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ATI's RD600 overclocking details

ATI's chipset pin-compatibility chart
Ready to do battle with the nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition and Intel 975X Express

DailyTech previously reported that Intel has no immediate plans to replace the Intel 975X chipset which was launched late last year. This leaves plenty of room for ATI and NVIDIA to move in and steal some of Intel’s high-end chipset market share. NVIDIA already has the nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition planned for Conroe and other LGA775 processors and ATI should be following suit with the RD600.

Our previous DFI roadmap article showed an ATI RD600 board in the works and now we have confirmed details on the new chipset. RD600 based boards will carry the Radeon Xpress 3200 CrossFire moniker and the Intel equivalent of the previously released RD580. It seems ATI is launching a full fledged attack on the nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition by offering similar features and then some. While NVIDIA has LinkBoost which overclocks the HyperTransport links between the MCP and SPP, ATI will have a similar feature that will overclock the PCI Express bus 25% which they claim improves dongle-less CrossFire performance.

According to documentation from ATI, RD600 looks like a monster.  The board material claims the chipset can already support 1333MHz FSB with an expectation that it should reach 1500MHz FSB.  Like NVIDIA's Tritium design, the RD600 platform is designed to appeal to the overclocker, although certain parameters will allow for the motherboard to automatically overclock.

The most notable feature of the RD600 is the memory controller. ATI has developed an elaborate memory controller that operates asynchronously from the front-side bus. No more memory dividers means the front-side bus can be overclocked drastically without being limited to memory. There will also be support for DDR2-1066 too. ATI claims the RD600 has been overclocked to 375 MHz (1500 MHz Quad pumped) using the current reference board.

Taking on the NVIDIA nTune software will be the ATI System Management (ASM) software application. ASM is a Windows XP utility that supports FSB, Memory Clock, PCI-E clock, memory timings and voltage adjustments.

While ATI has been quite hush on the physics processing side of things the RD600 will support motherboards with three PCI-Express x16 slots for three graphics cards. The kicker of this is two graphics cards will be used for CrossFire while a third X1000 series graphics can be used to process physics. There are no details on which graphics cards will be supported for Physics processing or if all three cards have to be matched or not but with NVIDIA claiming Physics support for most of the GeForce 7 family we expect ATI to follow suit.

The RD600 will be made on a 90nm process which allows it to run cool and consume less power.  ATI has several other chipsets on the way as well. ATI RD600 motherboards are expected to retail for approximately $150 according to internal documents.


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Follow the leader
By DigitalFreak on 6/1/06, Rating: 0
RE: Follow the leader
By tigen on 6/1/2006 8:40:09 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, ATI first introduced auto-overclock with the Radeon graphics drivers (Overdrive).

Also, ATI has done multi-GPU stuff for years (for example used by Evans and Sutherland for military simulators). They just didn't bring it to consumers (except the Rage Maxx thing way back). PCI Express helped it make sense for consumers.


RE: Follow the leader
By obeseotron on 6/1/2006 9:08:35 PM , Rating: 2
Think he was talking about the automatic pci-e overclocking, which nvidia did announce first. No matter because it's utterly pointless except for the lowest of the low end turbocache and hyper memory gpus. Both companies borrow plenty from each other.


RE: Follow the leader
By bbomb on 6/1/2006 9:21:19 PM , Rating: 2
Nvidia didnt come up with it first either. 3DFX did, at least to my knowledge, before they were crushed and gobbled up by Nvidia.


RE: Follow the leader
By DigitalFreak on 6/1/2006 9:34:26 PM , Rating: 2
I'm talking the last couple of years. 3DFX has been gone for a long time.


Tritium again?
By ahkey on 6/2/2006 4:37:18 AM , Rating: 2
Is it standard DT procedure now to mention That-Which-Cannot-Be-Named as frequently as possible to annoy Nvidia PR? ;)


RE: Follow the leader
By vingamm on 6/2/2006 12:36:21 PM , Rating: 2
You are right. And 3DFX had a lot of tech that Nvidia incorporated. Honestly, I think the minds a #DX still drive a lot of the tech Nvidia is producing. If they could have maintained profitability we would have a 3rd contender for the GPU crown.


RE: Follow the leader
By Clauzii on 6/4/2006 8:20:16 PM , Rating: 2
And ATI had a Dual GPU card before nVidia, back in, was it 1998? something Maxx...


