Sapphire Atlantis RADEON 9800SE 128MB is a 128-bit card on 9800SE GPU with 325/270 (540) MHz clock speeds. As Sapphire officially released this product into retail, 9800SE is not longer a "pig in a poke". But we remind that there are still 9800SE versions in the market — one with 256-bit bus (on 9700 Pro PCB) and, like this one, with 128-bit bus.
According to the PCB, it´s a copy of RADEON 9500 PRO or 9500 (128-bit) with R350 instead of R300. So the performance promises to be some higher than that of RADEON 9500 due to the higher 325MHz (vs. 275MHz of 9500). It makes me think that $210-220 that traders ask for such cards, are too much, as today 9500 costs about $140, so the right price for 9800SE (128-bit) is about $170. Considering the bus differences mentioned above, be careful!
As for the 9800XT product, we must say that Sapphire changed its vision of a high-end solution and introduced this super accelerator accordingly. Speaking of a humanoid on the box, considering the photo of Gordon Freeman is nearby, the former should be a Half-Life 2 character. This is underlined more by a "free HL2" coupon with an activation code.
With humanoid or not, the box is attractive with its bump stamping, "window", etc. The card itself is actually made by ATI, while Sapphire just put its sticket on the cooler.
Note that Sapphire has omitted "Powered by ATI" sticker and replaced it with "Fueled by Sapphire". This is nothing more than a marketing "trick" to underline higher graphics quality — "High Octane Graphics". It seems the "high octane" additions are SMARTSHADER 2.0, SMOOTHVISION 2.1 and VIDEOSHADER technologies.
Pioneer announced its new external (IEEE1394 and USB2.0) DVD±R/RW drive — DVR-S606-J. It will arrive for sale in mid-November. Max. write speeds are: DVD&plumn;R — 4x, DVD±RW – 2x, CD-R – 16x, CD-RW – 10x. Sized 167x272.8x56.2mm, it weighs about 2.1kg. The model allows vertical or horizontal installation.
The bundle includes VideoStudio 7 SE, RecordNow DX, WriteDVD!, Simple Backup, WinDVD. Supported OS are Windows 98 SE/Me/2000/XP.
Alongside the company introduced an ATAPI drive — DVR-A06-J-BK – the same DVR-A06-J first offered in June, but with black front panel.
Source: PC Watch
AN7 ATX mobo supports all Socket A AMD K7 chips with 266/333/400MHz FSB; features 3 x DIMM sockets (up to 3 unbuffered DDR 266/333 or 2 unbuffered DDR 400), SATA 150 RAID (2 x SATA 150 RAID 0/1), 6-ch. AC97 codec, S/PDIF, 10/100 LAN (Realtek), 3 x IEEE1394 ports, AGP 8X/4X, 5 x PCI slots.
SmartDisk, known by its FlashTrax multimedia players, unveiled the new 40Gb and 80Gb models. Besides internal USB2.0 HDDs, players feature 3.5" LCD displays, CF type I/II, IBM Microdrive slots; support SmartMedia, Memory Stick, SD/MMC and xD Picture Cards via adapters.
New models can be connected to NTSC, Pal, Composite video TVs for photo/video browsing. Supported formats include RAW, GIF, BMP and Motion JPEG 320x240@30fps or 640x480@10fps.
Players also support up to 320Kbps MP3, VBR/WAV and have headphones connectors, built-in speakers, analog line-in. Devices power from Li-Ion 2200mAh batteries or AC outlets via adapters.
Until this moment XGI´s Volari GPU series were a herd of "dark horses" expected in several weeks early in December. However, we´ve seen only photos of Volari Duo V8 Ultra alongside the "official" test results demonstrated by the company at Computex 2003.
But our Kameraden from German TecChannel somehow obtained a sample of series´ more powerful XGI Volari Duo V8 Ultra (below) as well as more specified roadmap.
First, I guess it would be useful to refresh the specs of the entire Volari series:
As you can see, the first two variants imply dual-GPU design. Our German colleagues tested the most powerful of them Volari Duo V8 Ultra. Before proceeding to the test results, I´ll just mention that cards on Volari Duo V8 Ultra are expected early in December from XGI´s closest partners, including Club 3D, Gigabyte and PowerColor. The price is said to be about 400 euros.
