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CeBIT 2004: Failed Hopes

Against all expectations, neither ATI nor NVIDIA announced their new GPUs at CeBIT Hannover 2004 which was opened on the 18-th of March. NVIDIA, however, showed its NV40 to a few select partners among the mass media and manufacturers. ATI’s R420 wasn’t heard about at all: none of ATI’s partners could say they saw the new chip in the silicon.

Instead there were other curious samples showcased, like graphics cards with the PCI Express interface. We should note, however, that early PCI Express graphics cards from both ATI and NVIDIA had no architectural advantages over their AGP counterparts and were in fact the same RADEONs 9600 and GeForces FX but renamed as RADEON X600 and GeForce PCX. The GeForce FX supported the PCI Express interface by means of a special NVIDIA HSI converter which allowed using old AGP-compatible chips on the new platform. This seemingly awkward solution would help NVIDIA later in updating its series of middle-range products with the AGP interface.

As for the platform proper, there were numerous mainboards with the PCI Express bus at the exhibition, and ASUS showcased an operational system based on the Intel i925X chipset (Alderwood), without giving any info as to its performance, though.

On the whole, the beginning of 2004 was calm and event-less as concerns the 3D graphics realm. Everything got silent before the storm of imminent announcements coming from both ATI Technologies and NVIDIA Corporation.

For more details see our CeBIT 2004 Coverages available here:

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