And now, let's look at ATi's new entry-level chip. The Radeon 9200 VPU (RV280) is the replacement part for the Radeon 9000 series. This chip only differs from its predecessor in its AGP 8x support and its higher clock speeds. The core is still based on the Radeon 8500 design with its four pixel pipelines, but, like the 9000, it only has one texturing unit per pipe, instead of the 8500's two.
Despite the "9" in the product name, the chip is not a DirectX 9 part. Instead, being based on the 8500 and 900 VPUs, it only supports the DirectX 8.1 specification. The antialiasing implementation is also not quite up to date, as the chip still employs the slow SuperSampling technique.
We also don't have access to a Radeon 9200 review sample yet. ATi plans to introduce this part in April 2003. Again, there will be several versions of cards based on this chip:
- Radeon 9200 PRO 128 MB DDR; available: April 2003; price: $129-$149
- Radeon 9200 64/128 MB DDR
There's no final word yet on the clock speeds for the 9200 cards. The Radeon 9200 VPU (RV280) supports the following features:
- DirectX 8.1
- 4 pixel pipelines (4x1 design)
- 2 vertex shader units
- 0.15 micron manufacturing process
- 128-bit DDR memory
- Up to 128 MB memory
- SmoothVision (SuperSampling only)
- HyperZ III