According to some sources ATi will release a 16x pipeline graphics cards during this spring. The R420 is a 12x pipeline graphics card.
Furthermore we said that that some information had leaked out of the bowels of R&D Labs which indicated that in a comparative test between ATI R420 and Nvidia NV40 engineering samples, that whilst R420 was "behind" it wasn't that far behind.
If the R420 tested there was a 12x Pipeline part, how does that bode for a next gen ATI accelerator with 16x Pipelines? Rather well, we'd say.
Also they write that some NVIDIA manufacturing partners have said at the CTS Exhibition in Birmingham, UK that it will take about three to four months before the GeForce 6800 will be deliverd to distributors and resellers. If this is correct than it will be somewhere in July or August before the first NV40 cards are available.
ATi claims that their target is to deliver products onto retail shelves within 30 days of a product launch.
Spring ends on June 21st, so if ATI delivers its 16x Pipeline ball-buster within thirty days of that date, this could mean that those needing or wanting the kind of gaming goodness that a 16x Pipeline marchitecture promises, then those eager beavers may be looking towards ATI, again.
Is this 16x Pipeline ATI accelerator the 'R420'/Radeon X800 previously believed to be a 12x Pipeline part?
As far back as October or November, another very reliable source, indicated that Nvidia believed that ATI Technologies had received some intelligence on Nvidia's NV40.
Allegedly this intelligence on NV40 caused ATI to rethink elements of what it was doing with it's R420.
Was ATI's R420 always a 12x Pipeline part, or was this 12x Pipeline specification a strategic leak? For ATI to deliver a 16x Pipeline challenger this springtime, then it would have had to tape out sometime Christmas just past.