ATI has this nasty habit of introducing way too many GPUs into its lineup, and today is no letdown to tradition as ATI is introducing a total of five new video cards. 

We'll start at the bottom with the Radeon X1300 XT, a new $89 part from ATI.  The X1300 XT is effectively a rebadged X1600 Pro, and thus should offer a significant performance boost over the rest of the X1300 family. 

Since the X1300 XT is the same thing as an X1600 Pro, the X1600 family gets a new member with the introduction of the X1650 Pro.  The X1650 Pro is identical to the X1600 XT except for a 10MHz increase in core clock and memory clock frequency.  Yes, an entirely new product was created out of a 10MHz bump in GPU/memory clocks.  The X1650 Pro will be priced at $99.


ATI's Radeon X1650 Pro

Last week we took a look at currently available mid-range GPU solutions in the $200 - $300 price range and found that for around $340 you could pick up a 512MB X1900 XT and generally get some very solid performance.  Today ATI is introducing a 256MB version of the X1900 XT at the suggested retail price of $279, which has the potential to give ATI a firm grasp on the performance mainstream GPU market.  The X1900 XT 256MB is no different than its 512MB brother other than memory size, so pipes and clocks are the same.  If you're wondering why the X1900 XT (512MB) noticed such a sharp decline in price over the past couple of weeks, the impending release of the cheaper 256MB version is your answer. 

At the high end we've got the final two cards that round out today's launch: ATI's Radeon X1950 XTX and X1950 CrossFire.  The X1950 XTX is identical to the X1900 XTX except that it uses faster GDDR4 memory, running at 1GHz compared to 775MHz on the X1900 XTX.  With more memory bandwidth, the X1950 XTX could outperform its predecessor, but performance isn't what we're mostly excited about with this card - it's the price.  ATI is hoping to sell the X1950 XTX for $449, a drop in price compared to the introductory price of the X1900 XTX, which is a trend we haven't seen too often among GPU makers. 


ATI's Radeon X1950 XTX

To make things even better, the CrossFire version, which has identical clocks, is also priced at $449; in other words, there's no reason not to get the CrossFire version.  ATI confirmed to us that you can run a pair of X1950 CrossFire cards in CrossFire mode, further reinforcing the fact that there's no reason to even buy the regular card.  You get the same performance, same features and better flexibility with the CrossFire card so why not? 


ATI's Radeon X1950 CrossFire

NVIDIA Graphics Card Specifications
 
Vert Pipes
Pixel Pipes
Raster Pipes
Core Clock
Mem Clock
Mem Size (MB)
Mem Bus (bits)
Price
GeForce 7950 GX2
8x2
24x2
16x2
500x2
600x2
512x2
256x2
$600
GeForce 7900 GTX
8
24
16
650
800
512
256
$450
GeForce 7900 GT
8
24
16
450
660
256
256
$280
GeForce 7600 GT
5
12
8
560
700
256
128
$160
GeForce 7600 GS
5
12
8
400
400
256
128
$120
GeForce 7300 GT
4
8
2
350
667
128
128
$100
GeForce 7300 GS
3
4
2
550
400
128
64
$65


ATI Graphics Card Specifications
 
Vert Pipes
Pixel Pipes
Raster Pipes
Core Clock
Mem Clock
Mem Size (MB)
Mem Bus (bits)
Price
Radeon X1950 XTX
8
48
16
650
1000
512
256
$450
Radeon X1900 XTX
8
48
16
650
775
512
256
$375
Radeon X1900 XT
8
48
16
625
725
256/512
256
$280/$350
Radeon X1900 GT
8
36
12
525
600
256
256
$230
Radeon X1650 Pro
5
12
4
600
700
256
128
$99
Radeon X1600 XT
5
12
4
590
690
256
128
$150
Radeon X1600 Pro
5
12
4
500
400
256
128
$100
Radeon X1300 XT
5
12
4
500
400
256
128
$89
Radeon X1300 Pro
2
4
4
450
250
256
128
$79

 

Today we're able to bring you a look at performance of the mid range and high end solutions, the X1950 cards and 256MB X1900 XT.  We're still waiting for ATI to send us our X1300 XT and X1650 Pro samples, and we will follow up in the coming weeks with a look at the performance of those offerings as well.  Note that although ATI is lifting the veil on its five new products today, you won't actually be able to buy any of them until September 4th (on the high end) with no real availability until the 14th.  Given the pricing that ATI is promising however, these cards are worth waiting for. 

