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News ATI's R42x refresh chip to arrive in December

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Tim S, 6 Oct 2004.

  1. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    It has become apparent that ATI will be releasing a refresh to their X800 line of graphics processors. It’s codenamed R480, and is said to be PCI-Express only for the time being.

    The R480 will replace the X800 XT and X800 XT Platinum Edition as ATI’s flagship graphics processor. It will come in two flavours at two different clock speeds, much like the difference between the X800 XT and X800 XT Platinum Edition - we place our bets on it being known as the X900 series. It will be based on their 110nm fabrication process that we have seen used, with varying success on the X700 series. We understand that the X700’s fabrication process has undergone a re-spin, so it is likely that we will see speeds in excess of the X800 XT Platinum Edition’s 520MHz core. The new fabrication process does not feature low-K; but with the reduction in size, we can expect to see clock speeds in excess of 520MHz. This is simply because it would have to run faster than the X800 XT Platinum Edition, which is ATI’s currently unavailable flagship product.

    It’s also likely that ATI will opt for faster memory than the current 1120MHz X800 XT Platinum Edition’s speeds, but one has to question the cost implications for running with even faster memory. There are currently 1400MHz memory chips available at the moment, but we don’t know what sort of volume there is. You can find out about these speedy chips from Samsung over here.

    There is currently no X800 PRO on PCI-Express, but the gap is likely to be filled with the R430 core. We suspect that this chip will have a similar clock speed to the X800 XT PCI-Express, which is based on the R423 core at 130nm. It would come as a surprise to us if this chip weren’t based around the same 110nm fabrication process used on the R480. This chip will be designed to compete and take market share from NVIDIA’s very successful GeForce 6800GT.

    As for AGP users, we’re not too sure when there will be replacements for the R420-based X800 XT Platinum Edition, X800 XT and X800 PRO graphics boards, but we’re under the impression that they won’t appear this side of the New Year. It’s likely that ATI will bridge back from PCI-Express to AGP in Q1 2005 with a bridge chip similar to what NVIDIA bridged from AGP to PCI-Express with. This caused a huge uproar between the two graphics companies, so it’s interesting to see that ATI are following in NVIDIA’s footsteps by implementing a bridge chip to allow them to bridge from one interface to the other. We do feel that bridging back from PCI-Express to AGP makes the most sense, as there’s garaunteed to be no problems with lack of bandwidth from the bridged interface. This is when we are likely to see R480, and maybe R430, bridged back to AGP for us die-hard AGP lovers.
     
  2. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    What happened to the " new 18 month product cycle"?

    Anyone else feel ATI are oversaturating the market with different cards from two generations? We've still got 9800pro/XTs floating around. People are getting so confused by the overdiversification of their product range its got to be bad for business overall.
     
  3. GreatOldOne

    GreatOldOne Wannabe Martian

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    /GOO sheepishly put his hand up.

    I'm bloody confused by it all. Even with all of the experts on hand at bit HQ to give me advice, I don't think I could understand all of the product lines that we are currently awash with.
     
  4. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    I quite agree, there are far too many products in the ATI lineup at the moment.

    There's a problem, though....

    There's an absolutely massive gap between the 9600 XT and the 9800 PRO. Below the 9600 XT, there's the 9600 PRO, 9550 XT PE (GeCube only), 9600, 9550, 9600 SE, 9200 PRO, 9250, 9200, 9200 SE and then we go even lower still (for complexity purposes, I've not even touched on X600, X300 nor anything below a 9200SE here).

    Above the 9600 XT (boards which are not discontinued), there's 9800 PRO, X700, 9800 XT, X700 PRO, X700 XT, X800 SE, X800 PRO, X800 XT, X800 XT PE... it's a large enough range already.

    I get the feeling that they're releasing products to counter NVIDIA's moves, rather than releasing products when there sufficient need for one.
     
  5. Submerged..

    Submerged.. New Member

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    *reaches for a packet of ibuprofen*

    Seems like ATI has gone too far overboard with the lineup, as when bigz was saying all above, my head was hurting from those numbers...

