AMD’s ATI breaks 1Ghz barrier — for real?

May 14, 2009

In the highly demanding (and some say shrinking) world of PC gaming, only two graphics powers really count: reigning popular champ Nvidia and AMD’s ATI division. Now it looks like ATI’s Radeon may have got a bit of a lead on its arch-foe.

ATI, once considered a perennial also-ran to Nvidia’s cutting-edge graphics chips, has become the first to crack what it called the 1 Gigahertz barrier on standard air-cooling. Pounding its chest, the company trumpeted on Wednesday the milestone and talked about “amazing gaming experiences” for the likes of Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. and Electronic Arts’ Battleforge.

It would be interesting to see how Nvidia — whose logo still appears more often alongside cutting-edge games such as medieval third-person actioner Assassin’s Creed to blockbuster first-person shooter Crysis — will respond in their never-ending arms race.

Another interesting point some blogsites bring up: gamers routinely “overclock” their cards, or run their graphics processors at a faster than factory-based speed, meaning the 1Ghz barrier was probably broken some time back. AMD touts the new ATI Radeon HD 4890 as “factory-overclocked”.

AMD forgot to say how much it would actually cost, retail.

And it’s no long-term fix for choppy cut-scenes and jittery screen-scrolling either. As PC gamers well know, the GPU or graphics card is fundamental to the gaming experience. Unlike console gamers who rarely fret much about compatibility issues and hardware requirements, Windows gamers have to worry about everything from DirectX 10.1 to which card is optimized for what game. ATI’s supersonic new card merely represents a short-term solution to the ever-increasing demands that today’s games put on hardware.

(Photo: Crysis screenshot provided by Electronic Arts)

2 comments

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Is this the same pre Ghz video card with the only difference that its already overclocked and probably sold at a premium? Is it still possible to overclock this card?

[...] speaking of that whole “nearing the 1Ghz mark,” Reuters’ Eddie Chan makes the point that, given the ubiquity of gamers overclocking graphics cards and/or processors, this [...]

[...] speaking of that whole “nearing the 1Ghz mark,” Reuters’ Eddie Chan makes the point that, given the ubiquity of gamers overclocking graphics cards and/or processors, this [...]

Wow, someone over here at reuters really doesn’t like ati/amd.
Being the first on the market to officially release 1ghz+ processors is exactly what ati said. Last I checked, they didn’t have a parade or anything for it, so why all the ati bashing? Its a respectable company which is trying to push the envelope every bit as much as nVidia, however has to put up with journalists cheapening their success with bitter skepticism rather than congratulations. I agree that their card is no “long term fix,” but that is the same as every other card released since.. well .. ever. The rule of thumb is, buy the card that is the best bang for your buck (whether or not it happens to be nVidia, Eddie) and pray that it lasts long enough to play the games you want for a few years. Have you heard of Moore’s Law? It applies to nVidia every bit as much as ati.

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