Duron finally gets integrated graphics chipset

Set to fly off shelves?

AMD shipped 1.5 million Durons in Q3, despite the cheapo chip being hamstrung by the lack of an integrated chipset enabling system builders to produce value systems without the need for a separate graphics card.

The new VIA ProSavage KM133 is based on the KT133 and uses the S3 Savage 4 3D graphics engine together with the shared memory architecture seen in Intel's 815 family. Like the 815E, the KM133 can also use an AGP 4X slot either for a separate graphics card or for additional texture cache using plug in memory modules.

The KM133 supports all Socket A Athlons and Durons and will also be available in a slightly cheaper variant, the KL133, supporting AGP 4x but without the on-chip graphics.

Together with the existing KT133A, all three chipsets support 200/266MHz FSB, PC100/133 SDRAM (100MHz only for the KT133A) and PowerNow 2.0. In OEM quantities, the KM133 is priced at around $40, with the graphics-free KL133 being a couple of bucks cheaper.

S3 veep of corporate marketing Paul Ayscough says the chipset will enable manufacturers to produce value systems with the ability to be user upgraded by the addition of either additional video cache or a fully featured 3D graphics card.

"The KT133 targets the high end PC market, the KM133 the end user who wants upgradeabilty and the KL133 is aimed at the sub-$500 market.

"It could mean a ten per cent cut in the end user price of a Duron system," said Ayscough. "But we have little control over whether savings to OEMs will be passed on to users."

Ayscough also claimed that the KM133 performs 25 to 33 per cent better than the Intel equivalent i815e containing the 752 graphics core.

"3D Mark 2000 scores are around 21 per cent better than the 815e," he said. "But that's with beta drivers so we expect to see a significant improvement with production drivers. Quake 3 demo 2 shows almost 32 per cent better performance than the 815e." ®