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ATI to launch AMD PCI-E chipset 'next week'

Radeon Xpress steams in on Monday

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ATI will formally launch its Radeon Xpress 200 chipset family on 8 November, sources familiar with the company's plans have told The Register.

The chipsets, which target both Intel's Pentium 4 and AMD's Athlon 64 processors, and support PCI Express, have been shipping in small quantities to motherboard makers for since early October, ATI CEO Dave Orton revealed during that month.

In the intervening weeks, the mobo companies have been evaluating the part and now seem ready to commit to the parts. According to a DigiTimes report, the Radeon Xpress 200 and the 200G - the latter with integrated graphics, the former without - will go into full-scale production during the middle of this month.

That will follow next week's unveiling. Last month, Orton said the company was waiting to get the numbers up before formally introducing the products, and it now appears that ATI is ready to do just that.

Our sources suggest ATI will be pitching the products well below Nvidia's rival, AMD-only nForce 4 chipsets, with the aim of seeing mobos based on the part shipping for almost half what nForce 4 boards cost. To do so, the chipsets ship without certain high-end features, such as Dolby audio and LAN support - the kind of elements board makers like to add themselves the better to differentiate their products from the competition.

Despite that, ATI has worked to boost the chipsets' performance. "ATI's chipsets have never offered bad system performance, but they've been below par," one source said. "Now they're on a par if not better [than rival chipsets]."

Those rivals include not only nForce 4, but VIA's K8T980 and product from SiS. ®

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