It has been a long time since the last X-bit Watch, but here we go again!
As you probably know there are a lot of talks at IDF about a new case/mainboard form-actor called BTX (Balanced Technology eXtended). AnandTech has posted detailed article about this upcoming standard which includes information about mainboard and case sizes, photos of BTX power supplies as well as some other information. If you want to know what your computer will look like in future, you should definitely check out the editorial here.
The Tech Report web-site posted a detailed article about recently showcased S3 DeltaChrome graphics processor (see our news-story on the matter). In their article The Tech Report guys cover compromises between transistor count and silicon price S3 Graphics engineers had to go when designing the chip; for instance, they implemented 128-bit non-crossbar memory controller in order to lower development costs, whereas both ATI Technologies and NVIDIA use four 64-bit controllers with a switch logic for better managing the bandwidth. But still the DeltaChrome features some interesting 2D capabilities, such as real-time motion video effects or video de-blocking. Since the article is based largely on S3 Graphics’ own words, you should take it with a grain of salt, but, anyway, it is an interesting reading indeed. Check it over here.
During IDF Fall 2003 Intel announced that it would add a new processor to its product line, branded as Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition (see our news-story). We have already told you that this novelty will feature 2MB of level 3 cache (2MB total, as Intel Pentium 4 cache has inclusive architecture), thus, it will have higher performance compared to “ordinary” Pentium 4 chips with only 512KB total cache. Ace’s Hardware today got their hands on this processor and benchmarked it in some games and in Cinebench 2003. They received 5-14% performance gain, depending on particular application. As you can see, performance boost is not really wonderful, but noticeable. Read the details here.
Update. Intel asked Ace's Hardware to remove benchmarks and so they did, but someone copied gaming benchmarks results into the Ace's forum. You can read them here.
Following the Half-Life 2 and Tomb Raider GeForce FX performance scandals, a question about performance of NVIDIA-based graphics cards in the upcoming Doom III game raised. At this point, one of the best ways to answer the question is to ask id Software technical director, Mr. John Carmack. A Czech gaming magazine web-site BonusWeb asked Carmack what he thought about DirectX 9.0 performance of the GeForce FX and received an answer saying that “...it [the situation in the Half-Life 2] will probably be representative of most DX9 games.” Read the whole Carmack’s answer here.