Roughly a week ago it became more than apparent that ATI is releasing an affordable product on the market that can match NVIDIA's GeForce 6600 GT. Last Friday HiS distributed a press relerase announcing this product. Suffice to say that I contacted a few manufacturers to see if the rumors were true. Obviously they where true and the name of the product is: Radeon x800 GT. At this moment I have several x800 GT boards inbound, yet with the speed of light our contacts from HiS provided us with an actual engineering sample of this graphics card. In about two weeks the final product combined their popular IceQ cooling will be finished after which we'll take a deeper look at that one. Today we'll bring you a nice preview of what is to come though. So understand that today's article is not our usual standard of reviews, it's a little shorter yet I'll absolutely cover the most important basics for you.
Right then GT. So ATI definitely borrowed that name from their green acquaintances based in San Francisco. But hey, it's how the game works. I mean, I can remember a certain company utilizing the XT in products shortly after ATI presented the Radeon x800 XT. Speaking of the devil, x800 XT, that card in 2003 was manufactured under the silicon codename R430. Today's product is in many ways close to that (at the time) 499 USD product. Today, obviously we again are looking at an ATI refresh product.
The card my friends is an affordable, and considering the high framerates it can accomplish in games, one hell of an attractive piece of gaming gear. The little ogre was manufactured under codename R480 and is actually built on the smaller 0.11 micron fabrication process. The product was of course initially purely intended for the PCI-Express platform. But hey, the mid range production for AGP platforms is still big and thus expect to see the AGP version also. Thanks to the addition of a little "bridge" chip (Rialto) the silicon can be made backwards compatible for all your AGP lovin'.
The product that we are testing today is the Radeon x800 GT as manufactured by HiS. It's expected to sell at half the price of the 16 pipe Radeon x800 XL but of course only has half the rendering power with 8 Pixel pipelines and thus becomes a more affordable section. With no less than eight pixel pipelines and six vertex engines this is in fact a product that can compete with those adored GeForce 6600 GT or as ATI calls them "the green goblins."
This product will be available in 128 MB and 256 MB versions (GDDR3) on a 256-bit memory bus. All in all these specifications are looking good for a 150-200 USD product. This card should be able to deliver what the x700 series couldn't, a little more performance. Let's have a deeper look shall we.
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