Introduction

Today, ATI has finally launched their X1000 series. The long awaited answer to NVIDIA's 7800 series now brings Shader Model 3.0 (among other things) to ATI's platform. The expanded feature set and improved performance of the new X1000 products promise to bring ATI back in contention with NVIDIA's high end parts. For the past few months, NVIDIA has enjoyed their performance lead and will finally face some competition. Will the X1000 series be enough to win out over the 7800 series?

There are plenty of new features available, which take away the exclusive availability of high end SM3.0 features in games like Splinter Cell 3 from NVIDIA. With a top to bottom release, ATI is making sure that their parts are competitive on every level. From a performance standpoint, we can expect the high end to surpass the X850 XT by a large margin. However, the most important aspect of this launch will be whether or not ATI is competitive with performance per dollar versus NVIDIA hardware.

There are a lot of products launching today that we don't yet have in our labs. The cheapest X1300s are of interest, but we only have the more expensive version. All of the cards are the highest performing of their type. We will be very interested in testing the rest of the product line as soon as it becomes available to us.

Speaking of availability, we had strongly hoped to bring out a review of products that could be purchased at retail today. Unfortunately, no one we know of has the card on their shelves or in their web pages for sale today. Some merchants are saying that they may ship in a week or so, but this is certainly not a launch on the level of the 7800 GTX or 7800 GT. We published an insider article on this very subject last night:
Will we add October 5 to the list of memorable dates of 2005 - at least with regard to products launching and shipping on the same day? All vendors we've interviewed tell us that there will be no new ATI SKUs on their warehouse floors on the morning of October 5. Some report that they expect shipments within a few days, and others don't really expect shipments for at least a week; and all report that their initial SKUs will be "built by ATI" branded cards. This is not reminiscent of the GeForce 7xxx nor the Intel 6xx launch earlier this year, where the product was literally waiting to be shipped a week before the launch date. On the other hand, those waiting to buy some of ATI's new SKUs won't have to wait long, according to these vendors. Several vendors will happily accept pre orders, although vendors also tell us that the initial shipments of ATI's SKUs are of relatively low volume; at least when compared to the GeForce 7xxx launches of earlier this year.
We had certainly wanted to see something different today on the availability side, but there are plenty of other things to be excited about today. Let's take a look at the new face of ATI: The X1000 series.

Feature Overview
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  • Wellsoul2 - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    I really prefer ATI so this is a disappointment.

    The 1300 and 1600 are pretty weak.

    Might as well keep my 9600XT versus the 1300 - Can still play HL2 with noAA/AF.

    The only good thing is maybe the price will drop on the x800/850 line.

    The X1800 seems like a good card but why pay that money.

    Why bother with the shared memory cards? It's dumb.
    Reply
  • Cookie Crusher - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    grammar is actually spelled with an "a" ;) Reply
  • OvErHeAtInG - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    Yes, I have a feeling it'll be one of those cases where they make some editions and fixes to the article. Not that horrible, come on - I do agree the graphs are confusing. More important than graphs of benches, though, for me is the examination of the new AA, the architecture, features etc. Which they did a fair job of

    One remark: the bulleted lists are missing the bullets ... e.g. on page 2 the list of new features.
    Reply
  • bldckstark - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    Yes, this is the worst article I have ever seen posted on Anandtech. Will Anandtech continue to be my first stop on my daily hardware fix? Yes. Will I ever make Toms Hardware my first stop again? No. JEEEEZ toms sucks now. If you want to complain about a site as a whole take a look at them. They actually posted articles about how to pick up chicks while gaming! Multiple articles! Good Lord. Reply
  • Houdani - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    Agreed! They did do a nice analysis of the new architecture.
    Agreed! Where are the bullets? (page 2 feature list, page 7 games list).
    Reply
  • tfranzese - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    Everyone's always surpised by this. Why? They've done this countless times now as if it's acceptable. Seriously, don't post an article until it's done and have it proofread carefully before posting it. I honestly doubt your (Anandtech) editors are doing more than just skimming articles sometimes with the number of typos and gramatical errors I come across.

    I hope the quality goes back up, because it will eventually hurt your reputation.
    Reply
  • tfranzese - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    I'll add, Anandtech is almost always my first stop to read a breaking review. Unfortunately, truths such as that below could someday change that. Today, Tech Report had the better article.

    quote:

    We will have tables of all the data with all the numbers we ran across all the resolutions with 4xAA and 8xAF up shortly.

    Quite a bit of data was collected and it has taken some time to organize. You are absolutely right to want more, and we are working on getting it out the door as soon as possible.

    Thanks,
    Derek Wilson


    Not their worst article, but things should be improving - not getting worse.
    Reply
  • AnandThenMan - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    I agree. VERY WEAK REVIEW! Terrible. Honestly, what happened? Anandtech is usually much, much more with it. Disappointed.

    As for the R520, I think I'm like most people and just feel, meh.
    Reply
  • misterspoot - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    Since the X1800 SKUs will not have the AGP bridge available (PCI-E) only, that leaves the X1600XT to attempt to give us AGP users a performance boost.

    Sadly, the X1600XT performs barely on par with a GeForce 6600GT -- which can be had for $150. Then, looking at the performance of the X1600XT, and comparing it to the X850 XT-PE -- surprise surprise, the year-plus old X850 XT is considerably superior.

    So if you're like me and built your box nearly 2 years ago, and have no choice but to buy an AGP part, it looks like the X850 XT-PE is going to be the highest performance part you can buy. Looks like I'll be grabbing one this weekend, so my performance in raids on Molten Core is drastically improved (runs a 6600GT at 1600x900 with minimum detail settings -- suffers from mid 20fps all the time while trying to tank).
    Reply
  • DRavisher - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    The review states: "With its 512MB of onboard RAM, the X1800 XT scales especially well at high resolutions,". From what I see it scales very poorly at high resolutions compared to the 7800GTX 256MB card. Just look at what happens in SC:CT and FarCry. The XT goes from having a substantial lead in 1600x1200 to being about equal with the 7800GTX at 2048x1536. Reply

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