R600 here at last with AMD launching Radeon HD 2900 XT

By Justin Mann on May 14, 2007, 12:32 PM
The much-awaited R600 has, after months of delay, finally come. Sadly, it seems, it has also already gone. With the ho-hum launch over with, hardware sites all over the net began crawling all over the new card and benching them as much as they could. Starting off with the Radeon HD 2900 XT, the new champ appears to be getting mixed reviews. Some are playing up its advantages, of which it has many. Just the same, many are pointing out its flaws, such as greater power consumption than expected. Performance wise, it's not coming all that much farther ahead than the 8800 GTX, or much farther behind. That's disappointing, but not altogether that surprising. Certainly, for such a beefy card, it isn't a lackluster performance the delay to market is what has really killed AMD here.

All hope is not lost, however. AMD plans to soon introduce a 65nm version of the various cards they will output, and perhaps the fallout from purchasing ATI will begin to settle. I certainly hope so, because we've come to expect more from them. If they hope to remain competitive with Nvidia they'll definitely need to make the next iteration a step up. Here are some reviews around the web: HardOCP, Tom's Hardware, Anandtech.

User Comments: 6

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eazy_duz_em said:
it really doesn't look that impressive to me... i was expecting AMD/ATi to develop something better.
buttus said:
Personally I do believe the delay caused AMD some serious hurt. However, let's look at this card for what it is....and what it is not.It is not the Top end Nvidia solution. However with that being said the price is certainly much easier to handle. I think that if one gets past the benchmarking crunches that everyone will beat this card to death with, I think people will begin to understand that it isn't all about the numbers. It is a basic philosophical difference in development which will seperate AMD from the Nvidia solution.What I mean is this. For years people compared AMD processors to Intel on the Mega or Giga Hertz numbers alone. Intel always seemed higher because of the assigned numbers. Fact is though that what was true back then still remains true now and that is that AMD CPU's and GPU's do the same job that the competition does....but it does so in a different way.Many existing games and benchmarks have been either designed for Nvidia cards, or at the least Nvidia has had about a years headstart on the driver set (something for which they have been beaten to a pulp over the lack of adequate driver support for the 8800 series). Games made FOR the AMD/ATI solution will simply run faster due to the architectural differences involved just as they do for Nvidia currently for the same reasons.I would also like to stress the Video quality differences as well as most reviewers have stated (or mostly understated) the excellent video quality of this card. AVIVO is a major feature for AMD which is a very high priority for AMD to continue to market itself as an extremely media friendly company. All of that being said, I am crossing my fingers that this card is not the AMD/ATI's version of Nvidia's disasterous 5800 launch which took far too long to release, possessing a horrific vacumn cleaner cooler, and failed to impress performance wise. I am looking forward to an ALL-In-Wonder version of the 2900XT hopefully soon.
howzz1854 said:
i agree with you on the pricing. but not on your statement on the mhz/ghz. no matter how you look at it, gigaherz or not, the current AMD chips just can't compete with intel's core 2 architecture, and they both do the same job. AMD has put itself in a reverse situation where it now is the old intel with high Mhz and lower comparable throughput (compare to C2D). you need to overclock a 2.4ghz X2 to somewhere around 2.8ghz just to compete with a E6600 across any application you can think of. not just benchmarks. and you forgot to mention the power consumption, the 2900xt is by far the most power hungry graphics card ever. is that to say they developted it with power in mind? certainly not, but i am sure they'll address the power leakage issue in the future revisions. they just really needed to roll this damn baby out of the assembly line. it's already too late.i do like the fact that the 2900 has a crazy potential to overclock like a "mad man", it's suppose to be the most insane overclocker by far. BUT provided you buy a new power supply that supports the new 8 pin PCI-e power connector that they put on there. without it, overclocking is prohibited at a hardware level. two 6 pin PCI-e power connector simply won't supply sufficent power for the overclock. again that is just crazy. i do like the HD video aceleration. it prooves that ATI is still superior in hardware video aceleration. but i believe they already announced months ago that there will be no more All-in-wonders, due to low demand and high manufacturing cost. [Edited by howzz1854 on 2007-05-14 19:24:32]
beef_jerky4104 said:
Well I was expecting more from ATi. But I'm not surprised. Anyway ATi can just say what they said with the X800 Series. "Better late than never". ATi really needs an edge.
9Nails said:
[b]Originally posted by eazy_duz_em:[/b][quote]it really doesn't look that impressive to me... i was expecting AMD/ATi to develop something better.[/quote]I agree. I think many were. But I saw this as a transitional product release somewhere between where ATI was wanting to go and where AMD was needing to be. Now that something is out in the hands of reviewers, AMD has dipped their toe in the waters of the GPU war. Check the price tag confirming that they didn't go all out with this design. They will improve the product for their audience with the given feedback...
mirob said:
I really hope the HD2600XT is a good card for the price. nvidia sure didn't set the bar very high with the 8600 cards. After too many issues using a 7600GT in a HTPC I'm going to stay with AMD for TV out.The power consumption is supposed to be much lower for the 65nm parts. AMD my just be the high end when they release a 65nm XTX.
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