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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  • DerekWilson - Friday, October 07, 2005 - link

    Hello,

    Rather than update this article with the tables as we had planned, we decided to go all out and collect enough data to build something really interesting.

    http://anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2556">http://anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2556

    Our extended performance analysis should be enough to better show the strengths and weaknesses of the X1x00 hardware in all the games we tested in this article plus Battlefield 2.

    I would like to apologize for not getting more data together in time for this article, but I hope the extended performance tests will help make up for what was lacking here.

    And we've got more to come as well -- we will be doing an in-depth follow up on new feature performance and quality as well.

    Thanks,
    Derek Wilson
    Reply
  • MiLLeRBoY - Thursday, October 06, 2005 - link

    If NVIDIA puts out a 7800XT with a bigger cooler, which makes the video card dual slots, instead of just one slot. This would allow them to increase the speeds of the RAM and GPU. And if they increase it to 512MB ram, they will knock ATI’s X1800XT off the map completely. Reply
  • MiLLeRBoY - Thursday, October 06, 2005 - link

    oops, 7800 GTX, I mean, lol. Reply
  • stephenbrooks - Thursday, October 06, 2005 - link

    Maybe a solution for all the complaints about review-quality would be for AnandTech to put its reviews through "beta"? :p Reply
  • waldo - Thursday, October 06, 2005 - link

    So, I am back, and as always confused!

    Where are we now? We have at THG the same card beating teh 7800GTX hands down in several instances....and here at Anand, we have the ATI version barely holding its head above water.....talk about weird inconsistencies....someone is tweaking the numbers or the machines....one or the other.

    Some of me would like to give the nod to THG because they have a history of doing more accurate more complete video card reviews, but this is just crazy....can someone at Anand please explain, cause well, I know THG won't.
    Reply
  • tomoyo - Thursday, October 06, 2005 - link

    In terms of pricing, I think Nvidia has Ati beaten in every category of card currently.

    I think the competition that ATI is marketing each card against is as follows(even if the prices have a huge disparity currently):
    X1800XT vs 7800GTX
    X1800XL vs 7800GT
    X1600XT vs 6800/6600GT
    X1600Pro vs 6600GT/6600
    x1300Pro vs 6600
    x1300 vs 6200

    From what I've seen of the reviews from anandtech, techreport, and a couple other sources it looks like the X1800XT/XL are pretty competitive with their competition, however I really dislike the extra power consumption and of course the cost of the card. I think the 7800 is a far better solution in terms of most categories except a few minor features like having HDR/AA at the same time. It looks like it's possible the X1800 might have some gains in future games because of the better memory controller and threading pixel shader, but it seems rather useless for now.

    The x1600 looks like the biggest disappointment by far. It's nowhere near the league of the 6800 cards and barely outperforms the 6600gt, which has a huge price advantage. The x800gto2 looks like a far better card than the x1600 here. Personally I'm hoping nvidia does what's expected and puts out a 90nm 7600 that has a decent performance gain over the 6600gt. That might be one of the best silent computing cards around when it comes out. (I'm hoping to replace my 6600 with this now that the x1600 is no upgrade for me)

    The x1300 actually looks like the most promising chip to me. It's obviously not worthwhile for gamers, but I think it might turn out to be a pretty good drop-in card for non-gaming systems. It's all dependent on whether it can hit the price point for the under $100(or is that under $70) market well. It certainly looks like it'll outperform the 6200 and x300 and be the new standard for entry level systems... until nvidia's next entry card. Not to mention most of the x1x00 generation features are still included with the x1300 card.
    Reply
  • AtaStrumf - Thursday, October 06, 2005 - link

    Totaly disappointed in both ATi and AT.

    As for X1300 don't forget this is the best version out of X1300 family and I can't help but remember the FX 5200 Ultra, which looked great but was never really available, because they could not produce it at low enough price point. I think same will happen here.
    Reply
  • bob661 - Thursday, October 06, 2005 - link

    Very nice summary. Reply
  • andyc - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    So what card is the "real" competitor to the 7800GT, becuase frankly, I'm totally confused which card ATI is trying to use to compete against it. Reply
  • Pete - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    X1800XL. Reply

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