In an attempt to offer the best platforms for new processors from Advanced Micro Devices, its long-term partner Nvidia Corp. plans to release a series of PCI Express 2.0 supporting chipsets this fall. It is highly likely that by fall the world’s No. 1 supplier of discrete graphics processors unveils its graphics chips compatible with PCIe 2.0.
The new code-named MCP72 core-logic series will fully support new AMD Phenom processors based on AMD’s new micro-architecture that belong to the “Stars” family of chips. All versions of the MCP72 will support HyperTransport 3.0 processor bus as well as PCI Express 2.0 interconnection, which will be the key-features of the new array of chipsets.
Initially three versions of the new Nvidia nForce 7-series chipsets will be available: MCP72XE, MCP72P, MCP72 Ultra and MCP72V. Mass production of the first two will start in October, according to sources familiar with Nvidia’s plans, the schedule for MCP72 Ultra is undecided, whereas MCP72V will be produced only in 2008, in time for mass production of AMD’s new processors for mainstream and entry-level systems.
The most powerful flavour of the new core-logic series – MCP72XE – is projected to consist of two chips so that to support two PCI Express 2.0 x16 lanes for two (or more) add-on graphics cards and three PCIe 2.0 x1 lanes for other expansions. The enthusiast-oriented MCP72XE will also support memory modules with enhanced performance profiles (EPP), 1GbE network controller, six Serial ATA ports with RAID capabilities, two Parallel ATA drives, twelve USB 2.0 and other capabilities.
The less advanced version of Nvidia nForce 700a-series – MCP72P – will consist of one chips and will feature similar I/O capabilities compared to the higher-performance version, but will not support EPP memory modules, will only have two PCI Express 2.0 x8 lanes for multi-GPU capability and two PCI Express 2.0 x1 lanes for other add-in cards.
Nvidia’s code-named MCP72 Ultra core-logic will also consist of one chip and will have similar feature-set compared to the MCP72P with the only exception being the lack of multi-GPU support and presence of one PCIe 2.0 x16 lane. MCP72V version will also not support multi-GPU and will come with lower amount of expansion capabilities.
Nvidia traditionally does not comment on unreleased products.