ATI secretly released its Silver Bullets material to AIBs this week and the picture of R580 is slowly coming together. R580, or Radeon X1900 as it is called internally, is expected to "launch" in January according to ATI documentation. Unfortunately, ATI's track record has not been spectacular with the last few product launches. ATI's Crossfire chipset "launched" twice, once in June and again in October.

ATI released their Silver Bullets for Radeon X1800 approximately two months before the launch of the card, but it took nearly six weeks after the launch for master card variants of the X1800 to show up on store shelves (and nearly as long for Crossfire motherboards as well).

The Silver Bullets presentation was a little light on details, but did confirm the R580 GPU has 48 pixel shader processors and higher clocks than R520 (a.k.a. Radeon X1800). Radeon X1900 uses a 90nm process also found on Radeon X1800. The internal briefing also confirmed that there will be two separate versions of the card, RX1900CF "Master Card" and RX1900 "Crossfire Ready" card. Like the Radeon X1800 series, you will need at least one master card to enable Crossfire support. Avivo and Shader Model 3.0 will also appear on Radeon X1900.

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  • Clauzii - Thursday, December 22, 2005 - link

    The R580 part starts to sound a little like the GPU for the XBOX 360 - hopefully the R580 will be a little better then..

    Well, I´m ATI so it better be!
    Reply
  • Furen - Thursday, December 22, 2005 - link

    I was under the impression that the R580 would be the first PC GPU that utilized unified shaders. If this was the case then the 48 pipel shaders we hear about would, instead, be 48 general purpose shaders, which would make performance with them slightly lower than a 24 pixel pipeline part. I find it very doubtful that ATI would jump from 16 traditional pixel shaders to 48, since this would increase the die size tremendously. Reply
  • coldpower27 - Saturday, December 24, 2005 - link

    No R580, is still based on R520 technology, but more refined and enhanced, a change as large as Unfied Shaders can only be implemented in R600/G80. So were looking functionality wise as capable as the shaders used in R520.

    48 Pixel Shaders with 16 Pipelines is believable on the 90nm process, 48 Pixel Shaders and 48 Pipes isn't.
    Reply
  • quasarsky - Thursday, December 22, 2005 - link

    ati went from 16 pixel shaders to 48?

    wow

    wonder what nvidia will go to from 24. :)

    if ati is as efficient with 48 shaders as they are with 16, that will be amazing!

    can you imagine 2 gpu dies on one card and then having two cards? thats like 192 shaders!!!

    i figure my x800xt aiw agp is enough for earth 2160 but i figured out a way to make that slow down. i had like 1,000 infantry go into battle in the lunar corporation campaign, and yeah it got choppy. lol :)
    Reply
  • defter - Friday, December 23, 2005 - link

    "if ati is as efficient with 48 shaders as they are with 16, that will be amazing!"

    Unfortunately it won't be. RV530 has 12 pixel shaders and 600MHz clock speed, still it's slower than GF6800GS with 12 pixel shaders and 450MHz clocks. RV530 isn't much faster than even GF6600GT which has only 8 pixel shaders @ 500MHz.

    Difference between R520 and R580 is equal to the difference between RV515 and RV530: number of pixel shaders is tripled, however number of texture units and ROPs isn't increased. Thus you won't be getting anywhere near 3x performance.
    Reply
  • Shark974 - Friday, December 23, 2005 - link

    Nvidia is going to 32 pipes.

    And for the last time, R580 is FOURTY EIGHT TRUE PIPES. I've been arguing this on Hardocp for weeks and been RIGHT EVERY TIME.

    All the haters want to say it's all this other stuff, no.

    This will kill Nvidia in performane.
    Reply
  • quasarsky - Saturday, December 24, 2005 - link

    i hope ur right dude and its 48 pipes :).

    i'd say it is possible. if you looked at a ati slideshow of their die map everything they had on the bigger process compared to 90 nm was shrunk to fit in a way smaller space on the die. so basically it leaves that much more space for other stuff on the die, because what once took up the whole die, now only takes up like 1/2 to 1/3 of that space. 32 extra pipes? yes. :).
    Reply
  • coldpower27 - Saturday, December 24, 2005 - link

    Very doubtful it is 48 true pipes, if it's a 90nm product, would simply be too expensive.
    Reply
  • Griswold - Saturday, December 24, 2005 - link

    What does that have to do with the piece being 90nm? Reply
  • coldpower27 - Saturday, December 24, 2005 - link

    The piece being on 90nm means that R580 is going to be more complex then the already large R520 die at 263 mm2, there is room to add some more functionality but not an enormous amount more.

    48 Pipes AND 48 Shaders is possible if it is on 80nm.
    Reply

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