|2008 International CES Computer Technology Highlights|
|News - Featured Website News|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Sunday, 13 January 2008|
Page 12 of 12
2008 CES Final Thoughts
Just like in years past, the 2008 International CES offered an excellent glimpse at what the future holds for consumer technology. Benchmark Reviews spent a great deal of time on the emerging technologies that surround the performance computer industry. There were more than a few key developments that will pave the way for a tech-strong 2008, but the major players you would have expected to bring fresh ideas to the table seem to still be out hunting for them.
Life has been good for Intel over the past two years since the Core 2 brand of CPU's was launched, but if Intel's new 45nm Penryn-based Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme processors are any indication of how they improve upon technology, there might be trouble in store for them into the future. The continued persuit of faster front side bus speeds and larger L2 cache only begins to reveal the weakness plagueing Direct Media Interconnect (DMI) and reminds us of the Pentium 4 days when faster clock speeds were the quick-fix for lacking real technology improvements. The upcoming P45 and X48 chipset will be the third and forth update to Intel's family in just under five months - and since the 4 series keeps with DDR2 and merely adds 1600MHz FSB support there is no smart reason to move into it.
AMD has fired back with the launch of their Spider platform, which presently includes: ATI Radeon HD 3800 series GPU's, AMD Phenom CPU's, and the AMD 7-series motherboard chipset. This new synergy has allowed the involved components to work together (using HyperTransport 3.0) in a way Intel never could (SLI support woes continue). While HyperTransport 3.0 presently uses DDR2, it still beats the bandwidth of DMI without even approaching it's plateau and give value back to consumers not ready for the expense of DDR3. Intel won't be able to fight back with their distant QuickPath replacment for DMI until 2009 at the earliest; and by that point AMD will have moved on to DDR3 support and a Socket F structure. The bottom line here is that 2008 may actually hold some serious credibility for AMD's reputation, and offer excellent value to the all levels of performance.
Throughout 2007 it seemed that the headlines were always AMD vs Intel, but after slowly building rhythm it appears that NVIDIA may also be a major competitor. Now we're not saying NVIDIA is going to product CPU's in 2008, but the technology is already in place for them and the fabs could pull it off. When I refer to NVIDIA as a major competitor; I am referring to the production of IC transistors. Coming in less than a month is their new 9th-generation of GeForce products. Then, just one week later, they will release the 790i chipset into the wild. Do you see the writing on the wall yet? AMD produces motherboards that support their CrossFire FX technology for Radeon GPU's, and NVIDIA produces their own motherboard chipset to support the GeForce GPU's. This leaves Intel with nothing for either, a catalyst which fueled the rumor last year that they could potentially purchase NVIDIA (which is not likely to ever happen).
CES Computer Technology Highlights Conclusion
Walking the exhibit floor at the 2008 International CES you were quickly immersed in loud attention-getting sounds from speakers, demonstration, and sound tracks. There has been rumor that CES has started researching an alternative city to host the show, since Las Vegas has lost it's off-season hotel value with the conventions popularity. It won't really matter too much in the long run, because computer technology hounds will seek out highlights no matter where it's placed on the globe.
In conclusion, we here at Benchmark Reviews hope that you have found this piece-meal article to offer a glimpse at the future for computer technology. I have done my best to offer the most important industry highlights I could, without saturating the reader with an overload of information. 2008 Holds many good things, namely I find myself most eager to see retail shelves fill with: SATA-II SSD's that give the Raptor a run for the money, extreme bandwidth DDR3 at speeds over 2000MHz, quad-core CPU's that directly access the memory, efficient GPU's to power Stereosonic 3D graphics, and even a large collection of extremely effective HDT (heatpipe direct-touch) CPU coolers (Kingwin's starting lineup has a solid list of winners). Oh- and let's not forget about ESA (Enthusiast System Architecture); this will be the system management feature that I'm certain will make a big name for itself this year.
The 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show was every bit as impressive as I imagined it would be, and the future of computer technology has never looked so good. If you're thinking of going, I would strongly suggest that you read the corresponding article to this series titled Benchmark Reviews Experiences 2008 International CES. Thank you for reading, and look for upcoming reviews of many items I have uncovered here in this article.
Questions? Comments? Benchmark Reviews really wants your feedback. We invite you to leave your remarks in our Discussion Forum.