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EVGA's P55 Motherboard Lineup Revealed + P55 FTW Preview

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     August 19, 2009

Nvidia's Play Versus the Dragon



We have been hearing a lot about ATI and AMD's partnership with their Dragon platform, Nvidia hasn't been standing still. They figure that with the proper implementation, their GPUs coupled with a Lynnfield CPU and a P55 chipset-equipped motherboard will offer a price / performance ratio far above that of anything AMD / ATI can offer at this point. Nvidia calls it "The Power of 3".

This may seem like a bit of an idle boast but they have been making some massive inroads with SLI licensing for nearly all of their premier P55 board manufacturers. Indeed, nearly every single performance-oriented P55 board we have seen so far has included an SLI bridge.

However, there is more to Nvidia's claim than SLI.


Nvidia has implemented a new "PhysX Ready" certification code for certain motherboards that come properly equipped and ready to install a dedicated PhysX slot. I know many of you have been wondering what the use of that PCI-E x4 slot is on most of the P55 boards we have been seeing to date and now you know why: this is a dedicated slot needed for Nvidia's PhysX certification. You can run any card above a 9600 GT (they recommend using at least a 9800GT) in this slot for additional physics processing power.


With the additional "PhysX slot" showing up on countless well-priced motherboards and they prices of compatible graphics cards coming down in price physics processing can become a reality for even more gamers now. It should also be noted that this setup will provide additional performance in the WIndows 7 environment through the DirectX Compute and Open CL code paths.


Another boon for Nvidia is the fact that many affordable P55 motherboards will be shipping with dual x8 PCI-E support so enabling SLI on sub-$200 boards can become a reality. The addition of an nForce 200 chip can conceivably expand the GPU complement to encompass Tri-SLI as well.


By now you should all know that PhysX is here to stay and considering the list of games which will be released in the coming months with PhysX support, we can't see why you would want to turn a blind eye at this point. In addition, Windows 7 is about to usher in a whole new realm of possibilities when it comes to using your graphics card for parallel computing tasks and whether ATI fans want to admit it or not; Nvidia is at the forefront of GPU Compute technologies.

The Lynnfield platform has a real possibility to make Nvidia's "Power of 3" a household name but whether consumers embrace this trifecta has yet to be seen.
 
 
 

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