With the X1800 just a few weeks away are things coming together for ATI?
The words “long overdue” and the company acronym ATI have gone together rather well over recent months, but having got its act together with the R520 (now branded the X1800), the same can also be said of its CrossFire motherboard as well.
We know this because third party developer ECS has broken ranks to proclaim the imminent availability of two solutions (the PA1 Extreme (below) and KA1 Extreme), while DFI follows closely behind stating that its Lanparty UT RDX200-CF-DR (”catchy!?!” below) is also just a week or so away.
All three products are XPress 200 CrossFire chipsets at their core. Lars wrote a comprehensive preview of a reference board back in May, while Riyad got a first hand look at several early vendor solutions at Computex in June. Needless to say, neither manufacturer has messed with the capable CrossFire technology that ATI has put in place. In ECS’ case, the different product codes simply refer to AMD (KA1) and Intel (PA1) offerings, while DFI’s mobo chooses to snuggle up with a nice warm Athlon.
You can’t blame them either, CrossFire brings dual PCI Express slots, SATAII support, Gigabyte LAN and DDR400/DDR2 667 support (depending on whether you align yourself with the Force or prefer to take a walk on the Dark Side). At this moment in time, ECS and DFI are keeping prices close to their chests – no doubt so they can try and undercut one another by a couple of quid.
It doesn’t really matter though, by early October dual X1800 AMD systems will be out on the streets (Intel takes a few weeks longer) and you won’t hear a peep out of hardcore gamers for… ooooh, at least a couple of months!
The DFI board has been spotted over at CPU City for £156.26 (incl. VAT). Availability, as expected, is first week of October.