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R600: Finally DX10 Hardware from ATI

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Last response: in Graphics Cards
May 14, 2007 1:31:49 PM

We have waited for DX10 hardware from ATI for over six months since Nvidia launched G80. Today we dissect the beast.

More about : r600 finally dx10 hardware ati

May 14, 2007 1:40:52 PM

The HD 2900XT is looking to be a disappointment for anyone waiting for an 8800GTX killer, but a good card to compete with the 8800GTS.
May 14, 2007 2:05:19 PM

it seems quite good based on the price, but im wondering how much this card will affect the ambient temperature inside the case

Also i wonder if most PSU makers will be releasing adapter cables for PSU's as i have a 600W SLI PSU

Guru 3d's dx10 test for Call of Jurez( or however you spell it ) makes it seem that the current set of dx10 cards arent upto much for dx10, but that could still be a driver problem, how come toms hardware didnt try Call of Dur...... also will there be benchies when Lost Planet DX10 demo is out?
Related resources
May 14, 2007 2:06:25 PM

the x1k series switched between 2d and 3d clocks to save power. does anyone know if this card does the same?
May 14, 2007 2:23:18 PM

Quote:
the x1k series switched between 2d and 3d clocks to save power. does anyone know if this card does the same?


Yes, it does.
May 14, 2007 2:28:41 PM

$400 2900XT runs right along side a $550 8800 GTX.
Uh yeah I know which one I'm going with.

And imagine what the 2900XTX will bring to the table, especially if its priced around the $500 price tag of the 8800 GTX.

Very nice in depth article from THG. Great work.
May 14, 2007 2:33:03 PM

Why is the r600 being compared to the GTX only?
It's not the card it will compete with, neither is it the card in that pricerange.

Besides this (pretty big) strangeness, good review.
May 14, 2007 2:53:35 PM

Performance is disappointing as stated elsewhere.

Seems Toms were diplomatic and sat on the fence with the conclusions, other sites haven't.

I have to wonder if the benching is too limited though as 3D Guru's tests showed it behind the GTS on some benches. Here it is consitenently ahead.

25 page 3D Guru test including DX10 tests:

http://www.guru3d.com/article/Videocards/431/26/

Quote:
It is what it is, and the HD 2900 XT performance wise ended up in the lower to mid part of the high-end segment. Sometimes it has a hard time keeping up with a 320MB 8800 GTS, and in other scenarios we see performance close or equal to the GeForce 8800 GTX.


That said its technology might make it worth while with DX10.1 on the horizon although we know Nvidia has other cards waiting. For me its still waiting game until both companies have played their aces.
May 14, 2007 2:57:49 PM

Only a handful of games benchmarked but AMD's Vista drivers seem pretty good.
May 14, 2007 3:02:32 PM

The R600 was not worth the wait. Cool architecture doesn't matter - performance does. This 2900 XT should offer clear performance advantages over the 8800 GTX. Since nVidia still has the lead, they can keep 8800 GTX prices high, while working on their next-gen GPU to put AMD even farther behind.
May 14, 2007 3:12:50 PM

The most disappointing thing for me is the amoutn of noise it makes and the power it draws relative to the performance it offers.

Extremely poor - I imagine that they simply felt that they HAD to get this card released in the best possible state, and then they can draw a line under it and start working on the next one.
May 14, 2007 3:13:27 PM

Well this is ATI's highest end card is it not? The XTX is only a myth right now.
May 14, 2007 3:14:24 PM

Quote:

Guru 3d's dx10 test for Call of Jurez( or however you spell it ) makes it seem that the current set of dx10 cards arent upto much for dx10


i noticed this as well but one thing to note that the benchmark was DX10 at the highest settings so to get 30 plus there is pretty good i would say considering what you are getting extra.

now the question is ultimatly do you buy the GTS 640 for 10% extra performance now (according to majority of sites) or get the 2900xt and get the extra performance when tesselation comes into effect. plus who will be using their pc to play HD (Blu-ray drives are far too expensive) so how usefull is the HDMI stuff going to be over the next year or so.
May 14, 2007 3:22:25 PM

oh and as i and many others have said until some DX10 games come out (Crysis UT2007) im waiting! my 1950pro is fine for the moment
May 14, 2007 3:22:35 PM

for 400 bucks it doesnt look like a bad card at all. Im running an x1950pro and in Vista I must say the drivers are wonderful- hasnt crashed a game or the os once since I installed 64 bit ultimate in feb. The 1GB card might be tempting if it is only 100$ more and it will add more performance. It looks to be about 2x better than my x1950pro in almost everything. I think I'll take one :) 

