To The Power Of X
The era of powerful 12 and 16 pipeline graphics cards have finally arrived. With double the pixel processing pipelines of the previous generation, they completely eclipse them in raw performance by margins unseen in a very long time. Extremely intense competition between the top discrete graphics chip solution providers (ATI and NVIDIA) has definitely benefited us consumers with a sudden surge of these powerful new gaming solutions that now overtake the previous generation's price bracket. We've already discussed much about NVIDIA' s GeForce 6800 series in our GeForce 6800 Ultra Preview
so it's high time we bring you some coverage on ATI's new offerings.
ATI's most advanced VPU the ATI RADEON X800 series.
Departing the RADEON 9xxx series with their new high-end graphics core (R420), ATI debuts the RADEON X800 series. This Visual Processing Unit (VPU) crams 160 million transistors and is manufactured on the same 0.13-micron using low-k CDO (carbon doped oxide) dielectric material first adopted by the RADEON 9600 XT. ATI usually transitions their product to a newer process technology by first applying it to a less complex mid or low-end product range. This helps them refine the process a lot quicker than if they had to deal with this transition on a very complex product (and that's one major reason why NVIDIA's old NV30 part was initially delayed). Since they have already successfully made the conversion in the RADEON 9600 series (more specifically the RADEON 9600 XT), the all-new RADEON X800 was much better prepared to adopt this process technology. Meanwhile, ATI has a new mid and low-end range for the PCI Express side of things with the X600 and X300 series. The later of them is the first graphics processor to adopt the 0.11-micron manufacturing process, but we'll discuss more about these products in another article.