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AMD 880G Chipset Detailed

AMD 880G Chipset Detailed

AMD's latest 880G chipset seems thoroughly underwhelming on paper. It's the upgraded SB850 southbridge that sees the most significant positive change.

We've got our hands on the first AMD 880G motherboard and things are looking, well, a little old hat. On the new front though first there is the SB850 southbridge - the same used with the latest 890GX motherboards - bringing native SATA 6Gbps and finally RAID 5 to budget boards: all of which are a definite bonus. Most of the 880G boards we've seen details of so far have also had USB 3 too, which isn't unexpected either.

The new 880G northbridge however, is, total déjà vu because it's yet another RV620 cored IGP - ala 785G. The "new" Radeon HD 4250" still has DirectX 10.1 graphics with 40 shaders and the same support for Sideport DDR3 memory, UVD 2.0 and just a single digital output at a time. From what we can tell, it's also still manufactured on the same TSMC 55nm process as all AMD's chipsets so there's no change in power usage either.

Hybrid graphics are supported (and avoided) but there's no additional CrossFire support as AMD is saving the 890GX for this market, like it did with the 790GX. There are plenty of PCI-Express 2.0 from the 880G northbridge though as one of the early samples we have has 1x, 4x and 16x PCI-E slots squeezed into a tiny micro ATX form factor.

If this is AMD's lineup for another year it's not just dropping off the boil, it's been frozen solid. The lack of dual digital outputs in 2010 is unforgivable, and AMD is still playing second fiddle to Intel's excellent GMA-HD video performance and features. For all intents and purposes the 880G appears like a rebrand with a new southbridge, and as such it's hard to get excited about it.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

Addendum 24th March 2010: AMD called us to correct the statement about dual digital outputs on its IGP chipsets. AMD maintains that all its chipsets back to 780G support dual digital outputs, but it's the motherboard manufacturers have chosen not to use it.

However, since we have never actually seen a 780G/785G and even 880G motherboard to date support this feature, and every manufacturer we've spoken to says it either cannot be done or won't be included. To which AMD claims that it is likely a cost factor on the manufacturers part as they try to attain a certain competitive price point. We will continue to investigate this feature.

13 Comments

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Kúsař 23rd March 2010, 15:15 Quote
It's shame they still haven't updated IGP. AMD seems to be offering entire HTPC market to intel right now. And it's really stupid from AMD to "give up" so easily especially as intel's GMA is hardly capable of rendering DX10 features...
wiak 23rd March 2010, 15:40 Quote
AMD is still playing second fiddle to Intel's excellent GMA-HD video performance and features. <- huh, even HD 3200 is by far way better than anything intel has released including GMA HD

880G is DX10.1
GMA HD is DX10 only

880G has superior game support (aka its based on a radeon core, that uses the catalyst driver)
880G is just a tweaked refreshed 785G with a SB850 southbridge, much like 890GX but without crossfire

btw
we know that fusion is comming and why waste R&D when you can put a DX11 core into a CPU instead of a NB?
MSHunter 23rd March 2010, 16:16 Quote
aw crap an other rehash! any one for ION2 same as ION1 without the extras and we where promised ION 2 would have 32 streams. It seams AMD is copying Nvidia's mistakes. While Intel is still selling crap IGP to everyone and no one seems to care. Wait no we all care but Intel is using its monopoly to force its IPG on the consumer. First with its "secial offers to OEMS" and now with integrating the IPG in the CPU casing (and its even on a separate and bigger die.....FAIL)

BTW: Has any one els noticed the virgin broadband advert small print:

(Rollover for Legal stuff)

I think that is the most honest ISP advert in history :D
Boogle 23rd March 2010, 16:18 Quote
I don't think you can say onboard graphics supports DX10.1 over DX10 is going to make any diff. Especially since even DX9 games will struggle to perform well on the GPU.

Intel's GMA is extremely good when it comes to lower power consumption with great video performance. Quite frankly I haven't seen any convincing benchmarks where the latest GMA wouldn't play a game that the onboard Radeon could. Sure you may gain 5-10fps, but when you're under 30fps it's all very moot.

I wouldn't be excited about DX11 being integrated into the CPU either. The Radeon 5870 is only just fast enough to run DX11 games in a way where the DX11 features actually noticeably improve the graphical quality. With an integrated GPU, the detail will be backed off so far that the game will look like it's DX9.

I think Bit-Tech are bang-on with this article. AMD have done absolutely nothing with their chipsets - there really is nothing new here. SATA 3 will only benefit SSDs (nice to have, but should be included anyway), a few extra USB ports, and ummm that's it. The northbridge looks identical, and the southbridge doesn't even support USB3. It's an extremely poor show, and especially badly timed now that Intel are starting to actually release IGPs with good performance.
tad2008 23rd March 2010, 16:43 Quote
On the upside it does bring Raid 5 to budget boards, which is at least a small step in the right direction and perhaps AMD hasn't got it all entirely wrong.

