At least we can now confirm that the picture our snoops took few days back at Computex does in fact show a Radeon 9800XT, since we have been able to sneak a peak at the genuine article. That pic is here.
And we have now learned why ATI didn't name its new baby the Radeon 9900 PRO. The card simply does not perform fast enough to be called Radeon 9900 PRO so that's why Radeon 9800 got its XT appelation -- It's Xtremely T, we guess, not fast.
We can also guarantee you that ATI will focus on the new DirectX 9 benchmarks and its new weapons Half Life 2 and Tomb Raider AOD, as they know that Nvidia doesn't do Shader 2.0 as well as their hardware does.
Still, ATI have few samples but just a few that are clocked, as we said at 412MHz and 730MHz, but those are extremely rare birds. This clock details indicates that card is one of the first samples and this non-uniform frequency indicates that ATI sill doesn't know its yields.
If you book hundreds of people for an event you cannot just say 'I don't have the hardware,' can you? The bummer is that Half Life 2 is not ready either and someone on the Web already let that slip. But you can't book the Cave in Munich and the prison on Alcatraz for nothing.
Anyhow, according to the original plans, the card should rock at 425 or more MHz and should be promised to be in the channels within two weeks from launch. Still, we simply don't see this happening. This semiconductor game sure seems a messed up business.
ATI PR executives today were able to guarantee me "100 percent" that I won't get a Radeon 9800XT before the launch but that I am still welcome at their Munich event on the 30th. The only trouble is that they booked my flight from my homeland since I indicated last time that I could be in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Still, the word 'could' has a hint of the conditional about it, as I understand the English language. But since it's just about 800 KM from Vienna, the place I live now, it should prove no big deal for Twodo the Flying machine. µ
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