ATI tried to make the new architecture as flexible as possible and the graphics processor is split into several components which can be combined in any fashion in a particular GPU model.
From now on, different RADEON X1000 models will differ not only in the number of pixel and vertex processors, but in other details as well. It should ensure an optimal price/performance ratio for each model. As usual, low-performance versions of the new GPU have “RV” in their names.
The RADEON X1000 series will be represented with the following graphics card models:
- RADEON X1800 XT (R520, 625/1500MHz, 16pp, 8vp, 256-bit, 256MB/512MB, $499/$549)
- RADEON X1800 XL (R520, 500/1000MHz, 16pp, 8vp, 256-bit, 256MB, $449)
- RADEON X1600 XT (RV530, 590/1380MHz, 12pp, 5vp, 128-bit, 128/256 MB, $199/$249)
- RADEON X1600 XT (RV530, 500/780MHz, 12pp, 5vp, 128-bit, 128/256MB, $149/$199)
- RADEON X1300 PRO (RV515, 600/800MHz, 4pp, 2vp, 128-bit, 256MB, $149)
- RADEON X1300 (RV515, 450/500MHz, 4pp, 2vp, 128-bit, 128/256MB, $99/$129)
- RADEON X1300 HyperMemory (RV515, 450/1000MHz, 4pp, 2vp, 128-bit, 32MB, up to 128 MB HyperMemory, $79)
As you see, the new family spans the entire market, from entry-level to high-end products. You should be aware, though, that not all models from the list will be available on the day of the announcement.
ATI Technologies promised it would have begun mass shipments of RADEON X1800 XL, RADEON X1300 PRO and RADEON X1300 by October 5, 2005. The faster RADEON X1800 XT is going to be available in mass quantities in a month, on November 5. On the 30-th of November, two mainstream models, RADEON X1600 XT and RADEON X1600 PRO, will join the rest of the family on the shop shelves.
The company seems to have problems still with the yield of RADEON X1800 chips capable of working at frequencies above 500MHz. They must have decided to delay the release of the top-end model a little to avoid unnecessary excitement and speculation.
All RADEON X1000 processors are currently manufactured on TSMC facilities, but ATI has already contracted UMC to produce these chips, too, as far as we know. It means ATI will be able to bring more GPUs to the market and to reduce the cost of the final product, too.
All of ATI’s new graphics cards support the CrossFire mode, but the appropriate Master cards are not yet available. When they come out, a RADEON X1800 CrossFire Edition with 512MB of graphics memory is expected to cost $599, and a RADEON X1600 CrossFire Edition, $299. These two cards will be free from the display resolution restrictions of the current version of the CrossFire technology: the new Compositing Engine will permit to use resolutions up to 2048x1536 at a refresh rate higher than 70Hz. As for the RADEON X1300, two such graphics cards will unite into a CrossFire configuration through the PCI Express x16 bus, so there’s no need for a special CrossFire edition of this product.