NOVEMBER 1997 CALIFORNIA GRAPHICS FIRST TO DELIVER HIGH PERFORMANCE AGP SOCKET 7 MOTHERBOARD THAT SUPPORTS INTEL, CYRIX/IBM AND AMD PROCESSORS California Graphics Delivers AGP Motherboards That Offer High Performance at Lower Cost Over Current Slot 1 and Pentium II Solutions
November 17, 1997California Graphics, the 3D performance specialist, has announced the release of its next generation Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) motherboard for the Socket 7 processor platform, the Sunray II VIA AGP. This the first motherboard to be available that is based on the new VP3 AGP chipset from VIA Technologies which includes many new advanced features previously unavailable in Socket 7 chipset designs. The new board supports a wide variety of processors such as Intel's Pentium® MMX, Cyrix/IBM's MX and AMD's K6. The other next-generation offerings in California Graphics new AGP range of motherboards are based on the new Intel LX chipset for Pentium® II processors, allowing the company to provide motherboards targeting all current PC microprocessors.
"We are really excited to see, as well as support, so many high performance processor choices in the marketplace," said Vincenzo Coccoli, Chairman and CEO of California Graphics. "With the introduction of the Sunray VIA AGP motherboard, we provide tremendous AGP platforms for systems in all price ranges. This next generation Socket 7 board, with either a Pentium MMX, a Cyrix 6x86MX or an AMD K6 processor, provides incredible performance for the pound, and the widest choice of processors to run on it. This board has been optimised to increase the performance of these processors, and can be used to provide systems with close to Pentium II performance for hundreds of dollars less than present Pentium II solutions allow.
"The AGP is the next generation for graphics. The 66/133MHz AGP bus is dramatically faster at graphics throughput than the existing 33MHz PCI bus -- offering a speed improvement of between 40 percent and 75 percent. This is really noticeable to the user with superb fluid motion -- even at high resolution and refresh rates. Removing the bottleneck of the PCI bus will enable users to make the most of the multimedia advances that are happening almost monthly, but are hampered by the limitations of the existing PCI bus. PCI is hard pressed to cope with real time, full screen video and high resolution 3D graphics that is starting to be needed for everything from video conferencing to multi-window applications and from interactive games to computer modelling. Speed is the critical factor, and AGP really 'turbo-charges' graphics throughput."
In addition to the Sunray II VIA AGP, California Graphics Power Pro II AGP and Power Pro II AGP VIDEO motherboards offer next-generation AGP support for the Pentium II for the higher end of the price spectrum. A Pentium II processor and a Power Pro II AGP motherboard combine to provide tremendous processing power representing the fastest available x86 platform on the market.
The AGP Family of Products
The new motherboards in the new AGP range are the Sunray II Via AGP supporting Socket 7 processors such as Intel's Pentium processors; the Power Pro II AGP featuring a Socket Slot 1 and the new Intel LX chipset targeting Pentium II processors; and the Power Pro II AGP VIDEO multimedia motherboard with features of the Power Pro II as well as built-in AGP graphics and audio. All three motherboards comply with PC '98 -- Microsoft's specification for Windows '98-ready motherboards with USB (Universal Serial Bus) connectors, electronic temperature sensors, Microsoft ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) for advanced power management, 'OnNow' for instant operation, Ultra DMA/33 for 33 MB per second data output from the hard drive, and have a Year 2000 compliant BIOS. All support high performance SDRAM memory.
"Our next-generation AGP range of products allow us to deliver something outstanding to everyone today," said Coccoli. Speed is the critical factor for increasing graphics performance for all users -- games players, business users, and designers. California Graphics recognised the need for AGP motherboards and graphics cards, and became an early development partner with Intel. Our development experience gives us a head start in designing AGP solutions. We are one of the first to introduce a family of AGP motherboards, and the first to ensure compatibility with all popular processors."
The three new California Graphics AGP motherboards are now shipping and available in limited quantities. The Sunray VIA AGP and the Power Pro II AGP are available in AT and ATX form factors while the Power Pro II AGP VIDEO is available only in ATX. Estimated pricing for the boards is approximately $170 for the Sunray VIA AGP, around $270 for the Power Pro II AGP and around $450 for the Power Pro II AGP VIDEO. OEM and reseller pricing is available upon request.
The Sunray II Via AGP
This motherboard has been designed to take the Socket 7 enabling it to be used with Intels Pentium and Pentium with MMX technology™, AMDs K6™, and Cyrix/IBMs 6x86MX™ super-scalar processors up to 300MHz. It uses the Apollo VP3 chipset from VIA technologies and special performance enhancing techniques to deliver superb performances. These include deeper pipelining capabilities, higher bandwidth support on the memory side, a memory controller that is able to handles multiple open pages, more efficient memory timing, and higher clock frequency.
The board has one 133MHz (2x mode) AGP slot, three PCI slots and four ISA slots. It supports one floppy port, one parallel port, two serial UART 16550 ports, two Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports and one IrDA infra red port. There is 512k of L2 cache and four 72 pin SIMM sockets and three 168-pin DIMMs for up to 384MB of FPM, EDO or SDRAM main memory. The on-board EIDE interface provides connection for hard drives and CD-ROMs, and the AWARD BIOS is fully ISA Plug & Play and DMI 2.0 power management compliant.
The Power Pro II AGP
Based on the Intel 82440LX chipset with a Socket Slot 1, this motherboard can handle Intel Pentium II® processors with speeds of up to 300MHz. Up to 768 MB of SDRAM is possible via three 168-pin DIMM sockets, while L2 cache is integral to the processor. The board has one AGP slot, three PCI slots and three ISA slots. It supports one floppy port, one parallel port, two serial UART 16550 ports, two USB ports and one IrDA infra red port. The on-board EIDE interface provides connection for hard drives and CD-ROMs, and the AMIBIOS BIOS is fully ISA Plug & Play and DMI power management compliant. A very useful function is the ability to turn the computer on by remote dial-in via a modem.
The Power Pro II AGP VIDEO
This multimedia motherboard uses the Intel 82440LX chipset with a Socket Slot 1 and is also fitted with a Creative Labs ViBRA 16C Series sound chip and an S3d ViRGE/GX2 AGP graphics accelerator chip with 4MB of SGRAM memory that feeds directly into the AGP bus.
The board has four PCI slots and three ISA slots. It supports one floppy port, one parallel port, two serial UART 16550 ports, two USB ports and one IrDA infra red port. There are three 168-pin DIMMs for up to 768 MB of SDRAM main memory. The on-board EIDE interface provides connection for hard drives and CD-ROMs, and the AMIBIOS BIOS is fully ISA Plug & Play and DMI power management compliant.
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