AMD / ATI Chipset - Deals Nvidia a Cold Slap to the Kisser
Last year AMD bought the graphics chip designer responsible for the GPU in the Xbox 360 for $5.4 billion. Back then, visions of CPU wonder chips with built in graphics APIs danced in our heads. Now the merger's first offering is a motherboard chipset. It may be far less sexy but had to happen first and here's why:
The new RS690 chipset will specifically support AMD's Athlon 64 processors by incorporating ATI's X1200 series graphics processing. The chipset is the bus - traffic operator built into the motherboard of your PC. This is neither a graphics chip nor CPU but as the electron traffic controller between both and system memory the chipset has significant effect on all of the above.
The new graphics chipset will share core features normally associated with your graphics engines. The 690 chipset will run all that Windows Vista eye candy and support enhanced bus speeds and ATI's Avivo reference for advanced high definition video. Great for next generation PCs that are required to support advanced applications and standards like HD DVD, Blu-ray and the HDMI specification.
"The real significance...it muscles AMD into the high end chipset business. A slap to the face of Nvidia"
Expect the new mother board chipset to support a bevy of other fine features like DirectX9, H.264, VC-1 HD video 10 USB and four SATA ports and even support for PATA hard drives. This makes it a nice chipset for your next motherboard using AMD Athlon 64 processors but this isn't anything that will rock the world of graphics engines or CPU clock cycles. At least not yet, AMD promises this is just the beginning and will offer long term support for its platform. So, we'll start to see more that takes advantage of this collaboration between AMD and ATI that AMD hopes will catapult it past the competition.
The real significance in the new chipset including ATI technology is it muscles AMD into the high end chipset business, a slap to the face of Nvidia. Long has ATI touted third party chipset Nforce by Nvidia which has been the performer for your AMD Athlon based PC.
The new graphics enhanced RS690 chipset will enter direct competition with Nvidia's MCP61 chipset. AMD isn't afraid to toot its horn claiming that it'll blow the doors off anything made by Intel but also Nvidia in benchmarks that include 3DMark, Aquamark, Half-Life2 and FarCry.