PCI Express as I'm sure most of you know, is the next stage in the evolution of
computer graphics, replacing AGP. Before reading on, it may be worth your time
checking out our PCI Express
and AGP comparison piece.
So far, PCI Express has been strictly an Intel affair, with the introduction
of Socket T (LGA775). With it has come support for DDR-2, and the number of supported
IDE channels has been reduced to only one, almost forcing a Serial ATA upgrade.
This seems like an awful lot of components to replace for an upgrade so we could
only recommend LGA775 if buying or building a new machine.
PCI-Express, SATA, DDR2 and LGA775 are all middle ground products that reap very
little benefit over their predecessors, they certainly aren't technologies to
be jumping at both feet first. However, the latest generations of AGP cards are
likely to be the last, with even the current generations being very PCI Express
Finally it is time for AMD to have their turn. Over the past few months we
have seen the announcement (on paper at least) of 3 chipsets for Socket 939 (or 754, should board
partners choose to do so). VIA will be launching the KT890, nVidia will be launching
the nForce 4 and ATi their RX480 chipset.
As we proved in our Athlon
64 chipset analysis, due to the memory controller being integrated into
the CPU, performance difference from chipset to chipset is minimal. We expect
with PCI Express chipsets the results will also be similar, with features, price
and overclocking support being the deciding factors.
So let's a take a look at what ATi have to offer with the Radeon Express 200P.
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