ATI X1000 Graphics Family

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This past year has been a tumultuous one for ATI. The Canadian graphics giant has been plagued by well-documented supply problems and have had to deal with multiple delays to their next-gen product, being developed under the code name "R520". The situation is reminiscent of NVIDIA's prior to the launch of the NV30 which later became known as the GeForce FX 5800. Back then, NVIDIA had been commissioned to develop a GPU and chipset for the original Xbox, and planned to have their new GPUs produced on an advanced .13 micron manufacturing process. The combination of the move to .13 micron and the resource drain of developing core components for the Xbox caused NVIDIA to falter, which allowed ATI to step in with the R300. For roughly two years following that scenario, ATI was perceived as the leader in PC graphics, while NVIDIA worked feverishly to regain a leadership role. Today, it seems as though the tables have completely turned, however. ATI is now building the GPU for the upcoming Xbox 360, and they are moving to a .09 micron manufacturing process to produce their latest line of GPUs. In kind, ATI has also fallen behind NVIDIA by nearly a full product cycle. Coincidence? Perhaps. Ironic? Definitely.

Today though, ATI is ready to unveil an entire family of products based on their delayed R500 series architecture. The new X1000 graphics family consists of numerous cards, ranging from the entry level 4-pixel shader pipeline Radeon X1300 all the way on up to the 16-pipe Radeon X1800 XT. We were recently presented with four cards from ATI's new line-up, and plan to give you all of the salient details in today's showcase of the X1000 Graphics Family. Read on to see if ATI is on the road to redemption, or if their latest products are too little, too late.

ATI Radeon X1000 Graphics Family
Features & Specifications

Features - ATI Radeon X1800
• 321 million transistors on 90nm fabrication process
• Ultra-threaded architecture with fast dynamic branching
• Sixteen pixel shader processors
• Eight vertex shader processors
• 256-bit 8-channel GDDR3/GDDR4 memory interface
• Native PCI Express x16 bus interface
• Dynamic Voltage Control

Ring Bus Memory Controller
• 512-bit internal ring bus for memory reads
• Programmable intelligent arbitration logic
• Fully associative texture, color, and Z/stencil cache designs
• Hierarchical Z-buffer with Early Z test
• Lossless Z Compression (up to 48:1)
• Fast Z-Buffer Clear
• Z/stencil cache optimized for real-time shadow rendering
• Optimized for performance at high display resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions

Ultra-Threaded Shader Engine
• Support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 programmable vertex and pixel shaders in hardware
• Full speed 128-bit floating point processing for all shader operations
• Up to 512 simultaneous pixel threads
• Dedicated branch execution units for high performance dynamic branching and flow control
• Dedicated texture address units for improved efficiency
• 3Dc+ texture compression
_o High quality 4:1 compression for normal maps and two-channel data formats
_o High quality 2:1 compression for luminance maps and single-channel data formats
• Multiple Render Target (MRT) support
• Render to vertex buffer support
• Complete feature set also supported in OpenGL 2.0

Advanced Image Quality Features
• 64-bit floating point HDR rendering supported throughout the pipeline
_o Includes support for blending and multi-sample anti-aliasing
• 32-bit integer HDR (10:10:10:2) format supported throughout the pipeline
_o Includes support for blending and multi-sample anti-aliasing
• 2x/4x/6x Anti-Aliasing modes
_o Multi-sample algorithm with gamma correction, programmable sparse sample patterns, and centroid sampling
_o New Adaptive Anti-Aliasing feature with Performance and Quality modes
_o Temporal Anti-Aliasing mode
_o Lossless Color Compression (up to 6:1) at all resolutions, including widescreen HDTV resolutions
• 2x/4x/8x/16x Anisotropic Filtering modes
_o Up to 128-tap texture filtering
_o Adaptive algorithm with Performance and Quality options
• High resolution texture support (up to 4k x 4k)

