Among the various agenda items at today's AMD press conference was a report card on it's plans for CPU/GPU integration -- a part of the company's long term vision now that it has acquired graphics tech titan ATI. During the conference, company spokespeople were very frank about the lead in graphics performance that NVidia's 8800 graphic solutions have over anything that ATI has to offer. That said, company officials also argue that the true benefits of the 8800 won't kick in until software titles supporting Microsoft's DirectX 10 graphics APIs (aka "DX10") hit the market. Currently there are none. But by the time those software titles start to ship, ATI claims that its competition to NVidia's 8800, currently codenamed the "R600," will be ready by the time the DX10 titles that need the sort of power that it and NVidia's GeForce 8800 deliver.
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I snapped a few pictures of AMD's R600 prototypes. See the gallery.
Prior to the press conference however, while I was told that we'd get see the R600 technology in action (inside some black box systems that were on site), we would not be given a peek at the actual PCI Express prototypes themselves. But there I was standing there with the press conference about to get underway when I looked down to my left and what did I see? As best as I could tell, they were the R600 prototypes, or some variant thereof.
Fortunately, I had my Nikon D70 dSLR out and I snapped a bunch of photos. Then, during the press conference, executive VP of AMD's Visual and Media Businesses Dave Orton (who came to AMD through the company's acquisition of ATI) said that he'd give us a peek at the boards as well as the insides of the demo boxes. But, for some reason, that phase of the press conference never happened (I think everyone simply forgot). So, I asked if they wouldn't mind if I posted the pictures that I snapped just prior to the beginning of the event. AMD agreed on the ground that I'd refer to the unit as a prototype. One of the pictures I took appears below an the rest are in a screen gallery that I just posted. Unfortunately, between the protective cover and the heat sink, there isn't a whole lot to see.