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Six weeks from now, the world will get the first retail Radeon X2900 XTX

Late yesterday DailyTech was briefed on the final details for the upcoming R600 retail specifications, just in time for everyone to go on vacation for Chinese New Year.  AMD has briefed its board partners on the specifications that will appear on the marketing material for the card launches.

AMD's guidance claims R600 will feature 700 million transistors.  By comparison, the Radeon X1900 series R580 GPU incorporated 384 million transistors into its design; the half-generation before that, R520, only featured 320 million.  

As disclosed by DailyTech earlier this year, the GPU features a full 512-bit memory interface with support for GDDR3 and GDDR4.  R580 was also similar in this regard as it supported GDDR3 and GDDR4. 

The R600 boasts 320 steam processors.  ATI does not clearly define what a steam processor is, though insiders claim 64, 4-way unified shaders would be 256 stream processors (64 shaders, 4 interfaces each). 

According to company guidance, on March 30, 2007, AMD will initially debut the R600 as the ATI Radeon X2900 XTX in two separate configurations: one for OEMs and another for retail.  The OEM version is the full length 12" card that will appear in high-end systems.

ATI guidance claims the X2900 XTX retail card comes as a two-slot, 9.5" design with a vapor chamber cooler.  Vapor chambers are already found on high-end CPU coolers, so it would be no surprise to see such cooling on a high-end GPU either.  The OEM version of the card is a 12" layout and features a quiet fan cooler. 

1GB of GDDR4 memory is the reference configuration for Radeon X2900 XTX.  Memory on the reference X2900 XTX cards was supplied by Samsung.

Approximately one month later, the company will launch the GDDR3 version of the card.  This card, dubbed the Radeon X2900 XT, features 512MB of GDDR3 and lower clock frequencies than the X2900 XTX.  The X2900 XT is also one of the first Radeons to feature heatpipes on the reference design. 

AMD anticipates the target driver for X2900 XT to be Catalyst 8.36.  WHQL release of the X2900 XTX drive will appear around the Ides of March.

Radeon X2900 will feature native CrossFire support via an internal bridge interface -- there is no longer a need for the external cable found on the Radeon X1000 series CrossFire.  There is no Master card, as was the case with other high-end CrossFire setups. Any Radeon X2900 can act as the Master card.

A much anticipated feature, native HDMI, will appear on all three versions of Radeon X2900.

One 6-pin and one 8-pin (2x4) VGA power connectors are featured on Radeon X2900, but both connectors are also backwards compatible with 6-pin power supply cables.

AMD claims the R600 target schedule will be a hard launch -- availability is expected to be immediate.  Board partners will be able to demonstrate R600 at CeBIT 2007 (March 15 - 21), but the only available cards will be reference designs. 

Why was there such discrepancy with the board layouts and designs up until now?  An ATI insider, who wished to remain nameless, states  "The original Quad-Stealth design is what we build the R600 on: GDDR4, full-length and dual-slot cooling.  As the silicon further revised, [ATI] took up several alternative designs which eventually included GDDR3 and heatpipes into the specification.  The release cards demonstrate the versatility of R600 in each of these unique setups."

Final clock frequencies will likely remain estimates until later this month.


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So what?
By fence on 2/17/2007 8:54:43 AM , Rating: 0
Another day, another graphics card release. Seriously, who cares, the PC gaming scene is all but dead anyway. Spending £200-£500 on a card and no games to show off your new hardware. Madness.





RE: So what?
By justjc on 2/17/2007 9:43:40 AM , Rating: 3
To some people it does mean a lot to have the new stuff, it can be an addiction, and for others this is the way to make their new computers last longer, after all we know DX10 will become mainstream someday.

I'm looking forward to r600 because I have a good idea that ATi knows how it's done, they allready made DX10 graphics for the xbox360 afterall, however I won't buy a dx10 card for at least a year either, as the use for it currently isn't there in my case.


RE: So what?
By kilkennycat on 2/17/2007 3:07:47 PM , Rating: 2
Dx10 in Xbox360? Er, what are you smoking? Maybe Dx10 partial emulation @ 0.1 frames per second? The Xbox360 hardware is frozen in obsolescence. Maybe when M$$ gets around to the Xbox720 with integrated HD-DVD-drive, beefed-up CPU, Dx10 GPU derived from the upcoming mid-range Dx10-capable PC graphics cards, your statement might have validity. And your old Xbox360 can join all the others of the same vintage on Ebay.


RE: So what?
By Tyler 86 on 2/21/2007 11:21:32 AM , Rating: 2
With games like WoW grabbing so much media attention, what makes you think the PC gaming scene is dead? (I don't play WoW, so let me know if it died since last I checked...)


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