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Radeon HD 2950 XTX coming in the third quarter

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May 8, 2007 10:15:35 PM

A small piece of news that I, for one, didn't like reading
http://www.techreport.com/onearticle.x/12424
I've been holding out for the R600 since... forever. But if something cheaper, faster, more efficient and less power hungry is just 3, maybe 4, months away, then what's the point of buying the 2900 which isn't even out yet?
I know that a card that's very good today will also be at least good enough in 3 months from now, I know that a high-end graphics card is not about value for money, or that I shouldn't expect any sort of return to my "investment", but, boy, talk about the "next big thing" being right around the corner!
I think I'll buy a 8800GTS 320MB tomorrow and go for the 2950 XTX come August
Oh yes... and I also know that it's only a rumour and perhaps the 2950 will also be delayed indefinitely but still, if you are prepared to dish out between 400 and 600 euros you don't want to be left feeling (even more) stupid...
May 8, 2007 10:33:28 PM

and yet again, the original news seems to be coming from the fudzilla camp.

There could be 2 possibilities:

1- Fudzilla are talking crap and spreading crap.
2- They know too much for their own good. 8O
a b U Graphics card
May 8, 2007 10:39:13 PM

Quote:
then what's the point of buying the 2900 which isn't even out yet?


What'sthe point in buying anythig before you know even what the HD2900s can do, let alone the HD2950s?

Quote:
I think I'll buy a 8800GTS 320MB tomorrow and go for the 2950 XTX come August
Oh yes... and I also know that it's only a rumour and perhaps the 2950 will also be delayed indefinitely but still, if you are prepared to dish out between 400 and 600 euros you don't want to be left feeling (even more) stupid...


So the question is if 'st00pid avoidance' is what you're trying to do, why not at least wait until you know what the cards they are offering next week and what the prices of the GTS-640s will be?

Makes no sense to buy tomorrow versus next Monday. :?:
Related resources
May 8, 2007 10:40:50 PM

I would say Fudzilla is talking crap again. Am I the only one who is getting sick of Fudzilla spitting out all this news, when everyone else is bound to silence by the non-disclosure agreements?
May 8, 2007 10:51:16 PM

Apologies... it was rather hasty of me not to take that with a huge grain of salt. I'm just expressing my frustration for the R600 delays.
May 8, 2007 11:04:11 PM

It's not violating an NDA to speculate wildly, nor are there laws against producing news via your primary posterior orifice.
a b U Graphics card
May 8, 2007 11:06:14 PM

Quote:
I personally like fudzilla's "crap", but I have always wondered why they are allowed to break amd's nda, or have a different one


Actually Fudzilla, like the InQ, isn't bound by NDA so what they get is either from NDA breakers (whom they try to protect as sources of course), or from rumour sources. Basically they write each story as if it automatically opens in your browser with the following;

"So a little birdy told me......."

People who have rumours, tell the InQ and Fuad, and VR-Zone, etc.
Some are credible and pan out, others are FUD or someone wanting to see their rumour in the net tabloids, and others are real leaks, but by the time the product arrives it's been redesigned twice and it resembles the original concept in name only.

Basically anything from Fuad isn't under NDA, it's a collection of rumours, and also a dissemination point for rumours. He has well conected connections, and people wanting to leak stuff for PR reasonss (either for BUZZ or for FUD).

Always entertaining, but I'd never invest anything more than my time into the articles that come out of the InQ and FUDzilla.
May 8, 2007 11:07:30 PM

Quote:

What'sthe point in buying anythig before you know even what the HD2900s can do, let alone the HD2950s?


The point is that I know a 2900XT will be better than my X1600XT which was never any good anyway.
And I've been waiting for the ATI cards because:
1) Most of the games I play generally run better on ATI cards,
2) I prefer their drivers,
3) I have a Crossfire capable mobo and... you never know,
and
4) I'd like for my next purchase to get a DX10 part since I'm gradually moving to Vista

Quote:

So the question is if 'st00pid avoidance' is what you're trying to do, why not at least wait until you know what the cards they are offering next week and what the prices of the GTS-640s will be?

Makes no sense to buy tomorrow versus next Monday.


I meant that if I'm not going to get the 2900 (if the rumour about the 2950 is true) why not get the GTS-320 which is already available? And if I've made up my mind to get an nVidia card why not tomorrow first thing in the morning? (I was talking about the 320MB version, not the 640MB one)
(Also note that those are big if's)
May 8, 2007 11:23:51 PM

Save some salt for Fudzilla too then. They seem to have gotten worse over these last few weeks with posting and then posting something completely contradictory to the first. It's a fertile market though, with all the rumors swirling around. At least Tom's owes them, as much as this stuff winds up in these forums.
a b U Graphics card
May 8, 2007 11:25:49 PM

The main point is, the consideration that the 'IFs' in you statements, could also be;

What IF the GTS-640 drops to near the price of the GTS-320 next week?

