MAD, of course, acquired the chipset along with ATI, which had been working on it for quite some time. The 790 should put the aborted RD600 (which lost its way during the sale and was widely derided by both press and manufacturers) out of the minds of consumers, and regain some mindshare against nForce 6.
The gossip is that 790 will support HT 3.0 (that's HyperTransport, not HyperThreading, folks). The HT clock will scale up to 2.6GHz, as well as providing enough bandwidth for a stonking 42 lanes of PCI-Express 2.0 - that's enough for a couple of DAAMIT cards in CrossFire (supporting physics, obviously), a couple of x4 lanes and a stinky x1 lane that will never get used because no one makes any boards in that form factor. No?
The RD790 chip itself is a 65nm chip, which could make it one of the first out of AMD's foundries on that process, given the legendary lack of pace with which that technology has been rolled out. It's most likely made by one of the foundries, though. It will, however, support 65nm Athlon X2 processors going forward through the year.
No news yet on anything like pricing, proprietary features or release date, but after the disaster of RD600, and with Nvidia and Intel strengthening their position with continual new releases, the teams at Austin and Toronto might want to get their skates on. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