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UPDATE: Correcting the clock-speeds for the chip/memory.

ATI Technologies, the world’s largest supplier of graphics and multimedia processors, said Wednesday it would demonstrate its graphics cards with 512MB of onboard memory this week. The 512MB frame-buffer may provide breakthrough performance for future games. The exclusive presentation will take place at the Texas Gaming Festival in Dallas, February 25th to 27th, 2004.

“We are giving attendees at this event an opportunity to check out the world’s first 512MB gaming cards before we send them out to our software partners for development of next-generation games,” said Rich Heye, Vice President and GM, Desktop Discrete Products, ATI.

The world’s first 512MB graphics card is powered by ATI’s latest RADEON X850 XT visual processing unit (VPU) with 16 pixel and 6 vertex pipelines clocked at 520MHz. The graphics card’s 512MB of GDDR3 SDRAM operate at 1080MHz speed and have 256-bit memory interface. While 512MB of onboard memory seems astonishing, that large amount of DDR3 may not boost performance in present games, but provide some benefits for titles that are in the works at this point of time.

ATI’s spokeswoman Patricia Mikula told X-bit labs the RADEON X850 XT 512MB graphics cards were intended to demonstrate the next-generation capability to gamers and then send the similar boards to game developers. She declined to comment whether the company’s next-breed of graphics cards powered by the upcoming code-named R520 VPU would have 512MB of memory onboard, even though this would be a logical projection for the company’s roadmap. Ms Mikula also said the company was considering commercial RADEON X850 512MB products for PCI Express x16 bus, but the final decision has not been made.

During the event world champion overclockers – Eric Kronies, Charles Wirth and Sami Makinen – will be able to set new world records with the RADEON X850 XT with 512MB of memory. Typically top overclockers use extreme methods, such as nitrogen cooling, to boost performance of graphics cards.

And as is the norm at ATI-sponsored LAN parties, participants can expect lots of giveaways and prizes, including high-end desktop and notebook PCs powered by ATI hardware. Other sponsors of the event include ABIT, AMD, ArenaNet, ATARI, Corsair, Gigabyte, Kingston, LG, NCSoft, OCZ, Running with Scissors, Sapphire and UBISOFT.

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