ATI introduces "new" Radeon 9100
ATI's Radeon 9000 Pro is a great low-end graphics card, but its single-texture-per-pipe design never really had the oomph to best the Radeon 8500's 3D performance. To satisfy market demand, ATI is bringing back the 8500 under the Radeon 9100 name.
The RADEON 9100 is a high performance mainstream graphics processor for desktop PCs. Products based on the RADEON 9100 GPU will provide the outstanding 3D gaming performance, image quality and support for the latest game-enhancing features like DirectX 8.1 shaders. Its powerful architecture, including four parallel rendering pipelines and two geometry engines, is designed for optimal performance in the mainstream segment.
If this sounds reminiscent of the RADEON 8500 products, you are correct! Our partners continue to see strong demand for products based on our R200 architecture, so we are re-introducing it as a part of our 9000-family of products.
Slapping a new name on an old chip feels like marketing spin, but in this case, the model number accurately depicts the relative performance of the "new" chip. The real marketing spin came back when ATI introduced the Radeon 9000. Given its performance at launch, a more fitting name would have been the Radeon 8300.