AMD released their new 790GX chipset today. The update adds a new Southbridge in the form of the SB750, new HD video decoding technologies, a very powerful integrated graphics subsystem and new ways to overclock AMD processors. Most of all, AMD is really pushing their new Hybrid CrossfireX system, which allows users to combine their on-board graphics with a discrete GPU to obtain better performance.
The most exciting part of the new 790GX chipset is its graphics capabilities. The platform features an ATI HD3300 as the integrated graphics system. The video chipset features support for DirectX 10 graphics as well as AMD’s Avivo HD technology, which uses the new Unified Video Decoder to offload HD video processor to the GPU instead of the CPU. This may make the platform a welcome choice for HTPC enthusiasts and builders.
Perhaps more interesting, however, is the graphics processing flexibility the new system offers. As stated, it comes with the AMD HD3300 as the motherboard GPU. A discrete card in the HD2400 or HD3400 series can then be added, which takes advantage of AMD’s Hybrid CrossfireX technology. A synergy is created between the discrete and integrated cards, letting them share the task of video processing or gaming. Users can of course use a significantly more powerful discrete solution such as the the ATI HD4850 or HD4870, but they can’t be used with the new Hybrid CrossfireX system.
The chipmaker is also pushing the system’s overclocking capabilites. The new Advanced Clock Calibration adds to their famous AMD OverDrive feature to enable a wide range of overclocking features. It’s being marketed with their Black Edition Phenom processors, which, like Intel’s Core Extreme line, have unlocked multipliers, making them favorites for overclocking enthusiasts.
<a href=http://www.amd.com/us-en/Corporate/VirtualPressRoom/0,,51_104_543~127446,00.html>Press release</a>.
<a href=http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/Additional/790_small.swf>AMD video overview</a> (with accompanying 90’s rock music).