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ATI Accelerates Physics At Computex

ASUS Readies HDMI-enabled Graphics Cards

ATI Accelerates Physics At Computex

Our reporters visited the stand of ATI that yesterday officially introduced physics acceleration by its graphics cards. The company demonstrated the benefits of this approach comparing to dedicated PPUs (e.g., Ageia PhysX).

They claimed even Radeon X1600XT could provide twice as higher acceleration potential, while the top-end X1900XT could increase it by 9 times. Note that these values were seemingly obtained by simple multiplication of graphics card clock rate, bandwidth, etc. advantages over PPUs. Therefore they didn't indicate the actual performance advantage.

As a proof ATI played the scene with 1505 objects on a machine based on Intel Pentium XE 965 (3.73GHz), RD600 + SB600 motherboard and CrossFired Radeon X1900XT cards. They ran it with just software physics acceleration and with the additional Radeon X1600XT dedicated to this matter. In the former case they achieved 7 fps, while in the latter case the result was 45 fps already.

Of course, the benchmark was optimized but the result is surely impressive anyway. The first game based on Havok FX physics engine supporting ATI's hardware physics acceleration is expected in Q4'06 alongside with necessary drivers.

Source: iXBT

ASUS Readies HDMI-enabled Graphics Cards

At Computex 2006 ASUS showed two graphics cards with HDMI connectors on its stand. The first was an ATI Radeon X1600 Pro-based low-profile card with an HDMI and D-sub connector - a similar design to the ones that Sapphire has shown in the past. However, the second card was based on an Nvidia GeForce 7600GT and featured S/PDIF input.

There have been some concerns about how to enable sound from a graphics card over the HDMI connector, as HDMI also supports a digital audio stream. ASUS solved this by adding an optical S/PDIF connector to the rear of the graphics card. An optical S/PDIF cable is then used to connect the graphics card to your sound card's optical output port. This way the sound is transferred from the sound card to the graphics card and then sent out alongside with the video data.

However, there is still the issue of possible sync problems with the sound and the video and at this time it isn't clear if ASUS has managed to work around this problem.

Both cards supports HDCP content protection, and ASUS also supplies an HDMI-to-DVI dongle so you can still use both cards with a DVI-enabled display. ASUS also claimed that both cards are designed for Windows Vista.

A rather odd beast also made its appearance on the ASUS stand: a dual ATI Radeon X1600 XT card, much like the dual 7800 GT card that ASUS shipped in limited quantities. It wasn't clear if this was a real product or not as according to some sources it isn't possible as yet to fit two ATI GPUs on the same PCB in a CrossFire configuration.

Source: RegHardware

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