R600: Finally DX10 Hardware from ATI

Show Me The Benchmarks!

Whoa! If you made it this far I will call you a sincere junkie for all things silicon because no one else would have read 10,000 words on new hardware unless they had a passion for it. Either that or you saw the title of this section and skipped around. If you did, go back and read the rest; this stuff is too cool to pass by.

I need to preface what you are about to look at in the benchmarks section. We had some setbacks in collecting data and, of course, we had that last minute Nvidia counter attack with documentation and a driver. The Vista driver we used is the latest non-WHQL certified concoction that the boys in green said would be best for Vista. The problem I have with stuff like this is that it can cloud the minds of those who are looking for truth and taint reviews. If the documentation, telephone calls, emails and drivers came out a week ago... so be it. It would aid the search for truth and give us enough time to see how true it is. However, when it comes out on Thursday night before launch, the weekend of Mother's Day and the weekend of my little girl's first soccer game, you have got to be joking.

Don't get me wrong, the information and a different point of view is welcome. However, some guys will take your word for it and not look any deeper. I could care less what either company wants to tell us. We still have to run it through the Fud-O-Matic 3000 Spin Detector Deluxe. So much of what comes out of both houses goes through marketing and PR. One of my friends in corporate PR says that "marketing lies 50% of the time and PR lies 100% of the time." As funny as it may be, you know there is an air of truth in it.

Other than that, the only other major problem we faced was having our CrossFire X1950 master card fail during Doom 3 tests. We could only get half of the CF numbers before it gave out on us. Additionally there is an issue with CrossFire on the new hardware in XP. We will resolve all of the issues and update the results.

Other than having a ton to dig through and benchmark, the rest was fun. Call me weird but I love learning about arbitration, bandwidth and all of the other stuff I can wrap my arms around. So look around at our numbers and those from other sites (you are going to do it anyways) but keep in mind that the HD 2900XT is being put up against the GeForce 8800GTS (not GTX or Ultra). Based on what we know, there will be something else to go up against those.

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