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Digital-Daily : Video : ati-radeon-x850xtpe

ATI Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition

Author: Andrey Kuzin
Date: 01.12.2005

On December 1, another ATI's top-end video card - Radeon X850XT Platinum Edition - was announced. To be more precise, a whole new family was announced. Remember that the previous X800XT was brought out merely 8 months ago, on May 4.

The year 2004 proved to be a crazy year. You even can't recall a year when so many events fitted within such a short time period. Among them a complete replacement of Intel platform, and a mess with AMD sockets, three versions of DX9.0. For the two years to come, the introduction of PCI-Express 16x will make it compulsory to release every new line of cards in two makes. If you wake me up in the middle of the night, I can't - for the life of me - recall in which make hardware in our test lab is or what is missing... So much has been produced that you can remember that all.

I know it for sure that there is 6800Ultra in the PCI-E make, the others are there. NVIDIA is explaining that simply - even assembly operators are short of these cards. 16 pipes were launched in April, PCI-E announced in June, but still the cards are on rigid rationing - by NVIDIA and ATI. That has always been, but three to four months were enough to find a way out of the trouble. The year 2004 will go down in history as the first year when the shortage for top-end video cards turned protracted. Manufacturing companies are tired of lamenting over the shortage in supplies of top-end cards. ATI partners are a bit more confident - according to the info from the manufacturer of both solutions, requests for ATI cards are satisfied at 80%, whereas NVIDIA is able satisfying no more than 50% of the top-end market demands.

What is it all about? Definitely, they got themselves boxed in and persist in moving towards the same direction. From the former "who is the king of the hill?" formula, competition between ATI and NVIDIA has transformed into "who makes more is the winner." The price in this case does not matter at all. Sellers set whatever price spun out of thin air - the cards anyway sell.

All the above applies just to the top-end market. In the mid-end, there is another war of no less interesting specifics going on.

But let's get back to the announcement of new cards from ATI. The new family is called X850XT (R480) whose name is self-explanatory as if saying what it is - the optimized X800XT (R423) chip.

ATI Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition

The X850 series comprises three cards, at the same time the previous line X800 it has been extended by 2 cards. The total table of all new Hi-End cards by ATI of year 2004 looks as follows:

Video card Core Mem Pixel Pipes Retail Price
X850 XT Platinum Edition 540Mhz 1.18GHz 16 550$
X850 XT 520Mhz 1.08GHz 12 500$
X850 Pro 520Mhz 1.08GHz 12 400$
X800 XT Platinum Edition 520MHz 1.12GHz 16
X800 XT 500MHz 1GHz 16
X800 XL 400MHz 1GHz 16 300$
X800 Pro 475MHz 900MHz 12
X800 400MHz 700MHz 12 250$

Eight pieces. The five new cards are colored red. Let's add AGP and PCI-E versions to produce the view of current situation in computer graphics.


  • Introduction
  • ATI Radeon X850XT Platinum Edition
  • Test configuration, overclocking
  • Final Words

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