AMD has released a BIOS update for its integrated 690G chipset. Released back in February, the chipset proved popular with undemanding consumers and HTPC builders and yours truly as a cheap work horse, and AMD made quite a bit of money on it, selling more than a million in the first four months. The update offers some HD playback optimizations and overclocking features.
The updated motherboards should be able to cope with 1080p, which sounds impressive taking into account the price of 690G boards. Since the integrated X1250 graphics part lacks UVD, although it still has some video decoding features, it's up to the CPU to decode your flicks.
However, for HD video it needs a lot more grunt and there has been some reported problems with HD video playback and AMD has changed the support for HD video playback in the latest drivers and move the decoding away from the GPU to the CPU. For MPEG2 at 1080p, you'll need an X2 at 1.8GHz, for VC-1 a 2.2GHz X2 CPU, and for H.264 a 2.4GHz chip will be required.
Also the BIOS will give you some new oveclocking features, something that the 690G has lacked so far. This will enable you to play around with memory timings, multiplier settings and voltage. It will also allow you to overclock the integrated GPU slightly ,from the stock 400MHz to 450 or even 500MHz.
We have a few of these boards up and running in the lab and at our homes, so stay tuned, we'll probably try it out soon.