Back in March we looked at the AMD Radeon HD 3200 graphics with AMD's 780G Chipset and found it to be a reputable performer. Its performance was almost identical to that of the discrete Radeon HD 2400PRO graphics card and was capable of running some Linux games at a playable frame-rate. Now though AMD's top-end IGP is 790GX Chipset with Radeon HD 3300 graphics. We have been testing an AMD 790GX motherboard from Elitegroup Computer Systems for the past several weeks and today we are delivering our Linux benchmarks of this newest AMD integrated graphics processor.
This 55nm AMD chipset supports all of the same features as the earlier 780G plus more. Among these features are ATI Hybrid Graphics, PowerPlay, side-port memory, CrossFireX, and OverDrive. AMD 790GX motherboards can choose to support CrossFire through dual PCI Express x16 slots but with only PCI-E x8 bandwidth per slot. While not related to the graphics front, 790GX motherboards are also able to utilize AMD's newer SB750 Southbridge, which is a modest upgrade from the SB700.
Like the AMD 780G and other 780 Series Chipsets, the 790GX supports both HDMI and DisplayPort interfaces, but it's up to the motherboard vendor which connectors are actually used. With the ECS A790GXM-A motherboard there is just a VGA and HDMI connector. The Radeon HD 3300 series has a 700MHz core clock, which is a 200MHz boost over the Radeon HD 3200 / 780G.
The Radeon HD 3300 / 790GX Chipset is compatible with the AMD Catalyst Linux Suite (fglrx driver) and the two open-source drivers: xf86-video-ati and xf86-video-radeonhd. As the two open-source drivers presently lack video, 2D, and 3D acceleration for the R600 ASICs and newer, most users will find themselves using the fglrx driver for the time being. Their binary Linux driver going back a few months now has supported the Radeon HD 3300 series. For all of the latest fixes and improvements you will want to be using the latest Catalyst release, which right now is Catalyst 8.9.