    *pats his poor head...*
     
  6. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    That's exactly what it is. And while this is good for the consumer (lower prices, constantly new stuff!) one of them may go voodoo in the long term :(

    In the end - they will need to continually put more and more onto graphics chips, where do you go?? I dont know why they are doing it - with HL2 coming out they are "gurenteed" a better performance than the equivilient nvidia product and they havent even got their XT/XTPEs sorted yet. It would benefit both companies (although not the consumer) if they worked together more (cartel?).
     
  7. crichards

    crichards New Member

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    If ATI want to release an even faster graphics card now rather than in 18 months time, then that's just fine by me. Keep em comin'!
     
  8. LoneArchon

    LoneArchon New Member

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    But they need to clean up the line get rid of some of the unneeded card such as the 9600 series should be replace with x600 as it is almost the same if not the same and so on. and get simplify the low end cards with one or 2 chips not 4 or 5+
     
  9. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    Well i would guess that they'll be slimming down the line of graphics cards now, probably stopping the 9550 range or something like that, cutting down on the 9600 models available as well as cutting down the X800 Range to only three perhaps? Who knows, we'll have to see. As it stands though, they have a ridiculous amount of cards.
     
  10. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    The 9550 range is a very recent addition, I'd be surprised if they did stop that just now :)
     
  11. Tulatin

    Tulatin The Froggy Poster

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    X900/X700 huh? Remind you of any rival's moves to cover up thier screw-ups? ATI looks to be pulling an FX here, and likely once they hit, the X600 and X800 will become just like the 5600 and 5800 did... artifacts of their time, superceded by what R&D needed those extra months to tune up.

    As to GPU ranges, we can easily group them by performance segmants.

    For example the radeon 85xx thru 92xx cards are more or less the same thing. Likewise with the 9550-9600s. They will perform near identically at similar clocks, mayhap a few FPS between them. Like it has been said, it really does seem like ATI is saturating the market.

    Personally, i feel they should define their niches right now. no more of this upper-lower end card such as the 9550. If i were in there, i would trim down to 9600Pro and XT on the low end, 9800Pro and XT for midrange and X800 Pro, XT and PE for the high edge. As to their PCI-E linup, it follows nearly the same principal, except it's low range (the X300) is substandard for performance imo.
     
  12. Ubermich

    Ubermich He did it!

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    But you have to remember that the low-end is not necessarily for gaming... Businesses sometimes need low-end options that are cheaper than on-board options or have a feature on-board solutions can't provide. That's where a low-end card should fit. A low-end card, in my opinion, should never be thought of as a gaming solution.
     
  13. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    absolutely... but why are they saturating it with 9200, 9200 PRO, 9200 SE, 9250, 9100, 9100 PRO, 9100 SE, 9000, 9000 PRO, 9000 SE ???

    That's 10 boards for one specific requirement, which doesn't revolve around requiring "performance"... this isn't even taking in to account the varying memory buses and the varying frame buffers!
     
  14. Ubermich

    Ubermich He did it!

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    Sorry, I was being lazy 'cause I didn't want to edit Tulatin's quote... but my post was in response to him saying the x300 is too low-end for low-end...
     
  15. Fod

    Fod what is the cheesecake?

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    no, wait, i demand 60FPS in excel!
     
  16. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    ok, I'll design you a board that does just that! :D

    Do you expect 60fps in powerpoint too ?? :worried:
     
  17. Tulatin

    Tulatin The Froggy Poster

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    personally i dont see much of a point in a low cost pci-e card right now. Aside from ******* OEMs, who exactly is going to drop 1000 on their processor, mobo and ram, just to put a card in that chokes on paint?
     
  18. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    I quite agree at the moment, the board was made to fill a gap, rather than being of any use to channel :blah:
     
  19. Ubermich

    Ubermich He did it!

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    Except pci-e mobos aren't always going to cost an arm and a leg...
     
  20. jetsetjimbo

    jetsetjimbo Up-up and away

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    No... but by the time they do current low end cards will effectively be paperweights. :hehe:

    My 9500 np does me proud and seems to still be significantly than many of it's sucessors (with a little o/c :) ). Let them get on with it I say, it all boils down to how many units they shift and not about what's good for the consumer - as far as ease of choice goes anyhow.

    I just worry about whats out there when my current card no longer keeps up with my requirements.
     
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