We as consumers would like to see bigger improvements in new products over old, but manufacturers like to give us only a small improvement. Some of can't wait or don't want to wait for the ideal upgrade so we buy into it and then they release the next small upgrade and we buy in to that, so as inefficient as it sounds, AMD is only following Nvidia and Intel's examples and making us pay again and again for these small advancements.

Hence why my PC is 2 years old and the motherboard is using the fastest dual core cpu and maximum amount of ram worth using under XP. As much as I'd love to be upgrading to Windows 7 and building with some fantastically fast new hardware, the features are still lacking in a lot of components but I have the time and patience to wait until the right thing comes along.
Bindibadgi 23rd March 2010, 16:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wiak
AMD is still playing second fiddle to Intel's excellent GMA-HD video performance and features. <- huh, even HD 3200 is by far way better than anything intel has released including GMA HD

VIDEO features and performance. Not gaming.

Intel offers full Dolby and DTS HD audio bitstream support, picture in picture, HDMI 1.3a etc at a lower power use. AMD hasn't updated the UVD in its core, despite updating the model number, meaning it's still behind Intel for HTPC solutions.

MSHunter - you were never *promised* 32 stream processors for Ion2 from Nvidia, it was only alluded to in rumour.

As Boogle said, we're concerned with the rebranding of what is essentially exactly the same physical product as the 785G.
TheUn4seen 23rd March 2010, 22:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
As Boogle said, we're concerned with the rebranding of what is essentially exactly the same physical product as the 785G.

And yet you weren't so vocal when nVidia rebranded 8800gt to 9800gt to GTS240 to GT340, milking ignorants. Maybe because of the big nVidia (and its partners) vertical banners on the right? Oh well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogle
Intel are starting to actually release IGPs with good performance.

Haha, wait, wat? Did i miss something? I don't see how a new IGP that can't outperform a 4 year old weakest and cheapest GPU can be called good in any way (besides being cheap - but so are the old GPUs).

Anyway, using IGPs for HDTV is a poor decision, as such systems tend to be slow - even with Intel's good hardware acceleration changing between scenes and rewinding is extremely choppy. Why not just slap a good dualcore and a half-decent GPU inside, overclock a bit, get silent AC or LC and be happy with a pleasant to use system instead of budget crap. And if you can't handle those few dollars in electric bill, I suggest going to goodwill instead of playing with computers.
Boogle 23rd March 2010, 22:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheUn4seen
Haha, wait, wat? Did i miss something? I don't see how a new IGP that can't outperform a 4 year old weakest and cheapest GPU can be called good in any way (besides being cheap - but so are the old GPUs).

Actually I was talking more video, with only a little light gaming as a bonus. But yes - you did miss something. Assuming the ATI GPU is adequate, then Intel have matched and overtaken (in some games) this 'new' chipset ATI have brought out: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2010/01/25/intel-gma-hd-graphics-performance/4. In this regard, ATI are falling behind in something they were traditionally well ahead in.
TomH 23rd March 2010, 23:13 Quote
Mmm.. Wake me up when Nvidia release something to rival the Core 2 + 9400M IGP boards. And nobody says it needs to be attached to an Intel socket, either.
Bindibadgi 24th March 2010, 11:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomH
Mmm.. Wake me up when Nvidia release something to rival the Core 2 + 9400M IGP boards. And nobody says it needs to be attached to an Intel socket, either.

It won't happen. Nvidia has dropped chipset development.

And TheUn4seen:
http://www.bit-tech.net/search?q=rebrand

On many occasions mate, if you cared to look. Our search function isn't even that good, I'm sure we've commented within other articles that haven't been specifically tagged.
dec 24th March 2010, 15:16 Quote
im excited for the southbridge which will hopefully mean better OCing of phenom ii's. Speaking of which, isnt there going to be a new stepping of the 720 and 550 BE's?
Bindibadgi 24th March 2010, 18:10 Quote
Addendum added about dual digital outputs.
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 24th March 2010, 21:35 Quote
AmD is just offering up some tidbits here and there until FuSIOn comes out.

I have a 790gp GIG mobo w/ a HD 3300 and I can run Crysis on it with some bells n whistles at 1680 x 1050. I was very impressed with it while saving for my GPU's.

If the 880 w/ it's 4250 at 10.1 can out perform the HD 3300 at 10 then it's a very good chipset.

I don't See Amd going all out until FuSIOn when I hope they over haul their chipset set up and give Intel a real run for their high price money as far as competitive performance
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