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Sapphire PL-AMZ RS690 review

Plugging the gap

Our Verdict

Wait a couple of months, and see what AMDs future chips are like before you go for this

For

  • Integrated HDMI

    Micro-ATX

Against

  • No optical sound

    Expensive

We don't usually concern ourselves with integrated graphics, but this is an intriguing proposition. It's a small form factor motherboard with an integrated HDMI out to connect it to a high-def TV.

If you're building a PC purely for watching TV and possibly hi-def movies, then this could be just you're looking for. The Radeon X1250 is not available as an add-in board and with good reason: it's poo at games.

Still, since the HDMI-out is on the board, this will fit into some tiny cases. There are a couple of drawbacks though. If you're building a PC for those Blu-ray and HD DVD movies, you'll need another soundcard to get the Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD sound formats which will give you the high-def effects.

And the only digital out on this board - S/ PDIF - won't be able to carry encrypted audio feeds either. Secondly, this is a chipset that already feels a bit redundant. After all, by next month, AMD will have announced a successor to Athlon, as well as several new lines aimed at your living room.

Which brings us on to the final problem with this board. While its performance is good for an AMD chipset, it's still more cost-efficient to go the Intel route, even for low-spec media centres. That alone makes it difficult to recommend.