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Old 31st August, 2005, 05:48 AM
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Ati News

There's been lots as of late...here's a few interesting tidbits for you to enjoy:

Quote:
ATI Technologies on Monday reduced its revenue guidance for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005 to a range much lower compared to the same period last year. In addition, numerous shareholders have filed class action suits against the graphics giant accusing the firm of misrepresenting its positions.

“This has clearly been a challenging and disappointing quarter for ATI and we are committed to resolving our operational issues. Despite our short term difficulties, we are optimistic about the future. We continue to gain traction in our integrated and consumer businesses,” said David Orton, President and Chief Executive Officer of ATI Technologies.

ATI now expects revenues for the fourth quarter to be in the range of $465 - $480 million, compared to the expected range of $550 - $580 million provided on June 23, 2005. Gross margin percentage for the quarter is expected to be in the single digit range, which includes an inventory writedown that is expected to be approximately $60 - $70 million. Operating expenses, excluding the costs associated with stock-based compensation, are expected to be in the range of $143 - $148 million, which is in line with guidance.

ATI reported revenues of $572.2 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004 (ended August 31, 2004), a 50.3% increase over the fourth quarter a year earlier.

Numerous law firms on behalf of ATI’s shareholders have filed at least seven class action suits against the company. The accusations, claim that that ATI substantially relied on its high-end offerings to fund other parts of its business; that the company’s high-end offerings failed to offset the negative impact of weak gross-margins and declining average sales prices in consumer electronics; that the company, due to production and design issues, was late to the market with its R520 chip, thereby losing market share to both NVIDIA Corp. and Intel Corp. which caused downward pricing pressure for ATI; that ATI’s inventory levels were at a historic high, while current sales levels were insufficient to support the existing cost base; and that the defendants’ positive statements about the company’s progress and future growth lacked in all reasonable basis.

-Anton Shilov, X-bit Labs.


Source:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/video/d...830084924.html


here's something interesting tho:

Quote:
Specifically, the complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants made false and misleading statements regarding the Company's business and prospects. As a result of defendants' false and misleading statements, ATI's stock traded at inflated levels, allowing the Company's top officers and directors to sell or otherwise dispose of more than $54 million worth of their own shares at artificially inflated prices.
Source:

http://securities.stanford.edu/1035/ATYT05_01/


BUT, intersting enough here we find doubts of performance of the next gen cards:

Quote:
Interview with Dave Orton

(excerpt)
Sampsa: Can you tell us a little about the problems which you encountered when you moved to 90nm production technology?

Dave: "Xbox 360-game console’s Xenon-graphics chipset was developed on 90 nm with tremendous success, so we felt confident using it for the R5xx family. RV515, which will be aimed at the entry-level PC segment, also worked perfectly from the outset without encountering any manufacturing issues. But to be honest, we’ve had our share of challenges with the R520 and RV530 chips. Even though all the simulations that were done with the chips were looking good, there were still issues with the silicon when it came back from the fab. It was also surprising that RV515 and RV530 were designed by the same team and manufactured in the same fab using same technology, but RV515 worked perfectly and RV530 caused us problems".

According to Dave, R520 chips taped-out in November 2004 and original plan was to announce it seven to eight months later during the June-July period. Adopting smaller manufacturing technology delayed the schedule by a couple of months, but because of other challenges the engineers faced, the chips were delayed by an additional 2-3 months.



http://www.soneraplaza.fi/tietokonee...303085,00.html


Quote:
(excerpt)
Sampsa: Did you have to remove any planned features from R520 in order to reach the version of R520 which you’re about to bring to the market?

Dave: "No we didn’t. The graphics chip runs extremely fast, and although we’re still finalizing clocks, I can tell you that we’re hitting stock engine speeds never seen before in this industry. The chip had to be produced with 90nm technology, because 110 nm would have made it way too large, and it’s still not a small chip."

