R580 Details Emerge

After speaking with several AIBs today, we have some confirmation that Foxconn already has design kits for ATI's R580 socket. Pipe and clock information for R580 is still not firm, so we will not comment on that at this moment. However, your ATI video card will most likely come with a socket flip chip from ATI. Unlike the NVIDIA socket prototype we commented about yesterday, the R580 socket is geared specifically for a PCIe graphics adaptor, rather than a motherboard-housed GPU socket.

However even with a dedicated socket, graphic card memory would still need to be soldered onto the board. The narrow tolerances of GPU memory would not allow for a DIMM-like solution. ATI's newest R520 GPU already advertises support for a wide range of memory products, including memory that has not even been announced yet.

Vendors tell us R580 is some ways away, so don't expect anything between now and CeBit. However, now that ATI's XBOX 360 project is winding down, expect the company to utilize more resources for R580, Crossfire and the Xpress chipset in the coming weeks.

AGEIA might have a run for it's money if ATI has anything to say about it. One AIB commented today that the idea of a dedicated scalar mathematics processor for game physics could already be replicated on ATI's R520 series silicon, although drivers for such a project only exist in R+D departments (the vendor wouldn't let us have them, we tried). The idea of offloading math to a GPU is not a new idea; many projects exist for Linux for this already. However, the indication we had was that ATI could actually do physics calculations on the card with the graphics processing simultaniously -- the bandwidth is already there. AGEIA's physics processor has already been delayed well into Q2 next year.



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  • Xenon14 - Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - link

    If you think back to the days of the 9700 Pro, ATI skipped a generation of cards. They were competing with the the 8500 against the geforce 3 ti500. Then Nvidia released the Geforce4, and we waited a while until the 9700 Pro blew it out of the water. I'm inclined to believe the same thing is happening now. The 7800 to the 6800 is the same as the Geforce4 was to the Geforce3... Considering the long wait, I'm inclined to believe that the 580 is gonna be a 9700pro of its day. Reply
  • Clauzii - Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - link

    Nice post.. Reply
  • mrgq912 - Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - link

    Not that I was going to buy the ageia physics card, but I was rooting for ageia. I fondly remember the day when I first read about a 3d card back in the 90's . I was like what is a 3d card. Then games started comign about like mechwarrior and quake, and before you knew the PC gaming industry exploded.

    I was rooting for the physics guys at ageia, and was curious to see what impact they would have on our little industry. But alas, they have been denied by ATI. Maybe they can get there act together soon, or else I smell chapter 11, or even a takeover bidding war between ATI and nvidia.

    Or maybe even, ageia good get into a whole new market other than games. those guys working on the "breast mp3 player" could implement the ageia physics chip into breast implants, to give them more of realistic movement. Think of the possibilities.
  • Brian23 - Friday, October 21, 2005 - link

    i like the way you think. Reply
  • eljefeII - Saturday, October 22, 2005 - link

    nice. yeah. that anime sort of unnatural but better than natural bounce would be nice to see. Reply
  • DeeSlanger - Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - link

    Thanks for the tidbits K.K keep em coming. :) Reply
  • ksherman - Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - link

    This article seems a little scatter brained to me, I found it difficult to read and understand what exactly you are talking about...

    this socket idea is interesting... would be nice to just upgrade a GPU, but i dont think it is really all that practiacal at this point
  • Scrogneugneu - Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - link

    The GPU socket would be an horrible news for motherboard makers...

    What mobo do you want? AMD / ATI? AMD / NVIDIA? INTEL / ATI? INTEL / NVIDIA?

    What a mess, my friends, what a mess... now juste imagine having to upgrade your mobo juste because you want to upgrade your GPU, leading you to buy a new CPU because yours is too old to fit on the new socket of your new mobo...

    That would be killing the flexibility of upgrading.
  • semo - Thursday, October 20, 2005 - link


    That would be killing the flexibility of upgrading.
    that happened a long time ago: it all started with pc-133 to ddr. from socket 478 to 775 (and the fsb upgrades before that) and amd can't stop changing sockets. from ddr to ddr2. from pata to sata. from agp to pci-e.

    missing something?
  • Frackal - Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - link

    So no R580 until at least March, which probably means at least April... 6 months away eh.. and even longer for the PhysX PPU? Thought that was supposed to come out near X-mas Reply

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