ATIís X700 family consists of three distinct product lines. On the high-end lies X700 XT. The X700 XT ships with a 475MHz core clock speed and 525MHz GDDR3 memory. This provides a texel fill rate of 3.8 Gigatexels/second, which is just shy of GeForce 6600 GTís 4.0 Gigatexel/second, but it boasts 800MB/sec of additional memory bandwidth.
ATI offers the X700 XT in two memory configurations. At $249 is the 256MB X700 XT, while ATI also offers a 128MB X700 XT at the crucial $199 price point. Both boards boast the same clocks, with the only difference being the additional memory. Weíve run tests that show that newer titles such as Half-Life 2 and Far Cry are capable of taking advantage of the additional memory 256MB cards provide, particularly at high resolutions with AA/AF enabled.
Just below the X700 XT lies the X700 PRO. The X700 PRO sports a 420MHz core clock frequency, with its memory running at 432MHz (864MHz effective). The X700 PRO will ship with 256MB of memory and will be priced at an MSRP of $199.
Finally, on the bottom of ATIís X700 lineup is the X700. X700 ships with the same core features as the other cards, including the 8 pixel pipes and 128-bit memory interface, only with slower clocks. ATI has committed to 400MHz on the graphics core and 300MHz DDR1 memory (600MHz effective). These are the same clocks as RADEON 9600 PRO/X600, but thanks to the boards 8 pipeline configuration, the X700 should offer dramatically more performance when it ships and will be priced at an MSRP of $149.
All X700 cards will initially support PCI Express, just like the GeForce 6600. To serve the existing AGP add-in card market, ATI also plans to ship AGP-based X700 cards, but these cards wonít hit retail until later this year. Since the X700 supports PCI Express natively, ATI will have to integrate a bridge chip on their AGP X700s.
In addition to adding X700, ATI has made one other change to their lineup. In the coming weeks, X800 XT will make its way to the AGP platform. Up to now, all X800 XTs have been PCI Express-only. But with the lack of AGP X800 XT Platinum Edition cards at retail, ATI has decided to introduce an AGP-based X800 XT at 500/500 to help satisfy demand for high-end cards.
X700 XT board design
ATIís X700 XT relies on a single slot copper heatsink to keep the graphics core cool. Like previous coolers, the X700 XTís cooling unit is a ducted design. The cooler draws in air from within your systemís case and blows it across the graphics core and memory modules, which are partially covered by the copper heatsink.
The X700 XT board
The card itself is heavy, due to the copper heatsink used
A variable speed fan is used to keep everything cool, although we never saw the fan run at its highest mode outside of system bootup. Even when the card was overclocked the card remained in its intermediate mode, which was fortunately very easy on the ears.