What IF the HD2900SE or whatever is the same price as the GTS-320 only more performant?

Neither of which I would bet on, but by the same token getting close to either is a possability.

I just dont see the wisedom in getting even the attractive GTS-320 now instead of first thing next week, considering that the price isn't about to go up, so the only downside would be losing 5 days of gameplay in order to make an informed decision. Seems to be the logical route regardless of whether you end up with the GTS-320 or not.
a b U Graphics card
May 8, 2007 11:28:03 PM

Well Fuad was lead graphics guy for the InQwhen he worked for them, now I wouldn't say he's any more credible than he was when he had their nameplate on his desk.

I'd say they're both 50/50 in the reliability market, bu tthey're also both entertaining. I wouldn't call either more/less reliable.
May 8, 2007 11:34:46 PM

Change what fast? Did I miss something?
May 8, 2007 11:49:43 PM

Oh, right, I was really just referring to last week's: R600 needs at least 750W;R600 is fine on 500W, R600 cooler hits 100C; R600 gets up to 82C series....
May 9, 2007 12:30:36 AM

I know, I know, it's just that I, for one, would prefer a short wait for the actual test and real data.
May 9, 2007 12:39:21 AM

Unfortunately Fuad is about the the most prevalent information out there re. the r600's. AMD has created the situation where Fuad can flourish.

Two choices; you can read and discuss the rumours and unverified info or wait for the NDA's to expire. For those who are "angered" and "sick" of the pre NDA discussions why participate?

One thing I like about Fuad over the Inquirer is he very briefly reports what he has found. Sure it is unverified and may be taken out of context but I do believe his reports have come from somewhere other than his imagination. For example the 750 watt thing, it appears he received ATI material with the recommended specs but his source did not put it into the proper context which in that case was crossfire requirements.

The Inquirer on the other hand has to spin everything, for example they can't report that MS purchased a new pencil without some long anti MS rant.

Now let me stick my neck out here. Once the r600 has been released I would hazard a guess that if you go back over Fudzilla's reports you will see that though not all reliable it was still one of the best sources of early info.
May 9, 2007 12:57:50 AM

I won't be one bit surprised if DAAMIT does release an HD2950XTX in Q3. Anyone remember the X1800? :roll:

They released the X1800 cards, then months later the X1900 cards...because the X1800 cards underperformed, whereas the X1900 cards have had great success and is a great product. I would guess they're doing it again.
May 9, 2007 5:51:52 AM

Quote:
But I still don't get what's so special about the hd2950xtx, isn't just a better version of the r600xtx? Supposedly 65nm done right?


It's the card they should be releasing now, instead of Q3 and instead of the underperforming 2900 (again if rumours are correct)
May 9, 2007 6:16:36 AM

Quote:
The main point is, the consideration that the 'IFs' in you statements, could also be;

What IF the GTS-640 drops to near the price of the GTS-320 next week?

What IF the HD2900SE or whatever is the same price as the GTS-320 only more performant?

Neither of which I would bet on, but by the same token getting close to either is a possability.

I just dont see the wisedom in getting even the attractive GTS-320 now instead of first thing next week, considering that the price isn't about to go up, so the only downside would be losing 5 days of gameplay in order to make an informed decision. Seems to be the logical route regardless of whether you end up with the GTS-320 or not.


The truth is that since I've waited so long I'm not going to "break" just days before the R600 release, I'm not that st00pid. I was just making a point about the frustration I've felt over the delays and the fact that we hear such a rumour so close to the actual launch of the 2900.
And if the 2900 performs better than the GTS and is comparable in price, of course I'll opt for it, no matter what's in store for Q3.
May 9, 2007 6:42:31 AM

why dont you just wait for the dx10 games and see what card will be best at that time? ati or nvidia. and buy a gts now probably wouldnt be stupid, its a nice card.
but im gonna wait and see who's the best performer.. i wonder what 8900 will do :o 
May 9, 2007 7:04:49 AM

Why is this so bad?
I still use my 7900GT0 The games I play still average 100+/- FPS.
I have NO NEED for a new 8800 or 2900 just yet. I, and many others are willing to upgrade after there is some real competition between the green/red teams, cause we all know that competition= lower prices. Why the hell would I buy a 8800ultra now for 700+ $$ now when my current card still performs like a champ. I guess only record breakers want it the day it comes out. I'm not looking for the top 3DMark spot.