According to Dave, the memory controller of the graphics chip has gone through a complete redesign, and ATI will be providing more details when they launch their new product family this fall.

but just a day before this was posted @ rage3d:
Quote:
Update with ATI's CEO

Event: On Aug.17, we hosted investor meetings with Dave Orton, ATI’s President and CEO.

Impact: Neutral.

The meetings focused on four key points: 1) Late September Launch Date Set for Three R500 Desktop Discrete Chips (R520, RV530, and RV515); 2) Strong Integrated Graphics Chipsets Growth, But Gross Margins (Desktop and Mobile Combined) to Remain in the Low-Teens Range in Q4 (Aug); 3) Inventory Level to Remain Above Target in Q4 and Writedown Risk Remains in Our View; and 4) Consumer Business (Wireless and Digital TV) Falls Well Short of Original Target for 2x Growth in F2005. ATI is in final stages of its F2006 financial planning process, and does not intend to make a significant headcount investment, with plans to keep operating expenses relatively flat for each of the quarters. We believe management’s tone was justifiably conservative, and we do not anticipate a one-quarter snapback in revenue growth or gross margins. We have a higher level of confidence that ATI’s R500 family will launch on time, but weak gross margins and the inventory bloat will likely continue to weigh negatively on the stock. We maintain our HOLD and $12.75/C$15.50 target price on ATI, based on 15x our C2006E EPS of $0.85.

1. Late September Launch Date Set for Three R500 Desktop Discrete Chips (R520, RV530, and RV515): Addressing the rampant rumours surrounding the R520 launch date, ATI stated its plan of record is to launch all three 90nm R500 desktop discrete chips (the enthusiast R520, the performance RV530, and the value RV515) in late September. The shipment dates will likely be staggered for the three chips, based on the delivery cycles from TSMC, with one likely shipping at launch date and the other two within the first half of October. The R520 was originally planned for a June launch, while the RV530 and RV515 launch times are only a few weeks delayed from their original schedule. The R520 had been sampling since Dec/04, and although the architecture and 90nm process were not a problem, ATI was not able to run the clock fast enough due to a “soft ground” issue that was discovered in late July after debugging with several re-spins. Specifically, the R520 and RV530 had functional yields, but could not run at high speeds, while the RV515 and the C1 (the 90nm Xbox graphics chip) did not have any issues. ATI concedes it has lost the OEM designs (primarily Dell) to NVIDIA’s GeForce 7800 GTX for enthusiast desktop PCs for both the back-to-school and holiday season, but believes the retail and channel (add-in-board) markets for the R520 chip remain available (representing over 2/3rds of the enthusiast market). Both ATI and NVIDIA did not refresh their back-to-school product stack for the performance/mainstream/value segments, with ATI indicating it has kept a significant share of design wins awarded in the March to May timeframe, based on its ATI X700, X600, X550, and X300 (competing against NVIDIA’s GeForce 6200 and 6600). In terms of performance, ATI believes the R520 should exceed the GeForce 7800 GTX in benchmark tests if it can get the proper clock speed, but recognizes that NVIDIA has some headroom to overclock the GeForce 7800 clock speeds. We do not expect ATI to launch its R580 (speculated to have 32 pixel pipelines) in C2005 (ATI does not want to stall the channel for the R520), and expect a refresh of the R500 family beginning in spring 2006 with RV560, followed by RV540 and RV505. We expect the R600 (DirectX 10, targeting Microsoft Vista operating system and WGF 2.0, the next generation graphics library) in Q4/F06 or Q1/F07.

