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Graphics card partners of ATI Technologies may be gearing up to introduce a new entry-level product aimed to compete against NVIDIA’s GeForce 6600 LE. The new product is to be branded as the RADEON X550 XT, but unlike its predecessors, would be based on the RADEON X700 architecture. Ironically, the product will get specifications close or similar to the RADEON X700 SE.

ATI RADEON X550 XT products are said to be based on the RV410 visual processing unit (VPU), also known as the RADEON X700, HKEPC web-site reports. The model X550 XT will feature 4 pixel processors as an alternative for 8 on the RADEON X700. Nevertheless, the RADEON X550 will sport 6 geometry, which is a lot for entry-level products. The original RADEON X550-series products are based on the RV370 VPUs and support 4 pixel and 2 vertex processors. Different add-in-card partners of ATI produce RADEON X550-series products with either 128-bit or 64-bit memory access.

Specifications of the RADEON X550 XT are similar compared to the RADEON X700 SE introduced for large computer makers earlier this year. However, the RADEON X700 SE features 64-bit memory access, which limits performance. In case the RADEON X550 XT sports 128-bit memory access, it may provide higher speed in games when compared to the RADEON X700 SE.

Core and memory frequencies of the RADEON X700 SE and the RADEON X550 XT are unknown.

The code-named RV410 is made using 0.11 micron process technology at TSMC and consists of 110 million of transistors. The RADEON X700-series supports innovative technologies found in the RADEON X800 family of visual processing units unveiled in 2004, such as Shader Model 2.0b and 3Dc. At the same time, the RADEON X550-series products designed to replace the RADEON X300-series on the entry-level market do not feature those enhancements.

ATI Technologies representatives could not comment on the news-story.

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