The AMD 690G chipset is built on TSMC's
80nm manufacturing process. Even though AMD has its own fabrication plants, AMD
stuck with ATi's old manufacturing partners for making these motherboard
chipsets which was previously known as the ATI RS690.
The AMD 690G is
designed with Microsoft Windows Vista in mind, specifically for Vista's
AeroGlass feature. The chipset supports all of AMD's 32-bit and 64-bit Socket
It's the integrated video capabilities that really make
the AMD 690G chipset special.
The onboard Radeon Xpress 1250 videocard is fully DirectX
9.0 compatible (thus compatible with AeroGlass) and is
based on the Radeon X700 architecture, albeit with four rendering pipelines. That
should give AMD a 3D performance advantage over comparable integrated nVIDIA
graphics cards like the GeForce 6100 series. At least it does
on paper. The integrated videocard supports one TV output DAC for TV output
and HDCP natively (something the GeForce 6100 series doesn't) through DVI and HDMI.
That means the AMD 690G is a better Home Theatre PC solution if the
motherboard manufacturer chooses to implement these options.
The onboard Radeon Xpress 1250 videocard supports dual
monitors (one digital and one analog display). If you want to run dual monitors,
one will have to be analog and the second digital, DVI to analog converters do
not work with the Radeon Xpress 1250, so you cannot connect two analog monitors
onto the onboard videocard.
Should you want to use a stand alone videocard, the AMD
690G supports a PCI Express x16 slot, however when a stand alone videocard is
used the onboard is disabled. The Radeon Xpress 1250 videocard also shares up to
512MB of installed system memory. The AMD SB600 Southbridge incorporates four Serial ATA II ports and a single Ultra/133 IDE controller.
Also integrated in are ten USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit MAC and a 7.1
channel High Definition audio controller.
On paper AMD's 690G chipset is a real challenger
to nVIDIA's GeForce 6100 family of chipsets, but whether it is truly faster and a
good alternative is something we'll find out shortly... it all depends on how
the benchmarks go. First, a closer look at the ECS AMD690GM-M2 AMD motherboard