touch-screen, and of course a Turion X2 processor. The Pavilion tx1000x Entertainment notebook's design gives users the ability to use the machine as a tablet PC or a standard notebook.
A mid-tower machine was setup in another corner of the room with a Radeon HD 2600XT, Athlon 64 X2 processor, and an external XBox 360 HD DVD drive to showcase the decoding and HD playback capabilities of the UVD engine built into some of the products in the Radeon HD 2000 series of graphics cards. The Bourne Supremacy (VC-1) was being played on the machine and output to a large TV through the Radeon's HDMI output and CPU utilization hovered in the mid-20 to low-30 percent range with hardware acceleration enabled.