Asus 2600XT and 2600Pro - ATI mid range performance

Introduction and specification

Introduction

ATI released their HD 2900 XT to an awaiting enthusiast audience who were (it has to be said), a little disappointed. Apart from the price and awesome bundle the card offered little new to the market.

Now the mid-range cards are upon us and once again ATI trail behind nVidia on release schedule. Having said that, Asus have given us a couple of nice looking cards with some 3rd party coolers so it will be interesting to see how these go down.

asus 2600 XT & Pro

R600 becomes R630

In the spirit of making the lower chips have higher numbers than the top end, ATI have named their mid-range R630. With a scaled down version of the R600 architecture and boasting a nice 194 GFLOPS of power, the 2600 series looks pretty sweet on paper.

r600

We went through the architecture changes for R600 in an earlier article, but the R630 chip keeps the ring-bus memory architecture from R600 as well, albeit scaled down to a 128mb interface.

r600 memory architecture

As I said on paper the cards stack up well giving us what should be some nice numbers.

R630 vs G84

Or in laymans terms: nVidia 8600 vs ATI 2600. We'll be pitting two nVidia cards against the 2600 series to see how well they stack up.


  GeForce 8600 GTS
GeForce 8600 GT Radeon 2600 XT Radeon 2600 Pro
Stream Processors 32 32 120120
Core Clock (MHz)
675 540 800600
Shader Clock (MHz)
1450 1180 800600
Memory Clock (MHz) 1000 700700
500
Memory Amount 256 GDDR3
256mb GDDR3
256 GDDR3 256 GDDR2
Memory Interface 128-bit 128-bit128-bit128-bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) 32 22.422.412.8
Texture Fill Rate (billion/sec) 10.8 8.63.22.4
Please note that the 8600 GTS is included for reference purposes only.

ATI Radeon™ HD 2600 Feature Summary (from AMD's website )

* 390 million transistors on 65nm fabrication process

* 128-bit DDR2/GDDR3/GDDR4 memory interface

* Ring Bus Memory Controller

o Fully distributed design with 256-bit internal ring bus for memory reads and writes

* Unified Superscalar Shader Architecture

o 120 stream processing units
+ Dynamic load balancing and resource allocation for vertex, geometry, and pixel shaders
+ Common instruction set and texture unit access supported for all types of shaders
+ Dedicated branch execution units and texture address processors
o 128-bit floating point precision for all operations
o Command processor for reduced CPU overhead
o Shader instruction and constant caches
o Up to 40 texture fetches per clock cycle
o Up to 128 textures per pixel
o Fully associative multi-level texture cache design
o DXTC and 3Dc+ texture compression
o High resolution texture support (up to 8192 x 8192)
o Fully associative texture Z/stencil cache designs
o Double-sided hierarchical Z/stencil buffer
o Early Z test, Re-Z, Z Range optimization, and Fast Z Clear
o Lossless Z & stencil compression (up to 128:1)
o Lossless color compression (up to 8:1)
o 8 render targets (MRTs) with anti-aliasing support
o Physics processing support

* Full support for Microsoft® DirectX® 10.0

o Shader Model 4.0
o Geometry Shaders
o Stream Output
o Integer and Bitwise Operations
o Alpha to Coverage
o Constant Buffers
o State Objects
o Texture Arrays

* Dynamic Geometry Acceleration

o High performance vertex cache
o Programmable tessellation unit
o Accelerated geometry shader path for geometry amplification
o Memory read/write cache for improved stream output performance

* Anti-aliasing features

o Multi-sample anti-aliasing (up to 8 samples per pixel)
o Up to 24x Custom Filter Anti-Aliasing (CFAA) for improved quality
o Adaptive super-sampling and multi-sampling
o Temporal anti-aliasing
o Gamma correct
o Super AA (CrossFire configurations only)
o All anti-aliasing features compatible with HDR rendering

* Texture filtering features

o 2x/4x/8x/16x high quality adaptive anisotropic filtering modes (up to 128 taps per pixel)
o 128-bit floating point HDR texture filtering
o Bicubic filtering
o sRGB filtering (gamma/degamma)
o Percentage Closer Filtering (PCF)
o Depth & stencil texture (DST) format support
o Shared exponent HDR (RGBE 9:9:9:5) texture format support

* CrossFire™ Multi-GPU Technology

o Scale up rendering performance and image quality with 2 or more GPUs
o Integrated compositing engine
o High performance dual channel interconnect

