Our Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: The updates AMD has made to the 690 chipset software and BIOS had a measurable impact on performance. The synthetic memory benchmarks clearly showed a performance advantage for the Gigabyte GA-M69GM-S2H we used for testing, that resulted in slight gains in gaming and application benchmarks. The new BIOS features also gave us the ability to overclock the board's HyperTransport link to over 1.5GHz, which was an increase of approximately 50% over "stock" which is very good for an inexpensive chipset with an IGP.
AMD's 690 chipset update takes an already attractive IGP-equipped platform and makes it just that much better. When we first took a look at the 690 chipset, we liked the facts that the IGP performed very well in comparison to its competition and that motherboards based on the chipset were affordable. Well, motherboards based on the chipset are even more affordable now and the IGP and platform's performance as a whole have been increased; good news all around. And if you've already gone out an purchased a 690 chipset-based motherboard, don't fret - the performance updates will likely be coming to your board as well via a BIOS update. The overclocking options, however, won't be universal.