NVIDIA Versus The X1900XTX
Ujesh also talked a little about the upcoming ATI Radeon X1900XTX. Somehow they had test results from external sources, which they compared against the GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB.
As you know, the X1900XTX will only come with 16 pixel pipelines while the GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB has 24 pixel pipelines. While this may seem to be a big disadvantage, ATI has assuaged that by running the X1900XTX at a higher clock speed.
In most of the benchmark comparisons NVIDIA showed us, the X1900XTX appeared to only best the GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB by about 3-5%. With such a small performance lead, NVIDIA believes there's no reason for card buyers to consider the X1900XTX.
These test results need to be confirmed by independent reviewers who are lucky enough to get the rare GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB and yet-to-be-released X1900XTX. But even if NVIDIA's test results are confirmed, that doesn't mean the X1900XTX will be a failure.
First of all, the GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB is neither cheap nor readily available. If ATI can offer the X1900XTX at a competitive price and sufficient quantities, it will still pose a serious challenge to NVIDIA's dominance. Even more so if it runs cooler and is more overclockable thanks to its 90nm process.
Ujesh did drop hints that an X1900XTX CrossFire solution will not be forthcoming as apparently, no master card will be shipped. We have no idea whether this is true since ATI did not mention anything.
Of course, all this is just speculation. We will need to wait until the X1900XTX is finally released before we can see whether what we posted about has any truth in it.
Ujesh also spoke a little about the new 3DMark06 benchmark. According to him, ForceWare 81.98 is currently the latest driver to be certified for 3DMark06. You can use it to run 3DMark06.
A newer driver will be made available next week although nothing was mentioned about what it will improve upon.
Continued AGP Support
Although many people consider AGP a dinosaur on its last breath, NVIDIA claims they will continue to support it as long as there's good demand for such cards. In fact, come February 2nd, NVIDIA will be announcing a new AGP-based graphics card!
This will be a GeForce 7-series card. So, it's not a budget card for mainstream users. It's targeted at gamers who do not wish to migrate to a PCIe motherboard just yet.
Unfortunately, we cannot reveal its specifications, price or even its name. But it will be available in the US immediately after launch date and worldwide the next week.
So, if you are a hardcore gamer still using an AGP motherboard, this will be a breath of fresh air for you. Be sure to check back on Feb. 2nd. We should have a lot more details on this card for you then!
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