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ATI to launch Radeon X1950 series tomorrow

Boards likely to cost more than firm forecasts, say sources

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ATI will tomorrow launch its anticipated Radeon X1950 graphics chip series, but they're unlikely to come to market before the next month. Debut dates we're hearing are 4 and 14 September, with an emphasis now on the latter, and boards based on the GPUs may cost more than ATI is forecasting.

As expected, ATI is offering the X1950 XTX and X1950 CrossFire Edition. Both GPUs are clocked at 650MHz and connect to 512MB of GDDR 4 memory running at an effective clock speed of 2GHz. The GPUs contain 48 pixel shaders fed by eight vertex shaders.

Boards based on the two GPUs both provide dual-link DVI and support HDCP for next-gen optical disc playback. Neither will ship on an ATI board with HDMI, but board partners may add such a connector. ATI's XTX board has a pair of DVI-I ports and an s-video connector - the CrossFire card has a CrossFire Connect port and a DVD-I. Both boards ship with a new, quieter cooling mechanism designed by ATI.

ATI will also unveil the rumoured Radeon X1900 XT board with 256MB of memory - the CPU is currently available on 512MB boards. Pricing data we've seen puts it at $279/€249. The X1950 XTX will come in at a cool $449/€399, while the CrossFire edition is expected to retail for around $898/€798 - presumably because there'll be two cards in the box.

Board supplier sources told Reg Hardware they expect to price their products higher than the figures ATI is expected to announce tomorrow, with as much as €100 named by some as the premium they plan to charge over and above ATI's ballpark figure.

A third X1950-series GPU, the X1950 Pro, is due to surface in October. ®

Read Reg Hardware's ATI Radeon X1950 XTX review here

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