Recently we received confirmation that the first retail samples of ATI's R420 (AGP Radeon X800) will debut April 26 as Radeon X800 Pro. ATI's naming scheme for R420 has been closely guarded, but the open term we hear from vendors is "Radeon X800."

What seems highly unusual is the scheduled introduction of Radeon X800 XT on May 31st; only a month after Radeon X800 Pro's unveiling. Recall that Radeon 9800 and 9800 XT were launched six months apart. We can speculate ATI has either changed their marketing strategy, or the difference in performance between R420 and NV40 hastens ATI's release schedule. Further inspection of the ATI roadmaps reveals that "Non-Pro" Radeon X800s are absent. Perhaps "XT" has replaced the "Pro" Radeon series, and "Pro" thus replaced the "Non-Pro" Radeon series. Even though the initial launches of Radeon X800 will use 256MB of GDDR3, before the end of the year we also anticipate a 512MB revision. Furthermore, we will almost certainly see Radeon X800 SE with 128MB of DDR1; which will also debut with much a lower clockspeed.

R423, the PCI-Express (PCX) version of R420, is scheduled to launch June 14th. Specifications on R423 are identical to R420, and the cards will also carry the Radeon X800 product name.

RV380 and RV370 will also receive new product names, as Radeon X600 and Radeon X300, respectively. For more details about R420, RV380 and RV370, please take a look at our previous ATI roadmaps here. Stay tuned for more ATI and NVIDA news from the trenches.

Update April 9, 2004: We just received confirmation that X800 Pro will run on 12 pipelines, Radeon X800 XT will run on 16 pipelines and Radeon X800 SE will run on 8. It is important to note that all three of these chips are based on the same R420/R423 core. ATI could have an overclocker'ss/softmodder s dream with the X800 Pro and SE derivaties! This also comes as somewhat of a surprise since original leaked ATI documents claimed R420 would utilize 8 "Extreme" pipelines.

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  • Phiro - Friday, April 9, 2004 - link

    While I'm sad you guys pulled your nvidia part of this, and sad that someone had to notice it and speak up before you said anything, I'm at least glad you told us.
    You do have to pick your battles, but Nvidia needs to understand that coming down like this will almost always only generate ill-will. Marketing has never been the home of brainiacs - it's full of scumbags who can't look 3 inches past their 401k, stock options and their own twisted little pretend world.
    When you have to pull content and they *don't want you to acknowledge it is when the bells should be going off in your head. You dig your heels in at that point - sometimes the tree bends with the wind to survive, other times it has to stand tall otherwise it doesn't get the sunlight it needs to survive.

  • thatsright - Friday, April 9, 2004 - link

    For once AT scoops the online mag The Inquirer. Kudos!! I guess AT has some really close contacts on the inside with ATI. With this major hardware release, The Inquirer wasn't getting the usual info. weeks before the launch as they usually do. And what they have posted on TheInq has been even more vague than usual. Most of it is downright incorrect.

    A Big Thumb up to AnandTech.
  • TrogdorJW - Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - link

    Because they feel that it is against their NDA. I'm sure AT has cards in hand already for the April 13th "launch", but they're not allowed to comment on them. Even if they hear rumors elsewhere about what the cards will be called, sometimes big companies get bent out of shape. I don't know why there's any fuss, though... like knowing the names one week earlier is really going to affect anything.
  • Da3dalus - Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - link

    Why would nVidia want the info pulled?
  • mmp121 - Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - link

    nVidia of course, who else would want the info pulled?
  • DerekBaker - Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - link

    Told by whom?

  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - link

    Nah, nothing fishy, i just was told to remove it. have to choose your battles wisely sometimes; enough people got the message it seems

  • Warder45 - Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - link

    lol, looks like most Nvidia stuff was removed.
  • AtaStrumf - Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - link

    Hey!!! Where did the GeForce 6800/April 13th part of the article go?

    Something fishy's going on!
  • PrinceGaz - Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - link

    I think its likely the GeForce 6800 could be over twice as fast as the FX5950 Ultra. There are plenty of rumors floating around that it has a sixteen pipeline core, not sure if 16x1 or 16x2, but that alone would give double the power of the current 8x1 (and I'm not going to get into arguments over whether the 59xx is 8x1 or 8x2). Once you add various other architectural improvements and a higher core clock-speed you'll easily have over twice the power.

    Despite using higher speed memory (1.2GHz effective has been suggested) it won't have an equivalent increase in memory-bandwidth unless they shift to a 512-bit interface (which is unlikely) but DX9 performance is more dependent on core than memory speed anyway so it might not matter much when it comes to overall performance.

    I think the names are fine, dropping the FX was probably a good idea for nVidia to leave behind the NV3x generation which were always second-place behind the R3xx. ATI could have called their new card the Radeon 10800 but X800 sounds much better. Not sure what they'll call the next generation after this though, X2800 etc would make sense with the X becoming as much a part of the brand as the Radeon is now.

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