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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  • mlittl3 - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    I'll tell you how it is a win. Take a 8 less pipeline architecture, put it onto a brand new 0.90nm die shrink, clock the hell out of the thing, consume just a little more power and add all the new features like sm3.0 and you equal the competition's fastest card. This is a win. So when ATI releases 1,2,3 etc. more quad pipes, they will be even faster.

    I don't see anything bob. Anandtech's review was a very bad one. ALL the other sites said this was is good architecture and is on par with and a little faster than nvidia. None of those conclusions can be drawn from the confusing graphs here.

    Read the comments here and you will see others agree. Good job, ATI and Nvidia for bringing us competition and equal performing cards. Now bob, go to some other sites, get a good feel for which card suits your needs, and then go buy one. :)
    Reply
  • bob661 - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    I read the other sites as well as AT. Quite frankly, I trust AT before any of the other sites because their methodology and consistancy is top notch. HardOCP didn't even test a X1800XT and if I was an avid reader of their site I'd be wondering where that review was. I guess I don't see it your way because I only look for bang for the buck not which could be better if it had this or had that. BTW, I just got some free money (no, I didn't steal it!) today so I'm going to pick up a 7800GT. :) Reply
  • Houdani - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    One of the reasons for the card selections is due to the price of the cards -- and was stated as such. Just because ATI is calling the card "low-end" doesn't mean it should be compared with other low-end cards. If ATI prices their "low-end" card in the same range as a mid-range card, then it should rightfully be compared to those other cards which are at/near the price.

    But your point is well taken. I'd like to see a few more cards tossed in there.
    Reply
  • Madellga - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    Derek, I don't know if you have the time for this, but a review at other website showed a huge difference in performance at the Fear Demo. Ati was in the lead with substantial advantage for the maximum framerates, but near at minimum.

    http://techreport.com/reviews/2005q4/radeon-x1000/...">http://techreport.com/reviews/2005q4/radeon-x1000/...

    As Fear points towards the new generation of engines, it might be worth running some numbers on it.

    Also useful would be to report minimum framerates at the higher resolutions, as this relates to good gameplay experience if all goodies are cranked up.
    Reply
  • Houdani - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    Well, the review does state that the FEAR Demo greatly favors ATI, but that the actual shipping game is expected to not show such bias. Derek purposefully omitted the FEAR Demo in order to use the shipping game instead. Reply
  • allnighter - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    Is it safe to assume that you guys might not have had enough time with these cards to do your usuall in-depth review? I'm sure you'll update for us to be able to get the full picture. I also must say that I'm missing the oc part of the review. I wanted to see how true it is taht these chips can go sky hig.> Given the fact that they had 3 re-spins it may as well be true. Reply
  • TinyTeeth - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    ...an Anandtech review.

    But it's a bit thin, I must say. I'm still missing overclocking results and Half-Life 2 and Battlefield 2 results. How come no hardware site has tested the cards in Battlefield 2 yet?

    From my point of view, Doom III, Splinter Cell, Everquest II and Far Cry are the least interesting games out there.

    Overall it's a good review as you can expect from the absolutely best hardware site there is, but I hope and expect there will be another, much larger review.
    Reply
  • Houdani - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    The best reason to continue benchmarking games which have been out for a while is because those are the games which the older GPUs were previously benched. When review sites stop using the old benchmarks, they effectively lose the history for all of the older GPU's, and therefore we lose those GPUs in the comparison.

    Granted, the review is welcome to re-benchmark the old GPUs using the new games ... but that would be a significant undertaking and frankly I don't see many (if any) review sites doing that.

    But I will throw you this bone: While I think it's quite appropriate to use benchmarks for two years (maybe even three years), it would also be a good thing to very slowly introduce new games at a pace of one per year, and likewise drop one game per year.
    Reply
  • mongoosesRawesome - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    they have to retest whenever they use a different driver/CPU/motherboard, which is quite often. I bet they have to retest every other article or so. Its a pain in the butt, but thats why we visit and don't do the tests ourselves. Reply
  • Madellga - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    Techreport has Battlefield 2 benchmarks, as Fear, Guild Wars and others. I liked the article, recommend that you read also. Reply

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