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Introduction, Continued

Facelift: The ATi Radeon 9600 XT
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The back of the card. ATi's reference card used BGA memory modules produced by Samsung - and rated at up to 600 MHz DDR (K4D263238E-GC33).

ATi provides few details about the benefits of TSMC's new 0.13µ processes on which the RV 360 is manufactured. Instead of using an insulation material called FSG (fluorine-doped silicate glass), the new technique uses TSMC's newly developed "Black Diamond" material to insulate the die's individual transistors instead. The reduced capacitance of this material allows for much higher clockspeeds, TSMC and ATi claim - ATi emphasizes this claim as a way to counter the accusation that the RV360 is in fact nothing more than an overclocked RV350 chip.

That's about it as far as changes from the "old" Radeon 9600 Pro are concerned. The new "Overdrive" feature is worth mentioning, though. Introduced with the 9800 XT, this is basically a dynamic overclocking feature. We'll cover this in more detail in the driver section.

Just like the Radeon 9800 XT, the 9600 XT will come bundled with Half-Life 2. Which of ATi's board partners will actually bundle the game with their card remains to be seen, as this game will be rather expensive for the cardmakers.

With the introduction of the Radeon 9600 XT, there are now four different models available:

  RADEON 9600 XT RADEON 9600 PRO RADEON 9600 RADEON 9600 SE
Frame Buffer 128 MB DDR 128 MB DDR 128 MB DDR 128 MB DDR
Memory Interface 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit 64-bit
Rendering Pipelines 4 4 4 4
Pixel Fillrate (Gpixels/sec) 2.0 1.6 1.3 1.3
Engine Clock (MHz) 500 400 325 325
Memory Clock (MHz) 600 600 400 400
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