While everyone is busy poking around with Nvidia's new GeForce 8800 graphics cards, the folks over at the Inquirer have sought out new information regarding ATI's upcoming R600 graphics processor. According to what they learned, the R600 will have a 700-800MHz core clock speed, 64 shader processors, 16 raster operators, and a 512-bit memory bus with either 1GB or 2GB of memory. 64 shader processors may seem unimpressive when compared to the 128 "stream processors" in Nvidia's G80 chip. However, the R600's shaders can reportedly handle four operations at once, while the G80's stream processors can only do one each. When paired with 1.1GHz GDDR4 memory, the R600's 512-bit memory bus will also allow a whopping 140.8GB/s of memory bandwidth, which is significantly more than the GeForce 8800 GTX's 86.4GB/s.
Unsurprisingly, The Inq says ATI's actual R600 graphics card is a behemoth with a 12-layer circuit board, 200-220W power draw, and a massive heatsink with quadruple heatpipes that's longer than the card itself. The card's PCB is said to be about the size of a GeForce 7900 GTX or Radeon X1950 XTX, though, so there may yet be hope for those who'd like to indulge themselves in a next-gen high-end card without having to take a hacksaw to their case. The R600 is supposedly scheduled for the first quarter of next year, presumably around the same January 30 date as Windows Vista.
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