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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  • TinyTeeth - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    Oh, I had completely ignored that one because I heard something about their graphs being horrible and hard to read. But I'll take a look at it, thanks! Reply
  • TinyTeeth - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    And now I remember it was PC Perspective that had the horrible graphs.

    Sorry, my head isn't working properly today, I'm afraid. :(
    Reply
  • fishbits - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    Maybe a late, light review was supposed to be a witty jab at ATI? :P Reply
  • hotdog453 - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    I agree. But, some review sites are still touting Quake3 as a benchmark for some components (mainly CPUs now, but still)... they use games that stress the component well, not really the games you and I may be playing. Kind of ironic, I know.

    Honestly, when was the last time any of us fired up Doom3, except to benchmark something? It was a horrible game. Simply horrible. Scripted events do not a good game make. But from a technical, omg, point of view, it made cards cry. So they use it *shrug*

    Reply
  • Madellga - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    Is that right? Or the titles were wrongly exchanged? Reply
  • hoppa - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    Am I missing something here? The article states that the hardware is quite powerful and a good deal, yet to me the benchmarks look absolutely miserable. The X1ks are on the bottom of nearly every chart, and in some cases, even lower than their predecessors (X800)! What the hell! Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    Actually, the conclusion states that the hardware appears quite powerful - especially the X1800 XT - but that the price is too high. I saw several places where the article comments on price, so if you got the impression that it's a "good deal" let me know where and I'll edit it. :) Reply
  • Madellga - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    On the high end comparison - Day of Defeat, it is missing the X1800XT performance bar. Reply
  • Madellga - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    For the 1600x1200 chart... Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 - link

    Fixed - it was 59.5 FPS, if you read the text. Reply

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