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Intel Corp. will not unveil any chipsets for high-performance gaming machines and workstations until the mid-2007, which will leave the market of high-performance core-logic sets for companies like ATI Technologies and Nvidia Corp., according to media reports. This will not only boost revenues of the graphics companies, but will also increase pressure on chipset designers Silicon Integrated Systems and Via Technologies.

Modern high-end computers for gamers are usually equipped with two graphics cards from ATI Technologies or Nvidia Corp. The latter two companies, however, are not really fast to certify their CrossFire or SLI technologies to third party chipsets. Even though ATI allows two Radeon graphics cards to operate on Intel 955X or Intel 975X-based mainboards, Nvidia does not officially let its SLI work on any chipsets, but Nvidia’s own. Since Intel Pentium D platforms have not been too attractive for gamers and because Intel Corp. has been dominating Intel-compatible chipset market, both ATI and Nvidia have been concentrating on bringing advanced platforms for AMD-based systems. As a result of all these factors Intel reportedly decided to encourage those two developers to focus on chipsets compatible with the soon-to-be-released Intel Core 2 chips. The world’s largest chipmaker wants to come-back to the desktops of gamers and platforms especially designed for unbeatable performance with two, or even four, graphics processors should be a good help.

Intel will not leave the chipset market, it will continue to produce entry-level, mainstream, performance-mainstream and high-performance chipsets for different types of computers, as there are many system builders and end-users who prefer to have an Intel processor and an Intel core-logic inside. Those enthusiasts, who would like to have extreme performance, however, are likely to chose third-party chipsets, as Intel’s 975X lacks certain gaming-oriented functionality, such as support for 32 PCI Express lanes and PC2-6400 memory. Intel will reportedly offer a core-logic oriented on games by the end of the second quarter 2007, which means that the company does not have plans to leave the high-performance chipsets market in general.

Both ATI and Nvidia are reportedly on-track to release new high-performance chipsets inline with the launch of the desktop processors code-named Conroe, reports DigiTimes web-site. Moreover, by the end of the year Nvidia is projected to release a core-logic that will support 1333MHz processor system bus (PSB) as well as PC2-6400 memory (800MHz), which will provide enthusiasts abilities to overclock their processors more efficiently, as Intel’s desktops processors are not expected to support 1333MHz PSB.

Even though chipset designers SiS and Via are practically absent from the high-end market further expansion of ATI and Nvidia on the market of core-logic sets may catalyze Intel to increase production of more cost-efficient chipsets to maintain revenues, which may mean losses for SiS and Via.

Intel did not comment on the news-story.

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