You know the drill folks: nVidia has the fastest card, then ATI has the fastest card, then nVidia has the fastest card, then ATI has the fastest card, then nVidia has the fastest card, then…
To be fair AMD’s new pet has grabbed its turn with both hands this time around unleashing the Radeon X1950 XTX. Despite being shaped like an example of 60s automotive Americana it blasts out the latest and greatest frame rates to date (or so they say) by strapping half a gig of GDDR4 memory onto a revision of the old R580 core.
ATI is calling this the R580+ but because the core is still locked at 650MHz the memory is the real star of the show here. Clocked at a mighty 2GHz ATI is boasting a rampaging bandwidth of 64GB per second – way faster than what was achieved with GDDR3 and apparently with a 30 per cent power saving. Elsewhere specs remains reasonably untouched with a 48 pixel shader processor, eight vertex shaders and HDCP support though it is worth noting the housed chassis claims to eliminate virtually all noise.
Perhaps the most exciting prospect with this card however is its CrossFire compatibility. Early tests suggest this firebrand doesn’t drop much below 100fps before 1,600 x 1200 in virtually any title so strapping two together to a sane person is pointless, but to a hardcore gamer: ”nirvana”. (Just don’t tell him that the human eye can’t see a difference above 60fps or you’ll find out what a keyboard warrior is capable of when he really throws down).