ATI prepares fall refresh lineup, budget updates

— 10:25 AM on April 6, 2006

X-bit labs reports on three new GPUs they claim ATI is preparing for its fall refresh lineup. One of them is the oft-discussed R580+, which X-bit labs says will feature the same Radeon X1900 XTX chip, but with added support for GDDR4 memory. This may make the card "approximately 15% faster" than the existing X1900 XTX, since GDDR4 can be driven to higher speeds than GDDR3. There will also be an RV570, which will be sold under the X1900 GTO name at a sub-$299 price point. The chip will sport 36 pixel shader processors, 12 texture units, and a 256-bit memory bus. Finally, ATI will introduce a $199 X1700, perhaps to better compete against NVIDIA's GeForce 7600 GT. The X1700 will feature an RV560 chip with 24 pixel shader processors, eight texture units, and a 128-bit memory bus. Unlike the R580+ and RV570, the RV560 is reportedly likely to use the fabled 80nm process, which may not appear in higher-end ATI GPUs until the R600. Both the X1900 GTO and the X1700 are expected in the back-to-school season; no expected ship date or product name is known for the R580+.

While the major product refreshes will occur in the fall, ATI will also be tweaking its Radeon X1600 and X1300 lines this summer. X1600 cards are expected to be fitted with new RV535 and RV536 GPUs, which will made with 80nm process technology and a new, cheaper 90nm process, respectively. As for the X1300 cards, they will be updated with an RV516 chip made using the same 90nm process as the RV536. The updated X1300s will also gain a 32-bit memory bus option, compared to 64-bit and 128-bit memory buses for current X1300s. Aside from this change, ATI is not expected to modify specifications for the updated X1600 and X1300 cards. Instead, it will likely set lower prices in order to compete more aggressively with NVIDIA's budget GeForce 7600 and 7300 GPUs.

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