This morning we received information on AMD’s ATI Radeon HD 2900 GT – a card that AMD hopes will bridge the gap between the Radeon 2900 XT and the lacklustre “mid-range” Radeon 2600 XT GDDR4.
The HD 2900 GT is based on the R600 graphics processing unit that’s at the heart of the 2900 XT, but the specifications have been cut back in order to fit it into the middle of AMD’s product portfolio. Instead of the 64 five-way superscalar shader processors (320 stream processors), there are just 48 shader processors (or 240 stream processors) in the Radeon HD 2900 GT.
Memory bandwidth has also been cut on the Radeon HD 2900 GT too, as R600’s 512-bit memory interface has been cut quite literally in half to 256-bits.
The GPU clock is set at 600MHz for the time being, while the memory will be 256MB of GDDR3 running at 1600MHz. From what we gather, there will still be 16 pixel output engines in the Radeon HD 2900 GT, meaning that pixel fillrate isn’t too much lower than it is on the flagship HD 2900 XT.
The cooling solution looks to be exactly the same dual-slot cooler that’s on the Radeon HD 2900 XT, but we’d expect it to be a little quieter under load. However, don’t expect the card to use much less power though, as it’ll still feature both 6-pin and 8-pin power connectors.
In addition to this, the card includes obvious support for DirectX 10 and native CrossFire. There’s also the inbuilt audio processing chip that enables 5.1 audio over DVI when using the bundled DVI-to-HDMI converter. Of course, if you’re not using the HDMI converter, both of the dual-link DVI ports are HDCP compliant, meaning you can connect two 30” monitors to the card and still be able to play protected HD content back.
Performance characteristics and pricing are both unknown at the time of publication, but we'd expect it to cost around £150-160. We’ll bring you updates on both fronts as soon as we know more.
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