Edit: 7900GTO
May 9, 2007 11:30:50 AM

Quote:
Why is this so bad?
I still use my 7900GT0 The games I play still average 100+/- FPS.
I have NO NEED for a new 8800 or 2900 just yet. I, and many others are willing to upgrade after there is some real competition between the green/red teams, cause we all know that competition= lower prices. Why the hell would I buy a 8800ultra now for 700+ $$ now when my current card still performs like a champ. I guess only record breakers want it the day it comes out. I'm not looking for the top 3DMark spot


It's not that I need the best and fastest as soon as it's available, it's just that my current card (X1600XT) does not perform like a champ especially considering that I'm using a 24" screen with a native resolution of 1920x1200. I can't run ANY of the games I play at that rez with that card. So I've wanted to upgrade since I got this monitor, a few months ago, and it seemed like the logical thing to go for a next gen part that could handle 19x12 and HD stuff with ease.
I've already mentioned why I would rather get an ATI part so you can understand why I'm so eager for them to come out.
And with the possibility of such an imminent release of the "refresh" product (ie R650) it feels like ATI is telling us that the GPU they should be releasing now is still a few months away and in the mean time we can have sth that's good but not that good yet.
Bear in mind though that I'm pressing the point only because the R650 release seems so imminent
May 9, 2007 11:31:16 AM

Quote:
Why is this so bad?
I still use my 7900GT0 The games I play still average 100+/- FPS.
I have NO NEED for a new 8800 or 2900 just yet. I, and many others are willing to upgrade after there is some real competition between the green/red teams, cause we all know that competition= lower prices. Why the hell would I buy a 8800ultra now for 700+ $$ now when my current card still performs like a champ. I guess only record breakers want it the day it comes out. I'm not looking for the top 3DMark spot.


Agreed, I'm going to be using my 7950gt until next year. I still don't see why anyone would want the 8800 Ultra period, unless they are looking for a status symbol. The 8800 GTX is cheaper, and comes close to the 8800 Ultra.
May 9, 2007 1:16:15 PM

Quote:
I still use my 7900GT0 The games I play still average 100+/- FPS.
I'm thinking more - than +. :wink:

The 7900GTO is still a great card, but I wanted an 8800GTX to really boost my Oblivion performance. :twisted:
May 9, 2007 3:06:22 PM

Quote:
Why is this so bad?
I still use my 7900GT0 The games I play still average 100+/- FPS.
I have NO NEED for a new 8800 or 2900 just yet. I, and many others are willing to upgrade after there is some real competition between the green/red teams, cause we all know that competition= lower prices. Why the hell would I buy a 8800ultra now for 700+ $$ now when my current card still performs like a champ. I guess only record breakers want it the day it comes out. I'm not looking for the top 3DMark spot.

Edit: 7900GTO


Honestly you could get away with using a really crappy card for a long time if you continually lower the settings, but eventually you get sick of games that can look good looking like crap, especially if you have the money to upgrade. This situation is bad because people who have been waiting for an upgrade for a long time might end up being kinda screwed if they buy a 2900 and then a superior 2950 comes out shortly afterwards. Either way they'll get a nice upgrade, but honestly if I had bought a X1800 when they launched I would've been kinda mad that they released new cards so soon.
May 9, 2007 3:22:17 PM

well, for people like me, with a X850XT, a 2900Hd will do way fine, because of the shader 3 and shader 4 support, if you all remember
x850Xt doesnt support shader 3 D:
a b U Graphics card
May 9, 2007 3:49:14 PM

Quote:

The truth is that since I've waited so long I'm not going "break" just days before the R600 release, I'm not that st00pid.


Yeah, and that's what I didn't get.

Anywhoo believe me I understand your frustration, but at least you've had options, if anyone can point me to a quality Napa or Santa Rosa laptop with a good DX10 solution with 17" and full keyboard, that'd be helpful, but those are still on hold too despite the GF8600 launch. :evil: 

I think it'd probably have been beter if there were no rumours. Then people could've bought their GF8800 long ago if they wanted/needed to upgrade from their X1K/GF7, and then this fall when the games ship treat everything like a new refresh and decide again when the games come out.
I thinnk the rumours hve switched the buyers back into focusing on the hardware instead of on the gameplay the hardware offers.
May 10, 2007 1:19:45 AM

Well, I'm sure they were already planning for a refresh prior to their upcoming release, I'm guessing they've just accelerated the process of getting the refresh to market.
May 10, 2007 1:27:19 AM

Yea, if the performance is as lousy as they say, there probably never will be a 2900XTX. They likely wouldn't be able to recoup the manufacturing costs. I too am highly curious about the core of the 2950. DDR 3 or 4? Shaders, pipes, memory interface, etc. Hopefully some credible info will leak soon. I don't understand how AMD can afford to keep it a secret, at this point, if they're going to have a good performer they better let everyone know. The 8900 can't be too far away.
May 10, 2007 4:17:17 AM

If your motherboard supports it, why don't you Crossfire your X1600XT for right now. That should give you better performance.
a b U Graphics card
May 10, 2007 4:59:10 AM

Quote:
I think the plan actually is to bump the 65nm r600xtx completely in favor of the r650xtx


I think you're misreading the tea leaves a little.

