ATI Radeon X2800 XTX mysteries uncovered

Posted on Wednesday, Feb 14 2007 @ 18:28 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
More Radeon X2800 mysteries have been uncovered by The Inquirer. They say that the pictures of the 12.4" Radeon X2800 XTX that you've probably seen by now is actually a specific design that currently is only picked up by Apple.

But they have no doubts that Dell and Alienware systems will also get this long graphics card.
Personally, I have no doubt that Voodoo PC will ship the R600 with its water-cooling block. The company decided to go with vapour chamber technology, or a 2D version of the traditional heatpipe concept we have all come to know and endure. Vapour Chamber technology is pretty well known in the world of CPU cooling, thanks to the Danish company named Asetek, and its "VapoChill" systems which propelled CPUs beyond the limits of water-cooling.

Asetek also made a conventional VapoChill Micro cooler, and you can perhaps visualise the R600's cooler as the VapoChill Micro for the GPU. We don't know yet which firm will produce this cooler for AMD/ATI, but we suspect only one or two players are in the frame. Now, the power connector story is a pretty interesting one. At present, there is actually only one design for both OEM/SI and retail/AIBs, and that one is 8-pin/6-pin. You can use 6+6-pin configuration, but if you do not plug 8-pin/6-pin, the ATI Catalyst driver suite will forbid you to enter the "Overdrive Zone".

Yes, you've read it right - the R600XTX is coming out with a legal overclocking mode, no nonsense and limiting overclocking to its partners like some other companies have. The clocks have not been set yet. Even AMD is waiting until a couple of days before the launch before it makes that decision.

GPU clockspeeds of 800MHz are expected with GDDR4 memory between 1000MHz to 1100MHz (2.0-2.2GHz).
Some say 826MHz, but we're not sure how far the Overdrive will go. We'd say not beyond 850 MHz, but that is just my personal opinion. Our sources tell us that the clock bump should be around 10 per cent for the GPU and 14 per cent for the memory, bringing the total clock to 880/2400-2600. It is insane to see a 700M+ 80nm transistor chip run at such a high clock, especially given the limitations the G80 had with sub-700M chip and 90nm process, but this is an industry where anything that can happen will happen.
So to wrap it up:
So, the R600XTX has a special OEM/SI design mostly for Apple, the retail versions won't come with water cooling, but rather advanced vapour chamber technology, and the board has 8/6-pin config but can be used with two 6-pin ones - in which case you'll lose the Overdrive feature and stay inside a 225W power envelope, just like Nvidia Geforce 8800GTS .

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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