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PowerColor Radeon HD 2900 XT graphics card

Worth the wait?

Elder Scrolls: Oblivion benchmark results
AMD ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT - Elder Scrolls results
Frame rates - longer bars are better

This leaves DirectX 10 gaming as a great unknown and we simply won't be able to answer that question for a few months to come - or just as soon as a rather more stable version of Call of Juarez appears.

AMD ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT - PowerColor box

We also can't investigate the new features of HD 2900 XT such as Custom Filter Anti-Aliasing (CFAA). Modes run from 4x CFAA - which is 2x anti-aliasing run through a Narrow Tent filter - to 24x CFAA, which is 8x anti-aliasing with Edge Detection, which sounds superb but until we see them in action it's not much more than techno-babble.

Looking back at our DirectX 9 testing figures, we can extrapolate that the HD 2900 XT will indeed match an 8800 GTS, so AMD is delivering fair value for money. On the down side, it's clear to us that AMD has been unable to extract the performance that it wanted from R600 despite the employment of enormous core and memory speeds.

Verdict

Nvidia grabbed the high end with 8800 GTX and Ultra, while AMD struggled to get the HD 2900 XT out of the factory door. Now it's here, and with boards priced at around £249, the Radeon HD 2900 XT take the fight to the GeForce 8800 GTS, and it's a very even battle. Hopefully, we'll have a clearer idea of their respective abilities when DirectX 10 games are published.

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PowerColor Radeon HD 2900 XT graphics card

AMD launches the ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT, after a gestation period longer than an elephant's - official!
Price: £249/$399 RRP