With five new cards being introduced, ATI is hoping to slowly phase out all of its other offerings to simplify its product lineup.  Unfortunately, it will take some time for all inventory to dry up, but when it does ATI hopes to have the following cards in its lineup:

 
Class Card
Price
Enthusiast ATI Radeon X1950 XTX
$449
ATI Radeon X1900 XT 256MB
$279
Performance ATI Radeon X1900 GT
$249
Mainstream ATI Radeno X1650 Pro
$99
ATI Radeon X1300 XT
$89
Value ATI Radeon X1300 Pro
$79
ATI Radeon X1300 256
$59
ATI Radeon X1300 64-bit
$49

 

The performance difference between the X1900 XTX and XT was small enough that it didn't make sense to have two different products, which is why ATI left the X1950 XTX as the only high end GPU on its roster.

As we don't have availability right now, we can't confirm real street prices, but we did speak with a few companies who manufacture ATI cards. HIS has stated that they should be able to meet ATI's pricing on all of these parts, which is promising. We also heard from PowerColor on pricing, and it looks like they will be able to meet the MSRP price on the X1950 XTX. With the X1900 XT and X1900 XT 256MB, PowerColor will be listing them for $400 and $300 respectively. Depending on how the rest of the manufacturers stack up, we could see some good prices next month or be sorely disappointed; at this point it's best to be cautious with a launch so far in advance of availability.

What is GDDR4?
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  • SixtyFo - Friday, September 15, 2006 - link

    So do they still use a dongle between the cards? If you had 2 xfire cards then it won't be connecting to a dvi port. Is there an adaptor? I guess what I'm asking is are you REALLY sure I can run 2 crossfire ed. x1950s together? I'm about to drop a grand on video cards so that piece of info may come in handy. Reply
  • unclebud - Friday, September 01, 2006 - link

    "And 10Mhz beyond the X1600 XT is barely enough to warrant a different pair of letters following the model number, let alone a whole new series starting with the X1650 Pro."

    nvidia has been doing it for years with the 4mx/5200/6200/7300/whatever and nobody here said boo!
    hm.
    Reply
  • SonicIce - Thursday, August 24, 2006 - link

    How can a whole X1900XTX system use only 267 watts? So a 300w power supply could handle the system? Reply
  • DerekWilson - Saturday, August 26, 2006 - link

    generally you need something bigger than a 300w psu, because the main problem is current supply on both 12v rails must be fairly high. Reply
  • Trisped - Thursday, August 24, 2006 - link

    The crossfire card is not the same as the normal one. The normal card also has the extra video out options. So there is a reason to buy the one to team up with the other, but only if you need to output to a composite, s-video, or component. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 24, 2006 - link

    See discussion above under the topic "well..." Reply
  • bob4432 - Thursday, August 24, 2006 - link

    why is the x1800xt left out of just about every comparison i have read? for the price you really can't beat it.... Reply
  • araczynski - Thursday, August 24, 2006 - link

    ...I haven't read the article, but i did want to just make a comment...

    having just scored a brand new 7900gtx for $330 shipped, it feels good to be able to see the headlines for articles like this, ignore them, and think "...whew, i won't have to read anymore of these until the second generation of DX10's comes out..."

    I'm guessing nvidia will be skipping the 8000's, and 9000's, and go straight for the 10,000's, to signal the DX10 and 'uber' (in hype) improvements.

    either way, its nice to get out of the rat race for a few years.
    Reply
  • MrJim - Thursday, August 24, 2006 - link

    Why no Anisotropic filtering tests? Or am i blind? Reply
  • DerekWilson - Saturday, August 26, 2006 - link

    yes, all tests are performed with at least 8xAF. Under games that don't allow selection of a specific degree of AF, we choose the highest quality texture filtering option (as in BF2 for instance).

    AF comes at fairly little cost these days, and it just doesn't make sense not to turn on at least 8x. I wouldn't personally want to go any higher without angle independant AF (like the high quality af offered on ATI x1k cards).
    Reply

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