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ATI ships Radeon X1900 XT, XTX and CrossFire Edn

Next-gen graphics chip goes on sale

Security for virtualized datacentres

ATI has launched its Radeon X1900 graphics chip, aka the R580, offering the 90nm part as the X1900 CrossFire Edition (CFE), X1900 XT and X1900 XTX, as anticipated.

This time, however, it lined up a stack of UK board suppliers to confirm they have product ready to ship should anyone worry that today's events mark nothing more than a paper launch of the kind we've seen from ATI before.

All three X1900 configurations are based on the 384m-transistor R580 core, which contains 48 pixel-shader engines fed through 16 texture pipelines running from eight vertex engines. The first two chips are clocked at 625MHz as standard, while the XTX runs to 650MHz. All three support up to 512MB of GDDR 3 graphics memory clocked at 1.45GHz for the CFE and XT, and 1.55GHz for the XTX.

ATI claimed the X1900 can run through 166bn pixel shader operations each second - almost two-and-three-quarter times the 60bn the older X1800 could manage with its 16 pixel shader engines.

ATI said the new chips support high dynamic range rendering and 6x adaptive anti-aliasing. They also add new image rendering techniques, including Parallax Occlusion Mapping (POM), which used ray-tracing to render 3D detail on 2D surfaces, such as rough brickwork.

Like ATI's other X1000-class GPUs, the new chips support the company's Avivo video processing system, its CrossFire multi-GPU technology and DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 support. XT and XTX Boards typically support twin DVI connectors and an S-video port for video-in and video-out. Most have a DVI-to-VGA dongle to support older, analogue monitors. The boards support HDTV, with hardware-assisted H.264 decoding at up to 1080p resolution. There's no support for HDCP, the HDTV-oriented copy protection system, but ATI said X1900s with HDCP support are on the way.

Boards based on the three chips have already started to be announced from the likes of Tul, shipping product under its PowerColor brand. Expect further announcements from MSI, Palit, Diamond, Club 3D, Sapphire, Asus, Gigabyte and others.

ATI was able to get representatives from Overclockers.co.uk, VGAstore.com, Ebuyer.com and MicroDirect - to name but four suppliers - to confirm they have X1900 XT and X1900 XTX stock in place and ready to ship.

The XT and XTX boards will typically retail for around $549 (£309) and $649 (£365), ATI said. Radeon X1900 CrossFire Edition boards will retail for around $599 (£337). ®

ATI X1900 XTX graphics card

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