What it simply looks like is that there never will be a 65nm 'R600' it will be the 65nm R650, and it was not accelerated fast enough to replace the HD2900XTX. So it will come out in July/August as the R650/HD2950XT(X) just in time for back to school shopping. I could be wrong but I think they won't bother simply migrating the R600 to 65nm so much as just push the R650 to market in it's timeframe, just like the R520/580.

If they could do an R600 on 65nm near launch I doubt they'd bother with the more expensive 80nm R600 for more than a short period to clear built up stock.

Expect nV's 65nm part around the same back to school time period IMO, but closer to Sept.
May 10, 2007 2:18:58 PM

Quote:
If your motherboard supports it, why don't you Crossfire your X1600XT for right now. That should give you better performance.


Have you seen benchmarks for the 1600XT Crossfired? Definitely not worth it. Incidentally, I can hardly find it anymore and the few 1600XT's I can find are close to 140euros. I'd be better off buying a single 1950PRO. Anyway, the reason I ended up with that card was that late last year I got a good deal selling my old X800XT PE (which was still rather good) and mobo (AGP) and I bought a PCI-e mobo for which I needed a new card. So I thought I'd get sth cheap for the time being until R600 comes out. And I've been waiting ever since. It was never my plan to stick with it for too long

Next week I'm upgrading. Don't know to what yet but it's happening
May 10, 2007 2:28:29 PM

well you should get a P35 bearlake mobo.. im waiting for the X38 myself
May 10, 2007 2:33:23 PM

I'm not upgrading my mobo (and CPU, and RAM) just my graphics card
May 10, 2007 2:35:24 PM

what PC u have ? O.o
May 10, 2007 2:41:42 PM

Quote:
Perhaps, but what exactly is the r650 going to offer that the r600 does not? Is going to have higher clocks? More tmus? More pipelines/simple shaders?


well 65nm insted of the 80nm R600 has and it will run cooler and higher clocks

r700 will probably have more pipelines and maybe a little change in the architecture but i dont dare think that far into the future
a b U Graphics card
May 10, 2007 4:29:15 PM

Quote:
Perhaps, but what exactly is the r650 going to offer that the r600 does not? Is going to have higher clocks? More tmus? More pipelines/simple shaders?


First, as mentioned by bullarh, the shrink to 65nm should mean less power consumption (although not guaranteed, since it can increase leakage and cross-talk because the pathways are closer to gether, thus requiring increased voltage to overcome), high clocks are often also achieveable, but that also works against power efficiency. Also if yield % are the same, then the yield per 300mm wafer should be higher since you can fit more parts per wafer so let's say 75% of them are good, and that's the same as the R600 on 80nm then since there are let say 20% more per wafer then that means you should get a few more working chips per wafer at the same cost. Thus the cost per chip goes down.

Now since this is a full new node and not an optical shrink like the 80nm, it should theoretically give them better results in most of those areas with greatly reduced footprint and less leakage, and all those nice things.

That's the benefit of moving to a smaller process, however like I said the pathways and gates are now very small, and very close, and the thinner a pathway the higher the resistance. So it's still a tradeoff to some extent. Also maturation of the process hopefully learned from the mid range parts should help these new high-end 65nm parts from AMD and nV come out of the gates (no pun intended) strong.

Ok, now this is out of the realm of 'facts' and going into to the rumour region for thos of you reading along and wearing tight panties....

[rumour]
The current rumour is that the R650 does have so additional tweaks in design and while not radical update like an R700 core, or like the move from X1800 to X1900 was, there are suposedly some refinements in the architecture, similar to what happened going from the R9700 to R9800 where they tacked on some HyperZ improvement and some vertex engine updates.

Supposedly there's some minor tweaks for the R650 core as well, and there's been mentions of changes to texture add/filt ratios, mention of tweaks to the ROP (which I think unlikely, ROPs are not as important later in the game when they can't be fed by the front end). There's also been talk of an update to the scheduler and for improved stream support, however this is all talk, and I don't see any of it being a major improvement.
[/rumour]
a b U Graphics card
May 10, 2007 9:47:53 PM

Wll I think the 1024bit memory interface rumour is people who don't get how the ringbus works.

