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Dave Orton promises R600 to take no prisoners and feature "new levels"
15-Dec-2006, 01:50.16 Reporter : geo
Speaking at yesterday's AMD Financial Analysts Day, Executive Vice
President of Visual and Media Businesses, Dave Orton, appeared to throw
down the performance gauntlet in favor of AMD's upcoming R600 GPU.
Having had over a month to study NVIDIA's G80, Orton did not seem the
least bit intimidated. In a slide entitled "R600: Why we lead in
graphics", Orton promised that even if the name of the company had
changed, that the commitment to GPU performance leadership had not. He
promised a "take no prisoners" approach to performance leadership for
AMD's new GPU.
More interestingly, in his verbal remarks Orton reported (at roughly
the 1:22:30 mark of the webcast) that one of R600's key advantages
would be "new levels of memory bandwidth to the graphics subsystem, and
bandwidth is critical to graphics performance." As all graphics geeks
know, AMD pioneered the move to GDDR4 memory with the Radeon X1950 XTX,
which gave them a temporary advantage in bandwidth. However, in the
period since NVIDIA has released the 384-bit GeForce 8800 GTX, whose
memory bandwidth crushes the X1950 XTX by 86.4GB/s to 64.0GB/s. It is
impossible that AMD could regain a significant enough advantage in
bandwidth to be cited by Orton as a major competitive advantage without
following NVIDIA north of the 256-bit bus that has been a mainstay of
the ATI/AMD high-end products since 2002's Radeon 9700 Pro.
As such, Beyond3D now believes that the persistent rumours that R600
will feature a 512-bit bus to graphics memory are most likely true, and
at any rate believes that R600 must feature an external bus greater
than 256-bit in order to back up the smack AMD's Executive Vice
President laid down.
In other tidbits, Orton also vowed to be first to the 65nm technology
process, but did not disclose which product he had in mind for the
honor, nor even product type, GPU or chipset. Our graphics-oriented
notes (and a few selected slides) on the rest of the conference are
included inside, if you dare to take the red pill.
Excellent news. So, a true 512-bit internal/external memory bus has all but
been officially confirmed.
February is going to be a very interesting time. I wonder what NVidia will
have at R600 launch to respond to ATi's new monster? Certainly an 8800 GTX
refresh won't be enough. We'll see.