ATI intros RADEON 9800 XT, RADEON 9600 XT

The RADEON 9800 XT, the most powerful visual processor available, takes the award-winning RADEON 9800 architecture, the first and only to feature eight full pixel pipes, and makes it even faster. Shipping immediately, the graphics cards will feature 256MB of graphics memory and a wide, 256-bit memory interface. In addition to the brute-force capabilities of the visual processor, the architecture is efficiently designed to process instructions in parallel, maximizing performance. The RADEON 9800 XT will be available in stores and online in October from ATI and its board partners. ATI’s retail product will have a suggested retail price of $499.

The RADEON 9600 XT, the world’s first visual processor developed using a low k dielectric process, features four pixel pipes and 128MB of graphics memory and delivers unbeatable performance for under $200. Recent reviews have shown the RADEON 9600 XT to outperform cards twice its price in today’s shader-intensive DirectX 9 games. Gamers will enjoy the stunning visual quality that the RADEON 9600 XT delivers, which renders in full precision at all times. The card will also be available in stores and online in October from ATI and its board partners.

“ATI’s performance and image quality in DirectX 9-class games is unmatched,” said Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President, Marketing, General Manager, Desktop, ATI Technologies Inc. “By bundling Half-Life 2 with these products we are giving our customers the opportunity to experience the full capability of ATI’s DirectX 9 hardware.”

Customers purchasing ATI’s RADEON 9800 XT and RADEON 9600 XT will also get a free copy of Half-Life 2 when the game ships. “We chose to partner with ATI because of their outstanding DirectX 9 performance,” said Gabe Newell, Founder and Managing Director, Valve®. “Half-Life 2 relies heavily on advanced shader technologies to give the game a realistic and immersive environment. ATI’s DirectX 9-class RADEONâ„¢ cards are the best choices for playing Half-Life 2.”

ATI’s RADEON 9800 XT and RADEON 9600 XT will be available in high-end gaming systems from system builders like ABS, Alienware, CyberPower, Elite PC, Falcon Northwest, IbuyPower, MDG, Velocity Micro, Voodoo PC and ZT Group.

Add-in-board partners and third party graphics card manufacturers will also be distributing products for retail, and for the OEM and white box markets. Board partners include ASUSTeK, Celestica, Connect3D, CP Technology, GeCube, Giga-Byte, Hercules, Hightech Information System, Sapphire, VisionTek and Yuan.