I am a bit of an ATI fanboy I guess- I almost got a 8800 gts 320 but was waiting for this. Power consumption doesnt look nearly like the 220watts that was rumored.
May 14, 2007 3:37:28 PM

The benchmarking here is poor...... why not compare it to the 640MB 8800GTS which is in the same price range? Why only show CF/Sli results for Vista? Another badly thought out article.... who comes up with this junk? :evil: 
May 14, 2007 3:46:02 PM

Lol at people saying it's a good card for the prive... It's a $400 card that compares with a $270 card a fair amount of the time, a $400 card some of the time, and a $500 card very rarely.
May 14, 2007 3:47:54 PM

Quote:
$400 2900XT runs right along side a $550 8800 GTX.
Uh yeah I know which one I'm going with.

And imagine what the 2900XTX will bring to the table, especially if its priced around the $500 price tag of the 8800 GTX.

Very nice in depth article from THG. Great work.


Uhh, no. That's only in 3DMark. In real games, it's more like... lose, lose, lose, lose... you get the idea.

However, considering the fact that it is occasionally beaten by even the X1950XTX, I'm leaning toward driver woes instead of architectural woes. This card has more potential than it's currently showing.
May 14, 2007 3:48:54 PM

Quote:
Why is the r600 being compared to the GTX only?
It's not the card it will compete with, neither is it the card in that pricerange.

Besides this (pretty big) strangeness, good review.


Unfortunately it fares about the same as the GTS if you check the other reviews that are flooding the net right now.

And in most cases, again, the 2900xt is compared to the GTX. ATi never meant to beat the GTX with this card, as evidenced by their pricing.

Pricing is what detrmines which card competes with performance of which card, Not the other way around. A lot of people don't seem to understand this.
May 14, 2007 4:06:10 PM

Well if i can get the 2900xt for 240 bucks is that a good deal?
May 14, 2007 4:07:15 PM

ya. can I have one?

ha.
May 14, 2007 4:11:18 PM

hi, I jz want to ask that my silverstone ST56F (Strider 560W) psu will run this card?

my expected rig:
C2D E6420 @ 3.2ghz
DFI infinity p965-s Dark
2x1gb Supertalent TUX800GC4
WD5000KS 500gb
SST ST56F 560w
Sony DVD-RW
CM Ammo 533 casing

@uscooper: yea i want 1 too!
May 14, 2007 4:15:49 PM

Quote:
Pricing is what detrmines which card competes with performance of which card


No - the customer determines that. I'm willing to buy either the 2900 XT or the 8800 GTX, but I'd rather not settle for the 8800 GTS. The 2900 XT is like settling for the 8800 GTS, except with higher power requirements.
May 14, 2007 4:19:08 PM

Quote:
umm... the GTS-320 actually rasied its price by $20, it is now at $280 (with rebates) and before was at $260.

now thats NOT what i was looking for..


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



That's because nVidia knows that it is selling a card that can outclass a $400 card about half the time for $270.... of course they are going to raise it a bit.

I was hoping to see the GTS 640 come down closer to the GTS 320 range, but when it's already beating a card that costs $50-$70 more, why bring the price down even further?
May 14, 2007 4:21:44 PM

Quote:
Unfortunately it fares about the same as the GTS if you check the other reviews that are flooding the net right now.

And in most cases, again, the 2900xt is compared to the GTX. ATi never meant to beat the GTX with this card, as evidenced by their pricing.

Pricing is what detrmines which card competes with performance of which card, Not the other way around. A lot of people don't seem to understand this.


You are correct that pricing should determine which card it is compared to. Unfortunately in terms of actual street pricing 8800gts's are less money than 2900's. In all fairness any product is at it's highest price the day it is released and this could change. But for now if you want to position the 2900 by price it is currently higher than the gts640 and much higher than the gts320. I know somebody will dispute this and post the prices of the more expensive gts640's but if you honestly search you're lowest priced 2900 vs. you're lowest priced gts640 the truth is there.

