The AMD 690G 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.
The AMD 690G (previously known as the ATI RS690) 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.
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 shares up to 512MB of
installed system memory.
The AMD 690G supports up to four PCI Express x1 slots
along with six PCI bus mastering slots, although it's up to the motherboard
manufacturer to implement things.
The AMD SB600 Southbridge supports four Serial ATA II
ports and a single Ultra/133 IDE controller. Also integrated is 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 truly is 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 Biostar TA690G AMD motherboard