The graphics sector is undoubtedly one of the most hotly contested areas of computer hardware with the two giants Nvidia and ATI seemingly alone in the battle for market domination. Its been another good year so far from ATI with the X800XT PE being arguably the fastest card available to the consumer, with Nvidia's 6800 Ultra right on its heels. So here we have the new X700XT from ATI, an eight pixel pipe card aimed at the lucrative mid range sector. This card is being marketed by ATI as a more powerful "replacement" for the 9800XT, their successful high end board of last year.
Below are figures supplied by ATI detailing how their current GFX range scores in the popular 3dmark03 benchmark - these figures were gained from a high end PCIe system based around a P4 3.4ghz Extreme Edition with one gigabyte of ram running on an Intel 925x motherboard. Driverheaven have not included 3dmark03 test results as part of a hardware review for quite some time as we prefer to deal with "real world" gaming tests, but everytime we review a new graphics card product such as the X700 we are looking at today we are asked in our forums how the card will perform in Futuremark's current synthetic benchmark.
The release of the X700 series has pushed the X600 and X300 down the product line, I have to say this is a moot point to many as very few people have as yet moved from their AGP systems to the new PCIe standard.
The X700 is capable of 713 million polygon transforms per second and 5.7 billion vertex shader operations per second, it also has support for geometry instancing and according to ATI's figures has twice the vertex power of the Geforce 6600. It is built on a 0.11 micron process at TSMC and is capable of HDTV output.
Im not going to go over ATI's recent technology advancements such as 3DC and Temporal Anti-Aliasing, we have gone into these in detail before, for those of you wishing to recap, please head over to this review for more information.