Ready For The Winter Games: ATI Radeon 9800 XT

ATI Radeon 9800 XT

The new Radeon 9800 XT reference card featuring a huge cooling solution.

Internally ATI calls the new chip R360. But his does not mean that the chip contains any new features compared to the "old" Radeon 9800 alias R350. ATI did only some minor changes to the chip design. ATI did not go into details but explained that they changed the arrangement of several components on the die to achieve a better heat dissipation. This sounds intelligible since the R360 is still a 0.15 micron part and the achievable clock rates of the chip are limited. While NVIDIA already produces its chips in 0.13 micron and therefore is able to clock its chips at 500 MHz, ATI is currently exceeding the 400 MHz barrier. Running at 412 MHz, the Radeon 9800 XT is clocked only 32 MHz faster than the old top model. The memory is now clocked at 365 MHz (730 DDR). Compared to the 340 MHz (680 DDR) of the 128 MB Pro model, this is only an memory bandwidth increase of 1,6 GB/s (23,4 GB/s compared to 21,8 GB/s).

The card is a single slot design.

The backside of the card. The heatsink gets very hot in operation.