Saturday, 30 August 2008

(Insider Series) - After convincingly taking away the performance crown from NVIDIA, ATI seems to be on a roll. The R580 was a smashing hit, but the R600 seems to be even more stunning. If our sources are to be believed, then the specifications sheet for the R600 will look something like this:

1. Unified shader architecture.

2. 64 pixel/vertex shaders. Since ATI is incorporating an Unified shader architecture, these 64 shaders can be either all pixel, all vertex or a combination of both. In contrast, the R580 based X1900XTX had 48 pixel shaders.

3. 80/65nm fabrication process, though ATI wouldn’t elaborate on the exact split as well as why they weren’t sticking to just a single fabrication process.

4. There was also some passing mention of GDDR4. However, we could not confirm either way whether the R600 would come with GDDR4 onboard. Later variants of the architecture will definitely the updated DRAM standard.

5. As for the clock speed, ATI said they weren’t really too concerned about raising the clock speed to particularly high levels, so we suspect the core clock may not be much higher than the current X1900s.

6. It will obviously be Vista ready and (ATI claims) has been built from the ground up to support DX10.

7. The R600 will also be the first practical implementation of ATI’s GPU concept. This is something we would be very interested in seeing because if this works as well as ATI claims, then apart from cutting down CPU load, it might put certain PhysX processor manufacturers out of business, simply because ATI cards would not need an additional card to do necessary computations for Physics. The onboard GPU will take care of it.

8. The launch of the R600 is expected to be somewhere around Christmas this year.

That’s all the information we have right now. As we get more information, we’ll continue to update you.

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