2. Strong Integrated Graphics Chipsets Growth, But Gross Margins (Desktop and Mobile Combined) to Remain in the Low-Teens Range in Q4 (Aug): ATI is guiding for its integrated graphics chipset business (desktop and mobile) to represent 15% to 20% of revenue in Q4, up from our estimated 11% in Q3. The corresponding gross margins will remain in the 11% to 15% range in Q4, with desktop chipsets margins of approximately 7% and mobile in the mid-teens range. Top line desktop chipset growth is being driven by both the AMD and Intel platforms. ATI contends that half of all AMD processor shipments now ship with ATI’s integrated chipsets, and indicates it has been bidding successfully for design wins against NVIDIA’s upcoming integrated graphics chipset for the AMD64 (K8) desktop market, codenamed C51, for the last six months (C51 launch date is set for late Sept.). We believe Intel’s decision to leave the low-end (sub-$20) desktop chipset market for roughly the next three quarters, as it focuses its capacity on the mobile chipset and handheld/smartphone market, should translate into Intel platform-based integrated chipset growth for both ATI and SiS. ATI is targeting its desktop integrated chipset volume to reach two to three million units per quarter in the next few quarters. ATI expects its integrated chipset gross margins (desktop and mobile combined) to drive towards the 25%-plus range with its next generation chipsets in Spring 2006. Chipset gross margin improvements are expected to be driven by shrinking the die size (from 0.13u to 0.11u), improving the test yields, and reducing the package costs (50% of the chipset cost is substrate packaging). ATI will focus on the $16 to $20 chipset segment, conceding the $22 to $30 chipset segment to Intel, and ATI may move down market to the $12 to $15 chipset segment targeted by VIA and SiS. The single-digit gross margins associated with ATI’s current desktop chipsets is a result of ATI having to lower its chipset pricing from the initial $25 price target (OEM customers desired a $16 to $20 chipset with equivalent graphics performance to Intel, not a $25 chipset with 2x the graphics performance of Intel’s offering). ATI’s high-end CrossFire chipset is expected to ship in volume in early September and contribute positively to gross margins.

3. Inventory Level to Remain Above Target in Q4 and Writedown Risk Remains in Our View: ATI’s Q3 (May) inventory ballooned to $456 million, up $89 million sequentially and representing 100 days of inventory, with 2/3rds of the PC segment inventory consisting of PCI Express versus 1/3 AGP. ATI contends the AGP-based inventory is not materially at risk, given the demand for these value and mainstream parts (e.g., RADEON 9200 and RADEON 9600). Q4 inventory is expected to drop to the low-$400 million range, but still above ATI’s target of having inventory represent roughly 50% of forward revenue guidance (ATI’s inventory turnover target is 70 to 75 days, considering the current substrate shortage situation which is anticipated to last for the next six months). ATI had underestimated the channel demand for nine consecutive quarters, and decided to add two weeks of supply buffer to its inventory in Q2/Q3, increasing to 10 weeks from 8 weeks, but suffered a slowdown in demand and a slight decrease in channel market share to the mid-30% level. In addition, half of the inventory bloat was due to ATI underestimating the yields on its wafer by a factor of roughly 40% (i.e., the wafers yielded 40% more die than expected), further compounding its inventory glut (under ATI’s die buy model, ATI purchases on a per-die as opposed to per-wafer basis, implying that it has secured the price per die based on theoretical yields from the fab, and has committed to purchase the entire wafer no matter what the yield). ATI is not planning for an inventory writedown, arguing its AGP and PCI Express inventory is not obsolete, but cautions that a fast ramp of the new R500 family should put pricing pressure on the existing generation of products (we do not rule out the possibility of an inventory writedown). Justification of Target Price: ATI trades at 25x our C2005E EPS of $0.48 and 14x our C2006E EPS of $0.85, which compares to NVIDIA at 20x and 16x, and Intel trading at 18x and 16x. We believe ATI’s operational issues (desktop product launch delays and gross margin weakness) justify a relatively discounted target multiple of 15x our C2006E EPS, deriving a target price of $12.75/C$15.50. Key Risks to Target Price: Risks include valuation multiple contraction in the semiconductor industry; a slowdown in PC sales; competition from NVIDIA and Intel; inability to secure PCI Express design wins; timing of the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo Revolution game console launches, unexpected delays in shipping new products; and the outstanding OSC hearing involving ATI’s Chairman.

