SB650 may well bridge the gap between the ATI and NVIDIA south bridge, unless NVIDIA has something up its sleeves.
We got wind that ATI is already readying a replacement for the recently introduced SB600 south bridge.
There are no suggestions as to when the updated SB650 south bridge will launch. However, we have learned that it will support 6 SATA 3Gbps ports with comprehensive RAID 5 functionality and we understand that it is pin-compatible with the current SB600 chip.
We believe that this is in response to NVIDIA's recently-announced nForce 500-series, which features an industry-first 6 native SATA 3Gbps ports, with the option for dual RAID 5 or a massive 6-disk RAID array.
ATI's SB600 south bridge resolves virtually all of the performance-related I/O problems that were apparent in previous south bridge implementations, namely SB400 and SB450. However, SB600 doesn't feature support for RAID 5 - everything else that you would expect in a south bridge is there.
SB650 looks as if it will bridge the gap between ATI and NVIDIA in the increasingly competitive chipset market.
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