AMD-760 on Nov. 20th?
So says this Akiba PC Hotline! article. Yes, it is in Japanese but I will do an informal translation. Apparently, there are two stores that are already selling "samples" of the infamous Gigabyte GA-7DX motherboard. The GA-7DX is a hybrid motherboard in that it uses the AMD-761 NorthBridge and the VIA VT82C686B SouthBridge instead of the AMD-766 SouthBridge that most AMD-760 motherboards will have. One store called "Tsukumo" is selling the 1.1 version of the GA-7DX and another store by the name of "Faith" is selling the 2.3 version of the same motherboard. In fact, they say that the board itself looks like any other Socket A board until you notice the DDR memory slots. The difference between the 1.1 and 2.3 versions is that the 2.3 does not have an AMR slot and onboard Creative Labs sound. Also, the 2.3 version has a chip cooler on top of the NorthBridge. It remains to be seen what the final retail version will resemble.
"Tsukumo" is not commenting on an official release except to say that they expect final motherboards before the year is out. Here is where this gets interesting. "Faith" is expecting another shipment of motherboards on the 20th of November. Does that ring a bell? Yes, it is the same date that the Pentium 4 / i850 combo is set to debut. Another game of one-upsmanship? If this does indeed come to pass, it is not clear whether the motherboard they will be receiving on the 20th will be the final shipping version or just another sample prior to an official retail release. Moreover, even if they have the motherboard they have no processor capabIe of handling the 266 MHz bus as of yet. The article has pictures of the GA-7DX so have a look even if you can't read it.
In Intel news, this press release is announcing the Celeron 766 and 733 MHz processors tomorrow (Monday).