After a full day of testing the ATI Radeon X1900XTX graphics cards at the Gigabyte offices here in Taiwan, we are pretty happy with the performance numbers we see from ATI's newest GPU. In our benchmarks we saw increases from 13% all the way up to 84% over the previous generation X1800XT which is fairly impressive.
As expected, the X1800XT Crossfire setup still manages to win every benchmark but that's because it is two GPU versus one. What we can all look forward to though is X1900XTX Crossfire which should offer some really serious performance, whenever ATI choose to release a master card version of the X1900 series.
If you've just bought a new X1800XT graphics card, should you upgrade to the newest from ATI? If you have plenty of money to spend and demand the best 3D gaming performance for your computer, then yes. Although, unless you are playing games at a resolution of 1600 x 1200 or above (with all the settings turned up), you won't start to see the performance advancements of the X1900XTX. Sure, we see the X1900XTX doing a good job of beating the X1800XT at the lower resolution but in most of the real-world game tests we don't see much of an improvement until the resolution is increased.
Sadly we couldn't compare the X1900XTX against the GeForce 7800GTX 512 but from what we can tell the new ATI GPU will be able to perform quite well against the GTX 512. The real question is, how will the X1900XTX perform against nVidia's upcoming G71 GPU which is due to be released in March of this year. And the second most important question is supply by ATI, especially at launch. ATI have been criticized over the past while for not having any product available at launch but from what we've heard this time around, ATI has well and truly heard the cries and moans from their customers and end-users and you should be able to buy the X1900XTX and X1900XT from today, the launch day!
If you're on the market for a new graphics cards and upgrading from something like an older Radeon X800, you'll be very pleased with the performance increases but if you've only just bought an X1800XT, you might want to wait a little while and see what nVidia will bring to the table in a couple of months with their G71 (GeForce 7900) GPU.
In closing, I want to send out a big "THANK YOU" to all the guys at Gigabyte from FAE, sales and marketing departments who all stopped by and had a chat and helped with everything throughout the day!
UPDATE from HONG KONG: While visiting the HIS (Hightech Information System) office here in Hong Kong yesterday, we were shown a bunch of new ATI based graphics cards. One which was of most interest to us was their Radeon X1900 Crossfire master card.
As far as we knew, X1900 series Crossfire master cards would not be available for some time but at least one of ATI's board partners already has their retail product ready and in fact, HIS started shipping Crossfire cards to their partners last week.
We weren't able to run any benchmarks of the card but our samples are already on the way to our labs and we'll have a full review of X1900 Crossfire online very soon.
ATI seems to be serious about not just having X1900XT and XTX cards ready at launch but even Crossfire!