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ATI Technologies, a leading graphics chip designer who also sells its own graphics cards in the U.S. and Canada, recently cancelled pre-orders on its top-of-the-range ATI RADEON X850-series graphics cards for at least some of its customers and offered them to get RADEON X800 XL products instead. The company said the move had been done in order to fulfill the demand for the new lineup of products from the company’s partners.

“I ordered a [RADEON] X850 XT from ATI.com on December 1st as soon as it was announced. I just received an e-mail today that they cancelled my order,” one customer of shop.ati.com said in a forum of Rage3D.com web-site.

“We are sorry to inform you that we will no longer be able to fulfill your current order on the RADEON X850 XT. The RADEON X800 PLATINUM is available in limited supply at our retailer partners such as Best Buy and CompUSA. In addition, we have only begun to start taking pre-orders on the latest RADEON X800XL. There are a limited number of these units so if you would like to place your order please do so at your earliest convenience,” an email to the customer from ShopATI Customer Care reads.

The reason for the cancellation of orders was ATI’s target to deliver enough RADEON X850-series products to its partners, among which are add-in-board partners, retail and e-tail partners as well as OEM partners.

“When allocating products, we prioritize our partners first followed by our own ati.com store. When we have a product that is highly sought after, like the RADEON X850 XT, this can cause a delay in shipping product out to our ati.com customers,” said Patricia Mikula, a spokeswoman for ATI, in an interview with X-bit labs.

“In this instance we felt that our ati.com customers could get the product they wanted faster from one of our partners, so we advised them of stores that have the RADEON X850 available and cancelled their ati.com order so they could freely purchase the card elsewhere. For customers that wished to continue with a purchase from ati.com, we made a special offer available to them to thank them for their patience,” Ms Mikula added.

The latest ATI RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition graphics processors and PCI Express x16 graphics cards on their base are presently positioned as top offerings from ATI Technologies and its add-in-card partners. The RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition visual processing unit has 16 pixel pipelines and 6 vertex pipelines and is clocked at 540MHz, typically graphics cards are equipped with 256MB of GDDR3 memory with 256-bit interface and 1180MHz clock-speed. ATI RADEON X850 XT graphics card has similar chip clocked at 520MHz and 256MB of GDDR3 memory operating at 1080MHz.

ATI RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition is currently considered the world’s faster graphics card for 3D applications, its MSRP is $549, while the RADEON X850 XT costs around $499.

Tens of online stores offered ATI RADEON X850 XT and XT Platinum Edition for $500 - $600 at press-time. The majority had the graphics cards in stock and were ready to ship the products in several days to buyers.

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