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jmke 4th May 2004 15:39

ATI revolutionizes PC gaming with introduction of RADEONT X800
ATI revolutionizes PC gaming with introduction of RADEON(tm) X800, the world's fastest visual processor

RADEON(tm) X800 ushers in new era of High Definition Gaming

MARKHAM, ON/ Munich, Germany, Tuesday, May 4, 2004 - To the delight of gamers everywhere, ATI Technologies Inc. (TSX: ATY, NASDAQ: ATYT) today launched its RADEON(tm) X800 Visual Processing Unit (VPU) which will deliver the industry's most awesome gaming experience possible on a PC. With the introduction of the RADEON X800, ATI continues its two year reign as the industry leader in high-end graphics for gaming and ushers in a new era, High Definition Gaming. Worldwide system integrators, original equipment manufacturers and board partners are excited to deliver RADEON X800 powered systems and boards beginning immediately.

Gamers using computers powered by RADEON X800 will enjoy a higher performance, immersive gaming experience that looks better than ever before. This High Definition Gaming experience is the PC equivalent to watching a sporting event on an HDTV. This is made possible by the highly scalable and efficient architecture of the RADEON X800 that uses 16 parallel pixel pipes and 6 vertex pipes to process more than 8 billion pixels and almost 800 million vertices per second.

"The RADEON X800 builds on the great success of the RADEON 9700 and RADEON 9800, the most sought-after high-end visual processors in the world," said Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President Marketing, General Manager, Desktop, ATI Technologies Inc. "With the RADEON X800, the design team has accomplished something that no one thought was possible. Not only have they developed the highest-performing and most efficient graphics architecture in the world, they have done so while maintaining high levels of stability, reliability and manufacturability."

ATI has used the most advanced technologies available to design and manufacture its new RADEON X800 graphics chips. Using the successful low k .13 micron semiconductor process from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd., ATI created a scalable, highly parallel and powerful visual processor that is twice as fast as today's performance leader, the RADEON(tm) 9800 XT. The advanced fabrication process and leading-edge GDDR3 memory have also enabled ATI and its board partners to deliver high-performance, user-friendly graphics card solutions which will work in customer's existing PCs without requiring radical and costly power supply or cooling upgrades.

"RADEON X800 is awesome! The speed it can run shaders at high resolutions with all the features turned on allows us to bring Battlefield 2 to life like never before. ATI has done a great job again," said Torbjorn Laedre and Torbjorn Söderman, Lead Render Programmers, Digital Illusions CE.

The RADEON X800 includes innovative new features that will enhance a gamer's experience immediately and will help game developers deliver great games for the future. For example, ATI's new compression technology 3Dc(tm), will easily allow game developers to create better-looking games by using high-resolution normal maps. Normal maps are used to give characters and scenes high levels of detail without the performance hit that would normally be associated with using high-polygon models. For gamers this means that their games will look better than ever without impacting performance, which is of utmost importance in high definition gaming.

"As soon as we began working with normal mapping in our games, we quickly realized that one of our biggest bottlenecks was going to be the memory usage of un-compressed normal map textures. Up until now, our only options have been to use some kind of low-quality compression, or to cut back on the number and size of normal mapped assets," said Rowan Wyborn, Irrational Games. "With 3Dc, we finally have a high-quality compression solution that gives almost perfect results, with 4:1 savings in texture memory. This will allow us to put much finer detail into objects than we could previously and increase the number of normal mapped assets we can put in our games without blowing our texture budget."

"Ritual Entertainment will use ATI's new 3Dc normal map compression technology to double the detail in our next generation game environments," said Doug Service, Director of Technology Development, Ritual Entertainment. "Thanks to ATI, we can now create normal maps with twice the amount of detail that use the same amount of memory as our original uncompressed normal maps. This will lead to an outstanding increase in visual fidelity for the characters and the entire scene. Ultimately, what ATI's 3Dc normal map compression technology means to gamers is more highly detailed game worlds and a more immersive game play experience."

