ASUS M2A-VM Motherboard - AMD 690 Chipset Review :: Xpress 1250 integrated graphics

02-28-2007 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
  • X700 architecture
  • 4 Pixel Pipelines
  • 2 Vertex Shader Pipelines
  • DirectX 9.0C
  • Pixel Shader 2.0b
  • Vertex Shader 2.0
  • Geometry instancing
  • HyperMemory
  • 400MHz Core Clock Speed
  • Up to 6x MSAA
  • Up to 16x AF
  • AVIVO

AMD has moved from X300 graphics on the Xpress 200 graphics chipset to graphics based upon the X700 series. The X700 series was was not a very successful chip for the desktop space at the time it was a graphics card due to competition and the immediate release of the successor to the x700XT, the X800 Pro was much more successful.

The X700 is an interesting starting point for an integrated graphics chipset. First, it is based upon the R420 architecture, meaning that it supports Pixel Shader 2.0b instead of the 3.0 that the R5xx series supports. Pixel Shader 2.0b has the advantages of 3x the pixel Shader instructions of 2.0 in a single pass. The other major features of the R4xx series include 3Dc, Normal Map Compression and Geometry Instancing.


Driver Screenshots


ASUS M2A-VM Motherboard - AMD 690 Chipset Review
ASUS M2A-VM Motherboard - AMD 690 Chipset Review
ASUS M2A-VM Motherboard - AMD 690 Chipset Review
ASUS M2A-VM Motherboard - AMD 690 Chipset Review
ASUS M2A-VM Motherboard - AMD 690 Chipset Review


ASUS M2A-VM Motherboard - AMD 690 Chipset Review
ASUS M2A-VM Motherboard - AMD 690 Chipset Review
ASUS M2A-VM Motherboard - AMD 690 Chipset Review
ASUS M2A-VM Motherboard - AMD 690 Chipset Review
ASUS M2A-VM Motherboard - AMD 690 Chipset Review


ASUS M2A-VM Motherboard - AMD 690 Chipset Review
ASUS M2A-VM Motherboard - AMD 690 Chipset Review
ASUS M2A-VM Motherboard - AMD 690 Chipset Review
ASUS M2A-VM Motherboard - AMD 690 Chipset Review

The other major feature of the RADEON 1250 is AVIVO. ATI's Advanced Video In Video Out technology allows the user to get the most out of their videos. Key features include: 10-bit DACs, advanced 3D Comb Filters, and support for the new High Definition content like H.264, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD content. Much like NVIDIA's PureVideo, AVIVO allows the RADEON 1250 to play back the HD content you want.

HyperMemory is ATI's slang term for the use of shared memory on its integrated graphics chipsets. The graphics chip uses the system memory as framebuffer memory, saving on memory chip costs to the motherboard manufacturer. ATI also allows the motherboard manufacturer to include a small amount of memory (up to 128MB) to be used in conjunction with the system memory to increase memory bandwidth.

Windows Vista was launched last month to a lot of fanfare from Microsoft. One of the key features of Vista is the Aero Glass GUI. The minimum requirements for Aero are Pixel Shader 2.0 and DirectX 9.0 which means that the integrated RADEON 1250 supports Pixel Shader 2.0b which means that Aero will run just fine.

The competition in this space at the moment consists of the NVIDIA 6150 integrated graphics chipset that was launched about two years ago and the Intel GMA 3000 that was launched last year. Both support Shader Model 3 in hardware but don't have the horsepower to really power the games out today. Intel's GMA3000 has a list of 15 games on their compatibility list that do not work properly with the graphics chip as of today's date, including HL2, HL2 Episode 1, Armed and Dangerous, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and more are currently unplayable on their chipset. AMD's new 690 chipset has no such problems besides performance. Here are two shots from The Sims 2 one from the GMA 3000, one from the AMD RS690 chip. Note the visual quality differences which speak for themselves.


ASUS M2A-VM Motherboard - AMD 690 Chipset Review GMA 3000

GMA 3000

ASUS M2A-VM Motherboard - AMD 690 Chipset Review RADEON 1200

RADEON 1200