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Mobo makers show unlaunched Nvidia chipsets

790i, GeForce 8300, anyone?

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CeBIT A number of Nvidia's upcoming chipsets made unscheduled appearances at CeBIT this week, in particular the as-yet-unlaunched nForce 790i and variants. So did the 'MCP78', expected to debut as the GeForce 8000 series.

Nvidia already offers the GeForce 8200 for AMD processors, but a few motherboard makers were showing off Intel versions, stated to be based on the 'MCP7A' chipset. AMD-friendly, MCP78-based GeForce 8300 boards could also be seen fixed to vendors' booth walls.

Both 8200 and 8300 chipsets contain DirectX 10 integrated GPUs. The Intel versions support CPUs running on frontside bus (FSB) speeds of up to 1333MHz. The AMD variants will HyperTransport 3.0. Both can handle DDR 2 memory clocked at up to 1066MHz.

All the board support Nvidia's GeForce Boost and HybridPower technologies. The former allows the integrated GPU to render 3D with a GPU slotting into the PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot the chipset provides. HybridPower is all about energy conservation: using the integrated GPU to save power and only starting up a discrete GPU when performance is essential.

The 8300 brings Hybrid SLI support to the table.

There's a version of both Intel and AMD chipsets without the integrated GPU - the nForce 730i and 730a, respectively - and these two made CeBIT appearances.

The Intel-oriented 790i SLI and 790i Ultra SLI turned up on a variety of stands. Various vendors pointed out the part's support for a 1600MHz FSB and dual-channel DDR 3 memory clocked at 1600-2132MHz.

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