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First Look: Enthusiast System Architecture

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DougEdey 5th November 2007, 17:07 Quote
I can see this being very very advantageous, I meant all of it is implemented in laptops at the moment, so I can't see there being too much difficulty for the big manufacturers to implement it in their high end gear.

The only thing is, how much will it cost the end user :p
Tyinsar 5th November 2007, 17:11 Quote
To me it sounds like a bunch of ideas thought up by marketers (esp the bit about only supporting "next gen" platforms) but maybe, just maybe, something useful might come of it anyway. As you say, it has potential.

Still, the most interesting part for me was:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
... and while we can’t talk about AMD’s next-generation platform today, we can assure you that you’ll be hearing about it on bit-tech in a few weeks.
radodrill 5th November 2007, 17:20 Quote
I can see it having potential; but they should at least support the current generation of system hardware.

I'd also like to see a lot of support for modders; in particular those scratch-building cases.
airchie 5th November 2007, 17:28 Quote
I can see shed-loads of potential in this tbh.

I was always annoyed by having to install loads of different apps to OC the CPU, gfx card etc and separate stuff to monitor their temps and having to watch it manually to make sure none of them got too hot etc.

In theory, with this, you can have software (written for any OS) that interfaces with your hardware to allow overclocking, monitoring and reaction dependant on what the hardware is doing.
You could have sevral profiles (like I currently have on my laptop) for different things.
ie, my 'downloading' profile sets everything to go as slow as poss and never to suspend and to stay on when I close the lid.
I can then select this profile, start sabnzbd or my downloader of choice, close the lid and leave it to do it's thing quietly in the corner without wasting any extra power.
I also have a 'gaming' profile which, as you probably guessed sets everything to go flat out.
I have a 'media' one that turns all fans to as low as poss for watching films etc.

Having that control on a PC would be great, especially once some open-source app comes along that is all-encompassing.
You could build your gaming PC but also use it to do downloads overnight by underclocking all parts and reducing fan speeds without it leathering your leccy bill. :)
ThE-LyNX 5th November 2007, 17:36 Quote
Yeah as airchie says there is LOADSA potential but i can see some draw backs already.

Cheaper products that will REQUIRE the monitoring software to even work properly( ie instead of you psu having thermal control circuitry that does the job automatically they will just farm it off to the software). Kinda like some of the REALLY REALLY poor wireless network helpers that install with the usb wireless dongles that are unstable at best and at worse bjork your pc, but you HAVE to put up with them to be able to use the adaptor. Transfer the same problems over to your PSU or CASE and yeah loadsa fun.

Yeah loads up sides can be had with a system like this but i think there could easily be some quite major downsides.
Tim S 5th November 2007, 17:41 Quote
I think the biggest downside is the one where it doesn't actually have some kind of standard to ensure the data is reasonably accurate - data that's massively inaccurate is about as useful as a chocolate teapot. :p
Gunsmith 5th November 2007, 17:50 Quote
it sounds nice and there are potentials but you really should have been thinking and planning all this before you bought the parts. not afterwards.
Jipa 5th November 2007, 18:19 Quote
"Not every hardware site has access to the exclusive equipments we use while reviewing the PSUs, so READ OUR REVIEWS AND DON'T EVEN TAKE A PEEK AT THE OTHERS"

Got my eye there for some reason :D
Bindibadgi 5th November 2007, 18:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jipa
"Not every hardware site has access to the exclusive equipments we use while reviewing the PSUs, so READ OUR REVIEWS AND DON'T EVEN TAKE A PEEK AT THE OTHERS"

Got my eye there for some reason :D

:D:D:D

Well, would you want to read results taken from any old system or a proper load bench with multimeter to take secondary readings? :P

e-peen+++ /makes elephants blush
Zurechial 5th November 2007, 19:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
I think the biggest downside is the one where it doesn't actually have some kind of standard to ensure the data is reasonably accurate - data that's massively inaccurate is about as useful as a chocolate teapot. :p

While reading the article, that was the exact thing I was worried about :(
I was hoping that something like ESA might force companies to produce components with reliable, calibrated temperature sensors in places such as CPU/NB/GPU, etc - Instead of sensors which produce results that, according to some, can be +/-15C of the actual value :(


Overall, I like the idea of the ESA system and I hope takeup of it is increased, as long as it doesn't introduce a price premium for the consumer.
It'd be nice to see some other names from Water-cooling involved though.. I'd rather see Danger Den, HW-Labs, Laing and Thermochill mentioned than Thermaltake..
chrisb2e9 5th November 2007, 19:37 Quote
I can see this as being a great way to help trouble shoot a system. Especially if you can look at the psu and see what its doing. It would be a great way to stop people from automatically assuming that its to blame for something.
Hamish 5th November 2007, 19:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
:D:D:D

Well, would you want to read results taken from any old system or a proper load bench with multimeter to take secondary readings? :P

e-peen+++ /makes elephants blush

Anand did it before you :p ¬_¬
Yemerich 5th November 2007, 19:43 Quote
I just loved this ESA. But if the results are inacurate, it loose all its purposes. In theory u can loose a CPU or a whole system because of innacurate readings. This is a terrible flaw. But it's still fun! :)
TreeDude 5th November 2007, 19:56 Quote
I should hope that the motherboards officially supporting this would have a dedicated USB controller just for this function. I would hate to have all those components cripple my USB connection.
Kipman725 5th November 2007, 20:36 Quote
this is actually awesome as motherboard sensors are hit and miss at the moment and there is no standard way of attaching additional probes to a case. I see no point in the hard disk having this as temps can already be gathered by SMART with little problem.

what would be cool would be a program that let you import a 3d model of your case and show the temps as colours on the various components/zones and use it as a desktop wall paper or display on a separate screen such as a case mounted PS1 screen.

