A few years ago it could be hard to imagine that hardware enthusiasts would pick the core logic set from a third-party developer as the best chipset for Intel processor based systems. The developers of alternative chipset solutions could for a long time compete with the microprocessor giant only thanks to aggressive pricing policy in the budget market segment in the first place. However, things have changed dramatically since then. The owners of contemporary Intel CPUs have almost forgotten about the Taiwanese chipset makers already. There are new forces moving to the forefront now: AMD/ATI and Nvidia companies that strive to expand their influence beyond the graphics card market. Some time ago we introduced to you a solution from Nvidia – nForce 680i SLI chipset (for details see our article called Nvidia nForce 680i SLI Chipset Review). The results of our test session suggest that if the mainboards based on it are laid out in certain way then this chipset may become a worthy competitor to i975X and iP965 as a solution for high-performance system.
Today we have to introduce to you a competitive solution for Intel processors from AMD/ATI – the RD600 chipset also known under the official name of CrossFire Xpress 3200.
I would like to point out right away that we will try not to use the official name of this chipset throughout this article, because we believe that it is not quite justified. The thing is that there was an ATI chipset for AMD processors with the same name, although it had nothing in common with the today’s RD600 and differed greatly from it in terms of supported features and functionality.
Note that it is a pretty funny fact that the chipset for Intel processors comes from ATI Company, which is a part of AMD today. This curious state of things can only be explained by the fact that RD600 was in development since the times when ATI was independent, and AMD just didn’t want to give up an almost completely ready solution. Nevertheless, RD600 is the last chipset from AMD (ATI) for Intel processors. This is also one of the reasons why this chipset will not really become widespread. AMD is not interested in aggressively promoting this solution into the market, especially since the CrossFire technology support can also be implemented successfully in platforms built around Intel core logic sets. At this time there is only one company offering ATI RD600 based mainboards – DFI. However, it doesn’t diminish our interest to this chipset as well as to DFI’s solution. Moreover, the DFI mainboard engineering team did their best to offer us an overclocker solution of the new class that can become a great technology example in this field.
This notorious mainboard - DFI LANParty UT ICFX3200-T2R/G – got into our test lab. So, in the review you are about to read we will talk about the new ATI core logic set for the Intel Core 2 processor family and the mainboard solution from DFI engineers.