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» Channels :: Graphics Card
By Vijay Anand
Category : Graphics
Published by Vijay Anand on Monday, 10th January, 2005
Rating : 4 out of 5 stars  


By now you should be aware that the RADEON X700 series is ATI's new midrange graphics card lineup on the PCI Express interface. However despite the launch and availability of these new cards, ATI hasn't discontinued the older RADEON X600 series that was previously targeted at midrange segment too. With the availability of RADEON X700 series, it is likely that the RADEON X600 series would be billed as an entry-level midrange option for a while longer.

The newer performance oriented RADEON X700 PRO was slated to be available at US$199 but as we are all too familiar, this is only applicable for the North American continent territory and pricing elsewhere around the world is far from just a simple currency conversion. Here in Singapore, the average price of the widely available Sapphire RADEON X700 PRO is retailing close to S$500 and that is rather pricy even when factoring other costs involving the middleman, shipping, storage and miscellaneous costs. We are not exactly certain which other regions suffer the same scenario, but we are most certain that there are others affected by the much higher initial offering. At these prices, the RADEON X700 PRO can't quite contest as a mainstream PCIe solution (yet). As a result, the RADEON X600 series makes a much better proposition. There are two models in that series, one of which is he the lesser expensive RADEON X600 PRO that is an almost identical copy of the RADEON 9600 PRO on the AGP front, while the RADEON X600 XT is an even higher performing version of the RADEON 9600 XT AGP.

The ASUS Extreme AX600XT/HDTV graphics card and package.

In this review, we take a spin of a RADEON X600 XT graphics card from ASUS – the Extreme AX600XT/HDTV 128MB graphics card. As their top end RADEON X600 XT graphics card model, you can expect much more than just a rehash of a reference design. So read on as we detail you its special features. As usual, we first list out the product's complete specifications to help readers get familiarized:-

ASUS Extreme AX600XT/HDTV Technical Specifications
Graphics Engine
  • ATI RADEON X600 XT Visual Processing Unit (VPU)
  • Default GPU clock = 500MHz
  • 4 parallel rendering pipelines
  • 2 parallel geometry engines (vertex engines)
  • 128-bit DDR memory interface
  • Native PCIe x16 interface
    • Programmable pixel and vertex shaders
    • 16 textures per pass (max)
    • Pixel shaders up to 160 instructions with 128-bit floating point precision
    • Vertex shaders up to 1024 instructions with flow control
    • Multiple render target support
    • Shadow volume rendering acceleration
    • High precision 10-bit per channel frame buffer support
    • Supports DirectX® 9.0 and the latest version of OpenGL
    • 2x/4x/6x full scene anti-aliasing modes (Adaptive algorithm with programmable sample patterns)
    • 2x/4x/8x/16x anisotropic filtering modes (Adaptive algorithm with bi-linear (performance) and tri-linear (quality) options)
  • HYPER Z™ III +
    • 3-level Hierarchical Z-Buffer with early Z test
    • Lossless Z-Buffer compression (up to 24:1)
    • Fast Z-Buffer Clear
    • Z cache optimized for real-time shadow rendering
  • TRUFORM™ 2.0
    • 2nd generation N-Patch higher order surface support
    • Discrete and continuous tessellation levels per polygon
    • Displacement mapping
    • Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video
    • FULLSTREAM™ video de-blocking technology
    • Noise removal filtering for captured video
  • MPEG-2 decoding with motion compensation, iDCT and color space conversion
  • All-format DTV/HDTV decoding
  • YPrPb component output support
  • Adaptive de-interlacing and frame rate conversion
  • Dual integrated display controllers
  • Optimized for Pentium® 4 SSE2 and AMD Athlon™ 3DNow!
Graphics Memory
  • 128MB DDR SDRAM (Hynix AF-22, 2.2ns)
  • Default Memory clock = 740MHz DDR
  • Dual integrated 10-bit per channel 400 MHz DACs
  • Integrated 165 MHz TMDS transmitter (DVI 1.0 compliant and HDCP ready)
I/O Faceplate Connectors
  • 1x DVI-I connector
  • 1x mini-DIN connector for Integrated TV-outout and video capture (supports output up to 1024x768 resolution)
  • HDTV output connector (component output)
Driver & Software
  • Driver support for Windows 98SE / Me / 2000 / XP
  • CyberLink Media Show 2.0
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 3DE
  • Ulead Cool 3D SE 3.0
  • Ulead Photo Express SE 4.0
  • Dues Ex: Invisible War (full game - 2 full CDs)
Other Information
  • PCIe x16 slot required

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