The merger between AMD and ATI has certainly taken a little time to show its real benefits. Both companies have seemed to just do their own things, with little visible integration. Finally, though, we're starting to see a collaborative effort - rumour has it that AMD will be releasing its first integrated graphics solution
near the end of this month.
The new chipset is said to be dubbed the "690G", and will be part of an AM2 socket solution. Though integrated graphics rarely offer something special, though, this one is rumoured to do things differently. If the leaked specifications are right, it appears that this will be the first integrated chipset to feature both native HDMI and DVI out. And with a typical cost to motherboard makers said to be about $80, it won't even break the bank.
Though it will likely be far from a powerhouse, the 690G will definitely fill a market void - particularly in the HTPC sector. HDMI out along with DVI will prevent the need for a separate, discrete graphics card for any modern day HDTV connection. This not only lowers the cost of the systems, but also reduces heat - many HTPC setups require passive cards for silence, and the cramped space then can cause thermal issues.
Having the 690G coupled with an energy-efficient X2 processor should make a pretty powerful (and very affordable) HTPC solution. We'll be looking forward to the rumoured release at the end of this month, and hopefully see it start appearing on uATX motherboards shortly after, with a greater takeup than the previous ATI integrated chipsets.
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