By pressing a “Turbo” button on the top right of the unit near the keyboard, the user activates an automatic overclocking feature that bumps the front-side bus speed from 200MHz to 240MHz (800MHz to 960MHz “effective”). The system is based on Intel’s new Santa Rosa platform, and it features a 15.4″ wide-screen display with a mobile GeForce 8600M GT 512MB graphics processor. There’s also a built-in 1.3-megapixel camera and external Serial ATA (eSATA) support.
Turbo laptops aside, MSI also had some interesting motherboards and graphics cards on display. Two upcoming motherboards based on Intel X38 and AMD RD790 chipsets were shown side by side:
Both feature four physical PCI Express x16 slots. MSI tells us that’s in preparation for a possible quad-CrossFire setup from AMD, although nothing seems to be definite just yet. MSI’s RD790 boards will also have a Serial Attached SCSI controller with support for either two SAS or SATA drives. Cooling on these boards isn’t final, by the way—both will have “big heat pipes” when they hit stores.
MSI’s graphics showcase featured a dual-Radeon HD 2600 XT CrossFire setup squeezed onto a single (and rather large) board.
But don’t expect to see this product in stores. MSI says performance is lackluster and that it’s “not a good solution.” Instead, AMD fans will want MSI’s upcoming Radeon HD 2600 XT:
This model is passively cooled, and MSI says performance will be a little lower than that of Nvidia’s GeForce 8600 GTS. However, pricing will be 20-25% lower—in fact, MSI says sub-$150 price tags are a certainty for 2600 XT offerings.
For those who want something even cheaper, MSI will also have Radeon HD 2600 Pro offerings. These will be slightly slower than Nvidia’s GeForce 8600 GT, but again, prices will also be lower. MSI will release models in both PCI Express and AGP flavors, both with passive cooling.