ATI shares some AM2 spotlight with Nvidia and announced two of its own chipsets to support the upcoming socket AM2 AMD processors. The CrossFire Xpress 3200 is aimed gaming entuasiasts with dual ATI graphics cards, while the Radeon Xpress 1100 chipsets has an integrated graphics processor for home users.
The CrossFire Xpress 3200 was originally released for the Socket 939 processors, has been refreshed for the AM2 socket processors. Meant to be used with ATI’s CrossFire cards, the chipset will support up to 40 full-speed PCI Express lanes ; 3200-based motherboards will have two x16 slots.
The chipsets are built around ATI’s SB600 southbridge platform and can support up to ten USB 2.0 ports and four SATA 2 drives. In addition, the drive controller supports native command queuing which could make some games and file access go faster. Unlike Nvidia’s new nForce 590 SLI chipset, ATI is relying on motherboard manufacturers to take care of the network connectivity. Nvidia’s 590 SLI has dual Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Several motherboard vendors including ASUS, ECS and MSI will be shipping motherboards with the new ATI chipsets. ECS has announced their KA3 MVP Extreme motherboard based on the Crossfire Xpress 3200 chipset. The KA3 MVP supports overclocking and includes dual Gigabit Ethernet ports. Socket 939 motherboards with the CrossFire Xpress 3200 chipset have been shipping for several months.
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