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.

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  • DerekWilson - Saturday, August 26, 2006 - link

    yeah ... i didn't test power with crossfire -- which is a whole lot higher. also, i have a minimal set of componets to make it work -- one hdd, one cdrom drive, and no addin cards other than graphics.

    we'll do multi-gpu power when we look at quadsli
    Reply
  • ElFenix - Thursday, August 24, 2006 - link

    the review states that power consumption was measured at the wall wtih a kill-a-watt, during a 3Dmark run.

    in addition to the water cooling, it could be he's running a more efficient PSU. in a powerful system drawing 220 watts from the power supply would draw 277 watts from the wall with an 80% efficient PSU (like a good seasonic) and draw 314 watts with a 70% efficient PSU. that's a pretty decent difference right there.

    ... still waiting for nvidia's HQ driver run...
    Reply
  • poohbear - Thursday, August 24, 2006 - link

    thanks
    Reply
  • Rock Hydra - Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - link

    With those competitively price parts, hopefully nVIDIA will respond with lower prices. Reply
  • CreepieDeCrapper - Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - link

    I'm not familiar with 1920x1440, did you mean 1920x1200? What resolution were these tests performed? Thank you!

    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - link

    1920x1440 is a standard 4:3 aspect ratio used on many CRTs. It is often included as performance is somewhat close to 1920x1200 performance. Reply
  • CreepieDeCrapper - Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - link

    Thanks, I've been using my LCD for so long I forgot about the vintage CRT res's out there ;) Plus I never ran that particular res on my CRT when I had one, so I just wasn't familiar. Reply
  • cgaspar - Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - link

    While average frame rates are interesting, I _really_ care about minimum frame rates - 300fps average is useless if at a critical moment in a twitch game the frame rate drops to 10fps for 3 seconds - this is especially true in Oblivion. Of course it's possible that the minimums would be the same for all cards (if the game is CPU bound in some portion), but they might not be.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - link

    A lot of games have instantaneous minimums that are very low due to HDD accesses and such. Oblivion is a good example. Benchmarking also emphasizes minimum frame rates, as in regular play they occur less frequently. Basically, you run around an area for a longer period of time in actual gaming, as opposed to a 30-90 second benchmark. If there's a couple seconds at the start of the level where frame rates are low due to the engine caching textures, that doesn't mean as much as continuos low frame rates.

    More information is useful, of course, but it's important to keep things in perspective. :)
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - link

    The charts show tht the 7900GT gets a huge boost from being factory overclocked. It would be nice to see if the X1900XT 256 MB can also be overclocked at all, or if there is any headroom. Reply

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