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RADEON X850: Turbo-Charged X800 Hits the Scene

The announcement of the new RADEON X850 processor (codenamed R480) was the event of the fourth quarter of the year in the ATI camp. This is just an improved version of the RADEON X800 capable of working at higher frequencies. There’s information on the Internet that NVIDIA is not preparing an answer (NV48), probably relying on the power of the SLI technology.

Save for some minor improvements, the RADEON X850 brought nothing new. The RADEON X800 XT Platinum Edition is anyway unrivalled in high resolutions with enabled full-screen anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering, so a few extra percent of speed can’t make any difference. For more details see our article called ATI RADEON X850 Platinum Edition: Good Things Go Better.

ATI’s 0.11 Micron Gets Higher Performance amid Lower Clock-Speeds

The release of the RADEON X850 pushed the RADEON X800 a step down as is often the case with ATI’s product line-up. Once a single product series on the same GPU, it split in two as the company accompanied the announcement of the RADEON X850 with a reshuffle in the RADEON X800 family.

Now the cards of this series use a new R430 processor manufactured with 0.11-micron tech process. Starting from the low-end RADEON X300, this process finally reached the X800.

Note that ATI decided to press its own RADEON X700 XT with another graphics chip, the RADEON X800, which works at a much lower frequency, but often shows a better performance in popular games and benchmarks.

As you see, any user with a budget of $200 and higher will soon be able to choose an X800-based graphics card with enough performance for playing modern games.

Overall, the last year brought us a lot of exciting events, and the new year 2005 will hopefully be alike. The next part of this article will be concerned with the market activities of ATI and NVIDIA as well as with the tendencies that rule the computer graphics field today.

Check out Part II of our article to find detailed performance coverage of the 27 different graphis accelerators!

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