ATI Technologies has officially introduced its new system core-logic set that is designed from the ground-up to be a multi-GPU system. The new CrossFire Xpress 3200 provides 32 PCI Express lanes and brings promise of being the based of the fastest computers for gaming.
“The introduction of ATI's CrossFire Xpress 3200 chipset-the first single chip with 32 PCI Express lanes-is a defining milestone for the PC platform. Unlocking a universe of performance and overclocking options on the motherboard along with dual-GPU support for ATI’s X1000-series of graphics cards, CrossFire Xpress 3200 is the backbone of the world's fastest and most versatile gaming platform,” said Reuven Soraya, director of ATI’s chipset business unit.
The main feature of the CrossFire Xpress is support for thirty two PCI Express links, twice as many as in the previous generation of chipsets, such as the Radeon Xpress 200 CrossFire Edition as well as Nvidia nForce4 SLI. Typically, graphics cards use PCI Express x16 slots, however, two graphics cards require a couple of such slots. In order to allow graphics cards to work in tandem, chipset designers had to share the PCI Express x16 bandwidth between two boards. With the CrossFire Xpress 3200, each of the boards receives dedicated 16-lane PCI Express slot.
ATI recommends to use the CrossFire Xpress 3200 with the Radeon X1900-series graphics cards in CrossFire mode to get ultimate performance in modern games.
To please computer enthusiasts, who up to now preferred chipsets from companies like Intel, Nvidia or Via Technologies, ATI’s CrossFire Xpress 3200 hardware has been precisely engineered to enable up to 60% overclocking of the chipset with stock cooling and at default voltages. The CrossFire Xpress 3200 chip, also known as the RD580, is made using 0.11 micron process technology.
Mainboard partners of ATI Technologies will use various I/O controller with the Radeon Xpress 3200 chipsets, which means that mainboards will differ from each other quite substantially.
Motherboards with CrossFire Xpress 3200 will be available starting March 1, 2006 from ATI partners including Abit, Asus, DFI, Sapphire and PC Partner with more to follow, according to ATI. Leading system makers, such as VoodooPC, Evesham and Mesh, also plan to build computers featuring the CrossFire Xpress 3200.