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ATI Technologies on Wednesday finally introduced its much-anticipated family of visual processing units, dubbed RADEON X1000. The new family brings support of advanced shaders, hardware-accelerated HD-video as well as enhanced performance for every market segment, the company believes.

“The RADEON X1000 family of GPUs was designed to be the best and it is the best. In terms of gaming performance, it is the fastest; in terms of image quality, it is the best looking; in terms of features, it is the richest,” said Rich Heye, vice president and general manager, Desktop Discrete Products, ATI Technologies.

The RADEON X1000 graphics family that consists of models X1800, X1600 and X1300 feature completely new architecture that supports Shader Model 3.0, next-generation high definition H.264 video decoding, new “Ring Bus” memory controller, a special arbiter chip that assigns workload between arithmetic logic units (ALUs) and other improvements. A corner stone of the new graphics family by ATI is TSMC’s 90nm manufacturing process that allows clocking the chips at up to 625MHz. The chips support DDR, GDDR2, GDDR3 and GDDR4 memory types and are designed for PCI Express interface.

The most advanced graphics chip from the new family – the RADEON X1800 XT – is expected to become available in November and cost $549 and $499 for 512MB and 256MB flavours, respectively; the mainstream market-oriented RADEON X1600-series offerings are claimed to be available at the same timeframe and cover market segments from $149 to $249. The RADEON X1800 XL, which is to cost $449, and RADEON X1300 family of products, which cost from $79 to $149, are expected to be available starting early November.

ATI also said that virtually all the new products are multi-GPU-capable and can worj in CrossFire mode being not limited with 1600x1200@60Hz settings.

According to ATI, numerous graphics card makers, including ASUS, Club 3D, Connect3D, Diamond Multimedia, Gigabyte Technology, Hightech Information System, Info-Tek Corp., MSI Computer Corp., Palit Microsystems, Sapphire Technology, TUL Corp., Viking InterWorks and Visiontek, will offer their graphics cards based on the new chips from the company.

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