ATI Technologies showcased on Thursday its first graphics card with 512MB of GDDR3 memory, especially noticing that the design challenge about the actual board was not that serious. Still, it is yet unclear whether and when such products are projected to emerge in retail.
“I wouldn't think this would be a substantial rework, certainly not like designing a new board design from scratch,?ATI's spokeswoman Patricia Mikula said.
ATI RADEON X850 XT 512MB graphics card looks similar to ATI's RADEON X850 XT 256MB flavour: both have nearly the same power supply circuitry, coolers, etc., the actual difference is in memory layout.
ATI Technologies, the world's largest supplier of graphics and multimedia processors, will demonstrate its graphics cards with 512MB of onboard memory at the Texas Gaming Festival in Dallas, February 25th to 27th, 2004.
The world's first 512MB graphics card is powered by ATI's latest RADEON X850 XT visual processing unit (VPU) with 16 pixel and 6 vertex pipelines clocked at 520MHz. The graphics card's 512MB of GDDR3 SDRAM operate at 1080MHz speed and have 256-bit memory interface. The graphics card uses 256Mb GDDR3 memory chips from Samsung, not recently introduced 512Mb devices. While 512MB of onboard memory seems astonishing, that large amount of GDDR3 may not boost performance in present games, but provide some benefits for titles that are in the works at this point of time.
ATI's spokeswoman Patricia Mikula said on Wednesday the RADEON X850 XT 512MB graphics cards were intended to demonstrate the next-generation capability to gamers and then send the similar boards to game developers. She declined to comment whether the company's next-breed of graphics cards powered by the upcoming code-named R520 VPU would have 512MB of memory onboard, even though this would be a logical projection for the company's roadmap. Ms Mikula also said the company was considering commercial RADEON X850 512MB products for PCI Express x16 bus, but the final decision has not been made.
During the event world champion overclockers ?Eric Kronies, Charles Wirth and Sami Makinen ?will be able to set new world records with the RADEON X850 XT with 512MB of memory. Typically top overclockers use extreme methods, such as nitrogen cooling, to boost performance of graphics cards.
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