Action Notes August 18, 2005
Equity Research
Source:
http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthread.php?t=33826885

so make of it what you will, seeing how this is posted @ Tom's:
Quote:
Top Story
ATI's R520 silicon "fantastic" - sources

By Wolfgang Gruener, Senior Editor

August 30, 2005 - 20:50 EST

Chicago (IL) - After weeks of delay, final silicon of ATI's next graphic chip generation, code-named R520, apparently mad it through the production line. According to sources, quality and performance and of the chip exceed initial expectations, allowing the company to announce serious competition for Nvidia's 7800 GTX possibly in a matter of weeks.

Nvidia may be sweeping the high-performance graphics market with its seventh generation GeForce, but ATI made significant strides in preparing its next graphics chip and likely set new records in graphic performance. Credible industry sources told Tom's Hardware Guide that the R520 may debut with clock speeds in the range of 700 MHz and a completely redesigned graphics architecture.

Compared to 7800 GTX, our sources claim that the R520 can best Nvidia's performance and image quality levels ina ny scenario. Nvidia recently came under fire to use "driver cheats" for its 7800 series to increase frame rate performance on one side but sacrifized image quality on the other. While we have to wait for the final product to reach our test lab for testing, ATI may have in fact a chip in its hands that may force Nvidia to release a new flagship for its 7800 series.

Ahead of the R520, ATI is expected to to release its Crossfire dual graphics support. Several vendors tolf Tom's Hardware Guide that motherboard designs are finalized and that the industry at this times waits for ATI to officially introduce the technology. Crossfire boards are expected to be priced about 5 to 10 percent below SLI boards.
http://www.tomshardware.com/hardnews...30_205000.html




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Old 31st August, 2005, 08:47 AM
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Nice info
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Old 31st August, 2005, 10:52 AM
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Just a matter of minutes before hitting frontpage. Anyway ATI doesn't look too bright right now.

Thanks for the info Dave
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Old 31st August, 2005, 11:52 AM
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put simply, ATi are getting pwnd!
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Old 31st August, 2005, 01:27 PM
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All this fuss over such a small section of the market, I bet intel love it
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Old 31st August, 2005, 08:09 PM
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I posted this elsewhere, but it fits here too. This is my summary of events, from the hardware perspective,and what we can expect from the new cards:


Dave Orton says the chips are problematic, but they are "finalizing clocks". Moreover, in the report posted, it says pretty much much the same, but let me pull it out for you:
Quote:
Specifically, the R520 and RV530 had functional yields, but could not run at high speeds
Taken into account the news from Tom's saying 700mhz, based on what Dave Orton says, this speed seems unlikely. Now, knowing what i know myself, it seems that the fab fubared ATI, in order to keep the market in check(ATI are moving to a new fab starting Q4 this year, away from TSMC, who produces chips for nVidia, as well as ATI), because my own sources say 700mhz is just not gonna happen with 32 "pipelines" until R580(they aren't pipelines anymore, in the traditional sense, at least with ATI) , which should, according to just me, debut in February or March(yes, you can quote me on that).
Anyway, what adds even more weight to the R520<G70 argument is this statement:
Quote:
ATI believes the R520 should exceed the GeForce 7800 GTX in benchmark tests if it can get the proper clock speed, but recognizes that NVIDIA has some headroom to overclock the GeForce 7800 clock speeds
This tells me that current runs of the r520 cannot meet the aforementioned 700mhz mark, and although the r520 will bench @ higher stock scores, the 7800GTX will overclock to higher results in benchmarks.
The answer to why is hidden in the interview with Dave Orton:
Quote:
According to Dave, the memory controller of the graphics chip has gone through a complete redesign, and ATI will be providing more details when they launch their new product family this fall.
So, knowing other stuff i know, about the memory bus being 512bit instead of the current 256bit of the x850xt, and the 7800GTX, i know that the extra performance has been had by means of the memory interface, and not by high clock speeds. this in turn means that the chip itself, the r520, is not faster than the g70, but the gpu's onboard memory IS. And becasue it's the memory that's faster, and not the GPU, The 32 pipe version stands to be stomped out, not because of it's own limitations, but because current cpu's are not fast enough for the r520 to take advantage of that faster memory interface. This is why there is much focus from ATI toward the new sockets from AMD, which stand to offer the cpu performance that the r580 will need to excel as it should.

