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ATi Presents Its PCI Express Product Line

Continued

The last new product is the already known X800 with no changes to the specs so far. All cards offer a native or bridge-less PCI Express interface to ensure the full usage of the new PCI Express bus interface. ATi is confident that they are on a better way than NVIDIA is with their HIS PCI Express bridge solution .

The PCI Express connector of the GeCube X600 XT.

The RV380 graphics processor - bridgeless PCI Express interface.

The GeCube X600 XT stripped.

It's unclear yet how ATi will handle future AGP models. It seems that ATI will continue to use the Radeon 9600SE, 9600, 9800 and X800 for the current AGP product line. Since ATi is not using a bridge solution like NVIDIA - or just didn't announce it yet - they will have to tape out two versions of every new chip. One for the AGP model and one for the PCI Express. One other speculation is that ATI will use a bridge solution for future AGP models. That's the way NVIDIA will go in the future with native PCI Express chips and bridged AGP models.

No doubt, PCI Express will replace AGP in the long term. But the platform is still not officially launched by Intel or others and available on the market so AGP will still be a very important factor for the next 6-12 months, at least in the retail market.

Overview of the new ATI PCI Express card series:

X300SEX300X600Pro X600
CodenameRV370RV370RV380RV380
Core Speed325 MHz325 MHz400 MHz500 MHz
Memory Speed400 MHz400 MHz600 MHz750 MHz
Architecture4 Pixel Pipes2 Vertex Pipes4 Pixel Pipes2 Vertex Pipes4 Pixel Pipes2 Vertex Pipes4 Pixel Pipes2 Vertex Pipes
Process Tech.110 nm110 nm130 nm LowK130 nm LowK
Memory Size64, 128 MB64, 128, 256 MB128, 256 MB128, 256 MB
Memory Interface64-bit128-bit128-bit128-bit
Performance163M Tri/s1.3 Gpixel/s3.2 GB/s163M Tri/s1.3 Gpixel/s6.4 GB/s225M Tri/s1.8 Gpixel/s9.6 GB/s250M Tri/s2.0 Gpixel/s11.8 GB/s
ATi FeaturesSmartshader 2.0Smoothvision 2.1HyperZ III+Smartshader 2.0Smoothvision 2.1HyperZ III+Smartshader 2.0Smoothvision 2.0HyperZ III+Smartshader 2.0Smoothvision 2.0HyperZ III+
DirectX9.09.09.09.0
OutputsVGA+DVI+ViVoVGA+TVDVI+TVVGA+DVI+ViVoVGA+DVI+ViVoVGA+DVI+ViVo
Form FactorFull HeighLow ProfileFull HeighFull HeighFull Heigh
XT X800 SE ??*X800 ProX800 XT (PE)
CodenameR423*R423R423
Core Speed450 MHz*475 MHz520 MHz
Memory Speed400 MHz*450 MHz560 MHz
Architecture8 Pixel Pipes*6 Vertex Pipes*12 Pixel Pipes6 Vertex Pipes16 Pixel Pipes6 Vertex Pipes
Process Tech.130 nm LowK*130 nm LowK130 nm LowK
Memory Size128,256 MB*128,256 MB128,256 MB
Memory Interface128-bit*256-bit256-bit
Performance640M Tri/s*3.4 Gpixel/s*12.8 GB/s*675M Tri/s5.4 Gpixel/s28.8 GB/s780M Tri/s8.3 Gpixel/s35.8 GB/s
ATi FeaturesSmartshader HDSmoothvision HDHyperZ HDSmartshader HDSmoothvision HDHyperZ HDSmartshader HDSmoothvision HDHyperZ HD
DirectX
OutputsVGA+DVI+ViVoVGA+DVI+ViVoVGA+DVI+ViVo
Form FactorFull HeighFull HeighFull Heigh

* Specs not announced yet - speculation