The AMD 690G is built on TSMC's 80nm
manufacturing process. Even though AMD has its own fabrication plants, AMD stuck
with ATi's old manufacturing partners for making these motherboard chipsets.
The AMD 690G (previously known as the ATI RS690) is
designed with Microsoft Windows Vista in mind, specifically for Vista's
AeroGlass feature. The chipset supports all of AMD's 32-bit and 64-bit Socket
It's the integrated video capabilities that really make
the AMD 690G chipset special.
The onboard Radeon Xpress 1250 videocard is fully
DirectX 9.0 compatible (thus compatible with Vista AeroGlass) and is based on
the Radeon X700 architecture, albeit with four rendering pipelines. That gives
AMD a 3D performance advantage over comparable integrated nVIDIA graphics cards
like the GeForce 6100 series, but not necessarily against the new Geforce 7050.
The integrated videocard supports one TV output DAC for TV output, and HDCP
natively (something the GeForce 6100 series doesn't) through DVI and HDMI.
Inclusion of the port is up to manufacturer's discretion, and for whatever
reason MSI opted for an Analog monitor jack without a secondary TV-output.
Within the AMD 690G, the Radeon Xpress 1250 videocard
supports dual monitors (one digital and one analog display). If you want to run
dual monitors, one will have to be analog and the second digital, DVI to analog
converters do not work with the Radeon Xpress 1250, so you cannot connect two
analog monitors onto the onboard videocard. Again, this is dependant on the
manufacturer's implementation; the MSI K9AGM2-FIH has only one monitor jack so
it will not support dual monitors in this way.
Should you want to use a
stand alone videocard the AMD 690G supports a PCI Express x16 slot, however when
a stand alone videocard is used, the onboard is disabled.
The Radeon Xpress 1250 videocard shares up to 512MB of
installed system memory.
The AMD 690G supports up to four PCI Express x1 slots
along with six PCI bus mastering slots, although it's up to the motherboard
manufacturer to implement things.
The AMD SB600 Southbridge supports four Serial ATA II
ports and a single Ultra/133 IDE controller. Also integrated is are ten USB 2.0
ports, a Gigabit MAC and a 7.1 channel High Definition audio controller.
On paper AMD's 690G chipset is a real challenger to
nVIDIA's old GeForce 6100-series and the new Geforce 7050 chipset, but whether
it truly is faster and a good alternative is something we'll find out shortly.
First, a closer look at the MSI K9AGM2-FIH AMD motherboard highlights.