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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  • GoatMonkey - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    What?!?! But it's **EXTREME** Reply
  • kilkennycat - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    ...there is an old saying. "Wait to see the whites of their eyes before shooting". Pre-orders mean nothing and delivery dates can change. Never ever order from a vendor that has a pre-order queue, unless you really don't care when you get the item. Who knows where you are in this queue? Few, if any of such vendors ever give you this information - for the obvious reason that thery don't want to risk losing the order. The first shipment might be 5 pieces and you are 20th on the list. Order product from vendors like Newegg or ZipZoomFly that sell only from available stock, but also have immediate auto e-mail notification when a sold-out item is back in stock... first come, first serve then of course, but at least the customer is never ever 'left hung out to dry'.

    I personally view vendors with pre-order queues as somewhat sleazy, but maybe my view is extreme. A pre-order queue is entirely to the benefit of the vendor and not the customer.
    Reply
  • southpawuni - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    Bad results from ATI.

    Look at the midrange.. I'm guessing most people around here buy that hardware (6800GT/7800GT)..

    disappointing day for ATI.
    Since the NV cards have been out, and are priced right.. I dont see much hope for ATI now.
    Reply
  • bob661 - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    I was expecting the new ATI cards to be a bit more competitive especially given that they'll be more expensive. Wow, what a shocker! The X1600 isn't even worth buying at less than or equal to 6600GT performance at 6800GT prices. What a bargain!!! Reply
  • segagenesis - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    They are simply arriving late to the game. I curious see how anyone will really want the X1800 XL over the 7800 GT, consideing the price.

    And why no show all the cards on each graph? Why is the 7800 GT missing on the Day of Defeat graph? Are we not trying to compare cards?
    Reply
  • Questar - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    Simple - Image quality.

    It's been reported just about everywhere else that Nvidia lowered the image quality on the 7800 to gain speed. The image quality comparison in this review proves it.
    Reply
  • Questar - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    Heh, modded down by the Nvidia fanboys already!

    How about this guys, enable HDR and AA in any game you would like on a 7800. Oops, can't do it!

    Open your eyes and look at the AF charts in this review. ATI has better AF, period.
    Reply
  • segagenesis - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    They looked like crap to me honestly. And where are you getting this crap about no AA/HDR on nVidia cards? Are you trying to troll? No wonder you got modded down. Reply
  • Questar - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    It's not crap. A 7800 can't do HDR and AA at the same time. Read the HOCP review where they explain this. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    It was mentioned in this article as well. However, HDR already kills performance, and HDR + AA is going to be unplayable on anything short of Crossfired X1800 XT cards. Then again, HDR at 1600x1200 really isn't dying for 4xAA support, and I think many people looking at HDR are running very high-end displays and GPUs. Reply

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