What's more important is that comment about overclocking...stock scores for the 7800GTX, according to the boxes for mine, have the 7800GTX @ 7930 3dmarks in 3dmark05.(P4 3.4EE,1gb ram, WinXP, Forceware 76.91)...so the ATI card only needs to score more than that. However, my card happens to have the highest stock overclock score without modding (including the reviewers and guys on forums that recieved cards directly from nvidia), and that's @ 9048, and that report saying that the 7800 has more headroom in overclocking only tells me that the r520 will not be able to hit 9000 without modifications...and therefore slower than the 7800. However, the reality of this should come out after the driver fix from nVidia, and how that impacts thier cards.
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Old 31st August, 2005, 08:21 PM
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It is kind of a flop really, i was expecting something better, but we'll have to wait for better CPU's...Any idea how much better then the current CPU's to obtain full performance and quality? Is the best/top line of CPU's not enough?
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Old 31st August, 2005, 08:29 PM
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I hate to say it, but the dothan is pretty darn close, but only about halfway there...DDR2 may make it for AMD, but until i get to play with thier DDR2 memcontroller, it's really hard to say. We need about 4-5x the ALU performance i think, to take full advantage of both high-end vidcards and a physics co-processor. Current solutions involve mutilcores, but multicores still use a single memory interface to ram, and a single memory controller, and this meeds to change. We're talking super-complex programming, but it has to be done.
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Old 31st August, 2005, 08:43 PM
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Old 31st August, 2005, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadaveca
I hate to say it, but the dothan is pretty darn close, but only about halfway there...DDR2 may make it for AMD, but until i get to play with thier DDR2 memcontroller, it's really hard to say. We need about 4-5x the ALU performance i think, to take full advantage of both high-end vidcards and a physics co-processor. Current solutions involve mutilcores, but multicores still use a single memory interface to ram, and a single memory controller, and this meeds to change. We're talking super-complex programming, but it has to be done.
Do you/ or any of you think they already have this kind of power, but just need to let it out into the 'the real world', or is it just to great a leap from our current retail-awailable technology. Aren't they just holding back due to financial matters?
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Old 31st August, 2005, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadaveca
debut in February or March(yes, you can quote me on that).

Quoted!

I think that they will be released around that time as well but i think they will have a christmas family of cards which will come down in price dramatically when these are released. It's the same story almost every year so i don't think this year will be an exception, unless by some extremely bad and unfortunate turn of fate, ATi go bust. Personally, i don't see it happening. No doubt Nvidia have something up their sleeve to counter act ATi's range though.
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Old 31st August, 2005, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abdul
Do you/ or any of you think they already have this kind of power, but just need to let it out into the 'the real world', or is it just to great a leap from our current retail-awailable technology. Aren't they just holding back due to financial matters?
Well, becasue most products are 18-24 months from first runs to retail shelves, yes the processors are out there, hidden in the land of NDA. Honestly, how long have i been talking about new sockets from AMD? almost a year, i think, and at minimum 6 months.


The biggest thing holding hardware back is programming...look @ Windows 64bit...how long will it be before there are reliable drivers out there? I mean really...we have had the hardware for a couple of years, yet no 64bit software...


The cause? well...i won't get into that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by skool h8r
Quoted!

I think that they will be released around that time as well but i think they will have a christmas family of cards which will come down in price dramatically when these are released. It's the same story almost every year so i don't think this year will be an exception, unless by some extremely bad and unfortunate turn of fate, ATi go bust. Personally, i don't see it happening. No doubt Nvidia have something up their sleeve to counter act ATi's range though.

