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Intel's Prescott makes multimedia play


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Intel will release a new desktop chip next month, kicking off what will likely be an intense effort to get computers into the living room.

.....

"If it looks like a PC, it won't end up in the living room," Mark Vena, director of Dimension products at Dell, said during an interview at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. "In the next 12 to 24 months, there will be a dramatic shift in design.

the E PC--a computer that resembles a set-top box--will highlight these changes. The E PC is a full-fledged Prescott/Windows XP machine that sits on a TV and serves up music, recorded TV programs, photos and other media files, Intel President Paul Otellini said at CES. Rather than a keyboard, it is operated with a remote.

.....changes include DDR 2 memory, which delivers data at a higher rate than current 400MHz DDR memory, and High Definition Audio. Some Grantsdale chipsets will come with an enhanced integrated graphics chip that will rival much of the technology on the market, Burns said.

.....the chip will sport an improved version of HyperThreading, which lets a processor run two tasks simultaneously. Taken together, these features could make it easier to decompress video

....Intel has also worked to reduce the noise in these systems by designing new impellers--the blades on fans--and reorganizing the way parts are placed inside the PC chassis to improve air flow,

Full article here: http://news.com.com/Intel%27s+Prescott+mak....html?tag=st.rn

Regards

DA

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This sounds well and good, but the problem I've noticed lately is the lack of PCI slots in current motherboards. Everything is going PCI-Express it seems, and lately some really good motherboards have been discontinued (due to i875 chipsets being discontinued - I'm told by my supplier.) (ABIT IC7-MAX3, and Tyan S5101 for example - both have good raid solutions built-in too.)

I've only heard of PCI and USB digital tuners, and having 5, 6 or 7 USB tuners just isn't going to work as well as having a bunch of (5) PCI ones - and I have evidence that the PCI bus isn't even being fully used with that many DVB devices... We are losing options, and losing them quickly folks! And for no reason or gain otherwise. Nobody is going to release PCI-X tuners either IMO since they just don't need that bandwidth, possibly multi-tuners though?

A side note, that artical was released in January, the chip has already been released and I have a 3.2GHz version running in a machine here... They do work well, but the standard CPU fan which comes in the box is still noisy. My motherboard allows it to be slowed down, but sometimes slower speeds vibrate the components quite loudly making it noisier!

Jason.

ps. The InterVideo codec which came with my motherboard is newer than other versions which came with my DVB cards, and I expect it uses the new multimedia instructions that the Prescott P4 has. Seems to use a few % less CPU anyway.

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Reading from your quotes, it sounds like your standard, typically vacuous grab for press coverage. Faster CPU / memory subsystems and better integrated video/audio are unnecessary for the type of remote-controlled living room PC they're talking about--Intel and AMD could stop releasing new products for the next three years and that wouldn't hamper development. In fact, it would probably be of benefit as it would allow hardware and drivers to become more mature and stable, force developers to make their software more efficient, and bring the market for efficient, discrete video processing chips into the mainstream. As far as quieter system design is concerned, that is just laughable coming from Intel, given Prescott has distinguished itself as the worst x86 CPU ever in this regard. If you want to talk about which general PC components have been most important in recent years for PC-based PVRs, it's probably the hard disk and DVD writer. But the real enabling technologies for living room PVR PCs are DTV hardware and, most importantly, software like ShowShifter, DigiTV, MythTV and Windows Media Centre.

Actually, I just followed the link to the article and noticed it's dated 27 January 2004. Which is good, because with the benefit of hindsight we can see it for what it is. Tell me one thing Prescott allows you to do with DTV that you couldn't do a year ago?

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Nothing wrong with information quoting.

Very few here would be aware of these trends.

Things have come along way in the present ease of HTPC configurations. I think back over the last five years and the overall trends is the true writing on the wall.

As enthusiats we tend to be rather impatience and only look at the short falls. As for PCI express it will take some time before this new bus technology matures.

How we deal with overheat / hot chips is an issue if you carefully read the well intentioned Intel company will be resolved more incrementally then just release of certian chipsets.

Six months is a long time in computer hardware.

Regards

DA

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Nothing wrong with information quoting.

Very few here would be aware of these trends.

Things have come along way in the present ease of HTPC configurations. I think back over the last five years and the overall trends is the true writing on the wall.

As enthusiats we tend to be rather impatience and only look at the short falls. As for PCI express it will take some time before this new bus technology matures.

How we deal with overheat / hot chips is an issue if you carefully read the well intentioned Intel company will be resolved more incrementally then just release of certian chipsets.

Six months is a long time in computer hardware.

Regards

DA

Don't let one persons opinion stop you from quoting information you come along DA. I for one am quite eager to soak up as much info on these topics as possible.

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Guest Gizmomelb

agreed DA, I was reading about the BTX and uBTX designs and Intel's intentions months ago and I think it's a good step in the right direction - I was just having some fun :blink:

heck, go back 12 months and people would have been having a go at the AMD CPUs for running so hot.

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Intel definetly needs to sort out the Prescott thermal throttling issue, or at least introduce a stable way to reduce the CPU power requirements whilst running.

I can see a market for the Athlon-M Market in the living room. The processor can be throttled, requiring less cooling by making the power requirements lower.

I cannot honestly see the need for an extreme top end processor for a PC in the living room. Displaying a HD TV stream on a reasonable processor with proper hardware decoding should not be an issue, removing the need for a huge amount of RAM and CPU clocks + cache.

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My software allows you to watch 7 live PIP windows at the same time as you are watching live-tv or timeshifting recorded programs. You need all the power you can get to do this (and still have stable recording on up to 35 streams on the 5 cards.) 3.2GHz gives you 5 PIPs with smooth motion, after 5, a couple of the PIP windows will start to reduce their frame rate.

Jason.

ps. I don't sit there and watch all the prime stations - but it's nice to be able to switch them on and off when you just want to check...

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Intel faces performance struggle for two hard years

The Roadmap to Recovery: Part I 10GHz was dreaming the impossible dream

http://theinquirer.net/?article=19105

How Intel will rip up its current roadmaps

The Roadmap to Recovery II Competition is the name of the game

http://theinquirer.net/?article=19110

Intel changes likely to force WinXP 64 delay

It's the drivers, stoopid

http://theinquirer.net/?article=19112

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