Currently the 8800gtx has no direct competition in price or performance and it is unfair to expect the 2900xt to compete. ATI is for now simply not competing at this end of the market. I hope they do return and are not overly focused with the some new direction under AMD (fusion).
May 14, 2007 4:21:49 PM

Keep in mind that that's NewEgg, who are constantly adjusting prices.
May 14, 2007 4:22:14 PM

Quote:
hat's because nVidia knows that it is selling a card that can outclass a $400 card about half the time for $270.... of course they are going to raise it a bit.




you're right, do u think its still a good buy tho?
May 14, 2007 4:27:03 PM

From looking at the benchmarks, It seems the drivers are just getting in the way of the card. I'm seriously Disappointed, AMD/ATI has had plenty of time to work on the drivers and there Crap! At this point I would still get a 8800gts, If I had to chose, even with the vista driver issues.
May 14, 2007 4:30:32 PM

Quote:
From looking at the benchmarks, It seems the drivers are just getting in the way of the card. I'm seriously Disappointed, AMD/ATI has had plenty of time to work on the drivers and there Crap! At this point I would still get a 8800gts, If I had to chose, even with the vista driver issues.


I don't see how you can claim a driver issue "from looking at the benchmarks."

That, and drivers have 0 to do w/the fact that you need half of the nuclear power from soviet russia to power these things.
May 14, 2007 4:38:27 PM

Quote:
From looking at the benchmarks, It seems the drivers are just getting in the way of the card. I'm seriously Disappointed, AMD/ATI has had plenty of time to work on the drivers and there Crap! At this point I would still get a 8800gts, If I had to chose, even with the vista driver issues.


I don't see how you can claim a driver issue "from looking at the benchmarks."

That, and drivers have 0 to do w/the fact that you need half of the nuclear power from soviet russia to power these things.
Nah, I think his point is that the hardware DOES sound impressive on paper. So, it seems somewhat logical to assume that if you have beefy hardware that should shred but you're getting so-so FPS, there could be an issue with drivers. Know what I mean?
May 14, 2007 4:38:42 PM

Quote:
From looking at the benchmarks, It seems the drivers are just getting in the way of the card. I'm seriously Disappointed, AMD/ATI has had plenty of time to work on the drivers and there Crap! At this point I would still get a 8800gts, If I had to chose, even with the vista driver issues.


I don't see how you can claim a driver issue "from looking at the benchmarks."

That, and drivers have 0 to do w/the fact that you need half of the nuclear power from soviet russia to power these things.

Look at the benches again. there were places were the drivers crashed, and they didn't have CF in some of the set ups, and they showed all of the cards in some places and none in others. You can tell that there had to be drivers issues if nothing showed up. Hell, I can't even rely on these benches yet to give me a good idea of performance because of the missing benches.
May 14, 2007 4:39:10 PM

I am not sure if that PSU will do the trick. It only has to 20 A rails for 12 V. The PSU I used (while I needed 2 8-pin connectors and 2 6-pin for CF) has 6 12 V rails supplying 20 A a piece. You probably could power it up but any overclocking will be limited as ATI only allows the "Overdrive" functions if you have an 8-pin connenction.
May 14, 2007 4:40:53 PM

There was only one instance in which the drivers crashed...

The paper tells a lot of stuff, but the actual hardware numbers show the limits... I don't think it's a driver issue when it comes to the reported marks.

Sure, there's room for improvement via drivers, but the same can be said for nVidia as well.
May 14, 2007 4:49:28 PM

I'm going to have to disagree on the "raw power" statement. On paper I think the 2900 looks great. Plus, it DID do really well in 3DMark 2005:

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/05/14/r600_finally_dx1...

On a side note: I'm no fan of the 2900 series due to power consumption/noise (I think the 8800 gts consumes plenty of power for my tastes). Somebody needs to say "enough is enough" before we have 4kw PSUs that require special wiring in your house or something.
May 14, 2007 4:52:12 PM

The doom 3 Benchmarks showed the 2900xt in CF, but when you jump over to F.E.A.R it doesn't show that, and it doesn't show it in Oblivion. Plus you add into that that there was a driver release about a week ago that gave a %5 to %10 performance boost, and you can tell AMD/ATI wasn't on the ball with getting there drivers ready.
May 14, 2007 5:05:30 PM

