Even if not, it is likely to be the first AMD integrated chipset that really runs Vista's graphics. That can make a huge difference in the OEM and retail market. The currently-shipping RD485 and its X300 crippled graphic works well under Vista but the X700 will do much better with the new shiny OS.
ATI is finishing up the RS690 Northbridge and the motherboard manufacturers are finishing up their designs. They are set to use RS690 Northbridge and SB600 Southbridge. The SB600 chip is finally ready to rock and roll and Sapphire's Pure Crossfire PC-AM2RD580 is among the first boards to embrace it. This motherboard is shipping as we speak.
The upcoming RS690+SB600 uses an X700-like graphic card on a socket AM2 platform. We strongly believe that the pipeline count on this Shader model 2.0 supporting chip has to drop down from eight to four. There is simply not enough space on a chipset Northbridge chip top put the whole X700 core with its 120 million transistors inside. The previous ATI integrated graphic had only two pipelines, so the number four is the logical evolution.
The chipset also supports 2.0 GZ Hypertransport, Dual DDR 2 800MHz with four memory slots, a PCIe 16X and the Southbridge or the additional chips enables the SATA II, six-channel HD audio, PCIe and a Gigabit LAN card.
The board designs are scheduled for either late December or during January, as it takes six to eight weeks to finish them up. µ
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