OC: Radeon HD2900XT 512 MB vs GeForce 8800GTS 640 MB
Author: Luka Rakamaric
Date: 26 Jun 2007
A few weeks after R600 came to the market we decided to take a few retail samples and try to compare it to its clear main competitor, 8800GTS 640MB, using both stock and OC clocks. This is also the first review we will be using Windows Vista Ultimate for Company Of Heroes DirectX 10 benchmark. In the following weeks, we will include more DirectX 10 games as they become available to our standard test procedure.
Radeon HD2900XT is based on an R600 chip, which consists of more than 700 million transistors. After months of delays, what was supposed to be a new graphics cards flagship, not only in ATI's yard, but overall, was reduced to a good value for money product, comparable to a cut down competitor's model. The only thing left for AMD/ATI to do was to offer the card at a much lower price point than it originally intended, somewhere around a ?350 mark.
The card itself is quite large and heavy, courtesy of excessive copper use in the cooler. The design of the cooler is almost identical to the 8800 series cards, except that it does not blow any air back into the chassis, which is a very good idea, as the card?s exhaust tends to get very very hot. Because of this, we were very skeptical about overclocking capabilities of the card. When you see 740 MHz core clock, it seems quite high, and that the card is already maxed out. To clear the shader count dilemma that the arrival of the R600 created, we must mention that the specified 320 shaders are not comparable in any way to the NVIDIA?s 128 (or 96 for the GTS). With some technical data and a calculator, you come to a comparable count of ?only? 64 shaders, which is also supported by the benchmarking results, as we will see later.