Specifications & Features
Northbridge – Radeon 9100 IGP Pro, Radeon 9000 IGP Pro
The new Integrated Graphic Processors (IGP) improve on the weaknesses of the Radeon 9100 IGP. The biggest weakness with the old chip was poor system memory performance; the Radeon 9100 IGP's memory performance was tuned more for video graphics performance than for overall system performance, which resulted in lowered scores for system performance benchmarks. This time around with the Pro line of IGP, ATI has tweaked the memory timing to match the performance of Intel's comparable integrated chipset, the 865G, while also providing faster performance in the graphics department.
Further memory improvements allow more flexibility with different types of memory. The original IGP was very fickle with memory, only working with Tier 1 memory modules. On the other hadn, the Pro boards will be able to work with a whole variety of memory modules, ranging from Tier 1 to Tier 3 manufacturers. ATI has done QA testing on over 150 different RAM sticks to insure the highest compatibility.
Lastly, the IGP Pro has optimized AGP 8x performance. With the original IGP, if you used an add-on graphics card like a Radeon 9800 Pro, you would notice a drop in FPS compared to an Intel chipset . This time around, you should find comparable performance when using an external graphics card.
Other than the above improvements, the new IGP is pretty much the same as the old one. The graphics portion is still using a 2-pipeline-version of the 9200 chipset clocked at 300MHz. Also, it only supports AGP 8x and not the upcoming PCI-Express bus. This will actually be ATI's last AGP chipset.
The difference between the 9100 IGP Pro and the 9000 IGP Pro is that the 9000 IGP Pro is only capable of running in single channel memory mode. Both these IGPs are also capable of SurroundView, which allows for you to use an external ATI graphics card with dual monitor output and the motherboard's monitor output to have three-monitor output.
- Supports Intel Pentium 4 Socket 478 processors with 800/533/400MHz front side bus
- Supports Hyper-Threading technology
- AGP 3.0 compliant interface with Fast Write support
- 266MB/s point-to-point interface to ATI IXP in A-link mode
- Unified Memory Architecture (for graphics memory)
- Dual channel, 128-bit DDR SDRAM memory interface
- Support for up to DDR400 SDRAM (up to 6.4GB per second of bandwidth)
- Up to 4GB SDRAM
- Between 16 and 128MB of main memory configurable as display memory
2D Graphics Features:
- Optimized 128-bit 2D engine
- Hardware cursor up to 64x64x32
- Supports a maximum resolution of 2048x1536x32
- Support for Windows XP alpha cursor
3D Graphics Features
- Hyper-Z memory optimization
- SmartShader: Hardware acceleration with Pixel Shader 1.4 support
- Supports up to 2048x1536x32
- Anisotropic filtering and anti-aliasing
- Video scaling and filtering with 4-tap horizontal and vertical filter
- Integrated hardware motion compensation and iDCT
- Enhanced MPEG-2 hardware decode
- Hardware DVD sub-picture decode
- Dual CRT controllers for independent dual-display support
- Integrated precision 300MHz triple 10-bit DACs for high-resolution
- 12-bit digital output via external TMDS
- Integrated TV encoder
||Radeon 9100 IGP
(Shared with system)
(Dependent on system memory)
|TMUs per Pipe
Southbridge – IXP 320
The new south bridge, the IXP 320, adds a few new features that give it feature parity with south bridges offered by competitors. It now supports 2x Serial ATA, ATA 133 and RAID functionality. It also has increased the number of USB 2.0 ports from six to eight. This should save motherboard manufacturers from using external chipsets, which will increase profit margins.