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  ATI XPRESS 200, ATI ups the ante for PCI-E 
  Nov 10, 2004, 08:30am EST 

What does it feature?

By: Sander Sassen

That integrated graphic card is actually one of the strongest features of the XPRESS 200 chipset. The nForce 4 lacks integrated graphics, and the only other integrated chipset for PCI-Express is Intel’s 915G. If we compare the XPRESS 200G to the Intel 915G it is clear that ATI not only offers full DirectX 9.0 support but also uses a local frame buffer, sporting up to 128MB of memory. This gives the XPRESS 200 a significant edge in performance and features, easily outperforming the 915G by a factor of two. This, in our opinion, also negates the need for a PCI-Express x16 slot, as this level of performance is more than adequate for any office PC, paving the way for low-cost, entry level motherboards for entry-level and office PCs. Combined with a low-cost AMD processor this is an excellent alternative to the somewhat overpriced socket-775 processors and i915G motherboards.

IXP400 southbridge

The IXP400 southbridge, offering 8 USB2.0 ports, Serial-Ata with RAID0 and 1.

The other features of the XPRESS 200 chipset follow suit with what is to be expected from a modern motherboard; USB 2.0, Serial-ATA, AC-97 audio is all supported, as is Serial-Ata RAID1 and 0 functionality. Due to the native PCI-Express support any number of slots can be configured, using the 20 PCI-Express lanes available. Most motherboard manufacturers will however opt for an x16 slot and two x1 slots as we’ve seen from other PCI-Express motherboards. What’s clear is that in theory ATI is also able to offer two x8 slots and a solution much like NVIDIA’s SLI. We asked about ATI’s plans for such a feature and they were quick to comment that a solution which supports two PCI-Express graphic cards is being worked on but no details were given as how they would approach this exactly.

1. Introducing the XPRESS 200
2. What does it feature?
3. How much does it bench?

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