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ATI Tech Day 2006
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The Briefing

The presentation started with three reasons why ATI thinks their new cards are superior to their NVIDIA's competing products.

For starters, ATI claims that the new Radeon X1950 XTX offers better performance and image quality than even the NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GX2. Plus they do it with only one processor, as opposed to two GPUs in the GeForce 7950 GX2.

They also claim to provide the best image quality, thanks to their ability to support anti-aliasing even with High Dynamic Range (HDR) enabled, as well as their SuperAA feature.

Finally, they claim to provide superior compatibility as well as support for the latest high-definition video formats in their Catalyst drivers.

Again, they stress that while the NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GX2 may come with two GPUs, it will not provide two the performance of a single GPU. Therefore, their single GPU solution is still the most efficient model, providing "100% performance 100% of the time".

We were then shown a small comparison of the new Radeon X1950 XTX versus its nemesis, the NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GX2. Of course, this comparison is hardly complete, as it only lists five components.

With 48 pixel shader processors, the Radeon X1950 XTX is more or less comparable with the dual GPU GeForce 7950 GX2. Of course, ATI skipped past the fact that the Radeon X1950 XTX only comes with 16 ROPs, unlike 32 ROPs in the NVIDIA card.

However, the GeForce 7950 GX2 cannot do anti-aliasing when HDR is enabled, and ATI understandably keeps harping on that fact.

As their screensaver demo showed the rendering quality of HDR with anti-aliasing, David couldn't help asking out loud "How could anyone render HDR without anti-aliasing? It's so ugly."

Other points that ATI says gives their new X1950 XTX the advantage over their competitor include fast dynamic branching, native 10-bit processing and support for the new GDDR4 memory.


Architecturally, the new X1950 XTX is virtually similar to the X1900 XTX.

So, David just gave us a glance at the schematic and went on with the rest of the presentation.

But if you have not seen it yet, here's a look at the architecture of the X1950 GPU.

As you can see, it has 48 pixel shader engines and 8 vertex shader engines.

Like the X1900, the X1950 will come in two flavours - the X1950 XTX and the X1950 CrossFire Edition. Fortunately, these two cards will run at the same clock speeds of 650MHz core and 1000MHz memory.

The X1900 XTX CrossFire Edition, as you know, was actually clocked at the slower X1900 XT clock speeds. Pairing it with the faster X1900 XTX would actually force the the X1900 XTX to slow down to the lower clock speeds.

Therefore, it's good to see that the new X1950 XTX will be able to run at full speed when paired with the X1950 CrossFire Edition.

Both cards will also come with 512MB of GDDR4 memory, DVI port and HDCP support.

The only differences between the two cards are the replacement of one DVI port and video-out ports in the X1950 XTX with the CrossFire connector in the CrossFire Edition.

With that, let's take a look at the new ATI cards and some benchmark results!


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