The competition has been scrambling to keep up, but a funny thing happened on the way to Pentium 4 chipset nirvana. Suddenly, for the first time, at least three different chipset makers decided to push toward completion of an AMD-oriented product before taking the plunge on the Intel side of things. The prospect of competing head to head with Intel's impressive new core logic was no doubt a part of their motivation, but they were probably also tempted by the Athlon 64's incredible performance advantage over the Pentium 4, as well. It's safe to say that the best Athlon 64 chipset will also be the highest performance PC platform available, bar none. Why not aim for the juicy prospect of having the first PCI Express chipset for the Athlon 64 on your resume?
The race between the major chipset players to produce that first AMD chipset with PCI Express has been dramatic. Who knew that ATI would be the first to deliver to us a fully working reference board for an extended testing session? And who knew that ATI's Athlon 64 chipset with PCI Express would also pack an integrated Radeon graphics core with DirectX 9? Say hello to the Radeon Xpress 200 chipset, ATI's surprisingly solid first stab at the AMD core logic market.