Recently ATI refreshed their line up of video cards, and they were nice enough to send one over for review, the ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT. Added to this new card were HD AC3 audio, 1080P video output, DX10 support for Vista, and a few other suprises. The testing and review took awhile, but I wanted to make sure things were done right.
- Next-generation unified shader engine with 320 unified stream processors
- 512-bit memory interface
- Easy CrossFire™ scalability
- HDMI with 5.1 surround sound audio
- DirectX® 10 support
Tech Features short list : http://ati.amd.com/products/radeonhd2900/specs.html
- 700 million transistors on 80nm HS fabrication process
- 512-bit 8-channel GDDR3/4 memory interface
- Ring Bus Memory Controller
- Unified Superscalar Shader Architecture
- Full support for Microsoft® DirectX® 10.0
- Dynamic Geometry Acceleration
- Texture filtering
- CrossFire™ Multi-GPU Technology
- ATI Avivo™ HD Video and Display Platform
- PCI Express x16 bus interface
- OpenGL 2.0 support
First, let us look at the packaging, starting with the box.
It looks like I will have a free copy of Half-Life 2: Episode Two to test.
Of course, if you spring for two ATI cards, you can link them together with CrossFire™.
The package comes with the standard assortment of goodies, including a DVI to HDMI adapter for use in connecting to a TV.
As you might have noticed, the card is rather large. Fancy flame designs cover the acrylic cooling duct.
As is typical for large, high end cards, you can expect to loose two PCI slots; one for the card and one for the vent. You get two DVI outputs and a plug for component and RCA/S-video connections.
As you can imagine with a card this size, ATI has specified some pretty hefty power requirements. It requires a 550W power supply (750W if using Crossfire)! ATI has been kind enough to list power supplies that are certified for use with the 2900 XT. You need to make sure you have the power to get this card going. I tested using a 1300W PSU from Tagan, as it has all of the power you could need for this card.
On the reverse side of the 2900 XT, they have used some plastic to help hold the heatsink and protect the board.
The fan covers the RAM and blows across the heatsink and out the back of the case.
A close look at the heat pipes through the acrylic cover.
Here's a closer look at the heatsink they used.
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