A closer look at the Radeon X1900XTX Continued
There is also another version of the X1900 called the X1900XT which is a slightly cut down and cheaper version of the X1900XTX - because the required yields aren't as tough, you might end up having better chances of buying the X1900XT especially if quantities are low.
However, Gigabyte told us they already have stock of the X1900XTX for their customers around the world, so that is at least a good sign for ATI and ATI fans alike who are sick of the past few paper launches by ATI. The core clock speed is 925MHz compared to 950MHz and memory used is also 50MHz (100MHz DDR) slower. Not having seen or tested the slower X1900XT, we would have to take an educated guess that it uses Samsung K4J52324QC-BJ12 GDDR-3 memory which runs at 1.2ns or up to 800MHz (or 1600MHz DDR), just like the X1800XT uses. We have no official details on pricing of either card at this stage but we would estimate the X1900XTX selling for around $600 - $650 USD at launch with the X1900XT coming in at around $525 - $550 USD.
As far as overclocking goes, we didn't have too much success. The memory on the X1900XTX was pushed to the maximum which ATI's CCC "overdrive" feature supports, which is 900MHz (1800MHz DDR), and it seemed to handle that part without any issues but the core was a let down. The GPU would operate at speeds between 690MHz and 670MHz for a little while but would eventually crash in all versions of 3DMark due to what we believe is heat related issues.
Hence, it would seem like the 650MHz rated default core clock speed of the X1900XTX is a fairly high and non-conservative rating with maybe only 10 - 15MHz left in it for stable operation with the stock cooler. Of course, if you attach a different cooler or water cooling or other extreme cooling methods, you'll most likely get more out of the core but it just operates too hot as is in 3D applications to get much more out of it - at least with the reference sample we tested with anyway.
That pretty much covers the summary of the new X1900XTX graphics card. Before we move onto the benchmarks though, it looks like AGP users are dead out of luck as ATI doesn't have any plans for an AGP version of the X1900XTX, just PCI Express. Some other companies may attempt an AGP version of the X1900XTX but it doesn't seem likely as the industry is pushing forward with PCI Express.
Let's move onto the benchmarks now and see what ATI has to deliver.