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ATI RV570 Details

ATI Desktop Discrete PCIe transitions
New performance and mainstream offerings

During the recent Games Convention 2007 in Germany, we received a new roadmap that outlines ATI’s pre-R600 plans for its complete graphics card lineup. At the top of chain of ATI graphics cards is the previously released Radeon X1950XTX and CrossFire graphics cards. Slotted right below the Radeon X1950XTX and CrossFire cards will be the Radeon X1900XT 512MB which will be a carryover product. The Radeon X1900XTX is discontinued and being phased out. This completes ATI’s enthusiast offerings for the time being.

On the performance side of things is the previously released Radeon X1900XT 256MB. Slotted right below the X1900XT 256MB will be the unreleased Radeon X1950 Pro. The Radeon X1950 Pro replaces the current X1900GT. Radeon X1950 Pro will be based on the RV570 core, which is one of ATI’s first 80nm products. Specifications of the RV570 core include 12 pipelines and 36 pixel shaders with a 600 MHz core clock. Memory will be clocked at 1.4 GHz and have a 256-bit interface. Radeon X1950 Pro cards will be equipped with 256 MB of graphics memory and sport a single slot cooler. This will also be ATI’s first card with internal CrossFire compatibility for dongle-less CrossFire. Availability of the Radeon X1950 Pro is expected in October. ATI claims performance of the Radeon X1950 Pro will be faster than the 7900GT.

On the mainstream side of things is the Radeon X1650 Pro. This is based on the RV530 core and replaces the previous Radeon X1600XT. Joining the mainstream lineup later in September will be the Radeon X1650XT. The Radeon X1650XT will be based on ATI’s upcoming RV560 core that like the RV570 is an 80nm part. It will also have 8 pipelines with 24 pixel shaders and go up against NVIDIA’s GeForce 7900GS. Radeon X1650XT cards will have 256MB of memory on a 128-bit interface. Core and memory clock is unknown. Availability of the Radeon X1650XT is expected around the same time as the Radeon X1950 Pro.

ATI’s value lineup will consist of the Radeon X1300XT, X1300 Pro, X1300, X550HM and X300SE. The Radeon X1300XT is essentially identical to ATI’s previous mainstream offering the Radeon X1600 Pro while the other four products are simply carryovers.

Also mentioned in the roadmaps is ATI’s high definition video compatible mainstream part, the RV550 with ATI’s Universal Video Decoder. The UVD equipped RV550 is expected to start sampling in September and availability starting in December. It will be based on ATI’s R515 core, which is the equivalent of a Radeon X1300 series.

ATI plans to move most of its product lineup over to an 80nm fabrication process too. While the Radeon X1950 Pro and X1650XT will launch as 80nm products, the Radeon X1650 Pro, X1300XT and X1300 series are still based on a 90nm fabrication process. ATI will switch the RV530XT based Radeon X1650 Pro over to 80nm with the RV535XT while the RV530 Pro based X1300XT will switch over to the 80nm RV535 Pro core. ATI’s RV515 and RV516 value based products will switch over to the 80nm R505 variants as well.

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RE: horse cars
By lemonadesoda on 8/28/2006 5:39:45 PM , Rating: 2
AGP vs. PCIe16?

While PCIe16 allows much higher bandwidth, most SLI solutions (apart from the lastest boards) work with 2 PCIe8 lanes, some even at PCIe4, which is only HALF the bandwidth of AGP!

It doesn't affect overall performance a lot? Why?

Because when you have 256MB+ on the card, most of the textures are already loaded into the card. The FPS limitation is based on RENDERING capability, and not the upload of coordinates, vertices and shader instructions via the AGP/PCIe.

The difference between AGP and PCIe16 is therefore only about the speed it takes to load new textures from mainboard RAM, to GPU RAM.

And guess what? Most of these textures, if not already in GPU RAM, ARE NOT in mainboard RAM either and need to be lifted from the HDD.

So the "stutter" you see during some game is not going to be improved, since the textures need to be pulled from HDD. The HDD to mainboard interconnect is the limiting factor.

Furthermore, for most CAD work, you will see no difference between AGP and PCIe16.

Although I think it is a shame there are no longer any decent AGP solutions out there, I'm not against PCIe. I think it is a significant step forward from a technology and cost-to-manufacture standpoint (much cheaper to produce, hence mainboards and products should be cheaper in the long run)

RE: horse cars
By lemonadesoda on 8/28/2006 5:48:22 PM , Rating: 2
Nice bandwidth comparison chart, FYI

RE: horse cars
By dOOMYLEIN on 8/28/2006 6:25:33 PM , Rating: 3
Excellent reply! The bus itself doesn't have more than 5% contribution to playability. Main issue with PCI-E vs AGP is the fact that the fastest videocards released today are PCI-E only.

RE: horse cars
By KayKay on 8/28/2006 9:09:25 PM , Rating: 2
People who made the choice to stick with an AGP system should not be whining about companies not releasing new AGP cards, they made their choice and should understand the consequences of their choice

RE: horse cars
By lemonadesoda on 8/29/2006 9:43:01 PM , Rating: 2
You great big noodle . The next useless thing you are going to say is that HDD manufacturers should stop making IDE and SATA HDD's and only produce SATA2, and network cards, hubs and routers should not be compatible with 10/100 but all be 1000, and that all video cards should have HDMI outputs and stop using VGA and DVI connectors. And that all new TFT screens should accept HDMI only. And that all memory formats other than DDR3 should be banned. And that DVD burners should be incompatible with CD.

Yawn. What rubbish.

RE: horse cars
By SyK on 8/31/2006 3:36:23 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with what you say to a degree; I spend MOST of my time retro-engineering older ( COBOL/FORTRAN... -_- ) systems to be modern, and yes, reverse compatibility is always an issue.

However! You have to phase out the old eventually, correct?

And given that graphics cards are very much a high-end product (Or why would we not all be using on-board?) and that any non-most-recent-gaming-or-HD-video use really does not require anything more than a 4 or even 5 year old AGP card, and would require a system beyond the platforms capable of supporting such, where's the problem?

Yes, DDR (To an extent), DVD, 100Mb Ethernet, and SATA-1 all have their places, as do ALL legacy formats... (Even 10Mb, PATA and ISA have their places in places)

But AGP, as a slot for a card which was from the beginning optional and only designed for high-performance, has well and truly had its day, please let it die peacefully.

RE: horse cars
By SyK on 8/31/2006 3:50:58 PM , Rating: 2
You are making a HUGE assumption in assuming that most programmers are SHIT to the point of needing most textures to load from the HDD...

Please provide ANY evidence?

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
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