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ATI unwraps dual x16 CrossFire Xpress 3200

World's first single-chip dual PCI-I x16 implementation

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ATI has announced its Radeon CrossFire Xpress 3200 chipset, as anticipated, with its support for twin PCI Express x16 slots for CrossFire configurations - the first single-chip North Bridge to do so - and provision of "unprecedented overclocking capabilities".

The chip maker said the AMD Socket 939-oriented chipset - aka the RD580 - will allow up to 60 per cent overclocking without recourse to non-standard cooling systems or changes to the default voltage settings. When it's overclocked, it provides "unparalled stability", ATI claimed. The board's "enthusiast-friendly" BIOS allows users to tune "every possible motherboard component for maximum overclocking potential", the blurb reads, including multiplier, front side bus, HyperTransport option, memory, CPU and the PCI Express interfaces.

ATI didn't go into details, but the chipset is expected to support AMD's upcoming Socket AM2 too. It adds a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports, two Firewire ports and support for up to eight 3Gbps Serial ATA devices. It supports up to eight USB 2.0 ports, up to seven PCI slots and up to to four parallel-ATA peripherals. HD Audio is in the mix too.

The chipset provides 40 PCI Express lines - 32 for the two x16 slots - and it's the first CrossFire system to allow even Radeon X1900 and X1800 boards to run together without the need for master and slave card set-ups. ®

Watch out for Reg Hardware's Xpress 3200 review later today

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