MSI, Asus Showcase Sandy Bridge Notebooks At CES

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Notebook manufacturers at the Consumer Electronics Show 2011 in Las Vegas this week are increasingly lining up behind Intel's Sandy Bridge integrated graphics platform.

MSI and Asus Wednesday joined the expanding list of PC makers that have launched products featuring Intel's Core i7 2600K and Core i5 2500K processors, which include an integrated high-resolution graphics processing unit and video compression, as well as access to system clock settings. Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo said they will incorporate the much-anticipated low-cost processors in their products when Intel unveiled Sandy Bridge at the opening of CES Monday.

MSI Wednesday launched the GT780, GT680, GE620 and GR620 notebooks, each of which includes a Core i7 Sandy Bridge processor. The 15.6-inch MSI GT680 notebook will be available later this month for a starting price of $1,499. The 17.3-inch GT780 will ship in the second quarter of this year; no price has been revealed.

MSI's G Series features discrete GPUs from Nvidia with DirectX 11 support. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 500 Series and 400 Series graphics cards are inside select G Series models, along with Dynaudio speakers and USB ports across the board. In December, Nvidia said that more than 200 PC upcoming PCs from a range of OEMs will feature Nvidia's GeForce GPUs paired with Intel's Sandy Bridge platform , noting that the integrated solution did not render discrete graphics any less attractive to high-end graphics users.

MSI also is releasing new motherboards aimed at taking advantage of Sandy Bridge's capabilities, after Intel this week launched the P67 chipset for LGA1155 socket motherboards. With high-end P67A-GD-80 and the more affordable H67 and P67 boards, MSI said users will be able to configure their motherboards for Intel's Core i7, Core i5 and Core i3 processors, although the manufacturer did not offer pricing details.

Fellow Taiwanese OEM Asus Wednesday launched its G73SW A1 laptop powered by Intel Core i7 Sandy Bridge processors. The G73SW comes with a 17.3-inch HD display offering 1,920 x 1,080-pixel resolution, two detachable 2.5-inch SATA hard disk drives, an ATA interface, and a 1-inch optical drive bay. Weighing in at 8.5 pounds, it includes 64-bit wide DDR3 memory, a digital video camera and storage space expandable to 16 GB DDR3.


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