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ATI's socket M2 Crossfire to arrive soon

RD580 CF chipset samples soon
Wed Nov 30 2005, 15:01
WE LEARNED that AMD's new DDR 2 supporting socket M2 won't see the light of the day until Q2 2006, but the chipset vendors are preparing for the migration. We still don't know details about Nvidia Nforce 4 SLI for M2 althoughh we know that Nvidia has one but ATI on the other hand is hoping to get samples of its chipset in December.

The chipset is called RD580 CF and we saw one other called RD580C listed as supporting socket M2 and Crossfire. Both chipsets have two by sixteen PCIe slot graphics support and we are starting to think that the same chipset might just be able to support both DDR1 and DDR 2 Athlon CPUs. If you think about it, the memory controller is inside AMD's CPU not inside the chipsets.

Of course, the boards will need a rework but it should not be that hard to change from one to another. This chipset will work with SB460 or with the upcoming SB600 chipset but ALI chipsets will be supported as well. If you are missing the south bridge features you will just be able to go for ULI based motherboards.

The chipset samples are scheduled for December but it will be longer until we see the sample boards or the designs based on this socket M2 supporting chipset. It's mainly since the AMD delayed these CPUs and pushed them back to Q2 2006.

We are not sure that socket M2 will mean any performance increase since DDR 2 has horrible timings, but it's the way AMD wants to go. It would be better of if it waited for DDR3 as this might have better timings and might actually run faster than the old DDR1. but before we see socket M2 RD580CF, we will see a socket 939 version of the chipset sometime in February time we recall. µ


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