This ATi document - ATi RADEON ‘X1800 XT OC support’ - effectively advises that due to better than expected yields of its X1800 XT ASIC, ATi is guaranteeing that the clock frequencies can be raised from the original reference design VPU core frequency of 625MHz to 650MHz, and that it’s recommending that AIB partners wishing to ship products at this core frequency, should also increase the video memory clock by 25MHz from 750MHz to 775MHz.
Speaking exclusively to HEXUS, Bill Donnelly, PR Director for Sapphire Technology would not confirm the details of the ATi RADEON ‘X1800 XT OC support’ document, but he revealed that Sapphire will shortly be offering at least one X1800 XT based product with "significantly increased frequencies and performance".
Reading between the lines of what Bill said, it seems that Sapphire may have more than one offering in the pipeline that’s pre-overclocked at the new 650/775 frequencies guaranteed by ATi, but that the goodness wouldn’t stop there.
Apparently Sapphire has been working to further extend the capabilities of its 'TRIXX' software overclocking utility, and that “Sapphire will definitely have a pre-overclocked part, and using a new and enhanced version of ‘TRIXX’, Sapphire customers will be able to increase our products performance further”.
Bill could not confirm whether the Sapphire variant of the RADEON ‘Hard-On’ Edition would be released as a Sapphire ‘Hybrid’, 'FireBlade' or ‘Toxic’ branded product, but that alternative thermal control designs are being decided upon, and the final design of these would have a bearing on which Sapphire brand was used.
HEXUS has confirmed that ATi Technologies’ second largest AIB - PowerColor - will also be shortly offering at least one product based on these increased frequencies, though at present details are a little less clear.
With the impending launch of the NVIDIA GeForce 'TBA', the specific timing of the release of the ‘X1800 XT OC support’ document, and ATi Technologies’ qualification and guarantee of its RADEON X1800 XT at 650/775 frequencies for its two largest AIB partners should not be ignored, and is obviously an eleventh hour response by ATi to try and retain its single 3D accelerator performance crown.
That said ATi’s 90nm R580 ASIC - which HEXUS exclusively revealed is codenamed 'Rodin' - isn’t too far off e-tailers shelves either, and will inevitably come with even higher frequencies...
HEXUS would like to thank Jeremy 'caboosemoose' Laird for his assistance with this HEXUS.bean