ATI Graphics round-up


It was only a few weeks ago that we took a look to the most powerful offering from NVIDIA, the GeForce 7800 GTX, and while the high-end graphics market barely gives us room to breathe until a new performance king is declared, this time around NVIDIA has been able to take a sizeable advantage over its most fierce rival, ATI.

Itís been many years of heavy battling not only in the add-in graphics arena, but also in the chipset market where both companies have been able to steal market share from traditional manufacturers such as Sis, VIA, Ali, and even Intel.

As of now, we have been kept waiting for ATIís multi-GPU technology that will rival NVIDIAís SLI, and just like its competitor, ATI will be using their own chipsets to make that happen until other makers like Intel jump aboard. ATI is also expected to announce the R520, the long awaited successor to the X800 series, launch which is expected before the end of the year.

But until that happens, we have prepared a full ATI graphics round-up covering most of the current Radeon line. Going from top to bottom we have ATIís flagship GPU, the Radeon X850 XT PE, then more mainstream choices, the Radeon X800XT and X800XL, down the line to the value market we have the X700 Pro, and the budget contenders, Radeons X600 Pro, X300 and X300SE.

Certainly, itís not easy not to fall for the amazing performance offered by cards like the X850 XT PE, however these come at a premium that not everyone is willing to pay. Thatís where mid-range cards come into play, and even some casual gamers may find current budget products sufficient to attend their needs.

Before going into further detail we have prepared the following comparison table, so you can know beforehand where each of the chips currently stand in the market, along with NVIDIA direct competitors, which have also been included in our performance tests.

On the next few pages we will take a brief look to the ATI-based cards included in this round-up.

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