ATI Radeon R600
Published: 16th May 2007 | Source: ATI |
HD - the buzzword
Nowadays it's all about High Definition and getting the very best image from your hardware as possible. ATI have upgraded the HD performance of their latest cards and now HDCP over two monitors is supported (something 8800 series don't do). As mentioned before an HDMI converter is included with the 2900 XT and ATI have gone with HDMI version 1.2, not including Dolby Digital Plus, DTS HD Master or Dolby TrueHD. However if your an HTPC enthusiast you are going to have a decent discrete APU (sound card to you and me - Ed) for your audio so I see the 5.1 sound card as a pretty neat if not slightly useless addition to the 2X00 series.
The new AMD theater 200 chip gives the R600 cards a great boost. Not only does it support 5.1 sound (stereo in previous versions) but it is also a UVD (Universal Video Decoder) & a AVP (Advanced Video Processor).
UVD provides direct hardware decoding of HD-DVD & Blue-ray standards. It also provides extra features for better picture quality when watching videos. These features are frequency transform, pixel prediction and deblocking, bitstream processing/entropy decode.
Because the video and sound are not seperated the card conforms to the protected content output path, which also makes it compliant with Windows Vista Premium Logo requirements.
The audio controller supports formats of 32kHz, 44.1kHz and 48kHz 16-bit PCM stereo & also supports AC3 compressed multi-channel audio (allowing Dolby Digital & DTS).
|ATI Avivo™ HD Video and Display Platform |
ATI have added a Universal Video Decoder to r600 that handles the entire decode process, offloading the decode from the CPU onto the GPU. As we have discussed in earlier articles the power of the GPU is only now coming to the fore and hardware manufacturers are realising it's potential. ATI enhances what is already out there by getting r600 to do it all:
In conclusion AMD/ATI have implemented a very clean and well-rounded DX10 card - and we think it's about time too. The review of the 2900 XT is on it's way soon but already we can see that the 2X00 series are a good competitior for the 8800GTS cards. The only thing that I am a little disappointed about is that they haven't come out all guns blazing with a card that blows nVidia out of the water - but hopefully that's to come.
The High-Defition aspects of the 2X00 series are excellent and as we progress we will see more computers moving into the living room. AMD have made it clear with 690G that this is their intention and it's great to see the top-end following this through too.
Would I buy one...you'll have to wait for the full review...
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Bit-Tech have an awesome write-up of r600 and it's architecture so have a good read if you're interested.
techPowerUp! have a nice read too
AMD/ATI have lots of info on their site