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ATI has just released its new Radeon Xpress 200 chipset for Intel platform, also known by its codename RS400. This new chipset has embbeded graphics, i.e., the video is on-board, but at the same time provides a 16x PCI Express slot allowing you to upgrade the video anytime, or even using a VGA together with the on-board video to use multiple monitors on your desktop.

This chipset can be used with socket LGA775 or with socket 478 CPUs, but the final decision goes to the motherboard manufacturer. Gigabyte, ASUS, ECS, Tul (PowerColor), Sapphire, FIC, MSI, Shuttle and Jetway have already announced that they will be lauching motherboards based on this new chipset.

Let’s talk about the Radeon Xpress 200 for Intel platform specs.

Radeon Xpress 200 for Intel PlatformFigure 1: Basic block diagram for Radeon Xpress 200 for Intel platform.

The basic specs include:

  • DirectX 9.0 integrated graphics (resolutions up to 2048x1536x32bpp), using the same core as Radeon X300.
  • One 16x PCI Express slot.
  • Up to four 1x PCI Express slots (connected to the north bridge for maximum performance).
  • Up to seven standard PCI slots.
  • Up to 4 GB of system memory (up to 256 MB for graphics memory).
  • DDR memory support up to DDR400.
  • DDR2 memory support up to DDR2-667.
  • Dual Channel memory configuration.
  • Two ATA/133 ports.
  • Up to four Serial ATA ports, supporting RAID modes 0,1,0+1 and JBOD.
  • Eight USB 2.0 ports.
  • Integrated audio accepting up to 7.1 sound configuration with optional High Definition Audio.
  • TV Out function with resolutions up to 1024x768x32 and supporting HDTV up to 1080i.

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As for its 3D performance, ATI claims that Radeon Xpress 200 for Intel platform has a performance higher than “the blue competitor”, which we can read as Intel 915G chipset. We have to wait until we review it by ourselves to make our own comments on that.

Radeon Xpress 200 for Intel PlatformFigure 2: Radeon Xpress 200 for Intel platform performance.

Conclusions

Competition is very good, and Radeon Xpress 200 for Intel platform is clearly target to compete with Intel’s 915G chipset. This new ATI chipset has as an advantage over its Intel competitor to support DDR2-667 memories, while Intel 915G supports only up to DDR2-533. It promises a good 3D performance for an embbeded graphics solution with an affordable price.

Interesting enough Radeon Xpress 200 for Intel platform doesn’t bring native networking support, but motherboards based on this chipset can use a third-party controller (from Marvell and Broadcom, for example).

Also, it is very interesting to see that ASUS launched a motherboard based on this new chipset with optional TV tuner function, controlled by a tuner chip from Phillips. This is the first motherboard with integrated TV tuner in the world. It seems a very good product for users who want an “all in one” solution. Take a look at P5RD1-V Deluxe at https://www.asus.com/products4.aspx?l1=3&l2=11&l3=179&model=466&modelmenu=1.