Print 23 comment(s) - last by Ianirvin.. on May 11 at 11:11 AM

Sapphire's X1900GT

PowerColor's X1900GT

GeCube's X1900GT
ATI ships R580 for under $300

We've received word that Sapphire, GECUBE and PowerColor all have announced latest editions for the high end line of X1900 graphics cards.  The ATI Radeon X1900 GT is a single-slot video card that uses the ATI Radeon R580 core, with a stock clock speed of 575MHz, 256MB of DDR3 and a 1.2 GHz memory clock.  

Radeon X1900 GT
Radeon X1900 XTX
Pixel Shaders
36 48
Core Clock
Memory Size
Memory Clock

The card was not supposed to be made available until May 9, to coincide with E3, but several Best Buy stores mistakenly made the card available to consumers last week.  Even before being released publicly, the cost of the card has been slashed by several manufacturers.  The PowerColor X1900 GT will cost $299, with Sapphire and GECUBE within a buck or two.  Expect to see the cards on sale at the major online retailers this week, and at B&M stores immediately.

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Shame no life in AGP parts
By lemonadesoda on 5/9/2006 12:53:20 PM , Rating: 2
I have a perfectly acceptable Intel 865PE system. Northwood 3.0GHz, 2GB DDR, etc. running Windows 2003 Server as a workstation. Absolutely perfect except that I can't buy a current generation GPU. I would really like to drive 2 x 1600x1200 DVI TFTs from the GPU.

I wonder how many other millions of PCs are also non-upgradeable from the GPU perspective?

In fact, I have 5 such machines (in our office). Another 5 lost sales for ATi.

And no, we won't upgrade to Intel 925/75 platform just to get a PCIex16 socket. There is really no material performance gain for a complete re-investment of the whole platform (5 times).

So we have had to buy PCI GPU's to provide the second (and third :-) DVI output to coexist with the X800's we have installed.

5 sales to Nvidia! (Quadro4 PCI boards).

RE: Shame no life in AGP parts
By phaxmohdem on 5/9/2006 12:56:57 PM , Rating: 2
Um couldn't you just buy an AGP Quadro w/ Dual DVI?

By lemonadesoda on 5/9/2006 3:24:17 PM , Rating: 2
Good point, but unfortunately AGP Quadro doesn't have enough horsepower compared to x800 for driving one screen in DirectX at high FPS.

I would still prefer to have a new generation AGP card for the main screen, rather than the X800. The secondary (and third) display just needs high quality 2D. Not used in 3D.

Perversely the Quadro PCI makes a perfect secondary controller, except it cannot drive > 1600x1200.

I would still prefer a x1800 or x1900 on the main screen for, you know, after work-hours entertainment ;-)

RE: Shame no life in AGP parts
By Tebor0 on 5/9/2006 12:59:31 PM , Rating: 2
BOTH ATI and Nvidia are guilty of this.

RE: Shame no life in AGP parts
By Plasmoid on 5/9/2006 1:23:24 PM , Rating: 2
How do you make that out.

As i speak you can get a 7900gt in AGP from gainward (under the name 7800GS) or a 7800GS.

Nvidia can hardly do more considering the AGP 8x transfer rate is being reached, especially since it is 1 way and limited by the entire PCI bus transfer rate. The sales from AGP cards are small so Nvidia arent going to continue development on it.

In Ati's case if they offered the x1600 AGP it would not outperform their x800's or x850's. That being said they should offer a more modern AGP card.

By lemonadesoda on 5/9/2006 3:30:25 PM , Rating: 2
Good point about the 7800GS. Although reviews of performance indicate this card is essentially half a generation behind.

On your other point, I beg to differ. AGP 8x saturation is not being reached. What we are doing is increasing resolution(s) eg. 1280 x 1024 to 1600x1200 or 1920x1200 and going from 0xAA to 8xAA etc.

This adds nothing to bandwidth. AGP 4x is probably still ok. As the market has moved to increasing MB on the GPU and processing more and more effects on the GPU (rather than rendered on the CPU and submitting the results over the AGP) we have in fact reduced the bandwidth requirements for typical GPU.

You may have noted that many 2 x SLI and 4 x SLI setups are very happy in PCIex8 even PCIex4.

RE: Shame no life in AGP parts
By Trisped on 5/9/2006 3:28:54 PM , Rating: 3
I am sorry your computer hardware is out of date, but buying a top of the line video card does not seem intelegent under those circomstances. If the x800 on AGP or the NVIDIA 7800 on AGP isn't enough, then you need a new system.

RE: Shame no life in AGP parts
By lemonadesoda on 5/9/2006 5:22:50 PM , Rating: 2
Your answer is partly correct.

1./ With a current generation card (e.g. ATI x1900), even on the AGP bus, one could expect 200% framerate in most GPU limited applications (e.g. DirectX FPS). I am a framerate greedy guy. The cost of upgrade would be circa $300 per machine. 5 upgrades would be $1500. I could also drive 2x DVI on each, which the X800 does not have (it has 1x DVI and 1xVGA), without having to add a second GPU controller card.

2./ With the latest generation CPU and GPU, I could expect up to 250% performance improvement compared to the Northwood 3.0GHz. The cost of upgrade would be mainboard $150+, CPU $400+, Memory (2GB DDR) $250+, GPU circa $300. Total $1100+. 5 upgrades would be $5500+. Difference $4000+.

Yes, option 2 would give me an up to date machine, and probably an overall win of 250%/200% = 25% extra. But at an additional cost of $4000. It is an investment of nearly 4x option 1 but with only a 25% improvement.

(note that these benchmarks are approx and based on a quick google of hardware benchmarking sites)

My formula for upgrading or renewing hardware is for a gain in the order of magnitude of 2x or more performance. If there is only a small percentage gain, then I don't update the system.

I'm happy to blow $1000 over a weekend. And $1500 if I'm in a really good mood. But $5500? Wishful thinking. It aint going to happen. Not for 25%.

Considering these analogies:...

a) latest HDD available IDE (legacy)
b) latest DVD burners available IDE (legacy)
c) latest sound cards available PCI (legacy)
d) latest raid controllers available PCI, PCI-X (legacy)
e) latest TFTs available VGA/DVI (legacy!)
f) latest PPU available PCI ;-) (legacy)

...I am very surprised that there is not more current product available for AGP.

Hardly do I want to stand in the way of progress; I'm pleased the path of the future is already being trodden. But the surprising part is the commercial opportunities being lost by having no upgrade path for literally millions of home and business users.

I personally am sitting out the first round PCIe (v1.0)... since we have 5 machines to upgrade the investment cost is too high for too small a benefit. Just like USB 2.0, and PCI 66Mhz over PCI 33Mhz, and AGP 4x and 8x over AGP (PCI 2x), within the next 18-24 months I'm sure we will have PCI express 2.0, Quad core and ULV. That's when I'll have to dig deep into my pockets.

My observation of many upgrade cycles (and in this comment I must exclude the wealthy-enthusiast who upgrades at every opportunity) is that full system replacement occurs approximately every 4 years. Based on this, hardware manufacturers should plan products that are part of the (bi-)annual upgrade path.

It may be a strategic issue: over the last ten years, the market has grown significantly and there has been sufficient appetite for completely new machines. As the (western) market matures and becomes saturated, perhaps "upgrading" rather than "new systems" will have a larger impact on marketing priorities.

RE: Shame no life in AGP parts
By Zoomer on 5/10/2006 6:42:08 AM , Rating: 2
Well, any card manufacturer should be able to use the ati bridge chip and create an agp version, just like the x800.

But no one bothers.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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