The Athlon64 Radeon Xpress: ATi's Latest Stab as a Chipset Maker

Radeon Xpress 200P, Radeon Xpress 200

Most people know that a P following the chipset name indicates a desktop product in Intel's nomenclature. ATi mimics Intel in this regard as its Radeon Xpress 200P doesn't have a graphics processor, while the other chipset, the Radeon Xpress 200, does. Adding the letter G would not have made much sense, since Radeon is already well known as a graphics brand.

Both chipset versions are pin and BIOS compatible, enabling motherboard makers to use one board design for different final mobo versions. While Radeon Xpress 200P requires a PCI Express graphics board, the integrated engine of the Radeon Xpress 200 offers two different modes. It can either work as a pure UMA device (Unified Memory Architecture) or run with both a dedicated local frame buffer and UMA capabilities.

In addition to the broad audience ATi is able to address with the new chipset line, the manufacturer claims to offer the most cost-effective PCI Express solution for mainstream computing. This is certainly true when compared to Nvidia's nForce4 . Brimmed with features such as integrated Gigabit Ethernet including unique hardware firewall features, ATi will easily be in a position to undersell the competitor.

The pricing difference between Radeon Xpress 200P and the VIA K8T890 might be negligible, as the feature sets are equal to a large extent.

Network adapter cards for PCI Express are becoming available.