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AMD launches ATI RS690 chipset at long last

Radeon X1200-based integrated 690G arrives

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AMD today introduced its first chipset products to be released only under its own brand rather than ATI's: the integrated 690G and 690V.

The 690G incorporates two independent display controllers and ingratea signalling for DVI, HDMI, TV, CRT and LCD monitors. It also has HDCP support built in. The 690V drops the integrated DVI and HDMI signalling, and features a lower-clocked graphics core.

AMD 690G chipset diagram

Both chipsets will be branded as 'ATI Radeon Graphics' parts - the 690G is said to contain an ATI Radeon X1250, while the 690V has an X1200. Both GPUs have a pair of pixel pipelines and two vertex engines. That said, AMD claimed they were both well able to run all of Windows Vista's visual bells and whistles, and they incorporate its Avivo video enhancement system.

AMD said the integrated GPUs deliver significant 1,024 x 768 un-antialiased, un-aniso'd graphics benchmark leads over Intel's rival G965 chipset, though it won't be long before Intel has the G965's successor, the G35, out the door in Q2, which may change the scores. AMD may well have the edge on price, however.

Both products incorporate AMD's ATI-inherited SB600 South Bridge chip, which provides ten USB 2.0 ports, four SATA ports and legacy parallel ATA and PCI support. Interestingly, the North Bridges both handle audio. They also provide PCI Express connectivity, both for external graphics cards, as usual, and for other devices.

All this has taken a while coming. The RS690 - the codename under which the 690G was developed - was first roadmapped for a Q2 2006 release alongside the SB600. The SB600 shipped as expected, and while the RS690 appeared in June at least year's Computex show, only now are boards based on the part coming to market.

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