When ATI introduced the RS300, many expected the fastest integrated graphics solution for the Pentium 4 to make quite a splash. After all, the Intel 865G was a top seller with graphics performance that was clearly inferior to the ATI Radeon 9100 IGP. But several things held back that kind of wide acceptance in the first chipset.

Many buying the 865G looked at it first as a chipset, and they didn't care as much about on-board graphics performance; the ATI RS300 was just not up to the base performance levels of the 865G. Those who were shopping for an all-in-one integrated graphics solution were more than a bit confused that the 9100 IGP was Direct X 8.1 when both nVidia and ATI themselves were proclaiming the merits of Direct X 9.

In addition, the 865 chipset family was the favorite of many overclockers, reaching incredible overclocks with the cheaper P4 processors, while the ATI RS300 was a mediocre overclocker at best. For some shopping for an integrated Pentium 4 solution, the features were very important; the RS300 lacked some of the leading features of the Intel 865G.

ATI may have fallen a bit short of the mark in the first go-around, but ATI is a company that understands competition. After a closer look at the 865G, their answer is the just released RS350. As you will see in our closer look at the Reference Board, ATI has looked at all these areas that were concerns to buyers.

The new RS350 is now said to be fully ready to compete with the best Intel chipsets, performing as well as the Intel 865/875 as a chipset, and with the added advantage of the best Integrated Graphics available for the Intel platform. Yes, the RS350 is still Direct X 8.1, but ATI has also tweaked the chipset for best operation with Direct X 9.0B, and it runs all the Direct X 9 titles we fed it in our tests.

In a look to the future, the new 9100 IGP PRO chipset is also capable of supporting both current Socket 478 CPUs as well as future Socket 775 processors. The RS350 can drive either socket, supporting Northwood, Prescott, and Pentium 4 EE. ATI has also updated the RS350 Southbridge. The IXP320 has added support for 8 USB 2.0 ports and 2 SATA ports, matching the specifications and features of Intel's 865G chipset.

On paper, the ATI RS350 certainly looks like all the things that we wished for when ATI first launched a Radeon Integrated Graphics solution. Does the performance match the expectations?

A Closer Look at ATI 9100 IGP PRO
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  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, May 05, 2004 - link

    My apologies. The chart was supplied by ATI and shows a Clock Speed of 300 and a Ramdac of 400. Reply
  • SocrPlyr - Wednesday, May 05, 2004 - link

    The comparison sheet on page 10 definately has 400MHz for the RAMDAC...
    it is a picture, and pictures don't lie :)

    Josh
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - link

    The comparison sheet on page 10 states the Ramdac speed is 300MHz, exactly what was stated when the review was published. Where is the comparison sheet that states 400 for the Ramdac speed?
    Reply
  • quanta - Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - link

    Are you sure the RAMDAC on 9100 IGP Pro is really 400MHz? The ATI site says it is 300MHz, but the comparison sheet in your site says 400MHz. Reply
  • gofor55 - Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - link

    Does anybody know whether 9100IGP Pro will run ATI's Multimedia Center 9.0 and EazyShare. This might be just the ticket for a low cost multimedia PC for living room and bedroom to view PVR captures from a networked media server. Reply
  • Pumpkinierre - Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - link

    So Wesley any indications in that ATI note as to how they optimise for Prescott?
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - link

    ATI confirmed SATA RAID was present on RS350, not AOpen. Must have been a petit mal . . . Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - link

    #12 -
    AOpen has confirmed that RS350 DOES support SATA RAID 0,1. We confiormed SATA RAID works fine with a pair of WD Raptors in a stripe.

    The review will be updated to correct the SATA information.
    Reply
  • Kai920 - Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - link

    #14 - Very well said.

    I like how IGPs keep improving --say goodbye to Intel Extreme Graphics 2 and onboard GF4MX. The IGP may very well be a major decision in my future purchases, if not the next.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, May 03, 2004 - link

    #12 -
    Asute of you to catch the Sata RAID in the diagram. Unfortunately the diagram also shows IXP 300 when the board had an IXP 320.

    We have asked ATI for clarification on whether SATA RAID is an option. They are all in Barcelona, Spain for the big X800 kick-0ff tomorrow, so we might not have an answer for a few days.

    #10 -
    As for the comment about mfg suck-up, GET REAL. Mfgs HOPE they will get a good review from us because we are honest, but more often than not mfgs complain we are too negative in pointing out failings with their product. That means we probably have it about right.

    #4 - If you bothered to read the review you would have found the MAIN message was the RS350 competes very well with Intel AS A CHIPSET, which SHOULD be of interest to you. The other news was that Prescott optimizations make Prescott a better performer than Northwood on the new chips. Yes, we coverd Integrated Graphics, because it mattered, but that was not the main point. It wasn't a slow news day - the NDA expired at 6AM today, as the X800 NDA expires tomorrow. The RS350 is a damn good chipset or I wouldn't have bothered.
    Reply

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