Sapphire and Abit
We showed you the highlight of Sapphire's display in an earlier news post, but it was worth talking about again because of the intriguing possibilities associated with the card.
Behind-close-doors in a suite away from the hustle and bustle of the LVCC, we spent some time with the folks at Sapphire and got to take a look at some of their new products not yet released to market. One product that caught our particular interest was their dual GPU-powered Radeon X1950 Pro Dual card that utilizes a pair of X1950 Pro GPUs on a single card in a pseudo-CrossFire setup. Though it is a monster design, it's pretty impressive.
In addition to dual GPUs, the card also employs a full 512MB of memory per GPU for a total of 1GB per card. Since traditional Radeon X1950 Pro configurations are setup with 256MB of on board memory, the GPU complexes should scale a little more robustly at high res with higher levels of AA.
Sapphire expects to launch this in the next month or so but we have a feeling it will be a limited release type of product. Word is a $399 price point is being targeted. And as you can see, there are CrossFire edge connectors on the top side of the card, so quad CrossFire is a possibility. Sapphire is supposedly working on quad functionality now. The hardware is capable, but driver level support is necessary. Nonetheless, it's very interesting to see a single board multi-GPU design from an ATI-AMD partner.
Abit too had an off-site display setup in a suite at the Monte Carlo. Abit was showing off a slew of motherboards, including their custom nForce 680i SLI-based IN9 32X-Max motherboard which has a couple of unique features. In addition to the custom cooling solution and overclocking-related tools, the IN9 32X-Max features and HDMI output header (middle picture, top row). Abit was also showing off their AB9 Quad-GT, P965-based, quad-core and CrossFire compatible motherboard which features a handy clear CMOS switch in its I/O backplane. Abit's iDome speakers were on display too, along with a unique little item that would be easy to miss if you didn't look close. In the picture at the lower-right corner, you'll see that Abit was showing off one of the world's first PCI Express x1 based WiFi network adapters. Is that thing tiny, or what?