Expo Preview: Hardware

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Graphics Cards

The Mac market has been salivating for faster, richer game playing. 3dfx will show its highly anticipated Voodoo 5 series of 3D graphics cards aimed at both the Macintosh game and professional markets.

SGI will be showing its new MultiLink adapter in booth 1913. The card brings DVI and VGA compatibility as well as variable color temperature backlighting to their 1600SW digital flat panel.

ATI will spotlight graphics cards based on its recently announced RADEON 256 graphics chip, with possibly other announcements at the show.

Other Ways to Fill PCI Slots

Creative Labs booth will be chock full of toys. The company will be demonstrating their latest progress on the Mac drivers for its SoundBlaster card. Also on display will be the Nomad MP3 player, a low-cost digital camera, and additions to the Emu high-end professional audio line.

Intel has been talking up USB 2.0. Despite its speed of 480 Mbps, and backward compatibility with USB 1.0, Apple has dismissed USB 2.0 in favor of FireWire. If you'd like to see what all the hubbub is about, Orange Micro is showing a PCI interface card that supports USB 2.0 and a USB 2.0 hub. The company will have a Mac prototype at Expo booth 555.

ATTO Technology is debuting the ATTO ExpressPCI UL3S SCSI host adapter. At $349, the UL3S is an affordably priced SCSI Ultra3 PCI card. Although the card only has one SCSI channel, with ATTO's Vpath Technology, users are able to connect older SCSI devices to one port without slowing the other. The card has one internal connector and one external connector, each capable of transferring data at a maximum of 160 MBps.

More Peripherals

In booth 1331, Wacom will debut a new LCD pen tablet. Company representatives couldn't release many details, but they say the new tablet will be larger and have greater color depth than any other Wacom tablet. Wacom will also have a show special on the Graphire consumer tablet: $99 for the pen, tablet, and Corel Painter Classic and Adobe Photoshop LE.

Newcomer IXLA will be showing off an inexpensive 640x480 digital camera. The Photo Easy Dual Cam comes bundled with Corel and Canto, and it's cute as a button. It uses USB for connecting to your Mac.

Marathon, a well-established supplier of Sun Microelectronic SPARC systems, is introducing a couple of new racks at Expo. The multi-system units distribute processor intensive rendering. Go to the Marathon booth to see the company's new 8 node cluster. They are also introducing two rack unit tuck-aways, the gRack G4 Sawtooth, and the PowerRackPro G4 Sawtooth.

Sure, your iMac slices, dices and juliennes, but wouldn't it be great if it also played your favorite soap operas? Eskape Labs will be showing MyTVGo, a portable TV Tuner that connects via USB. MyTVGo won't be shipping until late September.

Right next door to Eskape is CompuCable. The company will be demoing the Q-Dock, a new palm-sized all-in-one peripheral for iMacs, G4s, and PowerBooks. The Q-Dock is basically a 2 port USB hub with an additional 2 serial ports and an ADB port.

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