Please register or login. There are 0 registered and 1006 anonymous users currently online. Current bandwidth usage: 326.30 kbit/s December 18 - 12:22pm EST 
Hardware Analysis
      
Forums Product Prices
  Contents 
 
 

  Latest Topics 
 

More >>
 

    
 
 

  ATi Radeon X800 XT, the new King of the Hill? 
  May 04, 2004, 09:00am EDT 
 

Introduction


By: Sander Sassen

Just two short weeks ago Nvidia launched their new GeForce 6800 Ultra graphics card along with their NV4x architecture. Today ATi introduces their X800 family of graphics cards based on the R420 architecture. Expectations for both new architectures were high and Nvidiaís GeForce 6800 Ultra certainly did deliver, offering twice the performance of the then fastest shipping graphics accelerator, ATiís Radeon 9800 XT. Obviously ATi is hell bent on getting the title back from Nvidia and to, once again, proclaim itself the king of 3D graphics. In the next few pages weíll explore what ATiís latest has to offer and whether thatís enough to dethrone the GeForce 6800 Ultra.

GeForce 6800 Ultra, Radeon X800 XT

Fig 1. The two contenders to the 3D graphics throne, GeForce 6800 Ultra and Radeon X800 XT.

But before we get into that letís discuss briefly what the R420 architecture brings to the table. In essence the R420 architecture is a further development of the R360 architecture which debuted with the Radeon 9600 XT and 9800 XT graphics cards. This doesnít mean ATi simply increased the clockspeeds of the R360 architecture and applied some minor enhancements here and there, like they did when moving from the R300 to the R360 architecture. The R420 architecture, although based on the R360, is using parts of that architecture but has been reworked to offer over twice the performance of that architecture.

The design goals for the R420 architecture as set forth by ATi were to increase the performance and up the efficiency. This meant that ATi hasnít opted for including new features such as shader model 3.0 support for 32-bit rendering throughout the pipeline, as found on Nvidiaís NV4x architecture. They did however all that was needed to wring every last bit of performance from the features they did include. For example the R420 architecture uses quad 64-bit memory controllers and a 16-stage pixel pipeline which can be scaled from 4 to 16 stages in steps of 4. This means that ATi can manufacture a whole range of different graphics accelerators based on a single architecture. ATi also included a new texture compression technique, 3Dc, which is hardware accelerated to further up the performance.



1. Introduction
2. Pixel and vertex shaders
3. Benchmarks, what and how?
4. 3Dmark03, 2001 SE and AquaMark3
5. UT2003, AA and AF
6. UT2004, AA and AF
7. Halo, AA and AF
8. Far Cry, AA and AF
9. Benchmarks, evaluation
10. Conclusion
11. Pricing Information

Discuss This Article (18 Comments) - If you have any questions, comments or suggestions about the article and/or its contents please leave your comments here and we'll do our best to address any concerns.


Rate This Product - If you have first hand experience with this product and would like to share your experience with others please leave your comments here.

 

    
 
 

  Related Articles 
 
 

  Newsletter 
 
A weekly newsletter featuring an editorial and a roundup of the latest articles, news and other interesting topics.

Please enter your email address below and click Subscribe.