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A potential best-seller of Fall 2003, the RADEON 9800 XT graphics card has showed up in Japanese and US stores during the weekend. This seems to be a good news for hardcore gamers from all around the world, who probably are looking forward an insanely powerful 3D graphics card money can buy just now.

The ATI RADEON 9800 XT inherits the well-known RADEON 9800 PRO architecture, but provides even higher clock-speeds for the VPU and 256MB DDR SDRAM memory. ATI Technologies claims that this is the fastest graphics card for 3D gaming at the moment. The official announcement of the 9800 XT took place on the 30th of September, therefore, we can conclude that ATI managed to deliver the new RADEON technology into the market in less than a month time.

The highest-performing 3D card on the planet costs a very high price – from $485 to $564 in the USA and from $593 to $665 in Japan.

Currently RADEON 9800 XT graphics cards are available from ATI Technologies itself under “Built by ATI” brand-name, Sapphire Technology, ASUSTeK Computer and VisionTek. All these graphics cards, almost certainly except products from ASUS, are made and tested at PC Partner facilities that manufacture “Built by ATI” graphics cards for Markham, Ontario-based ATI. The difference between 9800 XT graphics cards from various vendors seems to be in product bundle and warranty support.

All ATI RADEON 9800 XT-based graphics cards are equipped with powerful cooling system, 256MB of DDR SDRAM memory functioning at 730MHz and the R360 VPU clocked at 412MHz. The devices also feature typical set of output connectors – D-Sub, DVI-I and TV-Out.

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