RE: Follow the leader
By Clauzii on 6/4/2006 8:21:06 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, allready pointed out - sorry :)


Freedom :)
By Clauzii on 6/1/2006 7:35:53 PM , Rating: 2
So we're back at asynchronous busses again. I raise my arms for the red team. And THREE PCIex16 - OK Ageia - let's get the PCIe x16 version of Your physix thing on now.




RE: Freedom :)
By Anh Huynh on 6/1/2006 7:45:19 PM , Rating: 2
It supports three PCI Express x16 slots, no word on if the third slot will have 16, 4, 2, etc... lanes. Seems most likely as a PCI Express x16 slot with four PCI Express lanes though.


RE: Freedom :)
By berat556 on 6/1/2006 8:09:08 PM , Rating: 2
ATI 3200 along with DFI should makes this the enthusiast platform on the intel side of things, and with conroe inching closer the news could not be better.


RE: Freedom :)
By Warren21 on 6/2/2006 11:26:13 AM , Rating: 2
No, I've read that this chipset features 48 PCIe lanes. 32 for double x16 crossfire, and 8 for the 3rd slot sounds more realistic to me. That would leave plenty of room (8 lanes) for Ethernet, RD600 -> SB600 connection, etc.


RE: Freedom :)
By Trisped on 6/5/2006 8:59:03 PM , Rating: 2
I think the SB600 only needs 4 PCIe connectors to communicate with the North Bridge. Leaving 4 for other things, like a 1x slot, dual Gigabit Ethernet (has anyone besides server owners found a use for that much bandwidth yet?), extra SATA drivers, etc.


.
By bbomb on 6/1/2006 7:20:21 PM , Rating: 2
So is this and AMD chipset? The article starts off talking about Intel chipsets then goes on to mention HyperTransport which is AMD's thing so Im confused.




RE: .
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 6/1/2006 7:23:27 PM , Rating: 2
NVIDIA's chipsets uses HyperTransport to connect the MCP to the SPP. ATI uses PCIe. It's an Intel chipset.


RE: .
By bbomb on 6/1/2006 7:27:38 PM , Rating: 2
Ok gotcha. I didnt know that HyperTransport was just a link spec that AMD had a hand in. I thought it was something that just AMD systems used.


system
By crydee on 6/2/2006 9:17:48 AM , Rating: 2
My new system is looking more and more expensive as of late. What does that chart with the dates exactly mean? S & P? When will we reasonably see the first ASUS RD600 motherboard?




RE: system
By LCC2286 on 6/2/2006 12:00:01 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure S & P means Sampling & Production respectivly.


Chart doesn't make sense
By jebo on 6/2/2006 9:33:28 AM , Rating: 2
On the bottom slide shown, RD600 shows "2x8" and "DDR3". If I had to guess, I would say that RD600 only supports 16 pci-e lanes, and supports DDR3 memory. I can't imagine either one of those things is the case, so what's up with the chart?




RE: Chart doesn't make sense
By LCC2286 on 6/2/2006 12:01:38 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah the 2X8 doesn't make sense at all. As for the DDR3 maybe the memory controller supports it? Highly doubt it though, is there even a time line for the introduction of DDR3?


Three graphics cards is just crazy
By Assimilator87 on 6/2/2006 2:34:11 PM , Rating: 2
So this chipset basically allows for three PCI-E X16 slots, two for Crossfire and one for a dedicated physics processing graphics card. I find that to be a really stupid proposition when one can use that third slot for a much cheaper, massively faster, real physics processing card. You may say that Quad-SLI is even crazier, but the current implementation of that is only marginally more expensive than any dual graphics solution, as long as we don't consider the price hiking by retailers, and all of that power is for graphics. Why waste a whole graphics card for physics?

On another note, ATi is running the memory asyncronously with the FSB. I don't see why that wasn't implemented earlier. For some reason, everyone believes that they need to run DDR2 memory at the same clock as the FSB, but bandwidth wise that's actually a 1:2(FSB:RAM) ratio. An 800Mhz FSB Pentium only needs dual channel DDR2-400 and if the memory clock is run in a 1:1 ratio then only single channel is needed. This brings me to a question that has been bothering me. Do the AM2 CPUs actually utilize the bandwidth of DDR2-800 at stock settings or do they still have the same 6.4GB/s of memory bandwidth needed?




By Zoomer on 6/3/2006 6:03:37 AM , Rating: 2
They need the latency improvement, not the bandwidth improvement.


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