ATI have announced their new X1000 series of graphics cards today. The range currently comprises the X1800 XT, the X1800 XL, the X1600 and the X1300 .
The reviews are in:
There are reviews of the cards that we recommend over at:
The general opinion, based on the above reviews, appears to be that the X1800 XL is a worthy competitor to the 7800 GT. The XT, which has 512MB, has garnered more positive reviews, but with caveats about its availability. Both parts are price-sensitive - as they are new to the market, the pricing appears to be slightly out of sync with NVIDIA rivals. However, the X1000 series cards appear to have some technical advantages when it comes to anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering.
We are reserving our opinion on the X1000 series until we have had a chance to evaluate a board and fully understand the underlying technology. We will be bringing you our own review of the X1000 series as soon as we get our hands on actual cards shipping from board partners, as opposed to reference ATI designs. We anticipate having a retail X1800 XL board from an ATI partner within the next couple of days, prior to its mass shipment.
One thing we do have an opinion on is the launch logistics of the X1000 series. We all know that NVIDIA 'hard-launched' the 7800 series, with the GTX and GT having wide availability of cards to buy at launch. However, the story with these ATI cards is different.
The X1800 XT isn't going to get into stores until the 5th of November. The X1600 XT isn't hitting until the 30th of November. The X1800 XL should
have been available worldwide today, making it the currently the only shipping card out of all the ones that ATI has launched. The unavailability of the two XTs is disappointing.
However, we went to see if we could actually buy the X1800 XL online. We have talked to partners in the UK over the last week and we had suspicions that it would not actually be available. Our suspicions appear to have been confirmed.
At the launch of the 7800, NVIDIA had cards available at most of the major e-tail outlets - Scan, Ebuyer, and Dabs to name a couple (the notable exception being Overclockers). As of the 20:00GMT, no X1800 XL series cards are in stock on any of those websites, including Overclockers, one of ATI's major retail partners in the UK. Overclockers have availability of the XL listed for October 11, and the XT November 11.
In the States, NVIDIA had availability at Newegg, ZipZoomFly, TigerDirect and Monarch. As of tonight, this story, we couldn't find any X1800 series cards in stock there, either, with only Monarch even listing the card with an October 12 date.
There are French and Italian e-tailers that we also know had availability of NVIDIA, and those do not appear to have stock either.
A poor launch effort:
It is disappointing to see that ATI haven't followed NVIDIA's lead and 'hard launched'. Regardless of how good the cards actually are or are not, not to have volume of product at launch simply sends the wrong message to customers. We need to get over the days of paper launches, and quickly - ATI need to catch up and latch on to this fact. Why are they launching products that can't be bought? It's simply stupid.
In the meantime, we have this thread
for talking about the new X1000 series cards - read the reviews and give us your opinions!