*it should not be expensive if there mass producing chips with built in ADC's and the usb interface
TTmodder 5th November 2007, 21:04 Quote
make the system have it´s own little embedded "computer" incase of OS chrash, and make it linux for easy modifications and tweaking.
speedfreek 6th November 2007, 00:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyinsar
Still, the most interesting part for me was:
Quote:
... and while we can’t talk about AMD’s next-generation platform today, we can assure you that you’ll be hearing about it on bit-tech in a few weeks.

Me too. :D

I like the idea but it all sounds expensive by using microprocessors to do all the communication, thats how I understood it and feel free to correct me. If each device needs a separate chip then whats the point? I can have some status lights that communicate what I want to know without using up any system overhead, Im not saying this is bad or that I dont like it but I just couldnt see myself spending the extra money to get all certified parts.
Anakha 6th November 2007, 01:09 Quote
Personally, I see this being a great step forward. Rather than relying on MBM/Speedfan (And hoping the sensors are reporting the values the programs are expecting), there will be a full and open system that can be plugged into by anything.

As for items reporting wrong values, having different hardware reporting it's values will keep them honest. After all, the PSU and MB will be reporting voltages, the MB and Heatsink will be reporting temperatures, the pump/sensors and waterblocks will all be reporting water temp (and/or flow rate), the chassis and fans will both be reporting temperatures, and so on. So if you have something that's reporting "Wrong", it'll show up with values that don't agree. It will also mean that enthusiast websites reviewing these things can measure their reported values against actual values and tell the informed enthusiast how accurate/honest the items are.

I think it would be a good idea for manufacturers to list what values are reported/adjustable on the packaging, so you can compare at-a-glance different products and make an informed choice.

And for chassis reporting, I think it'd be a good idea to have a 3D model included on the reporting IC (Flash?) in a standardised format (POV-Ray? DXF?) for both the chassis and motherboard, with the sensor positions marked, so any monitoring software can take the temp sensor data from that, and use the models to model the air/heat flow, and allow the user to make more informed choices about what fans to scale for the most efficient cooling (For instance, if there's nothing in a "Bottom zone" of a case, there's little point having that fan changing speed from it's minimum, as it will make little difference to the temperature flow). This shouldn't be too difficult for manufacturers, as they already have to have designs for the items in some form of CAD for mass-production, so exporting into a simplified format for this would be a matter of clicking a button and dumping the model data.

I see great potential for this, including (perhaps) 3rd-party devices for monitoring temperatures in more places (If the supplied options aren't enough), flow-meters, 5-pin fans (2 for fan power, so you can use PWM, 1 for fan speed measurement, 1 for temperature measurement, 1 common sensor ground), or even "Intelligent" USB fans that have sensors and PWM built in.

The only other thing that would make this so much more awesome would be a "Wireless Power/Data" system, so you just buy a fan without any cabling, and as soon as you screw it into the case it gets it's power from the internal net and reports values back to the system. That could have problems with signal quality on the silicon on-board the CPU/MB however, so wired power and wireless data (At a tiny wattage, as it would all be nicely contained within the small Faraday cage of the chassis, so there's no need for "Long distance" power ranges) would work fantastically. And with a 3-point diversity antenna system for the data, each reporting item could have it's position inside the case triangulated for mapping.

Mind you, this is all pie-in-the-sky thinking at the moment. Perhaps something this standard could strive to attain some time down the road. I think in theory a simple application of the 1-wire protocol could have done similar, but it doesn't seem to have found much use in the PC arena.
Woodstock 6th November 2007, 02:13 Quote
hmmmm its an open standard, i think i can see alternitive software in the future... its got some potential...
tuteja1986 6th November 2007, 03:31 Quote
I can see this whole thing end in misery by early 2009. As soon as Intel and AMD come out with intergated CPU/GPU processor.
Hugo 6th November 2007, 09:31 Quote
Have you seen Intel's roadmap? There are no plans for an integrated CPU/GPU die for the immediate future. Fusion hasn't been heard of since early in the year. And more to the point, what the heck does it matter if there is an integrated G/CPU? The standard still has application with the CPU, RAM, Motherboard (N/S-bridge), PSU, chassis fans, etc etc.

Loosing one component as it gets merged with another doesn't make the system any less effective or useful - it just has one less component to monitor and adjust.
Cupboard 6th November 2007, 09:38 Quote
This seems to be a great idea, but i can just see the mess of cable it could produce. If everything has an extra cable coming out of it, it will put about 50% more cables in the case.
g3n3tiX 6th November 2007, 12:23 Quote
It's interesting that the case shot shows 3 GPUs... (page 1)
ESA looks nice, but will surely make parts more expensive.
Cupboard 6th November 2007, 13:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3n3tiX
It's interesting that the case shot shows 3 GPUs... (page 1)
And they look like 8800 ultras too, power consumption would be interesting!
GuardianStorm 6th November 2007, 13:50 Quote
There are a couple of problems i can see with this:

1. im going to run out of USB ports. Again.
2. all these cables attaching to every part of my pc is going to make cable routing a nightmare.

on the plus side i think its a good idea (so far).

Lets hope they make some nice open source and/or a managed driver for the software for us devs to play with :)
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