CeBIT 2008: Albatron 5

CeBIT 2008: Albatron Review

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Albatron is showing of the entire available GeForce 9 series cards. The 9800 GX2 can be viewed, with the reference design cooler, but with the addition of a Albatron logo. The 9600 GT has been changed from its reference design and is available with 1GB memory or with a special cooler, which features better thermal characteristics and a larger, quieter fan.

The G92 based GeForce 8 cards on the other hand are reference design. Once again, the only difference is an Albatron sticker on the reference cooler.

There are a few low-end cards, which are quite unique. Albatron is now offering a PCI based GeForce 8600GT and a 8400GS, which should make it the fastest PCI card out there. If you are wondering "why PCI?", this GPU should go perfectly with the mini-ITX boards, which usually only feature a single PCI slot for expansion. The second card is another 8600GT, this time as a PCIe variant. It also features a low profile layout, making it perfect for HTPCs with modern ATX or mATX boards. The third graphic card is a "Blue-Ray Decoder Card", which is just a low profile GeForce 8500 GT. All of these entry level GPUs feature onboard HDMI, so these are clearly aimed for use as part of a home theater system.

Albatron also has some new ITX based mainboards on display. The first is a AM2 based board, which is slightly larger than the standard mITX, but also features a PCIe x1 slot. The second is the same board, but without the extra expansion slot, and thus a smaller size. This AM2 board has been shown at previous shows as well. The newest addition to the mITX AMD 690G based mainboard family is a verion which uses an S1 socket.

This means you can equip the board with a Turion or Sempron mobile processor instead of a desktop Athlon/Sempron. The same type of mainboard is available for mobile Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs, using the G965 chip. This board actually features a PCIe x16 slot so you can use modern graphic cards as well.

If you look closer at the Albatron full sized ATX mainboards, you will find a AMD 790FX equipped one, which features the three full size PCIe slots as well as three PCI variants. The South bridge and north bridge are being cooled by simple heatsinks, as there is no need for more with this chip set. Another new comer is the X48 based Intel board. It also features the blue PCB, as the X38 and also shares the exact same layout.

You will also find three identical boards on display, with the only difference being the chipset used. The first board uses a P35, the second a G43 and the third a G45 chipset. The latter two feature onboard graphics. This means that you should get the same performance as a P35/45 based board, but can choose to upgrade to a seperate graphic card at a later point.

On the entry-level you will find a compact but full sized P31 board. It comes with a green PCB and only two memory slots. This board is intended for budget systems, wanting to take full advantage of all the main features of the P35 chipset at a lower price point.

Albatron also offers all-in-one systems and Point of Sale terminals, using their mainboards. These utilize the mITX mainboard, AMD Geode and Compact Flash cards for these systems.
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