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Next ATI card will have 512MB memory

R480 with more memory
Tue Feb 22 2005, 13:56
WE EXPECT that ATI will be making an announcement, maybe as early this weekend, about a 512MB version of its X850 card.

The evidence? Here's the rundown...

ATI is sponsoring a big overclocking tournament this weekend. It is publicly saying that there will be an 'unveiling' of some sort, but no-one knows what it is.

Some of the world's top overclockers, including chaps going by the name of Oppainter, Fugger and Macci are going out there to go and take on the world record 3DMark. Aside from the fact that current ATI hardware will barely scrape the world record, these guys have been told to expect new hardware to fiddle with.

Then, there are benchmarks and blurry photos showing up on tech site Driver Heaven, which appears to have a new bit of kit in its mitts.

Analysis of the benchmarks at the site makes one thing clear - it isn't more pipes. It isn't faster clocks. All the specific scores indicate the performance characteristics of adding more memory.

ATI, of course, wouldn't tell us what it is it has up its sleeves. Sources outside of ATI also indicate to us that a 512MB part is imminent. If we're wrong, we'll just have to eat our GPUs.

Graphics RAM is becoming more interesting, at the moment. ATI is clearly playing it both ways, with this new announcement increasing the amount of on-board memory and its HyperMemory technology decreasing it. It's interesting to consider why anyone would need 512MB memory right now, and the answer is to run at stupidly high resolutions or to run with lots of anti-aliasing. There is also the question of graphics memory moving to next-generation XDR technology, from RAMBUS.

More, we suspect, to come this weekend. µ

 

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