* ATI Avivo™ HD Video and Display Platform

o Dedicated unified video decoder (UVD) for H.264/AVC and VC-1 video formats
+ High definition (HD) playback of both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats
o Hardware MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4/DivX video decode acceleration
+ Motion compensation and iDCT (inverse discrete cosine transform)
o Avivo Video Post Processor
+ Color space conversion
+ Chroma subsampling format conversion
+ Horizontal and vertical scaling
+ Gamma correction
o High Quality Video Post Processing
+ Advanced vector adaptive per-pixel de-interlacing
+ De-blocking and noise reduction filtering
+ Detail enhancement
+ Inverse telecine (2:2 and 3:2 pull-down correction)
+ Bad edit correction
o Two independent display controllers
+ Drive two displays simultaneously with independent resolutions, refresh rates, color controls and video overlays for each display
+ Full 30-bit display processing
+ Programmable piecewise linear gamma correction, color correction, and color space conversion
+ Spatial/temporal dithering provides 30-bit color quality on 24-bit and 18-bit displays
+ High quality pre- and post-scaling engines, with underscan support for all display outputs
+ Content-adaptive de-flicker filtering for interlaced displays
+ Fast, glitch-free mode switching
+ Hardware cursor
o Two integrated dual-link DVI display outputs
+ Each supports 18-, 24-, and 30-bit digital displays at all resolutions up to 1920x1200 (single-link DVI) or 2560x1600 (dual-link DVI)1
+ Each includes a dual-link HDCP encoder with on-chip key storage for high resolution playback of protected content2
o Two integrated 400 MHz 30-bit RAMDACs
+ Each supports analog displays connected by VGA at all resolutions up to 2048x15361
o HDMI output support
+ Supports all display resolutions up to 1920x10801
+ Integrated HD audio controller with multi-channel (5.1) AC3 support, enabling a plug-and-play cable-less audio solution
o Integrated AMD Xilleon™ HDTV encoder
+ Provides high quality analog TV output (component/S-video/composite)
+ Supports SDTV and HDTV resolutions
+ Underscan and overscan compensation
o MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, WMV9, VC-1, and H.264/AVC encoding and transcoding
o Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video in real time
o VGA mode support on all display outputs

* PCI Express x16 bus interface

* OpenGL 2.0 support


As I said: some of the bits on paper looks pretty good but if you look a little more closely there are a few areas where the 2600 falls behind a little...
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Most Recent Comments

17-08-2007, 15:42:31

FarFarAway
Take a look at the review here

Tell us what you think. ATI not done enough on this gen or are we overstating the case?

17-08-2007, 17:22:49

MikeEnIke
The first thing I thought was, Ouch...

That's a nice review kemp, and i'm pretty surprised by it.

17-08-2007, 20:00:45

FarFarAway
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='MikeEnIke'
The first thing I thought was, Ouch...

That's a nice review kemp, and i'm pretty surprised by it.
Surprised at the performance?

17-08-2007, 20:40:21

MikeEnIke
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Kempez'
Surprised at the performance?
Yea surprised that it kinda sucks... a bit upset poor AMD lol

20-08-2007, 05:50:36

Mr. Smith
They suck hard.

Shame really.

Edit: I'd just like to add this came as no supise considering this whole 2900 fiasco. This generation of gfx card ahs been a failure for AMD.

20-08-2007, 16:28:58

FarFarAway
I agree

And it makes me a sad panda

http://upload.overclock3d.net/get.php?id=3601

20-08-2007, 16:55:54

markkleb
When the words Bad, Shame and Awful are in a review it cant be good.

20-08-2007, 16:57:38

Azreil_2
Lol ok gonna have to read this review just for kicks now :P

20-08-2007, 18:25:47

ionicle
thats depressing tbh

22-08-2007, 17:20:29

FarFarAway
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='markkleb'
When the words Bad, Shame and Awful are in a review it cant be good.
lol and that's just in the conclusion

25-09-2007, 13:02:56

4evrnyt
No one is mentioning the fact that the 2600 is available in AGP and the 8600 is not. I dont use AGP but if you go to Valves system information page you will see that close to 40% of all the people using Valve still use a video card plugged into an AGP slot.

The fact that the 2600 comes in AGP is a HUGE advantage that Nvidia is simply overlooking.

25-09-2007, 14:47:32

FarFarAway
Honestly? I'd prefer an older DX9 card over the 2600 series
Reply
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