updated 12:00 am EST, Mon January 19, 2009
AMD 760G Chipset
AMD has begun the week early by launching a new mainboard chipset it hopes will bring gaming even to the lowest-cost systems. The 760G platform is designed to be mated with the Athlon X2 7000 and is pitched as one of the least expensive chipsets to be capable of DirectX 10 and full OpenGL 2 graphics. It comes with a Radeon HD 3000-era core that the chipmaker claims is much faster than Intel's own GMA 4500 architecture: an AMD run through of World of Warcraft has it running at 31 frames per second even at 1280x1024 with high detail, or about 63 percent faster than Intel's 19 frames per second.
The hardware primarily scales back from the more advanced 780 and 790 chipsets by using the same reduced 350MHz clock speed as the 780V and by dropping HD video acceleration, though AMD still includes hardware acceleration of DVD video playback and 2D acceleration for scaling in Acrobat, Powerpoint and other visual apps that depend on scaling. The chipset optionally supports both DisplayPort and HDMI video out as well as Hybrid CrossFire, which lets the system switch from a dedicated Radeon card to integrated video to save energy outside of games or HD video.
Mainboards based around the 760G technology should start shipping almost immediately and should be priced at about $79 in models from ASUS, GigaByte, MSI and others; the companion 2.7GHz Athlon X2 processor costs the same amount.