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: 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.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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