More ATI notes
In our first Computex graphics article, we mentioned ATIís plans going forward this summer. One additional tidbit we picked up on during our conversations with board manufacturers that we forgot to report on was ATIís plans for dual DVI.
With NV40, NVIDIA integrated dual DVI connectors as standard equipment on its reference design and has been adopted by all of NVIDIAís board partners on the Ultra line. This was welcome news to users with high-end LCD displays, as more flexible configurations are possible: with the standard DVI/VGA combo, youíre limited to supporting one DVI display, but with dual DVI you can run dual DVI displays, two VGAs, or one DVI and one VGA.
Rumor has it that ATI will also adopt dual DVI on its PCI Express RADEON X800 XT Platinum cards, just like NV40. This should come as welcome news to those of you with flat panel displays. Weíve received no word on plans for a dual DVI X800 PRO card however.
With that news out of the way, lets get on to the rest of the report.
While we were under the impression ABIT was going to continue manufacturing both NVIDIA graphics cards (in addition to their recent ATI announcement), ABIT didnít have any NVIDIA products on display at their Computex booth; this includes the PCI Express GeForce PCX line as well as the GeForce 6800 series. Apparently ABIT plans to focus on ATI, at least for the immediate future.
While we were on the lookout for an OTES-inspired RADEON card, unfortunately ABITís ambitions arenít quite there yet. Like everyone else, ABIT relies on ATIís reference design for the X800 PRO and XT in both AGP and PCI Express variants.
For the mainstream and value segments, ABIT is given a little more leeway, implementing their own unique cooling solution for their X300 and X600 series of graphics cards. ABITís first X600 PRO boards should hit shelves later this month, with the XT variant following sometime in July. Both boards sport a unique Orb-style cooler, with aluminum heatsinks cooling the boardís memory modules as well.
This is good news for potential X600 PRO users, as some board manufacturers are using the boards TSOP memory and slower clocks as an excuse to skimp on the PROís cooling.
PCI Express X800 cards from ABIT
ABIT X600 cards
ABIT boxes stacked
ABIT is pretty proud of this cooler too, referring to it as their unique ďDie Casting Cooling SystemĒ. The base of the unit boasts a greater surface area than some of the more traditional ATI heatsinks, while the top of the fan is designed to draw cool air in, keeping the X600 VPU cool. This air then passes out the sides of the heatsink, ABIT provides 20 venting holes for this purpose. Finally, 2 fan-mounted blue LEDs are integrated into the fan to create an eye-catching halo effect.
ABIT plans to produce three X600 models: one 256MB X600 XT card, a 128MB X600 XT board, and a 128MB X600 PRO card.