Avivo Video and Display Engine
• High performance programmable video processor
_o Accelerated MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, WMV9, VC-1, and H.264 decoding (including DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-ray playback), encoding & transcoding
_o DXVA support
_o De-blocking and noise reduction filtering
_o Motion compensation, IDCT, DCT and color space conversion
_o Vector adaptive per-pixel de-interlacing
_o 3:2 pulldown (frame rate conversion)
• Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video in real time
• HDR tone mapping acceleration
_o Maps any input format to 10 bit per channel output
• Flexible display support
_o Dual integrated dual-link DVI transmitters
_o DVI 1.0 / HDMI compliant and HDCP ready
_o Dual integrated 10 bit per channel 400 MHz DACs
_o 16 bit per channel floating point HDR and 10 bit per channel DVI output
_o Programmable piecewise linear gamma correction, color correction, and color space conversion (10 bits per color)
_o Complete, independent color controls and video overlays for each display
_o High quality pre- and post-scaling engines, with underscan support for all outputs
_o Content-adaptive de-flicker filtering for interlaced displays
_o Xilleon™ TV encoder for high quality analog output
_o YPrPb component output for direct drive of HDTV displays
_o Spatial/temporal dithering enables 10-bit color quality on 8-bit and 6-bit displays
_o Fast, glitch-free mode switching
_o VGA mode support on all outputs
• Compatible with ATI TV/Video encoder products, including Theater 550

CrossFire
• Multi-GPU technology
• Four modes of operation:
_o Alternate Frame Rendering (maximum performance)
_o Supertiling (optimal load-balancing)
_o Scissor (compatibility)
_o Super AA 8x/10x/12x/14x (maximum image quality)
_o Program compliant




Features - ATI Radeon X1600
• 157 million transistors on 90nm fabrication process
• Twelve pixel shader processors
• Five vertex shader processors
• 128-bit 4-channel DDR/DDR2/GDDR3/GDDR4 memory interface
• Native PCI Express x16 bus interface
_o AGP 8x configurations also supported with external bridge chip
• Dynamic Voltage Control

Ring Bus Memory Controller
• 256-bit internal ring bus for memory reads
• Programmable intelligent arbitration logic
• Fully associative texture, color, and Z/stencil cache designs
• Hierarchical Z-buffer with Early Z test
• Lossless Z Compression (up to 48:1)
• Fast Z-Buffer Clear
• Z/stencil cache optimized for real-time shadow rendering





Features - ATI Radeon X1300
• 105 million transistors on 90nm fabrication process
• Dual-link DVI
• Four pixel shader processors
• Two vertex shader processors
• 128-bit 4-channel DDR/DDR2/GDDR3 memory interface
_o 32-bit/1-channel, 64-bit/2-channel, and 128-bit/4-channel configurations
• Native PCI Express x16 bus interface
_o AGP 8x configurations also supported with external bridge chip\
• Dynamic Voltage Control

High Performance Memory Controller
• Fully associative texture, color, and Z/stencil cache designs
• Hierarchical Z-buffer with Early Z test
• Lossless Z Compression (up to 48:1)
• Fast Z-Buffer Clear
• Z/stencil cache optimized for real-time shadow rendering



Radeon X1300



Radeon X1600



Radeon X1800

 


The X1000 family of graphics cards we'll be looking at in this article vary greatly in terms of price and performance, but they share essentially the same feature set. Like NVIDIA has been doing for the past few years, ATI is releasing an entire line of graphics cards based on the same core GPU architecture this time around. The X1000 family of graphics cards, as they are now known, have full support for Shader Model 3.0, they are all built on a .09 micron manufacturing process, the entire line supports ATI CrossFire multi-GPU rendering, they have dual-link DVI outputs and are equipped with ATI's recently announced Avivo video engine. Looking at the specifications and features listed above, the X1000 family seemingly surpasses NVIDIA in terms of their overall feature set, with the exception of 4 - 8 fewer pixel pipelines on the higher end products.  But their performance and value are yet to be determined, so let's move on and dig a little deeper.

 

Tags:  ATI, graphics, x1, Graphic, family, x100, ICS, AP, x1000, AM

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