The famous Radeon X1800 product series by ATI Technologies was delayed significantly from its original date and when it hit the market, its architectural advantages over the competing GeForce 7800-series were not obvious for the consumer. While ATI’s Radeon X1800 XT was significantly faster compared to the GeForce 7800 GTX in a variety of benchmarks, it was left in the dust by the GeForce 7800 GTX 512, a product that was never available widely, but that created “the right” effect for the whole 7800 lineup during the holiday season.
On the 24th of January, 2006, ATI tries to recapture leadership in both performance and availability with the Radeon X1900-series: more than 5000 units will be available for purchase on the first day, 60% of which are XTX flavours, with more than 50 000 graphics cards already made. Perhaps, the numbers are not really great, but we should keep in mind that we are talking about offerings that will cost $549 (Radeon X1900 XT 512MB), $599 (Radeon X1900 XT CrossFire Edition 512MB) and $649 (Radeon X1900 XTX 512MB), demand for which is unlikely to count in hundreds of thousands, especially right after the New Year parties.
The new Radeon X1900-series not only offers instant availability, but also improved performance amid moderate increase in the size of the die and transistor count. The newbie features 48 pixel shader processors, three times more than the Radeon X1800 XT and two times more than the GeForce 7800 GTX. But there is a question whether modern games truly need extremely high pixel shader performance. Read on to find out whether and by what margin the Radeon X1900 XTX can beat Nvidia’s latest GeForce 7800 GTX 512 in the broadest set of benchmarks available over the Internet.