AMD 690 Chipset Series Preview Review 18

AMD 690 Chipset Series Preview Review

AVIVO & Windows Vista »

HDMI 1.3

The AMD 690 is not only the first integrated chipset to feature separate HDMI and DVI output, but it also uses the newest HDMI incarnation, HDMI 1.3. There are a few very profound differences between the previous version of HDMI and the newest iteration. The following changes and additions are part of HDMI 1.3:
  • Increases single-link bandwidth to 340 MHz (10.2 Gbps)
  • Supports 30-bit, 36-bit, and 48-bit xvYCC with Deep Color or over one billion colors, up from 24-bit sRGB or YCbCr in previous versions.
  • Incorporates automatic audio syncing (lip sync) capability.
  • Supports output of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio streams for external decoding by AV receivers. TrueHD and DTS-HD are lossless audio codec formats used on HD DVDs and Blu-ray Discs.
  • Availability of a new mini connector for devices such as camcorders.
The first two points may be the most important, as a higher bandwidth can transport larger amounts of data, which are needed to display 30, 36 or 48-bit colors for optimum display quality.

Gaming Performance

Disclaimer: These results have been supplied by AMD

AMD has conducted some performance tests with a number of games on the AMD 690 Chipset. All benchmarks were run at 1024x768 0xAA, Aquamark with 4xAA. While the gaming performance is certainly not like an X1800, it still offers frame rates that are high enough for casual gaming. Compared to the competition, AMD's chipset can deliver frame rates that change games from "unplayable" to "playable".

ATITool supports the RS690 graphics core. On older versions you need to manually select the graphics device in settings. On 0.27 Beta 1 only the GPU device of the RS690 can be selected. ATITool tells us the following information about the GPU. It is running at 400 MHz by default and comes with four pipelines (we verified this by running a 3DMark fillrate test which scores ~1600, DailyTech is wrong, sorry). The number of vertex shaders is two.
It does not surprise to see DDR2 memory in use, since the system's main memory is DDR2 and that is where the video RAM is taken from. Data is transferred to and from the memory over a 64-bit wide interface.

Overclocking the core clock works with ATITool too. Memory clock can't be changed because there is no independent memory that could be overclocked. Even the Find Max Core feature works. In our case it gave us a healthy core clock increase up to 525 MHz, which is a 30% overclock - with a tiny passive heatsink on the chipset.
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