After several delays, AMD plans to launch its long-awaited DirectX 10 lineup with the flagship ATI Radeon HD 2900 XTX. Other models such as the Radeon HD 2900 XT, Radeon HD 2600-series and Radeon HD 2400-series will also join AMD's DirectX 10 family after the initial high-end launches. AMD plans to launch the DirectX 10 product line-up in mid-May. AMD's flagship ATI Radeon HD 2900-series will have two models at launch - the ATI Radeon HD 2900 XTX (1GB of GDDR4 memory) expected to be priced at $449 and the HD 2900 XT (512MB of memory).
AMD equips the ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT with 320 stream processors (compared to NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS' 96 stream processors) as well as 512MB of GDDR3 memory clocked at 1.65 GHz across an eight-channel, 512-bit memory interface (compared to the GeForce 8800 GTS' 640MB of 1.6 GHz GDDR3 memory on a 320-bit memory interface). The ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT features a dual-slot, blower-type heat sink. Unlike the 11.5" long OEM Radeon HD 2900-series, the ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT makes use of a smaller cooler so everything fits within the 9.5" PCB. Although the R600 GPU supports HDMI audio and video output, the reference design only features dual dual-link DVI.
The benchmarks were conducted on an Intel D975XBX2 BadAxe2, Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 and 2x1GB DDR2-800 MHz. The operating system on the test system was Windows XP, with a fresh install before benchmarking each card. Testing of the AMD ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT was performed using the 8.361 Catalyst RC4 drivers, while the GeForce 8800 GTS used ForceWare 158.19 drivers. All game tests were run with the maximum detail settings at resolutions of 1280x1024.