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Gigabyte GV-RX85X256V-B (RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition)
By Vincent Chang
Category : Graphics
Published by Vijay Anand on Monday, 23rd May, 2005
Rating : 4 out of 5 stars  

King of the Hill

'Change is the only constant' may seem like an overused cliché but one that still holds true for the graphics industry. We have seen the rise and decline of graphics technologies and the corresponding fortunes of the companies behind them. We have seen the ever-increasing complexity of the graphics processor overtake that of the CPU. We have seen ghosts like Voodoo's SLI resurrected in another incarnation as NVIDIA's SLI. And we have seen that the prestige that comes with having the fastest performing graphics card is illusionary and fleeting at best. At this moment, ATI has the honor of claiming that performance title with their RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition (P.E.). Although NVIDIA has its own performance strongholds in certain games like Doom 3 and technological advantages like SLI to call upon, the RADEON X850 XT P.E. is without doubt the faster single-card solution overall. While the research and development of the visual processing unit (VPU) is in ATI's hands, the market penetration and sales figures that determine the success of a product lies with its manufacturing partners. The products introduced by their tier one partners may well determine how long and glorious the RADEON X850 XT P.E will reign as the top dog. Today, we take a look at an implementation of this top range card by one such partner, Gigabyte's GV-RX85X256V-B.

Here is Gigabyte's take on the reigning kingpin of 3D graphics: GV-RX85X256V-B.

Before we proceed further, here are the technical details of the Gigabyte GV-RX85X256V-B.

Gigabyte GV-RX85X256V-B Technical Specifications
Graphics Engine
  • ATI RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition Visual Processing Unit (VPU)
  • 540 MHz VPU clock
  • 16 parallel rendering pipelines
  • 6 parallel geometry engines
  • 256-bit memory interface  
    • Full support for Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 programmable vertex and pixel shaders in hardware
    •  2.0 Vertex Shaders
      • Supports vertex programs up to 65,280 instructions with flow control
      • Single cycle trigonometric operations (SIN & COS)
    • 2.0 Extended Pixel Shaders
      • Supports up to 1,536 instructions and 16 textures per rendering pass
      • 2nd Generation F-buffer technology accelerates multi-pass pixel shader programs with unlimited instructions
      • 32 temporary and constant registers
      • Facing register for two-sided lighting
      • 128-bit, 64-bit & 32-bit per pixel floating point color formats
      • Multiple Render Target (MRT) support
    • Complete feature set also supported in OpenGL® via extensions
    • 2x/4x/6x full scene anti-aliasing modes
      •  Sparse multi-sample algorithm with gamma correction, programmable sample patterns, and centroid sampling
      •  Lossless Color Compression (up to6: 1) at all resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions
      •  Temporal Anti-Aliasing
    • 2x/4x/8x/16x anisotropic filtering modes
      • Up to 128-tap texture filtering
      • (Adaptive algorithm with bi-linear (performance) and tri-linear (quality) options)
  • 3Dc™
    • High quality 4:1 Normal Map Compression
    • Works with any two-channel data format
    • 3-level Hierarchical Z-Buffer with early Z test
    • Lossless Z-Buffer compression (up to 48:1)
    • Fast Z-Buffer Clear
    • Z cache optimized for real-time shadow rendering
    • Optimized for performance at high display resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions
    • Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video in real time
    • FULLSTREAM™ video de-blocking technology for Real, DivX, and WMV9 formats
    • VIDEOSOAP™ noise removal filtering for captured video
    • All-format DTV/HDTV decoding
    • Adaptive Per-Pixel De-Interlacing and Frame Rate Conversion (temporal filtering)
  • Dual integrated display controllers
  • Single and dual link external TMDS transmitter support for high resolution and/or multi-monitor DVI configurations
Graphics Memory
  • 256MB DDR3 SDRAM (Samsung GC-16, 1.67ns)
  • Default Memory clock = 1.18 GHz (590 MHz 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
  • 2 x DVI-I connectors
  • 9-pin mini-DIN connector
Drivers & Software
  • Driver support for Windows 98SE / Me / 2000 / XP
  • V-Tuner 2 Overclocking Utility
  • CyberLink PowerDVD 5.0
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 2.5ME
  • Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising
Other Information
  • 2 free expansion slots required

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