I thought the benchmarks showed a good comparison. The 2900 ranked at, or slightly above, the 8800 320. The price for the 2900 is too high imho. Once it is priced at the range of the 8800 320, I think it would be a serious contender. Right now, it's priced higher than the 8800 640, but performs less.
May 14, 2007 5:12:37 PM

what are they doing ????
the stream processors i say ! they are so lazy , 320 of them , why are so many if they cant compete with 96 old fashion working stream processors , or they want some dx10 ice cream??

if i had the money , and if i lived in another country , not romania , i would definately have one
May 14, 2007 5:14:43 PM

Quote:
what are they doing ????
the stream processors i say ! they are so lazy , 320 of them , why are so many if they cant compete with 96 old fashion working stream processors , or they want some dx10 ice cream??

if i had the money , and if i lived in another country , not romania , i would definately have one

they're 64x5

Nvidia's are 96x2, but at way higher frcuency
May 14, 2007 5:18:06 PM

Quote:
I'm going to have to disagree on the "raw power" statement. On paper I think the 2900 looks great. Plus, it DID do really well in 3DMark 2005:

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/05/14/r600_finally_dx1...

On a side note: I'm no fan of the 2900 series due to power consumption/noise (I think the 8800 gts consumes plenty of power for my tastes). Somebody needs to say "enough is enough" before we have 4kw PSUs that require special wiring in your house or something.



Since when have synthetics meant anything?? All the really show is which company tweaks their products to cheat in fake benchmarks... I don't see the point of that argument.

Guy 1 "wow dood.. my 8800 GTX KILLS games!"
Guy 2 "Yeah? Well my HD 2900XT gets REALLY high numbers in an application that doesn't actually provide any productive or gaming use!!"


golddragon.. The FEAR problem is the "one thing" I was referring to. Not sure what you're talking about with the Oblivion thing.
May 14, 2007 5:27:48 PM

Well, my point is that it does seem to have a fair amount of power for some applications. It didn't do half bad in Oblivion either.
May 14, 2007 5:29:16 PM

I seriously doubt ATI went out of their way to "tweak" their card to "cheat" on 3DMark.
May 14, 2007 5:36:21 PM

Quote:
I seriously doubt ATI went out of their way to "tweak" their card to "cheat" on 3DMark.

Especially since synthetics don't mean anything according to Phrozt. ;) 
May 14, 2007 5:40:03 PM

Personally, I don't put a whole lot of stock into synthetic benchmarks, but to say a company would alter their card in some way for the sole purpose of "cheating" in an outdated synthetic benchmark is rather ridiculous.
May 14, 2007 5:41:11 PM

Uhm, anyone else notice the power consumption here looks a little...off? Like the 2900 pulling 70 more watts or something crazy at idle, but then using less than a GTX under load? Kinda the reverse of almost every other site, which shows the 2900 idling with slightly less power draw than a GTS, but pulling a bit more under load. What gives? I know power consumption is tricky to measure, but it'd be nice to get some clarification here.
May 14, 2007 5:41:48 PM

Quote:


I'm willing to buy either the 2900 XT or the 8800 GTX, but I'd rather not settle for the 8800 GTS. The 2900 XT is like settling for the 8800 GTS, except with higher power requirements.


:lol:  So you won't settle for the GTS, but you'll settle for the XT because it has higher power requirements? :lol:  :?: :!: :lol: 
May 14, 2007 5:43:01 PM

True. If they altered their card to "cheat" on something they should cheat on Oblivion or something. ;) 
May 14, 2007 5:47:27 PM

Quote:
From looking at the benchmarks, It seems the drivers are just getting in the way of the card. I'm seriously Disappointed, AMD/ATI has had plenty of time to work on the drivers and there Crap! At this point I would still get a 8800gts, If I had to chose, even with the vista driver issues.


I don't see how you can claim a driver issue "from looking at the benchmarks."

That, and drivers have 0 to do w/the fact that you need half of the nuclear power from soviet russia to power these things.

ATi is using superscalars (ironically like Geforce FX...), which thereotically gives them more power. Unfortunately it requires much more programming to keep them busy.

nV is using normal scalars, which is a much simpler setup. They only need to keep 2 shaders busy per unit vs. 5.

This is why drivers will make much more of a difference with 2900 than 8800, and also why the 2900 performance is so inconsistant.

I agree with the power. I'm tired of buying new PSUs and having a noisy machine.
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