WE MANAGED TO LEARN that the upcoming R600 product exists in four different varieties, and the differences between them aren't small.
Unlike Nvidians and their GeForce 8800GTX/GTS, R600 will offer differentiation for ATI partners, not keeping them as sticker-stampers, as some called their Nvidian counterparts.
We can now share with you that the engineering teams at AMD created four different PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards) for the R600 GPU. These each target a different set of customers. The leaked drivers and some marketing documents already call for this generation to be called X2000 series, with devices labelled X2200 and X2400 appearing on the map.
It is not impossible that R600 just ends up being called X2800, but AMD certainly wants to have a clear branding of the product.
Since yours truly has battled with American cuisine for the past 10 days (and even lost 2.1 kilos, thanks to the long walks from LVCC to Venetian to Belaggio and back), we'll disclose the details about the products comparing them to the nation's favourite food – steak.
So, the T-bone is full a 12 inches long (30cm). This baby is dubbed XTX, and will feature-top-of-the-line, 1GB GDDR-4 memory from Samsung. You can count on 16 memory chips yielding 1GB of video memory connected to the GPU via 512-bit external bus. Memory chips could do 2.4GHz clock (1.2GHz physical), yielding in yet unseen bandwidth of 153.6 GB/s, dwarfing 8800GTX and its 86.4 GB/s. However, this clock is not guaranteed – not everything is in the bandwidth, but rather in the way you use it.
Second variant is in the prime rib categoryL more compact its big T-bone brother, on a size level with R580 (X1950XTX) and G80GTS (8800GTS) boards. We're talking about "X2x00 XT", which is pretty much the same thing as XTX, featuring only a speed downgrade. The speed downgrade enabled DAAMIT to put a more compact PCB, nine inches in length but still featuring the same amount of GDDR-4 memory. Depending on the price and availability of GDDR-4, this one will be available in 512MB variant as well. You know, X1900XT 512/256MB, only one GPU generation ahead.
The third one, let's call it sirloin steak, is sort of X1800XL style ("X2x00XL". We're talking about still GDDR-4 memory, but a new 9-inch PCB. Nope, this is not a downgraded PCB from the already-mentioned XT part, we're talking about a board which will feature "normal" clocks and be available for OEMs to do wonderous display output things with. Multimedia addicts will be happy with the whole array of possibilities, thanks to the fact that ATI killed its decade old ViVo chip. Single-slot ahoy.
Fourth class, mignon filet, is dubbed X2000GT, and this is a product which will feature most of the non-100% QA chips around. The PCB is once again new and does not derive from above mentioned three models – but still inside the 9 inches of length (three different 9-inch versions, guys really like the number). This baby was codenamed UFO, and had a very difficult birth: it was introduced, then shafted, then re-introduced into the pipe again – and this is the R600 chip combined with cheap and massively available GDDR-3 memory. This will be the ground for GPGPU boards as well, since AMD plans for both 1GB and 2GB versions of the boards. 2GB versions are of course, reserved for the high-end, professional market.
Now, here comes the fun part: of products mentioned here, three require a new power connector, the 8-pin one. The 8-pin was also the reason that ATI managed to get its models in 9-inch size, but we already wrote about that one. Top brass, the XTX – does not care for 8-pins, it wants dual 6-pin rails, just like the 8800GTX. Boards will come with adapters, or you need one of these babies.
When it comes to cooling these monsters down, you will be happy to learn that AMD developed a single-slot solution as well, so there should be some cheers going on in the business group of AMD, since Nvidia could not squeeze its 8800GTS into a single slot. Our sources say the single-slot solution is due to the use of an 80nm process and send their cheers to guys'n'gals at TSMC. Still, the high-end models come with a monster cooler indeed.
There is also a Dual-HDMI 1.3 option, but we do not reckon on this one seeing the light of the day before mainstream and lower-end components kick in. Although, for a ultimate enthusiast, certainly several thousand boards would find their way home, in ultimate HTPC machines.
We have tons of more data for you, to parahprase great Humphrey Bogart: of all the hotel rooms in the world, sll this info had to walk into ours. µ