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ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT Review - PAGE 4

, J. Micah Grunert
- Monday, May 14th, 2007
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Holofernus Jul 20, 07
Some of the benchmark numbers seem VERY loopy considering that they are just barely higher than x1950. That would seem to indicate driver issues huh...

It's pretty obvious, but you can't overstate it. Just look at the 3dmark scores. How can the pixel fill rate just barely be more than x1950? wtf is that about?

I've also been hearing disappointing news about AMD's new line of CPUs. Could their merging and subsequent business plan have doomed the company? Only time will tell. It was a good run with competition causing card performance to double every generation, but the 2900XT doesn't deliver the mind blowing performance you think 320 shaders would give you. And right now AMD doesn't have any CPU that hang with Intel's newest hardware as far as I know. Whatever the reason, I hope AMD's Barcelona and ATI's HD 2900(or whatever their top end card will eventually be called) can get back in the game.

Monopoly always leads to crappy products. Like Madden football. Only football franchise for a few years and it turned to crap, a really really bad game. People that like it are idiots. The game peaked on XBox around 2004, right before it had a few years of no competition and completely fell apart.
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Diablos May 21, 07
The poor AA performance won't be fixed. ATi decided to go for shader-based AA (such as deferred anti-aliasing in S.T.A.L.K.E.R) optimizations instead of traditional multi/super sampling techniques that nearly all games utilize today. This is an incredibly ignorant move on their part, as the vast majority of games will utilize multisampling for some years to come still.
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Legendary SSJ Goku May 15, 07
seeing as R650 is meant to be out soon-ish as an opponent to G90 which is out 2nd half of this year, i can't see many of the problems being fixed up...

A die shrink should help the power problem, which is what the R650 is...

While the GTS is 100 bucks cheaper now, i can see it becoming way cheaper... just remember that the current GTS, GTX and Ultra prices are those of release time with no opponent, now that ATi/AMD have finally released there R600, i can see nVidia lowering the price ready to start the battle...
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Redemption May 15, 07
We used two 6 pin power connectors and I was worried there would be stability issues, but we had none. Granted we're not doing CrossFire.

My thinking is that ATI/AMD would never just release the HD 2900 XT with 65nm process. They really have no need. If they can get it to the 65nm process you would start seeing the HD 2900 XTX, HD 2950 XT, and HD 2950 XTX or whatever they decide to name the remainder of the high end price points because they would use the additional headroom and temperature/power savings to crank the clockspeeds.

Btw I forgot to add that HDMI with Audio is a great boost for gamers using their TV's as the gaming display too. I think this is ultimately a very good thing for that particular type of gamer. A 52" LCD with 1 to 1 pixel mapping would make for a pretty sweet game setup - whoever said convergence would lead to nothing?
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Tweaker May 15, 07
The price point of the 2900XT made me really happy, having a higher end model launch @ the $400 mark again reminds me of when I picked up my 9800pro for around $350/400 when it was brand new. I agree to the benches being straight weird especially seeing as the driver doesnt assess the power of the card correctly. In due time we will see in the months to come if Amd/Ati will get this thing polished up abit. Good review you guys once again. Im going to personally wait till it goes 65nm to think about it as a purchase vs a gtx as the performance difference doesnt bother me as updated drivers "should" fix it, its the 8pin + 6pin power plug that bothers me.

This message was edited by Tweaker on May 14 2007.
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bhenning May 15, 07
I may as well throw in my $0.02, even though I am not an expert on video cards...

1) The 512 bit memory bus is VERY significant; I really expect future drivers to get noticeably more performance out of the card

2) Some of the benchmark results look wonky, suggesting that there is a lot of work to be done on the drivers

3) Some benchmarks gave VERY good results

4) It will be really interesting to see DX10 results

All in all, I really like the performance of the 8800GTS and the potential of the 2900XT - more performance for more reasonable $$$ than the 'ultra' and xtx cards :-)
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Redemption May 15, 07
I'd like to highlight my own key observations with respect to the R600. For some reason people are giving it the thumbs down based on the tone of a few reviews, but I felt that the card left me quite satisfied.

The bad:

  • Drivers are a bit twitchy still. They need work and they need stability.
  • The card draws more power than any other card under load.
  • AA/AF performance in a few games looks really off.


The good
  • The card, as far as I've observed from my limited exposure and in our noisy lab, is not anymore noisy than other cards of its caliber.
  • idle power draw is actually less than the other DX10 cards in the price range
  • HDMI dongle! With Audio support!!! (integrated audio support right on the card)
  • Excellent game bundle. This is an excellent value add
  • Even with the current launch drivers the 2900XT is doing very well against the 8800 GTS. Sometimes its performing quite a bit lower, but often its neck to neck and in a few cases leading all the way.


Final value analysis for me goes like this:

The 8800 GTS 640MB card is as much as $80-100 cheaper than the HD 2900 XT, but it doesn't come with a game bundle ($more than a $50 value right there) and doesn't have HDMI with audio support. It doesn't even have HDMI support . I think this balances it out quite nicely. And if you are Folding@Home the ATI card becomes a more logical choice since it folds 2.2x faster than the X1950.

If you don't care about HDMI (I don't have a use for it) and you won't play the games (I only want one out of the 4 titles they give you ) then the 8800 GTS is looking pretty good. Otherwise the HD 2900 XT becomes a fairly good choice. I think I'd rather save the $100 at this point though .


This message was edited by Redemption on May 14 2007.
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