ATI has just launched their Radeon 9600 XT VPU which is designed to replace the 9600 Pro in the hotly contested mid-range performance market which was designed especially to compete against nVidia's new GeForce FX 5700 Ultra GPU. Let's step back in time first though and put it all into prospective for you.
The never-restless battle has been on for the mid-range performance crown between ATI and nVidia for around about 12 months now, give or take a few months. Once ATI released the little known Radeon 9500 Pro, benchmarks quickly spread around the Internet traps. These benchmarks were much to the favor of ATI and this scared nVidia (who never saw ATI as a real competitor who could worry them any great deal, frankly speaking) with their popular and successful GeForce 4 Ti4200, which had the mid-range market to itself with no fear of falling. Ever since then, ATI has only improved on the good thing they created and nVidia has been forced to play the catch-up game ever since and until this very day where they continue to fight against ATI who came out of nowhere and surprised us all with an undoubtedly superior line of graphics cards with now solid name brand awareness in all distribution channels around the world.
Fast forward a little from those days and we have nVidia who launched their full range of GeForce FX cards which we all thought would put ATI back to second place - at least from the excessive marketing talk we heard. It didn't happen. The GeForce FX 5600 Ultra was part of the new range which was designed to beat the now well known Radeon 9600 Pro, a souped up version of the Radeon 9500 Pro. Again, it didn't happen. Fast forward even further to the current day and nVidia have had their newest mid-range performance graphics card, the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra (a remake of the older high-end GeForce FX 5900) on the market for around about one month. To combat nVidia in this sector of topic here today, ATI introduced their Radeon 9600 XT VPU which offers very decent performance under DX8 and DX9 games at a price which is right for all.
Thanks to our newfound friends at ATI in Taiwan, we have their very latest reference card on the test bed for you today, the Radeon 9600 XT based on 0.13 micron core technology. Let's see exactly what it has to offer!
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