Today ASUS announced the addition of ATI RADEON powered graphics cards to the ASUS VGA product line. As we have already told you here, the new product family includes the ASUS RADEON 9800XT, RADEON 9600XT, RADEON 9600SE and RADEON 9200SE. In fact there was almost no doubt that ASUS will make this decision. They already mentioned “that things will change next month” at the Computex show (see this page of our Computex coverage). And as we see, these were not just words.
All in all, ATI may be really happy right now: they got partnered with ASUS, one of NVIDIA’s major customers. It means that the same decision on MSI's part will follow very soon, as they have been also considering this nice addition to their current product range, and after that the smaller companies, who are still doing NVIDIA will definitely reconsider their strategy: smaller companies always follow the big guys. Note that ASUS-ATI graphics deal is not likely to be about the volume since ASUS does not produce a lot of graphics cards at all, while retail solutions account only 40% of ASUS' total graphics cards output, hence, ATI will hardly be able to gain a huge additional market share thanks to colaborration with ASUSTeK. It looks like the decision to make both ATI and NVIDIA graphics cards was made by ASUS in order to offer a broader range of solutions and gain price flexibility, as NVIDIA and ATI will from now compete for every ASUS' solution. Moreover, by offering both ATI and NVIDIA-based graphics cards ASUS will be in a position to boost its graphics cards production and market share.
Anyway, ASUS proudly announced the whole bunch of products featuring ASUS’ brand name attractions. Here they are:
- ASUS SmartDoctor monitoring system controlling temperature, fan speed and AGP power level.
- Copper cooling solution with a heat-pipe and dual-fan design for high-performance RADEON 9800XT, which will definitely attract overclockers’ attention.
- Smart Cooling technology, which lowers fan speed when VPU temperature decreases from lighter system load.
- GameFace software allows gamers to see and talk to friends while playing online games.
- VideoSecurity allows users to create their own security monitoring systems. The software can be configured to record video when movement is detected and to issue phone or email alerts. Users can also monitor video over the Internet.
- ASUS Digital VCR allows users to capture and play television programs.
- The ASUS RADEON 9800XT/9600XT/9600SE support dual-DVI and two DVI-to-VGA adapters.
Well, ASUS seems to have worked on this for a quite a while. It definitely hasn’t been a one-minute decision. Especially as the list of products launched today is really extensive and covers all the price segments of the market: from Value to High-performance:
As you see, ASUS' Powered by ATI lineup only consists of five models, while the previous NVIDIA-based family offered tens of graphics cards. This means that RADEON product line is not here to substitute the GeForce lineup, but to complement it.