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Dual Channel DDR Pentium 4 Chipsets - Six under the Microscope

By: Cameron Johnson | Intel CPUs in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Mar 16, 2004 5:00 am

ATI Radeon IGP9100


ATI is by far the newest to the chipset market, inspired by nVidia (read: to take on nVidia in the chipset market) ATI has chosen the Intel Pentium 4 as its beginning of its chipset portfolio. Since the AMD Athlon 64 barely requires a Northbridge solution, and AMD Athlon XP is an aging product with enough chipsets to choose from, the Pentium 4 is the next logical choice.


The ATI Radeon IGP9100 was designed to take on the 865G chipset as the premium integrated all in one design from here it has evolved. The ATI IGP9100 comes in two parts - the 9100IGP Northbridge and the IXP200 Southbridge.


Designed to take the latest 800MHz FSB CPU as well as the older 400 and 533MHz, the Radeon IGP9100 can take all of the current and future 478 offerings, including the Prescott CPU. For ATI's first attempt at a system chipset, they have gone all out with Dual Channel memory support with a maximum of DDR-400 officially supported. This provides the same 6.4GB/s like the rest of the contenders in this article is able to produce.


Designed to take on the integrated mainstream market, ATI has placed a graphics core into the 9100IGP Northbridge. This core is a direct descendant of the Radeon 9200 VPU. All the major features of the 9200 are identical to the 9100IGP except the memory. No additional memory is used for this, system RAM is used to provide a video frame buffer. You can select from 32MB up to 128MB. With a total of 6.4GB/s, you can expect a better graphics performance than other solutions. ATI also allows for an AGP 8x slot for adding in your own video card.


The IXP200 is connected to the Northbridge by a dedicated 266MB/s interconnect bus similar to the speed of the Intel Hub Architecture. At this stage, ATI has only one Southbridge, which is slightly behind the times. ATA-100 IDE is the maximum transfer speed possible, no Native SATA or ATA-133 is available to us yet, which makes it look like ATI is following Intel's IDE settings. LAN is supplied by 3Com network controller for 10/100 operations, no gigabit Ethernet or Firewire is given to us.


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