Leaked slides show ATI's AMD chipset plans

A purported ATI presentation concerning the red team's AMD chipset plans for next year has landed in the hands (translate here) of Chilean site MadBoxPC. Slides from the presentation suggest ATI's RD580 chipset (a.k.a. CrossFire Xpress 3200) will remain the company's top-of-the-line throughout the first half of 2007, and that ATI will have an RD580 derivative dubbed RD550 take up the $61-99 motherboard segment. The presentation also suggests the RD580 chipset will be beefed up to support three graphics cards and dual processors for AMD's 4x4 platform.

Interestingly, the slides appear to confirm a few rumors that have been circulating lately. First, the part of the presentation pertinent to 4x4 systems shows the Athlon 64 FX logo with "1207 Socket" written next to it, which fits with reports that 4x4 setups will use the same 1,207-pin Socket F as AMD's latest Opterons. There are also multiple mentions of an AM2+ socket with HyperTransport 3.0 support, and a roadmap in one of the slides says an RD790 chipset for quad-core Athlon 64 FX processors will launch in Q3 2007, which fits together with this week's rumors that AMD's desktop/enthusiast quad-core lineup will also be introduced in the third quarter together with Socket AM2+ and F+ motherboards.

The RD790 will supposedly have HyperTransport 3.0 and PCI Express 2.0 support with either two x16 PCIe slots or four x8 PCIe slots, allowing it to accommodate up to four graphics cards. RX790 and RS790 derivatives with DirectX 10-class integrated graphics are planned for a later time frame. All three chipsets, plus a so-called RS740 with DirectX 9 support, will sport an upcoming SB700 south bridge with six 300MB/s Serial ATA ports and "flash support."

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