ATI Crossfire Xpress 3200 Preview

ATI Crossfire Xpress 3200 Preview

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Quick fact: ATI's chipset business made up 10% of their revenues last quarter with an expected growth to 23%

Who's XPRESS3200 for?



When you're taking a closer look at the picture above, you can clearly see that ATI is aiming their new chipset at extreme overclockers and hardcore gamers.

A lot of design time went into "overspeccing" the chipset. All silicon is engineered not only to work at spec but at about 30% above as well. You are basically guaranteed to overclock 30% without the need to increase voltages or cooling. ATI also had a very tight testing setup: 1.2V -5%, slow process and 120°C operating temperature. Only if the chipset was stable at these parameters it would be accepted.

Northbridge
  • Smallest northbridge die in the market at 39mm² (22 million transistors)
  • Manufactured on TSMC's 0.11um process node
  • TDP 8 Watts

Good old saying is right here, a picture tells you more than thousand words. Size of the chipset die is very small. Smaller footprint means more chips per die, which means it is also cheaper to produce.

The reduced heat output of 7-8 Watts will greatly help integration in Media PC and Home Entertainment Systems. With such a tiny heat load you can easily get away with a small (and cheap) passive heatsink. There is no increased noise and the simple heatsink construction does not require funky cooling technologies like heatpipes to stay quiet.
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