As for the tested sample, it featured 256Mb of Samsung´s DDR2 memory (450MHz (900MHz DDR)), 2 x 350MHz XGI Volari Duo V8 Ultra GPUs. It was tested in the Windows XP system with DirectX 9 along with NVIDIA´s GeForce FX 5950 Ultra/5700 Ultra (ForceWare 52.16) and ATI´s RADEON 9800XT/9600XT (Catalyst 3.8). XGI´s Volari Duo V8 Ultra was tested with beta drivers from 10/24/2003. The testbed also featured i875P-based motherboard, 3.2GHz Pentium 4, 2x256Mb Corsair´s CL=2.0 memory. The test results are below:
3DMark2001 SE Pro
Quake III Arena
Quake III Arena
Quake III Arena
As you can see, XGI´s most powerful Volari Duo V8 Ultra doesn´t pretend to be the world-top GPU. Nevertheless, it holds a firm position between the top RADEON 9800 XT / GeForce FX 5950 Ultra and mainstream RADEON 9600 XT / GeForce FX 5700 Ultra. I believe this is important for a debuting company. Besides, Volari Duo V8 Ultra drivers were just a beta. If XGI plans are successful, we might see new reviews in our Video section before X-mas.
Finally, below is XGI´s GPU roadmap:
As you can see, entry-level Volari V3 and V5 should be transformed into a new XG42 core with DirectX 9 support in H1 2004. In their turn, Volari V5 Ultra and V8 will be replaced by XG41 core. The most powerful V8 Ultra and Volari V5 Duo Ultra are to be replaced by DirectX 9.1-optimized XG45 and XG46, respectively, in about H2 2004.
Finally, early in 2005 the company plans to release a new XG5X core supporting DirectX 10 to replace Volari Duo V8 Ultra.
Besides the ASUS RADEON 9800XT graphics card, such a "briefcase" will include 7-in-1 USB2.0 card reader (SD, MMC, 3.3V SM, MD, Type I/II CF, MS, MS Pro) and a stylish CD case.
P.S. The company plans to offer just 2000 bundles of ASUS RADEON 9800XT Limited Edition, so I doubt we´ll see them in retails stores anyway.
Today Elpida started sampling 2Gb DDR2 DIMM modules.
New 240-pin 2Gb DDR2 modules are based on 36 x 512Mbit chips clocked at 266MHz (533MHz DDR). At that their performance reaches 4.3Gb/s in the single-channel mode and 8.6Gb/s in the dual-channel mode. Base chips are made using 0.11µm process enabling easier transition to up to 667MHz clock speeds.
According to Elpida, volume shipments of 2Gb DDR2 modules might be launched in the late 2003, though it seems the demand will catch up closer to Q2 2004, when all components necessary for DDR2 servers arrive.
Source: PC Watch
Intel launched official shipments of its Pentium 4 Extreme Edition. CPU. If you remember, these were first introduced at the last Intel Developer Forum 2003. Pentium 4 Extreme Edition chips operate at 3.20GHz with 800MHz FSB, support Hyper-Threading, have 512Kb L2 cache and 2Mb L3 cache. Actually all the specs are not a secret for anybody, but if you missed something, you can read our Pentium 4 Extreme Edition vs. Athlon 64 FX.
I guess the only news expected in the official press release was the price. As it has been said before, in over 1,000-unit quantities box bundles will cost $925 clearly positioning for hardcore systems. This is actually confirmed in Intel´s press release. Systems on 3.20GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition have already been announced by a number of builders, including Dell and Gateway. For example, Gateway 700GX system on Intel 875P, 512Mb DDR400, GeForce FX 5900, 160Gb Serial ATA HDD, DVD-RAM/-R/CD-RW, 16X DVD-ROM, Creative Audigy2, 6-format card reader, Windows XP Home/Works 2004 and a 19" CRT monitor will cost $3299. Dell, in its turn, plans to release Precision 360 workstations alongside its new Dimension XPS systems.
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