We are impressed with the ATI cards. The new efficiencies should push the graphics market forward by leaps and bounds. The power figures are not too respectful but we are talking about the elite discrete cards for users who only want the fastest thing on the planet. With clock gating, other power saving features, and the 25W maximum TDP (thermal design power), the X1300 cards look like a winner for people who want to be "Vista Ready" or are looking for some gaming performance with all of the video support of AVIVO.
As we stated earlier, NVIDIA has raised the bar on product delivery at launch with the Go 6800 Ultra, the 7800 GTX, and as recently as last week, the Go 7800 GTX. All three shipped with volume and were available the second you read the review. Previous launches in the past showed off the cards and then volume hit a month later are long gone. It is like experiencing broadband for the trial period and trying to digest the Internet back at dial-up speeds when the trial is over. All launches are now set to the current availability standard and ATI should not take this expectation from their constituencies lightly.
The hardware and the drivers are tried and true but if you can't have them in your hands, what is the use of telling us they will be there in volume when, in fact, they may not? We can only hope that ATI learns from both the CrossFire and X1000 launch that they need to stick to their word or change their launch dates to correspond to "launching in volume" statements. It only takes one instance to lose your credibility.
The motto "Wrong me once and it is shame on you, twice is shame on me," should be heeded. The community appreciates you sharing your new advances with them early on. However, they ask that when CrossFire X1800XT and R580 launch, please make them available right away or delay. Better yet, tell us when it will launch and give it to us on the appointed date.
Long gone are the days of saying the more pipelines a card has the better. However, that statement is premised on a promised card. The X1800XT will be ATI's first test to their word... and by the way November 5, 2005 "is" November 5, 2005.