So we’ve had a quick look at what ATI has been working on and we see some promise. Single card performance of the X1900XTX and X1900XT is for the most part on par with the 7800GTX. Performance of the X1900XT has to be the single card best bang for the buck in our testing. It provides 99% of the performance of the X1900XTX for $100 less. I can not recommend the X1900XTX for anything other than bragging rights or for those wanting the ultimate single card solution from ATI.
The fact that you can buy the new ATI offerings along with X1900 CrossFire right now at a large number of retailers shows that ATI is on the ball this time around and have heard the pleas of the masses for a hard launch. I’ve even seen that several people have had their X1900XT to play with over the past weekend!
Unfortunately due to timing of several different things we weren’t able to complete all of the testing that we would have liked to. The video card test bench has just been upgraded to an AMD X2 4800+ and the two 7800GTX 512 were just handed to me over the weekend. Rather than just showing the performance in this article and leaving it be, we still have the test bench burning the midnight oil. Later this week we hope to bring you performance with the new dual core processor, add game tests of F.E.A.R., Quake 4, and 3D Mark 2006, as well as some HDR tests of Far Cry and Serious Sam 2. HDR and HDR+AA really show the true power of the new ATI lineup.
Legit Bottom Line: ATI has released a pair of cards that can be taken seriously by anyone that was considering the 7800GTX 512. The feather in ATI’s cap is that finding the Nvidia card for anywhere near the X1900XT asking price would mean that you bought it used, if you could find someone willing to take such a huge loss on it. In fact you’d be lucky to find one at all. Today you can buy a brand new ATI card that offers features not found in Nvidia’s line and performs at or near the same level in most situations, and much better in others.
Just to give you an idea of what’s to come in part II here are a few teasers: