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PCI-Express 3.0 Hits Backwards Compatibility Roadblock, Delayed

PCI-SIG (Special Interest Group), the organisation responsible for development of PCI specifications announced that generation 3 PCI-Express (PCI-E 3.0), is off its target launch time from late-2009 to Q2 2010. Although work on the bus is almost finished, there seems to be problems with implementing backwards-compatibility with older generations of PCI-E. Assuming PCI-E 3.0 is standardised in Q2 2010, one can expect implementing products (motherboards and expansion cards supporting PCI-E 3.0) only by a year later.

PCI-E 3.0 packs features that overcome the bottlenecks of PCI-E 2.0, such as the removal of the 8P/10b encoding scheme that added at least 20% data overhead for the 5 GT/s PCI-E 2.0, reducing it to 4 GT/s effective. At 8 GT/s the new bus will have effectively twice the bandwidth.

ASUS Unveils New Xonar HDAV1.3 Slim Sound Card

ASUS, a leading producer of home theater PC (HTPC) solutions, today added a new member to its HDAV family: the ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 Slim sound card. The CES-award winning Xonar HDAV1.3 Series of audio cards has been credited for revolutionizing the world of HTPC by offering the world's first and only solution to bitstream true Blu-ray audio on the PC platform, and this new offering is no different.

ASUS Xonar Essence ST Audio Card with World’s First Precision Audio Clock Tuning

In its search for the purest essence of sound, ASUS have broken the boundaries with the newest soundcard on the market, the Xonar Essence ST. This PCI card is the world's first audio card to incorporate precision clock tuning to minimize audio jitter, bringing the user a clearer, crisper listening experience. The Xonar Essence ST card can also be upgraded to 7.1 channel output with the use of the Xonar H6 multi-channel extension board, which will be sold separately in the near future.

The Xonar Essence ST is capable of achieving an industry-leading 124dB SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio) in signal clarity and offers a built-in headphone amplifier to obtain the best performance out of any available pair of headphones. Thanks to ASUS' exclusive Hyper-grounding and EMI Shield design, even the most demanding audiophile will be satisfied with the unprecedented sound quality.

Novac Places 2.5 inch HDDs in Expansion Card Slots

In case you have completely run out of 3.5", and 5.25" drive bays to cram in the last of your hard drives, and have a few slots next to your RAID card left, you would probably like this enclosure. Novac designed what it calls "PCI mounting kit", that uses one expansion card slot to hold a 2.5" HDD. What's more, it even provides a door that allows users to add or remove the drive from behind the case, without having to remove it. This perhaps is also its biggest USP, as 2.5" drives, especially SSDs, are very pocketable. Novac plans to sell this for about $36 a piece.

Albatron Launches Three PCI Low-Profile GeForce 8 Video Cards

If you're on the market, looking for a card that will work on most of today's PCs, you'd be surprised to know that Albatron is launching a trio of new PCI low-profile graphics cards. Yes they are PCI, not PCI-Express compatible and they are part of the GeForce 8 generation. The cards are dubbed PCI8600GT-256X, PCI8500GT-256X, PCI8400GS-256, and represent GeForce 8600 GT, 8500 GT and 8400 GS respectively. The first two cards come equipped with GDDR3 memory, 128-bit interface and HDMI connectivity while the PCI8400GS-256 makes use of GDDR2 chips, a 64-bit interface and has no HDMI. All three cards come with 256MB memory, DVI and TV-Out connectors.
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