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While Nvidia Corp. has been allowing some of its add-in-board (AIB) partners to increase clock-speeds of its high-end graphics cards to differentiate themselves from each other, ATI, currently graphics product group of Advanced Micro Devices, has always been much more conservative and virtually all high-end graphics cards operated at the same clock-speeds. But the practice seemingly came to the end.

Recently announced Sapphire Toxic Radeon HD 2900 XT with liquid-cooling system and GeCube Radeon HD 2900 XT with Peltier cooling module boast with increased performance compared to solutions from other suppliers. Even though two models is not a lot, considering that there are tens of various Nvidia GeForce 8800-based pre-overclocked graphics cards from numerous AIB companies, it is highly likely that the situation will change in future, as AMD’s attitude towards pre-overclocked graphics cards for enthusiasts is changing.

“It’s a great way to attract enthusiasts. One of the most noticeable examples is allowing partners to pre-overclock even the high-end graphics cards: a lot of users do want to have highest performance graphics cards, but do not want to take a risk and/or lose warranty by overclocking the boards themselves.  We have several partners that have chosen to do this,” said John Byrne, AMD’s vice-president of worldwide GPU and chipset channel sales, in an interview with X-bit labs.

Sapphire claims that its Toxic Radeon HD 2900 XTX will be able to overclock the graphics processing unit by “over 15%” from 742MHz clock-speed, which means clock-speeds higher than 850MHz. Besides, the company promises “significant” overclock of graphics memory from standard 1650MHz. Details concerning pre-overclocked Radeon HD 2900 XTX from GeCube with thermal electric cooling (TEC) technology are unknown, but the company plans to unveil them at forthcoming Computex trade-show in Taipei, Taiwan.

ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT graphics card as a rival for Nvidia’s GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB and the board’s recommended price is $399. The highly-anticipated code-named R600 graphics chip did not manage to outperform Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX or Ultra graphics cards, even though it came to market later than both of them. Pre-overclocking of ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT graphics cards will hardly allow them to grab performance crown from Nvidia’s offerings, but will allow different partners of AMD to differentiate themselves and attract some additional attention.


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