The wait for ATI’s next generation flagship card has been torturous. No, scratch that. Is This The Way to Amarillo for the 1,000th time was the very definition torture and nothing can match that.
Still, the delays for the 520 haven’t been fun, but at least we now have an official name. Step forward the X1800 (below). Why 1800, I hear you ask? Well, if certain web rumours are to be believed (and for ATI’s sake we hope they aren’t), the amiable Canadians decided that “X900” wasn’t a big enough number jump to signify its latest and greatest. Consequently, it took 900 and doubled it. Sheesh. Branding nonsense aside, it looks like we can expect PRO, XT, XL and all manner of alphabetical X1800 variants over the coming months with the intial cards arriving during the first week of October.
On top of this, the more mainstream card (previously the RV530) has been christened the X1600 and is said to be a 6800 fighter around the $199 mark. Below this we get the entry level RV515, now known as the X1300 and likely to set cash strapped buyers back $99. All the cards will support Shader Model 3.0 and HDR and – like its cards – this should’ve arrived ages ago.
For the record, the R520 has a core clock of 650MHz, with memory running at 1400MHz. Up to a potential 32 pipelines will be available (though 16 will be expected on first cards) and it is expected to outstrip a GeForce 7800GTX. Given it is arriving three months later, so it should too…