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Old Oct 14, 2005, 10:52 AM   #1
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MrB
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ATI Technologies Rage3D Radeon X1800XT Technology Preview

Ratchet and I finally wrapped up our Radeon X1800XT preview last night. It was quite the labour of love so give it a chance! I'm sure you've read a bunch already but I feel our preview is up there (hehe). Anyways click here to check out our behemoth of a preview.

Though the situation is similar, the cause of the delay is much different. The R520 was ready to be introduced back in May but ATI was experiencing an unexplainable failure in a tiny percentage of test cards. Cards would run fine in all situations but suddenly fail. Also there wasn’t one specific situation where it would fail; it would just fail at different points in time. ATI spent months analyzing the core with their best engineers, and after countless tests narrowed it down to one set of circuits. They found a pass gate that didn’t belong. This allowed voltage to pass through it and return a signal of 1, when that particular circuit should have always returned a 0. All it took to correct the problem was the rearranging of a few gates and the core was perfect and ready to be mass produced.
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 11:12 AM   #2
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Cool, good job guys. I'll dip into it now.
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 11:24 AM   #3
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So far very interesting to read....
I've just spotted this typo on the second page though....

Quote:
Resolution
Today’s resolutions have not really moved past 1600x1200 for the large majority of users. They actually have dropped due to the popularity of LCDs, with the majority having native resolutions of 1280x1024. Fill rate is now less important, making the increasing the number of pixel pipelines an inefficient use of die space.
Should be: making the increasing number of pixel pipelines

On the third page....
Quote:
I liken the centralized concept to a distribution center.
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 11:35 AM   #4
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thanks. I reworded the whole sentence as it was kind of awkward to begin with. You'll probably spot a few of those as my english is awkward to begin with haha.

though we did edit it with a fine tooth comb. weird!


liken not a word? I checked it up dictionary.com

okie it's a little funny in talk so i changed it to compare.
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 11:42 AM   #5
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My English kinda suck too as I'm Dutch... LOL But I spend ~10 hours online each day and only type English so sometimes I notice stuff...

If I find more I'll report it...

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Old Oct 14, 2005, 11:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrB
liken not a word? I checked it up dictionary.com
It is a word.. but it looks odd in this context... But maybe that's just me..

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Old Oct 14, 2005, 11:48 AM   #7
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Awesome review! That conclusion is spot on. As I keep telling people. Look at the numbers for games that you play and resolution you play at and you'll be making a much wiser decision than listening to someone else.

With the OGL patch from Ati along with the 512MB 7800GTX coming out, it should be an interesting november.

Thanks again guys. As suspected, it was definately worth the wait!
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 11:58 AM   #8
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Question:
http://rage3d.com/reviews/video/atix1800xt/afcomp.php
If you look at Ati's 16xAF vs. Nvidia's 16xAF, you'll notice missing objects. For example the brown bushes along the right hand side seem to disappear on the Ati but are there on the nvidia card. Same with the multiple spots of light infront of the train, towards the end of the scene. Why would this be the case?
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 12:49 PM   #9
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One more.... on the last page...
Quote:
It is not unlike the boys from Santa Clara to attempt to throw a big green wrench into ATI's plans
It just reads strange...
Suggestion: It is not unlikely for the boys from Santa Clara to attempt to throw a big green wrench into ATI's plans.

Other then that I loved the review with the "wrrrr" and "shhhhh".. the extensive benches and especially the IQ comparisons. And just like magic10 I noticed the missing bushes and lighting on the tracks in HL2.

The part in the conclusion where it reads "I would recommend the X1800 over 7800 if you keep your cards for a reasonable amount of time before upgrading." is the exact reason why I will be purchasing the XT when it comes out.
I always skip a generation CPU's and GPU's and the XT seems to be future proof for me.

/me tips hat to everyone involved in this great review!

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Old Oct 14, 2005, 01:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magik10
Question:
http://rage3d.com/reviews/video/atix1800xt/afcomp.php
If you look at Ati's 16xAF vs. Nvidia's 16xAF, you'll notice missing objects. For example the brown bushes along the right hand side seem to disappear on the Ati but are there on the nvidia card. Same with the multiple spots of light infront of the train, towards the end of the scene. Why would this be the case?
Yep, I was hoping someone would notice that. It seems that Valve automatically sets the cvar "cl_detaildist" to 1200 for the X1800 (and X850, likely all ATI cards) and to 1600 for the 7800GT/GTX.

I have yet to figure out how to set both to the same setting for benchmark purposes because it always reverts back to the preset setting when the map loads. I've tried forcing it via the command line and in the config.cfg/autoexec.cfg files. If anyone has a suggestion...
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 01:40 PM   #11
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Missing shrubery. Interesting.

