Feeds
78%

ATI CrossFire Xpress 3200 chipset

Asus' A8R32-MVP Deluxe mobo probed

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Review The ATI CrossFire Xpress 3200 chipset has been a long time coming, but the bad news is that ATI is only halfway there. The CrossFire Xpress 3200 PCI Express bridge is ready and working, but ATI is still working on its new SB600 South Bridge. However, this isn’t too much of an issue for the time being at least, since most of ATI’s board partners have decided to use the ULi (or is that Nvidia?) M1575 South Bridge for now.

Xpress 3200 logo

The main selling point of the 3200 chipset is of course its dual x16 PCI Express interface – a first in a single-chip solution. Nvidia already had a single-chip solution for two x8 slots, but its dual x16 solution relies on a second chip for the extra PCI Express bandwidth.

Interestingly, in a Q&A email ATI sent out just before the launch today, ATI claimed to offer more bandwidth than Nvidia and that "this also means that future applications, such as using one graphics card as a physics processor, are also impractical on Nvidia’s platform". So one can only presume that ATI is working on some kind of physics processor solution were one of the two graphics cards will be doing the physics calculations, leaving the rendering to the other.

According to ATI, the 3200 has been redesigned from the ground up and has the smallest North Bridge die on the market - it only measures 39mm². It still packs 22m transistors, thanks to the 110nm manufacturing processes. This also makes for a cool-running chip, and ATI’s TDP for it is a mere 8W.

All of this might be impressive for those that have knowledge of the technological aspects of integrated circuit manufacturing. However, for most of us the important stuff is how well it performs and how much it will cost. Although I’ve only had a couple of days to evaluate the platform so far, it is looking promising. The first board to become available in most of the world appears to be the Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe, and this is also the board that ATI has been promoting as the launch platform.

Abit, DFI, Sapphire and PC Partner should also have boards ready shortly, although it seems like Asus has something of an unfair advantage here by being promoted by ATI. But let’s take a closer look at what is on offer from Asus and the A8R32-MVP Deluxe.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.