Well, becasue to me, a release involes getting the chipsets to OEM's, and not on shelves, fabruary, march is realisitic, but don't expect much in the way of retial until june or july, becasue htey already have a backlog of older parts that need to go out, and a new product will just hurt sales of the old.
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Old 1st September, 2005, 04:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadaveca

The biggest thing holding hardware back is programming...look @ Windows 64bit...how long will it be before there are reliable drivers out there? I mean really...we have had the hardware for a couple of years, yet no 64bit software...
The driver situation has been getting much better recently. Nvidia's 77.77 for the 64 bit platform is just as good as the 32 bit 77.77, and now we even have 77.77 TweaksRUs XG drivers.

I cant talk about ATI since my X800Pro is still using linux (with crap drivers I may add). Creative's drivers are total crap on x64, but to qualify that, they are at the exact same LEVEL of crap that their 32 bit drivers are at.

LAN and WLAN card support is lacking, and laptop support isn't great, but other than that were doing OK.

In the good to go category:

Nvidia Chipset
VIA Chipset
Intel Chipset
Uli Chipset
SIS Chipset
Nvidia Geforce
ATI Radeon (assumed)
Intel Extreme Graphics
Creative Audio
CMedia Audio
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AVM LAN
Ralink LAN / WLAN
Intel LAN / WLAN
ADMTek LAN
3Com LAN
AMD Athlon 64 PowerNow! and Cool ' N ' Quiet
Silicon Image RAID (SATA & PATA)
HighPoint RAID (SATA & PATA)

The software support however is dead right. Far Cry 64 is nice, and STALKER is planned to have a 64 bit binary with it, but we need more of them.
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Old 1st September, 2005, 07:19 AM
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Wow, very informative Dave.

Is ATi in danger of going out of business?
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Old 1st September, 2005, 07:38 AM
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Nope. They have other things on the go, such as the xbox deal, the mmobile phone market, as well as other things. the lower projected revenue was due to the delay of the release of the new cards, and the share-selling fiasco is a bit nutty, as ATI was allowed to sell those shares by law, and announced ahead of time that they would do so. Thier losses are not due to thier own problems, but problems at the fab, and this has sent them looking elsewhere for chip production, which will start soon.the stock price drop is relative to the sales of shares by senior members, and due to all i have seen, ATI are far from looking at a desperate future. They do, however have issues selling old products, and this hurts them a bit, as that inventory loses it's value immediately upon launch of thier new product, so it's possible that the dealy may benfit them in the end.

Also of note is that the current offering, if it hits the 7800GTX level of performance is good, as the 7800 is very cpu limited, even at stock speeds, so this give the platform some lengevity,even thourhg the new AMD socket emergence. If ATI have managed to keep it down to a 16 "pipe" unit to get that performance, they are doing abosolutely fanstastic, regardless of all the complaints they are...because nvidia is doing it with 8 more "pipes".

Look for 625-650mhz opengings for the real r520, with 256/512mb of 512bit GDDR ram, operating @ 1.3-1.35ghz(ala samsung, of course).

Alot of naysayers say there is no 512bit GDDR3...to them...i say check out the matrox parahelia.
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Old 1st September, 2005, 08:43 AM
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The Parhelia uses 256bit DDR, not 512bit GDDR3 :\

Its a 512bit GPU, with a 256bit ddr interface.

Perhaps you mean the 3DLabs Wildcat Realizm 800, which runs a 512bit GDDR3 BUS.
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Old 1st September, 2005, 04:39 PM
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lol diso. you got me there. what haapens when you type when you should be in bed. lol.
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Old 1st September, 2005, 04:42 PM
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lol, it was just lucky. I happened to pick up a parhelia the other day and am using it now in my main rig. Gaming kinda sucks, but it does some interesting things, and not a bad card all round.

And a mate of mine is using a Realizm 800 for 3d work, so thats how I know that thing.
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Old 1st September, 2005, 11:58 PM
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As I recall the Parahelia will support three monitors simultaneaously, lot of flight sim people using those.
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Old 2nd September, 2005, 01:43 AM
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I happen to only have one monitor on it but it isnt too bad. Performance seams to be around about on par with a 9800 or 6600GT. The drivers suck badly but I guess that is to be expected.
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