ATI launches more new graphics cards

The Radeon 9800 Pro isn't the only graphics card ATI is talking about today; they've launched a whole slew of new chips and cards to go along with the Radeon 9800 Pro. Here's a quick look at what you need to know about ATI's new Radeons:

  Core clock (MHz) Pixel pipelines Texture units per pixel pipeline Memory clock (MHz) Memory bus width (bits) Manufacturing process
Radeon 9200 TBA 4 1 TBA 128 0.15
Radeon 9200 Pro TBA TBA
Radeon 9600 325 400 0.13
Radeon 9600 Pro  400 600
Radeon 9800 TBA 8 TBA 256 0.15
Radeon 9800 Pro 380 680
Radeon 9800 Pro 256MB TBA TBA (DDR2)

Our Radeon 9800 Pro review covers the details of ATI's Radeon 9800-based products, so there's no need for me to rehash them here. However, there are two new Radeon lines to talk about.

ATI's Radeon 9200s are retooled Radeon 9000s that will support AGP 8X and come in 64 and 128MB flavors. ATI hasn't yet decided on core and memory clock speeds for these cards, but prices will range from $79-$129 for the Radeon 9200 to $129-179 for the Radeon 9200 Pro. Like the current Radeon 9100 and 9000 cards, the Radeon 9200s are only compatible with DirectX 8.1.

Unlike the Radeon 9200, and indeed every other desktop graphics part that ATI makes, the new Radeon 9600 uses a 0.13-micron manufacturing process. The transition to a 0.13-micron process was smoother than expected, according to ATI, so this product launch has been moved forward a couple of months.

Also new to the Radeon 9600 is an improved Z-compression scheme that's more bandwidth-efficient than the Radeon 9700. As you might expect, the Radeon 9600s have full DirectX 9 support, too. They'll retail for $149-199, effectively replacing the Radeon 9500s in the middle of ATI's lineup.

For those that don't have $400 to drop on the Radeon 9800 Pro, which is probably most of us, the Radeon 9600 Pro looks like it could be the pick of the litter. Reviews of the card have yet to hit the web, but I'm sure its specs alone have many budget-minded gamers drooling already.

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