The RADEON X800 builds upon ATI's success delivering visual processors for the high-end gaming and computer enthusiast market. "Currently nearly 80% of high-performance DirectX® 9 graphics cards shipping are powered by ATI's visual processors," said Dean McCarron, Mercury Research. "The new RADEON X800 series visual processors demonstrate ATI's continued focus on the high-end segment of the PC graphics market."

ATI and its worldwide board partners will offer several configurations of graphics boards based on the RADEON X800 chips. Board partners that will be shipping RADEON X800 products include ABIT, ASUS, Celestica, Club 3D, Connect 3D, Creative, Diamond, Elsa, FIC, Gigabyte, Hightech Information Systems, Info-Tek, MSI, Sapphire, Tul, VisionTek, Xpertvision and Yuan.

System Integrators including ABS, Alienware, Falcon Northwest, Velocity Micro, VoodooPC and ZT Group will include the RADEON X800 in their systems for customers who want the ultimate gaming PC.

ATI will offer two RADEON X800 products, the RADEON(tm) X800 XT Platinum Edition and the RADEON(tm) X800 PRO through retail, system integrator and OEM partners.

For the competitive gamers who demand the best performance bar-none, the RADEON X800 XT Platinum Edition will be powered by a 16-pipe pixel processing engine clocked at 520MHz. To take advantage of the massive pixel processing power of the RADEON X800 XT Platinum Edition the product has been paired with high-speed 1.12GHz data rate GDDR3 memory and a 256-bit memory interface. The RADEON X800 XT Platinum Edition will ship later this month with a suggested retail price of $499.

The RADEON X800 PRO, with a suggested retail price of $399, will be powered by a 12-pipe pixel processing engine clocked at 475MHz. A 256-bit memory interface and GDDR3 memory with a 900MHz data rate will deliver unmatched performance in its price category. The RADEON X800 PRO is shipping immediately and customers can purchase it online through major retailers in North America starting today. Customers can also purchase the RADEON X800 PRO at ATI's online store at

For more information on the RADEON X800 and its underlying features and technologies, please visit

The Senile Doctor 4th May 2004 15:55

Hardocp : "There is a very obvious pattern here; 1600x1200 with AA and AF on the X800XT. Only in one game did we have to play at 1280x1024, and that was only because the game, NFS: Underground did not support 1600x1200 resolution. Otherwise every single game was playable at 1600x1200 with AA and AF! We find this to be nothing short of incredible and frankly we did not think we would see this kind of video card power till possibly later this year."


x800proxtPE here I come, gimme gimme gimme.

jmke 4th May 2004 16:11

GeForce 6800 Ultra Extreme: 450 MHz core clock, 1100 MHz GDDR3, 16 pixel pipelines, US$599

The Senile Doctor 4th May 2004 16:13

and ever unavailable, I think...
I won't pay an extra 100 euros for something i can manage on the double with my pelt.

I gained 125 mhz on my 9800 pro... and that was with water that cooled a cpu too, cpu is going the mach2 gt way...
I want 125 mhz on that x800xtpe too, and some more on the ram...

jmke 4th May 2004 16:16

don't go cheap on me now DOC;

RichBa5tard 4th May 2004 16:16

Yum. :)

I find it a remarkable thing that ATI's flagship is now actually worth it's extra price (above the X800 Pro), instead of just being clocked a few hertz higher than the affordable model (eg 9800 <> pro <> xt or 5900xt <> 5950 <> 5950U).

Sarcastro 4th May 2004 19:22

I just feel sorry for nVidia. I had hope they'd come out on top this round because that would be good for the competition.

Sidney 4th May 2004 20:20


I just feel sorry for nVidiary.
Don't be. The world of electronic is very small, like sitting in a 10'x10' room with three / four people working together.

It is not the matter of who finds out something new or better first; it is the matter of the top people in Corporate making the decision in tooling investment now or later.

agent #2 4th May 2004 21:44

It looks Nvidia's beaten again.

Xploited Titan 4th May 2004 21:49


Originally posted by agent #2
It looks Nvidia's beaten again.
Yeah, but at what speed ATI had to go for doing so: 120MHz faster... :(

anes 5th May 2004 01:10

it seems the x800pro might be an interesting card to overclock

best price performance anyone? :o

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