“ATI’S ATHLON 64 CHIPSETS had a rough time winning over enthusiasts in the Socket 939 era. Enthusiast-oriented motherboards based on the Radeon Xpress family weren’t as plentiful as those sporting one of Nvidia’s many nForce4 variants, and for good reason. ATI’s SB450 south bridge was short on features and plagued with I/O performance problems that prompted many mobo makers to use an alternative south bridge chip from ULi. ULi was eventually purchased by Nvidia, putting additional pressure on ATI to nail the design of its next-gen SB600 south bridge.
That pressure apparently motivated ATI’s chipset team, because it delivered a surprisingly solid SB600 south bridge back in May as a part of the CrossFire Xpress 3200 chipset for AMD’s new AM2 socket. The I/O performance problems that had sullied previous ATI chipsets were nowhere to be found, and the Xpress 3200 delivered much lower power consumption than Nvidia’s comparably gluttonous nForce 590 SLI.”
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Biostar TForce 590 SLI Deluxe Motherboard Review @ PC Modding Malaysia
- ASUS P5W DH Deluxe & P5B Deluxe @ Legion Hardware
- ASUS P5W DH Deluxe @ Tech Spot
- ASUS P5B Deluxe WiFi-AP Motherboard Review @ Virtual-Hideout
- ASUS P5B Deluxe WiFi-AP Edition @ HardwareZone
- Biostar TForce 570 U Deluxe @ Overclockers Online
- ASUS P5B: New BIOS Adds Unlocking & Improved Overclocking @ AnandTech
- Asus P5W DH Deluxe – 975X Core 2 Motherboard @ HotHardware
Crossfire’s new and improved southbridge
Source: The Tech Report
The main achilles heel for ATI’s motherboards have been the lack of features incorporated on the board. The Crossfire issues of the first runs seem to have been fixed, but compared to the features found on nForce boards, they just can’t compete. The Tech Report looks at the Crossfire Xpress 3200, and the new SB600 southbridge, to see what ATI has done to remedy the situation.