Bearing in mind that ATi's sample is an engineering board - which includes components such as bridges - it did not cause much reason for complaint. Quite the contrary, as the Radeon Xpress 200 system did not only run adequately fast, but was also as stable as a finished product.
The feature set including basic network connectivity, an audio controller and a decent set of interface options that should please most users today. The multi-monitor option is an add-on that might be highly interesting for brokers, software developers or others.
Motherboard manufacturers can be delighted to have a new branded option that proved to work well and is very affordable, while giving manufacturers the option to vest their boards with sophisticated features according to their customers' needs.
Although the new ATi chipset was able to beat Asus' A8V motherboard using the K8T800 Pro chipset, it remained marginally behind Nvidia's nForce3 with the MSI K8N Neo and the latest 5.1 Forceware drivers. However, there is still some room for improvement for ATi's chipset and we're pretty confident that final boards will be able to heat up the Athlon64 market even more.
At this point it is safe to say that ATi's efforts put into expanding the chipset business were successful. Knowing that Radeon Xpress 200 is a viable product, there will be lots of users willing to purchase ATi powered motherboard solutions such as it was the case when Nvidia managed to establish nForce2 using its "Force" brand.
As soon as motherboards with all three rivaling chipsets will be available, we will add a detailed chipset comparison article that will detail features such as overclocking, networking and storage subsystem performances.