AMD could make it 1:1 but it loses the bandwidth pairing benefit (512bit running at DDR = 1024 bit SDR), the biggest roadblock to that would the the amount of traces on the PCB, it would be mental. They may have built in support previously, but adding support would require transistors, and really it's not proving to be worth it at this point IMO.

I don't expect to see 1024bit for a while.
May 10, 2007 10:07:36 PM

Quote:
Gotcha, I just wasn't sure about that since all I heard was the rumor, which was by fudzilla, which should always be taken with a grain of salt, or 5 :lol: 


btw, what ever happened to saphire's dual gpu version of the x1950pro?


I think Fudzilla had specifically said that it was not a 1024 bit controller.
Link
a b U Graphics card
May 10, 2007 10:09:03 PM

I think the dual chip cards were still-born without official driver support from ATi, and I thinnk more than anything it was a 'proof of concept product', by the time they got it to work the GF8800GTSs came out and made it redundant at the price they wanted for it, heck the X1900XTs dropped enough in price to make them redundant for $400+
a b U Graphics card
May 10, 2007 10:56:10 PM

Quote:

I think Fudzilla had specifically said that it was not a 1024 bit controller.
Link


Yeah and his description of it shows Fuad really doesn't understand the idea behind the ring bus, which is to reduce the requirements of the crossbars thus reducing wiring , and also allowing for increase on/off points , and also function close to a 1:1 bandwidth. To get the same amount of bandwidth internally you need the memory bus to operate at twice the speed. There are alot of benefits to the idea.

The only people who worry about the marketing of the 1024bit are those who don't understand it, and I would expect better from FUAD because anyone who's seen how and why the Ringbus is there understands it's benefits.

And the ringbus on the R520 was 8 stop, not 4 if that's what FUAD is calling 'blocks' the GF7 series was 4 blocks, which is why it needed to communicate through pairs for the memory because each controller need to be fed 64bit at these points.
a b U Graphics card
May 10, 2007 10:58:36 PM

From what I remember it wasn't quite neck and neck with the GTX, but instead more of the GTS and even then it depended alot on the title, with many of them seeing no boost with the dual chip card.

Also they never showed it up against 2 Xfired XTs (let alone 2 Xfried Pros)and that's where it's price point was.
May 10, 2007 11:09:45 PM

Quote:
But in thg's article, it was neck and neck with the 8800gtx, meaning that it was a pretty powerful card (though I don't recall if it was a single card, or two)


Is this the Tom's review you are talking about? I really didn't read this as the 1950 pro dual being neck and neck with the 8800gtx, especially at higher AA and resolutions.
I know I read somewhere that the card was starting to hit retail but I can't find it right now. Either way the timing seems terrible with r600 hitting.

Edit: Sorry about the redundancy Ape, I was looking it up etc at the same time you posted.
a b U Graphics card
May 10, 2007 11:32:00 PM

No worries man I'm glad you pulled up the review, I'm at work watching the hockey game over the internet (CBC.CA) so don't wanna add latency by having 4 windows open and doing some searching.
Anonymous
May 13, 2007 3:32:40 PM

well i think it's to counter 8800GTX. after you check this review out.

http://vr-zone.com/?i=4946&s=1

2900xt is no way near GTX forget ultra
Anonymous
May 13, 2007 4:59:06 PM

well vr-zone is very reputed website.
Anonymous
May 13, 2007 6:02:02 PM

wel thats is true. but if you overclocking 2900xt to match GTX then overclock 8800GTX too. only then it's far. or overclock GTS then compare
May 13, 2007 6:18:56 PM

Quote:
Wrong, the r600xt scored a whoping 16k in 3dmark06
I ran 3D Mark 06 and went over 16,000 with a single card

Of course he oc'd the card quite a bit, but still, I haven't heard of the gtx being able to do that, not to mention
Quote:
Well with the voltage mods and good cooling, I'm sure we'll see a lot of people scoring a mile higher!


Any thoughts to what you just said now?

VRzone Nov 2006 8800gtx 17597 3dmark06, and that would be higher on current drivers. http://www.vr-zone.com/?i=4296&s=2

Both of those numbers are irrelevant anyhow as both cases are volt modded and extreme cooling.
May 13, 2007 6:33:11 PM

Quote:
True, but the r600 tested was using 8.37 drivers instead of 8.38, not to mention, nvidia's drivers are far more developed


If you reread what i said that was back in Nov.06 around the time of the 8800's release.
!