Alienware PC To Contain Two Graphics Cards

Alienware Corp. has designed a "video array" that places two PC graphics cards in parallel on a single motherboard, an innovation that could dramatically its PCs' graphics processing power. According to an Alienware spokesman, the company believes Video Array will offer between 50 to 90 percent more performance than a single graphics card. A custom-designed "X2" motherboard using an Intel-based chipset will support graphics cards from either ATI Technologies Inc. or Nvidia Corp. "We've completely moved the benchmark," an Alienware spokesman said.

The Alienware Video Array and X2 motherboard will debut either late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter, exclusively through Alienware's new ALX brand, catering to high-performance gamers, the company said. The technology looks remarkably similar to the Parallel Graphics Configuration graphics card maker Metabyte Technology pioneered in 1999, when it took two Voodoo 2 SLI cards from 3Dfx Technology and ran them in parallel. The Voodoo 2 Scan-Line Interleave technology allowed the two graphics cards to draw alternating horizontal lines of resolution; Metabyte slightly altered the technology, allowing each card to draw one half of the screen. The Metabyte PGC technology was eventually purchased by Alienware, although the PC maker never shipped any products based on the technology.

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