Excuses out of the way first, methinks. Yes, we know it's near the end of January 2006. Yes, we know the ATI Radeon X1300 and X1600 series of SKUs launched back in October, along with Radeon X1800. So nearly a quarter to get round to evaluating them pretty much sucks. We know that too, and we apologise. The perils of a million and one other product launches around the same time meant HEXUS.core was tied up doing other things, and analysis of the mid-range and low-end members of the new ATI Radeon X1K family have taken a bit of a back seat.
To that we apologise to ATI, the company graciously not applying sampling pressure with the boards (for a change!), giving me all the time in the world - which I've taken - to knock this little sojourn through the meat of their product range up.
Awesomely, we're still missing our technical piece on how the new chip family works and was put together on an in-depth level, for the same reasons, but that's not far away from this piece, so keep holding that breath and as soon as it appears we'll do the linking thing and let you know.
Back to the topic in hand, with Radeon X1800 XL and XT currently putting the ATIs next generation flag in the sand, it was always the case that ATI would fill in the blanks down to the bottom of the page. Given the delays to the flagship R520, the GPUs that power Radeon X1300 and Radeon X1600, named RV515 and RV530 respectively, debuted at the same time.
Radeon X1300 was available the same day as X1800, with X1600 following two months later in December. Both now sell in quantity along with their big brother, with the refresh parts not far away. Timely juncture to have a look, then.
The best offerings in the X1300 and X1600 range are what we look at today, as the markers for their sub markets, so join us as we analyse RV515 and RV530 in a modicum of depth internally, before looking at the physical specifics and performance levels of X1300 PRO and X1600 XT.