With ATI having taken a significant technology lead with their R300 core, leaving themselves exclusively to the high-end market was certainly not a part of their agenda. With lower margins and higher volume, the low-end and mid-range markets are prime territory for anyone, and certainly not segments that ATI intended to neglect. Developing a scaled back version of the R200’s core, RV250 was created. From that, ATI introduced RADEON 9000 PRO, a high performance, low-cost derivative of last year’s RADEON 8500.
Being aware of the detriment brought about by relying on one's boards sales exclusively, ATI has allowed other board manufactures to distribute products based on their architectures. Tyan, being one such board manufacturer, has produced their Tachyon 9000 Pro. Based entirely off of ATI's RADEON 9000 PRO reference design, both RADEON and Tachyon include 64 MB of 275 MHz DDR memory (though R250 supports up to 128MB of memory), with core clocks operating at 275 MHz.
Letting ones chip into the open market for a variety of board manufactures to produce, while primarily advantageous, can also be a detriment. While all based on the same chip that one produces, higher margins are gained through direct board sales. Competition is also created, which can drive down prices without some type of price regulation on the chip manufacturer’s part. In the case of ATI's partnership with Tyan, Tachyon sales allow for further market penetration, while potentially reducing ATI's own board sales.
The feature set of RV250 is primarily based on that of R200. Running at a 275 MHz core clock allows for RV250 to provide a theoretical fill-rate of just over 1 Gigapixel/sec while supporting pixel shader version 1.4. Unlike R200 though, RV250 includes only a single texture unit, requiring all multi-texture rendering to be multi-cycle. This, however, does not require multi-pass rendering, as 6 textures can be written in a single pass via loopbacks, or reuse of texture coordinates. From this we can ascertain that applications that require multi-texturing will operate more efficiently on R200-based products.
-ATI® RADEON 9000 PRO 128-bit VPU; 275MHz
- 1100 MPPS Theoretical Fill-Rate
-64MB DDR memory; 275MHz DDR
-VGA, DVI-I, and S-Video connectors
-AGP 4x/2x/1x compatible
- Pixel Shader 1.4
- Vertex Shader 1.1