Athlon 64 chipset comparison
Four paths to PCI Express
WHILE SOME MAY
say that AMD arrived late to the PCI Express party, one could argue that Intel showed up a little early. The truth probably lies somewhere in between. Compelling PCI-E graphics cards didn't make an appearance until well after Intel's 900-series chipset launch, but they materialized some time before PCI Express-equipped Athlon 64 motherboards were available on the open market. NVIDIA's nForce4 platform was the first PCI Express chipset to be widely available for the Athlon 64, but VIA's K8T890 and ATI's Radeon Xpress 200 weren't far behind. SiS recently joined the fray with the SiS756, and even ULi managed to work its way into the mix with its M1573 south bridge companion for ATI's Radeon Xpress 200 north bridge.
With at least four platforms to choose from, the Athlon 64's PCI Express chipset lineup finally has some depth. But between the latest core logic options from ATI and ULi, NVIDIA, SiS, and VIA, which chipset has the most desirable blend of features and best performance? Join us as we sift through spec sheets and pore over a slew of benchmark results to find out.