The benefits of being based out of Taipei in Taiwan are great for a person who runs a computer hardware website. You are always in the loop for all the latest news on upcoming product releases and there's always a story being told about something or someone in the industry.
In a move which we hope to be doing more of from now on, we bring you our first article which takes a first look at products which we test in Taiwan in our labs or at a computer company HQ. This enables us to bring the news to you earlier and to provide you with a more comprehensive look at the latest hardware, since some supplies sometimes forget about us when it comes to allocating review samples at launch time.
Moving forward, our friends at Gigabyte were kind enough to kick off the trend by letting us into their offices down south of Taipei for a full day last week to test ATI's new R580 graphics card. The R580 is a refresh version of the R520 GPU (X1800 series) and comes under the name of the X1900 series; specifically we are testing the most high-end X1900XTX 512MB today.
There have been claims floating around the web that the X1900XTX will out perform nVidia's 7800GTX 512 GPU but what ATI should really be focusing on is kicking butt against the current high-end GPU from nVidia since the G71 (likely called GeForce 7900) should be coming out around CeBIT time (March 2006) and nVidia are claiming huge performance increases for their next GPU.
Unfortunately we didn't have any access to a GeForce 7800GTX 512MB graphics card here in Taiwan for comparison but we're comparing ATI's X1900XTX (which should be available for ordering today as ATI have had enough bad press and complaints from customers to hopefully get it right this time around) against the X1800XT and dual X1800XT in Crossfire. This article will be centered around a performance look at the product since we were not briefed on the new GPU from ATI officially but we'll also include some pictures and basic specifications on the next page for your information.
Let's get started and find out what ATI have managed to do with their latest graphics cards in terms of performance!