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ATI X1900 XT-X 512MB PCI-Express
Company: ATI
Website: http://www.ati.com
Estimated Street Price: £400 / $600
Part Number:
Review By: Byron Hinson

Introduction

ATI had taken the lead in graphic card speed and quality over Nvidia a few years ago, for the first time ever it seemed like ATI were back playing catch-up after NVIDIA's last GPU release took the awards for the fastest speeds around. But in my view not everything in that generation of GPU's should have been about speed, picture quality, video playback and other important items should have been taken into consideration in that round. This time ATI has got back into the game in more ways than one, firstly it has upped the anti with some excellent DirectX 9 performances, overtaking Nvidia once more, they have done a proper real life launch compared to the poor output the X1800 GPU went through at first, with hardly any stores having them in stock for weeks and finally, they have once again proved how fantastic ATI cards are an visual quality.

Features

  • 384 million transistors on 90nm
  • fabrication process
  • 48 pixel shader processors
  • 8 vertex shader processors
  • 256-bit 8-channel GDDR3
  • memory interface
  • Native PCI Express x16 bus interface
Ring Bus Memory Controller
  • 512-bit internal ring bus for memory reads
  • Fully associative texture, color, and Z/stencil cache designs
  • Hierarchical Z-buffer with Early Z test
  • Lossless Z Compression (up to 48:1)
  • Fast Z-Buffer Clear
  • Optimized for performance at high display resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions
Ultra-Threaded Shader Engine
  • Support for Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 programmable vertex and pixel shaders in hardware
  • Full speed 128-bit floating point processing for all shader operations
  • Up to 512 simultaneous pixel threads
  • Dedicated branch execution units for high performance dynamic branching and flow control
  • Dedicated texture address units for improved efficiency
  • 3Dc+ texture compression o High quality 4:1 compression for normal maps and two-channel data formats
  • High quality 2:1 compression for luminance maps and single-channel data formats
  • Complete feature set also supported in OpenGL® 2.0
Advanced Image Quality Features
  • 64-bit floating point HDR rendering supported throughout the pipeline
    • Includes support for blending and multi-sample anti-aliasing
  • 32-bit integer HDR (10:10:10:2) format supported throughout the pipeline
    • Includes support for blending and multi-sample anti-aliasing
  • 2x/4x/6x Anti-Aliasing modes
    • Multi-sample algorithm with gamma correction, programmable sparse sample patterns, and centroid sampling
    • New Adaptive Anti-Aliasing feature with Performance and Quality modes
    • Temporal Anti-Aliasing mode
    • Lossless Color Compression (up to 6:1) at all resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions
  • 2x/4x/8x/16x Anisotropic Filtering modes
    • Up to 128-tap texture filtering
    • Adaptive algorithm with Performance and Quality options
  • High resolution texture support (up to 4k x 4k)
Avivo™ Video and Display Platform
  • High performance programmable video processor
    • Accelerated MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, WMV9, VC-1, and H.264 decoding and transcoding
    • DXVA support
    • De-blocking and noise reduction filtering
    • Motion compensation, IDCT, DCT and color space conversion
    • Vector adaptive per-pixel de-interlacing
    • 3:2 pulldown (frame rate conversion)
  • Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video in real time
  • HDR tone mapping acceleration
    • Maps any input format to 10 bit per channel output
  • Flexible display support
    • Dual integrated dual-link DVI transmitters
      • DVI 1.0 compliant / HDMI interoperable and HDCP ready
    • Dual integrated 10 bit per channel 400 MHz DACs
    • 16 bit per channel floating point HDR and 10 bit per channel DVI output
    • Programmable piecewise linear gamma correction, color correction, and color space conversion (10 bits per color)
    • Complete, independent color controls and video overlays for each display
    • High quality pre- and post-scaling engines, with underscan support for all outputs
    • Content-adaptive de-flicker filtering for interlaced displays
    • Xilleon™ TV encoder for high quality analog output
    • YPrPb component output for direct drive of HDTV displays
    • Spatial/temporal dithering enables 10-bit color quality on 8-bit and 6-bit displays
    • Fast, glitch-free mode switching
    • VGA mode support on all outputs
    • Drive two displays simultaneously with independent resolutions and refresh rates
  • Compatible with ATI TV/Video encoder products, including Theater 550
CrossFire™
  • Multi-GPU technology

     
  • Four modes of operation:
    • Alternate Frame Rendering (maximum performance)
    • Supertiling (optimal load-balancing)
    • Scissor (compatibility)
    • Super AA 8x/10x/12x/14x (maximum image quality)

Radeon® X1900 Series Product Comparison:

  Core
Speed
 
Memory
Speed
 
Pixel Shader
Processors
 
Vertex
Shader
 
Radeon X1900 XTX
650 MHz
1.55 GHz
48
8
Radeon X1900 XT
625 MHz
1.45 GHz
48
8

 

System Setup

For this review we're using 2 different PC's each running 2GB Crucial Ballistics Memory, 180 GB Western Digital Hard Drives 7200RPM, 8mb Cache, SoundBlaster X-Fi and Windows XP SP2. The only difference in each pc is the processors, we're running AMD FX-60 and 4000+, reason for this is to spread out the benchmarks across the kind of PC's our readers are using right now. Each benchmark was ran twice to ensure a fair mark and to make sure that every texture was loaded perfectly.

The software we are using is as follows:

  • Windows XP Service Pack 2

  • ATI Catalyst Drivers 6.2

  • DirectX 9.0c

  • 3D Mark 2006

  • Half Life 2

  • Far Cry 1.3

  • Doom 3

  • Quake 4

  • Serious Sam 2

  • Windows Vista Beta

As always with graphics cards right now, installation of the X1900 XTX was easy. The boards we are reviewing are all ATI reference boards and are basically what most manufacturers are shipping with right now. As you can see from the photo below (one is the XTX and the other is the crossfire board, although you wouldn't notice the difference) a large heat sink and fan is situated on top of the graphics card and you will need an additional PCI slot free next door to your PCI Express card as the fan and heatsink requires it. Once the boards are installed it is a simple case of running the drivers off of the CD, or downloading the latest ones from the ATI website. After a reboot you are ready to go.

 

  Benchmarks »

 

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