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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RE: According to Sapphire Web Site
By Plasmoid on 5/9/2006 1:45:07 PM , Rating: 2
Thats a new one for me, wont you need something that has a HDCP but accepts it over DVI ?

Last time i checked all the TV's that accepted HDCP signals had HDMI connectors and component connnectors. I guess an adapter could be used, but there is still the matter of sound. Seems all to messy to me for anyone to have products out which go this way.

I still doubt it has actual HDCP key's on the board, but again refers to the "HDCP Ready" status of the ATI GPU

By deeznuts on 5/9/2006 2:41:00 PM , Rating: 2
I use a DVI to HDMI cable, works just fine. About sound, well the TV only has two speakers anyway, which I disconnected. Cheap RCA wires will suffice usually here, because who the hell has 5.1 sound going to their TV? Yeah it's convenient but not a deal killer.

RE: According to Sapphire Web Site
By Odeen on 5/10/2006 3:45:20 AM , Rating: 2
By and large you DON'T want sound over HDMI connection.

You don't want source to TV HDMI audio because DD-capable HDMI receiver chips are not making it into consumer TV's. They exist in Silicon Image labs, sure, but the chips in HDMI-equipped TV's only handle PCM or DD 2.0.

After all, adding a 5.1-to-2.0 downmixer chip will increase the cost of the TV (and you need to downmix to 2.0 because no TV has 5.1 speakers built in). [b]But, if you switch your source to stereo, you're also feeding your 5.1- or 7.1-capable receiver stereo too.[/b]

This stems straight from my experience with consumer-level HDMI equipment, namely a DirectTV HD receiver and a Panasonic plasma TV. The two are connected via HDMI only, with a coax digital audio cable running to the 5.1 receiver.

When I was working on the equipment, I noticed the box wasn't passing through 5.1. I switched it to 5.1, but then you couldn't listen to JUST the TV, the TV speakers were outputting static. Conclusion: TV can't receive multichannel audio (and it rightfully shouldn't) and all digital audio output on the satellite box is tied together (also reasonable, in retrospect)

What would have been a better idea is to run HDMI + RCA audio to the TV (and feed the TV downmixed-by-definition analog audio) while keeping digital out on the box at multichannel-if-possible, with digital out running to multichannel receiver. Alas, the plasma was bolted to the wall, and running additional cables is impossible. I had to teach the owner how to switch the box from stereo out (for receiverless watching) to DD out (for maximum audio impact when using the receiver)

Single-cable connections only become useful when they are plentiful, standardized, and the source is smart enough to be flexible about the output.

The ideal situation is something like this: a DVD player or cablebox/satellite receiver has two HDMI ports, and one HDMI can output video + stereo audio to the TV while the other port outputs multichannel and/or high-res audio to the receiver. A bidirectional link can inform the source about the capabilities of the device on the other side (i.e. "I am a 1024x768 plasma, and I support stereo PCM and DD 2.0" or "I am a receiver, I can handle DD and DTS up to 7.1, along with PCM at up to 192/24, and DSD," so the source can automatically engage mixdown circuitry, and not send incompatible / disallowed signals where they don't belong.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini
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