I enjoyed the read...
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 01:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HalcYoN [nV]
Missing shrubery. Interesting.
RENDER ERROR

Love
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 01:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratchet
Yep, I was hoping someone would notice that. It seems that Valve automatically sets the cvar "cl_detaildist" to 1200 for the X1800 (and X850, likely all ATI cards) and to 1600 for the 7800GT/GTX.
Here's another example of missing bushes....
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/...0-part4-d.html

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Old Oct 14, 2005, 03:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HalcYoN [nV]
Missing shrubery. Interesting.

I enjoyed the read...
Blame it on The Knights Who Say 'Ni' !
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 03:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magik10
Question:
http://rage3d.com/reviews/video/atix1800xt/afcomp.php
If you look at Ati's 16xAF vs. Nvidia's 16xAF, you'll notice missing objects. For example the brown bushes along the right hand side seem to disappear on the Ati but are there on the nvidia card. Same with the multiple spots of light infront of the train, towards the end of the scene. Why would this be the case?
The missing bushes are not there on X1800 even with NoAF, but all appear on NV. Anyway, only HQ 16AF setting on X1800, the lighting on the trace cannot be seen. The scene around the train looks smoothest on this setting.
This is one of the great and exploration preview on the X1800 to date .
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 03:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightCrawler™
It just reads strange...
Suggestion: It is not unlikely for the boys from Santa Clara to attempt to throw a big green wrench into ATI's plans.
I think it's correct as it is. The current version reflects a tendency of the "boys" to do something, using unlikely is more along the lines of general speculation that has isn't directly related to prior behavior.

Excellent review as usual to MrB, Ratchet et al. Best format on the net! I like how you guys are able to mix an obvious passion for the review material with a very fair and objective approach to stating your opinions and conclusions. Some other sites are able to appear objective but they do that by being a little "cold" - I won't name any names though

Last edited by trinibwoy : Oct 14, 2005 at 03:16 PM.
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 03:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratchet
Yep, I was hoping someone would notice that. It seems that Valve automatically sets the cvar "cl_detaildist" to 1200 for the X1800 (and X850, likely all ATI cards) and to 1600 for the 7800GT/GTX.

I have yet to figure out how to set both to the same setting for benchmark purposes because it always reverts back to the preset setting when the map loads. I've tried forcing it via the command line and in the config.cfg/autoexec.cfg files. If anyone has a suggestion...

I would assume removing objects would give quite a performance boost also. I'm quite curious as to why this issue has not come up in the past.

Have you tried to change the config.cfg/autoexec.cfg and make it a read only file?
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 03:18 PM   #18
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Excellent job guys.
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 03:45 PM   #19
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Yeah I tried that, but as I said the setting apparently resets as the map is loaded so presetting it before then would be pointless I think.
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 03:54 PM   #20
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Are the lights you guys are talking about those lines just in front of the distant train car (the one in the zoom)? If so, those are artifacts and shouldn't be there. The X1800 HQ AF shots are the way it should look I think.
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 04:04 PM   #21
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excelent review guys!

something to be proud of!
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 04:05 PM   #22
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Outstanding review fellas...thank you for the effort and the information!
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 04:11 PM   #23
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hhmmn. Couldn't that be light being reflected from the windows above, to the ground?
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 04:15 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magik10
hhmmn. Couldn't that be light being reflected from the windows above, to the ground?
no they are artifacts, they move along ahead of you as you approach the train.
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 04:31 PM   #25
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Oh cool. Thanks for clarifying. Nice AF, in that case
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 04:38 PM   #26
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A very good read.
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 04:48 PM   #27
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Well worth the read (and the wait). Good job guys One of (if not *the*) best R520 architectural analysis I've seen thus far. The only thing this review is missing is more game tests, but with the sheer number of settings tested I can understand why the amount of games tested wasn't higher. Any chance for an update with more games tested?
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 04:58 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaidarHaran
Well worth the read (and the wait). Good job guys One of (if not *the*) best R520 architectural analysis I've seen thus far. The only thing this review is missing is more game tests, but with the sheer number of settings tested I can understand why the amount of games tested wasn't higher. Any chance for an update with more games tested?
Well it is a preview so I bet we can expect more. Hopefully when ATi see's how thorough this preview was, they will continue to send pre-release parts to R3D for testing. I honestly thought this review was quite a bit better than a lot of top review sites that people flock to.
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 04:59 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaidarHaran
Well worth the read (and the wait). Good job guys One of (if not *the*) best R520 architectural analysis I've seen thus far. The only thing this review is missing is more game tests, but with the sheer number of settings tested I can understand why the amount of games tested wasn't higher. Any chance for an update with more games tested?
I'm planning on adding CoD2, FEAR, Quake4, and hopefully Age of Empires III (if it can be benchmarked) results when those games become available.
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Old Oct 14, 2005, 05:08 PM   #30
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Definitely worth the wait... now someone please donate an Athlon FX57 to poor Ratch
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